Yes, this weeks post is a day late, sue me. But the week happened nonetheless, and stuff happened in the NBA that I need to react to, so let’s get into it.
1) Raptor’s potential game tying 3 called off
Wow, what an interesting finish to a game. I have never seen a call like this, human error is a real part of sports, and it’s nearly impossible to start the clock at the exact micro-second that it should. The best part? Even if the clock had started once DeMarcus Cousins touched the ball, Terrence Ross still got the shot off; there is video proof all over the internet. This is a tough one for the referees, but personally I believe they should have counted the basket. It’s one thing if it was a potentially game-winning shot, but it was a shot to force overtime. This way, you essentially say, “OK, that was a really tight call, so let’s play 5 minutes and see who wins.”. This call will be one of the biggest moments of the year, and now sets a precedent for all similar scenarios in the future.
2) Jrue Holiday comes back strong
I don’t know who’s more happy with the return of Jrue Holiday; Anthony Davis, coach Alvin Gentry, or the Pelicans fans. Very happy to hear his wife is doing well, and now hopefully the Pelicans can start doing better as well. In his first game back he dropped 21 points, to go along with 7 assists, in only 23 minutes. Plus those goggles he was rocking, oh boy those are great.
3) Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments
Phil, Phil, Phil…I’m sure you didn’t mean anything super negative with your comments regarding LeBron and his “posse”, but it was still insensitive. First he tries to force the triangle offence down the Knicks throats, and now this. It might be time for Phil to step down, he hasn’t done anything great since the last Lakers championship.
4) Warriors X-Factor? …JaVale McGee!
First off, the Warriors don’t exactly need an x-factor, the death lineup is just as amazing as we all expected. However, Zaza Pachulia has been a negative on the floor, and as good as their small-ball lineup is, they need a solid big man to lean on when they need a big matchup. And in my eyes, that big man is JaVale McGee. Rim protection, pick-and-roll, and rim running, that’s all the Warriors need him to do for about 10-15 minutes a night. Plus, how great would it be if a regular Shaqtin-A-Fool candidate could actually add something to a championship run?
5) Mavericks are a dumpster fire
Injuries have plagued this team, and Dirk Nowitzki has missed a lot of time, but they should not be 2-11 at this point. Harrison Barnes has been great so far, Seth Curry adds a different dimension off the bench, and Rick Carlisle is still a top-3 coach in the league. At this point, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to tank the season and go for the number 1 pick, as there aren’t any clear tanking teams this season. Pull a 1997 Spurs and hope for your own Tim Duncan.
6) 76ers win consecutive games for the first time since March 2015
Philadelphia basketball fans rejoice! Joel Embiid is shooting 50% from the 3-point arc, Nik Stauskas actually looks like an NBA player, and Sergio Rodriguez is showing that he could be their backup point guard next year (after they hopefully draft their future starting guard). For a team that’s been the laughing stock of the league, they actually are putting together a decent roster. Congratulations Philly, and continue trusting the process.
7) Detroit announces new downtown arena….the Little Caesars Arena
First the Smoothie King Center, and now Little Caesars Arena. If they rebrand the team as the Detroit Pepperonis, or the Breadsticks then I’m done following basketball.
8) Clippers off to franchise best 10-2 record
In a league dominated by Warriors and Cavs news, the Clippers have quietly been the best team in basketball this year. They still don’t have a solid small forward option, but that could change by the trade deadline, or in buyout season. Look out Golden State, a healthy Clippers team could make things interesting.
9) Career highs from Porzingis and Beal
Kristaps Porzingis scores 35, which shouldn’t be his career high for long. Bradley Beal with 42, and if he can finally stay healthy I could see him beating that eventually. Got to love high scoring performances from young guys.
10) The Bulls are surprising, in a great way
It might still be too early, but I take back everything I said about the Chicago Bulls prior to the season. Rondo hasn’t been great, but Wade and Butler have formed a dynamic partnership. They are actually shooting well from outside, and the lack of spacing with the starting frontcourt of Gibson and Lopez has actually worked. Anything can happen, and it could turn around, but the Bulls finishing around the 4th seed in the East wouldn’t rattle me at this point.