Ham’s Hoops Roundup Wednesday, Oct. 25th — The Kids Are… Really, Really Good

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Jayson and Jaylen shine for the Celtics, LeBron “plays Point Guard” on the lineup card, Aaron Gordon has himself a night, and Blake looks like the old Blake again. It’s the Ham’s Hoops Roundup for Wednesday, October 25th. Let’s get it…

Scores from Tuesday, Oct 24th:

Chicago 112   –  Cleveland 119
Brooklyn 121  –  Orlando 125
New York 89  –  Boston 110
Indiana 130  –  Minnesota 107
New Orleans 93  –  Portland 103
Utah 82  –  LA Clippers 104

Chicago 112  –  Cleveland 119

LeBron “started at Point Guard” tonight. Yes, LeBron is always the Point Guard. Yes, the Bulls stink. But it is pretty dope that the NBA is so loaded with talent that the best player in the league can change positions and drop 34/13 and it’s really just another night in the Association. Right now the NFL’s three most marketable players are out for the season and I have no idea who’s even in the MVP discussion.

It also gave us an all time weird LeBron moment where you remember, oh yeah, this guy probably views himself as a superhero. And shit, I can’t even blame him.

Also, Lauri Markkanen… not a stiff. The kid went for 19/8 last night to follow up 13/12 and 17/8 efforts in his first two. He can obviously stroke it. But he also moves well on offense, gives a shit on defense, has shown some quiet toughness, and has served as the lone bright spot for Bulls fans in what’s otherwise been a nightmare last few months. The bad news for Bulls fans is that if he keeps it up and at least makes the Jimmy Butler trade look only very bad instead of offensively atrocious then that probably keeps Gar-Pax around another five years. Yikes.

Brooklyn 121  –  Orlando 125

Have a NIGHT Aaron Gordon. 41 points. 12 boards. 14-18 from the field including 5-5 on threes. Dude was  seeing the music last night.

The Brooklyn defense has been bad this season, yes. But it’s an encouraging sign for a Magic team that desperately needs one of these young kids to take a massive step forward.

D’Angelo dropped another 29 points, but managed only 1 assist after averaging 7 a night over the first three games.

That one assist was pretty dope…

But you’d imagine Kenny Atkinson wants to see a bigger number than 1 from D’Angelo now that he’s been given the kets – even if he is doing things like this.

New York 89  –  Boston 110

These kids in Boston man…

Kyrie is featured in these highlights. He had a respectable 20/7/3 line on 5-13 shooting. Al Horford had an extremely Al Horford game, going for a 13/13 double double with five assists and incredible defense on Porzingis.

But the story here was the kids. 23 points on 9 of 16 shooting with 3 threes from Jaylen Brown. And 22/4/2 with 4 steals, 2 blocks, and 4 threes from the rook Jayson Tatum.

We’re going to talk a LOT about these two this season. Rarely, if ever, do you have two players so young thrust into such a prominent role for a legitimate contender. That was already the case before Gordon Hayward’s foot got set to pacific coast time. And it’s going to be fascinating see how these two handle that pressure throughout the course of the season.

This is about as beautiful a box score as Celtics fans could hope to see from those four guys in what should have been and was an easy win for Boston. Scoring and efficiency behind the arc from Brown. Defense and good shot volume from Tatum. Rebounding from Horford. A good +/- from Baynes. And an efficient, high free throw, low turnover game from Irving.

As far as the Knicks go… yeah they stink. They absolutely stink. And if Porzingis doesn’t have it on a given night (12 points on 3-14 shooting last night) they stand absolutely no chance.

The good news is… that’s a good thing! Not only should they tank… they have to tank. They need the Russ to their Durant… The Klay to their Steph… The Simmons to their Embiid.

That guy is currently lighting up the Euro League and every loss brings them a game closer

The bad news is… I’m becoming increasingly afraid that they’ll jeopardize that by making an extremely Knicksish short term move and trading for Eric Bledsoe. What’s worse… they’d compound the short sighted mistake of needlessly improving from a 20-something win team to maybe a 30 win team by trading Frank or Willy and I think I would lose my goddamn mind. Please… for the love of god, Scott Perry… do not fuck this up. LOOK AT LUKA DONCIC WORK

Indiana 130  –  Minnesota 107

Vic Oladipo posted another monster night for Indy, taking advantage of no Jimmy Butler and giving Minnesota the blues all night.

Indy rode that, along with big nights from Collison (15/5 with 16 assists), Sabonis (15/11/5 on 7-7 shooting), Bogdanovic (19/5 on 9-12 shooting), and Joseph off the bench (21/5/2 with 5 threes and 3 steals) to a monster win without Myles Turner.

They won’t shoot 66.7% from the field every night. But they’re gonna get out and run and they might even surprise a few teams this season

KAT did his thing for Minnesota (28/7 on 12-17 shooting). But got little to no help outside of 18 points off the bench from Bjelica. And it looks like this team really hasn’t figured out its defensive issues from last season without Jimmy on the court.

This was pretty though.

New Orleans 93  –  Portland 103

Anthony Davis left the game early after bumping knees. The MRI thankfully showed no structural damage. But  the Pels are likely going to be without him Thursday in Boogie’s return to Sacramento and Saturday for what would’ve been a fun matchup with Cleveland. Would love to see him back by next Wednesday when they host KAT and the Wolves.

Boogie tried to pick up the slack with a monster 39/13/3 line. But fell back into some old bad Boogie habits down the stretch as things got physical with Nurkic down low. As a unabashed Boogie apologist I’m just gonna chalk that up to the emotions of the impending return to Sac Town Thursday and move on.

Highlights from down the stretch…

The Blazers had five in double digits, included 12/10 from Ed Davis off the bench. And pulled away late thanks to C.J. McCollum’s 13 point fourth quarter.

Jrue Holiday put up 14/5/7 in 35 minutes, including a little sauce here. The Pels are gonna need a few big games here from Holiday coming up as they wait to hear on a timetable for Anthony Davis’s return.

Caleb Swanigan YEET…

And bully ball down low. This kid is gonna be good.

Utah 84  –  LA Clippers 102

I don’t know if I’m more surprised to see Blake posterize someone in 2017 or to see Rudy Gobert get posterized in 2017. But it was as beautiful as it was unexpected.

Rudy got a slight bit of revenge later in the night.

But Clips remained unbeaten behind all five starters in double digits and a beautiful 22/9/6 performance from Blake.

Blake has very quietly been on a tear to start the season, now with lines of  29/12/3,  29/8/4  and now  22/9/6, shooting 51% from the field and an unsustainable but encouraging 45% from three.

As nice as this box score does look for LA, I’d be very concerned about the numbers in that first category this early in the season – especially in an 18 point win. Regardless, that’s a nice win against the team that knocked them out last April.

Game. Blouses.

Rook Donovan Mitchell posted his best scoring night as a pro – going for 19 on 7-20 shooting in 30 minutes. He’s struggled through the first few games here after lighting up Summer League and the preseason. But the kid has game. Case in point with this Euro in the lane…

Around The League

Markelle Fultz reportedly got his shoulder drained yesterday. With his agent telling ESPN he couldn’t raise his arms up to shoot…

…until his agent came out and revised the statement, saying he received a cortisone shot, and did not have fluid drained from his shoulder.

ESPN (Woj) —  The agent for Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz changed his explanation Tuesday night on the treatment the No. 1 overall pick has received on his right shoulder, revising his earlier statement that fluid was drained from it during the preseason.

“He had a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, which means fluid was put into his shoulder — not taken out,” agent Raymond Brothers told ESPN on Tuesday night. “My intention earlier was to let people know that he’s been experiencing discomfort. We will continue to work with (Sixers general manager) Bryan Colangelo and the medical staff.”

Whatever the case is… his shoulder is clearly messed up. He can’t shoot. That’s a problem.

The good news is that the Sixers have never had injury issues with their top picks before so you can trust them to handle this one well. #TrustTheProcess

In case you skipped past the Knicks section before, just wanted to toss in this clip of Luka Doncic dominating through three games over in Europe. So while things might seem bad for Knicks/Suns/Bulls/Hawks/Mavs/etc. fans right now… here’s a little look into what’s coming next June.

The Eric Bledsoe situation remains up in the air for now. A few teams (Milwaukee, Denver, Cleveland, New York) have reached out about a trade.

There’s a real chance this thing drags out much longer than anticipated. Phoenix has minimal leverage. Bledsoe’s trade value is irregularly low. And teams are in no rush to give up young talent if they think they can wait the Suns out. Could be a fascinating few days, maybe even weeks.

Ten games on the slate Wednesday night. Highlighted by a fascinating Houston-Philly matchup on League Pass and Ball vs. Wall on ESPN. See you right back here tomorrow.

Schedule for Wednesday, Oct. 25th:

7:00   Denver  @  Charlotte
7:00   Minnesota  @  Detroit
7:00   Houston  @  Philadelphia 
7:30   Cleveland  @  Brooklyn
8:00   San Antonio  @  Miami   (ESPN)
8:00   Indiana  @  Oklahoma City
8:30   Memphis  @  Dallas
10:00   Utah  @  Phoenix
10:30   Toronto  @  Golden State
10:00   Washington  @  LA Lakers   (ESPN)

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