Friday 20 October 2017 / 05:00 AM

BALL DON’T LIE: EDITION No.14

The NBA season is now into the second half, with teams across the NBA quickly rocketing up the standings, or heading straight into tank-a-polooza!

Each week, I’ll be taking a look around the NBA and pinpointing at some things I like (Ball Don’t Lie), some things I don’t (Ball Lies), and some highlights, lowlights, and upcoming matchups. It’ll be a small spreadsheet for everything you may have missed in the NBA. Without further adieu, let’s get things going.

BALL DON’T LIE

Paul Pierce Gets His Goodbye

Few careers in the NBA get a storybook finish. We’ve seen players that give an organization everything end up everywhere else (DWade in Chicago, MJ with the Wizards, KG at the Nets). Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant’s retirements are the exception to a player walking away. But with Paul Pierce, playing for the opposing Clippers, he got the sendoff he deserved – and it was pretty cool. The Boston crowd was very receptive to ‘The Truth’; he got standing ovations throughout the game, and even ended his final game in Boston with a made three that drew huge roars from the fans. Classy all around.

Yogi Gets His Chance

Tell me this isn’t the plot of a movie: Yogi Ferrell goes undrafted in the NBA Draft, so works his way into the D-League. There he works, before finally getting a call-up from the struggling Mavericks on a 10-day contract. And from there, he balls out, outplaying Damian Lillard on national television to earn a two-year, guaranteed contract to play in the NBA. Crazy, right? Go Yogi.

Year of the Monster Stats

So, it looks like every single week in this countdown, we have some new player going off for career numbers. Isaiah Thomas, Russ, Curry, Durant, LeBron James – and that’s just in the last three weeks! On 29 occasions this season a player has produced a 40+-point game, which is already the fifth most of all time. Maybe that’s why a guy like Kemba Walker averaging 22.9 PPG isn’t even sniffing the top 12 in scoring. Tough crowd.

Here Come the Heat

Lost in the chatter over Wade and his new team, the embattled Chicago Bulls, have been his old home: Miami. Most of that is because the Heat were quite literally the worst team in the Eastern Conference for almost two months of the season. But that’s old news. The Heat are streaking, winning as many as 11 in a row behind monster efforts from Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, and even Dion Waiters. They are looking the Miami of last year again.

BALL LIES

Barkley And James Just Talk

I have no idea why LeBron decided to go off on Charles Barkley this week. I also have no idea why Charles Barkley has ragged on LeBron James so much. But I do know that LeBron’s listing of Barkley facts in his rant was pre-planned, and the whole thing just got a little bigger than it should have. While NBA drama is normally fun, let’s keep it between the guys on the court, not in the booth.

Bulls Drama

If you’re a decently well-informed NBA fan, you’ve probably ventured into the dark sides of the NBA information internet. And if you have, you’ve seen some pretty messed up stuff about the Bulls. Not only do the team members seemingly hate each other, but there’s apparently a ‘mole’ in the coaching staff that the players all hate. There’s even a report that players use two different phones! What a mess in Chicago.

Zach LaVine Goes Down, Crushes Dreams

I love so many of the young players for the Timberwolves. And their struggles this season have really bummed me out. But not as much as the news from a day ago that Zach LaVine would miss the rest of the season. Zach is one of the most high-flying and entertaining players in the league, and having him not on the floor doesn’t help anybody.

First Trade Dud

Well, we finally got to sink our teeth into another NBA trade. And this one wasn’t that exciting, or particularly good for one of the teams. The Hornets traded Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert, two expiring contracts, for Miles Plumlee of the Bucks. And while that’s pretty ‘bleh’, it’s also pretty stupid: Plumlee is making $70 million over the next four years. That’s more than Kemba Walker! Jeez.

QUICK HITS

CJ Does Some Magic

Poor, poor Victor Oladipo.

Blake Griffin Fits in a Dime

Maybe Blake should be filling in for CP3?

Draymond and Durant Go To War

This is probably nothing, but it’s entertaining none the less.

Harden Draws a Bad Foul

Come on, man.

 

GAMES TO WATCH

Cavaliers @ Thunder – Friday (AEDT)

Pacers @ Wizards – Saturday (AEDT)

Heat @ 76ers – Sunday (AEDT)

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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