What a night, man. WHAT A NIGHT. Last night… a nothing Wednesday in the middle of November… is exactly what makes the NBA the best league in the world. There was so much action you couldn’t keep up with it all. It was a perfect illustration of why we need an NBA version of Redzone. The 7:30/8:00 games were full of action, and teh entire night was capped off by a WILD Clips-Grizz game.
We had Kristaps Making The Leap, Marc Gasol’s Conor McGregor Strut, Russ’s Dagger Dunk, Drake Loves Doris Burke, Hot Lebron sitting out takes. All of that and more from a WILD night in the NBA
To the games…
INDIANA 103 – Cleveland 93
Indiana covers (-2.5)
ORLANDO 89 – New Orleans 82
PHILADELPHIA 109 – Washington 102
Philadelphia covers (+7)
BOSTON 90 – Dallas 83
Boston covers (-6)
NEW YORK 105 – Detroit 102
New York covers (-1.5)
ATLANTA 107 – Milwaukee 100
Atlanta covers (-5)
Golden State 127 – TORONTO 121
OKLAHOMA CITY 105 – Houston 103
Houston covers (+2.5)
DENVER 120 – Phoenix 104
Denver covers (-4.5)
San Antonio 120 – SACRAMENTO 115
Sacramento covers (+5.5)
Memphis 111 – LA CLIPPERS 107
Memphis covers (+12)
THE HAMMER OF GODZINGIS
7’3″… Seven foot freakin three. Night in and night out it still amazes me that he can do these things.
Spinning turnaround fade aways at 7’3″
Saying “You’re Sorry? Yeah? FOH” like a true New Yorker… at 7’3″
Wagging his tongue at 7’3″
Making them bedroom eyes at your girl… at 7’3″
Folks, Our Large Adult Son Is Growing Up Before Our Very Eyes
This is it. This is the game we’ve been waiting for. He’s shown glimpses over the last two weeks, but last night was the real coming out party. This is Kristaps’ team now.
Marc Gasol Would Like To Take This Chance To Apologize… TO ABSOLUTELY NOBODY
Marc Gasol made four three pointers last night. He’s now attempted 15 over the last three games, and is hitting them at a 43% clip on 4 attempts per game on the season. This new stretch five Marc looks like he’s here to stay, and damn does he look good.
And shoutout to Mike Conley while we’re here. Every time the Clippers made a move get back in that game, Mike and Marc were the ones there to hit a monster bucket and/or put the clamps on that run. I said last week that this was a huge week to see where the new-look Grizzlies are. Well back to back wins at Utah and at LA are a pretty good indication that this team is a real contender.
The Clippers – Grizzlies Rivalry Is As Good As It’s Ever Been
What a game, man. What. A. Game. There are some intense rivalries in this league. Some true beefs, both individual and collective. But no two teams hate each other quite like the Clippers and Grizzlies.
There is real, palpable tension when these two take the court. It’s less of a competition than it is an actual fight on the court. And it is so, so, so freakin awesome.
It’s not even the hard fouls or the twisting elbows on the rebounds, or the constant trash talk that makes it great. It’s the little things that you notice because you’ve done them yourselves in the heat of a pickup game. It’s the way Blake will spring back after a miss and make you think, for a split second, that he’s actually going to tackle someone. It’s the battles for positioning in the paint that get overly physical in a way that only happens when you care more about your hatred of your opponent than you do about getting the board. It’s the way guys sprint to pick up their teammates for the sole purpose of bumping their opponent on the way over. I love those little things. I can’t get enough of them. And no rivalry brings them out quite like Clippers-Grizzlies.
JJ Reddick Is So Goddamn Good
You can’t possibly measure the importance of what JJ brings to this team. It’s not just the shots themselves. It’s the work he puts in running off screens, tiring his defender, opening lanes for Chris and Blake.
JJ Reddick will never be an All Star. There’s just too much starpower and talent in the West. And that sucks. Because he’s as invaluable a role player as you’ll find in this entire league.
The Dagger Of All Daggers
The only thing more outrageous than that dunk attempt is our own collective reaction. I wasn’t even remotely phased. I mean I sat there and typed gibberish into twitter. But in real life I reacted like it was any other play. That’s what Russ has done to us. He’s made the spectacular seem mundane. While the idea of any other human being attempting an posterization, up three, with seven seconds left, with his OFF HAND, is simply preposterous, it’s just another play for Russ.
Russ > Harden
James Harden has been spectacular this season. Top three MVP candidate easily. In a year filled with outrageous stat lines, the regularity of his 30-15-8 games might be the most impressive. He’s been so good… so unstoppable… so fun to watch that I’ve put serious consideration into dropping my hatred. I can certainly respect someone’s game while still hating them (see: Bryant, Kobe). But when a guy is this much fun to watch night in and night out, it’s hard to maintain that hatred.
The debate started to pop up in anticipation of this game: Russ or Harden. We as basketball fans seem to default to Russ in this argument because… well because we like Russ more. Russ has a more attractive basketball demeanor. Russ is more active. Russ is just more fun. But when you really look at it, there’s more of an argument than you want to believe. Harden is a better shooter and more natural scorer. Harden is a better passer and craftier playmaker. And for all the flak we give Harden defensively, Russ is quietly one of the sloppiest, least disciplined defenders in the league himself. It’s a closer debate than you’d think… or than you want to think. If not dead even.
The only real differentiator is that intensity that Russ brings. It’s not about a “clutch gene” or “rising to the moment” or anything like that. It’s the simple fact that when shots aren’t falling, Russ never lets off the gas pedal. He still brings it, and that forces his teammates to bring it to. When Harden’s shots aren’t falling, and he starts to fold, that whole team folds with him. We saw that last night, and we’ll see it plenty more this season. Russ’s team can go cold, but they’ll never fold. They’ll always bring it. it’s not even a knock on Harden. Russ is just wired differently than anyone else. That’s why you sacrifice a little shooting and the occasional bouts of selfishness to choose Russ. That, and this…
Doris Burke Tells No Lies
via NY Magazine:
Drake Got Extremely Aggressive About It…
…And Doris Is About It
The lesson as always kids: Shoot Your Shot
Klay Thompson Seems To Be Handling This Third Banana Role Well
So much more on this later. Sooooooo much more.
TFW You Can’t Even Beat The Process…
TFW You Take Life Too Seriously…
That’s it for today. Kristaps column and Klay/Warriors column coming later today.
I love basketball.