Sunday 17 December 2017 / 05:22 PM

BALL DON’T LIE: EDITION No.15

The NBA season is now in full swing, 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 some things I like (Ball Don’t Lie), some things I don’t (Ball Lies), and some highlights, lowlights, and upcoming match-ups.

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

Wizards Steaming

I know John Wall has been great, but the roster around him has finally gotten to the level they needed to. The Wizards are absolutely dealing, and are making a case of being the clear challenger to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference. They may not be as deep as other teams, but that starting lineup, particularly Porter-Morris-Beal-Wall, can run and pressure better than almost anyone in the league. The Wizards are finally coming together like we all hoped they would.

Lance Gets His Chance

Sure, ultimately in the world of NBA standings, this likely doesn’t matter. But seeing Lance Stephenson get another chance in the NBA is always awesome, and the Timberwolves finally pulled the trigger. Lance got playing time immediately, and promptly started dishing no-look passes. He was great before his injury in New Orleans, and I hope he’s found a permanent home in Minnesota.

Pacers Back to Playing

The Pacers defense hasn’t exactly fixed itself, but the Pacers have embraced what they can be good at: scoring. The Pacers have a solid record over the last two weeks, and have flown up the rankings. They look like a team that could scare some people in the playoffs, and there will need to be some people paying attention to them, because the bench is even a top-20 rated offensive unit.

Kevin Durant Gets His

That was nice, wasn’t it? Even if you dislike Durant, getting to see him upset every single one of those 10,000 people in the stands that were mocking him was the ultimate “screw you” moment this season. Durant may be supervillian, but don’t tell me you wouldn’t love to be the guy to deflate an entire arena and opposing team bent on hating you.

BALL LIES

LeBron-Love Flip Flop

It’s the trade rumor season, and that means that it’s time to get the best of the rumors. We already got past most of the rumors for Cleveland, but LeBron promptly eviscerated the media for implying he wanted Kevin Love gone, even though he’s alluded to it in the past. Seriously, all James has done in the last two weeks is complain about his roster, but thinks reporters are out to get him when they imply someone has to get traded.

Boogie’s Rampant Techs

While he looked like he had calmed down a little bit, Boogie got back into the swing of his rampant actions last week, earning his league-leading 16th technical, prompting a suspension of a game. I’m the biggest fan of Boogie’s game there is, but if his attitude starts to cost him games on the floor, it’s time to really evaluate where he’s at and what he’s doing. Boogie has to be smarter if he really wants to help the Kings finally win.’

Knicks Down the Drain

Charles Oakley, trade rumors, Melo vs. Phil, Dolan vs. the fans, an intervention by the Commissioner. That was all this week in the NBA’s longest running sitcom, the New York Knicks. Seriously, I’m not sure what more could go wrong for the franchise, and I’m not really sure where you can go from here. It’s honestly not even worth picking a side, it changes by the day.

Russ’ Turnovers

We finally got the showdown we all wanted in the Warriors trip to OKC, but we got more of the same. And I think it’s time to say it: Russ hurts his team in a lot of ways. Look, the guy is great, and he carries the Thunder. But in big games, he can be their downfall. Plus 10 turnovers is horrendous, and he himself let that Warriors game get out of hand. He’s got to learn to settle down for those big moments.

Jabari Goes Down

Man, it seems like I do one of these every week. This one especially hurts, with the Bucks announcing that Jabari Parker is done for a full year. This injury is particularly devastating because it’s the same knee Parker already came back from before. The guy was finally coming into his own, and this just really, really stinks.

QUICK HITS

LeBron Nails the Three

This is the most nuts three I think I’ve ever seen, walk included.

Wade Misses Home

Don’t forget: the Bulls are also a dumpster fire!

Bulls 4-on-1

Told you!

Buddy’s Low Blow

This should be an ejection, then maybe an execution.

GAMES TO WATCH

Pacers @ Cavs (Thursday AEDT)

Two scorching teams going head to head!

Hornets @ Raptors (Thursday AEDT)

Hornets last chance to right the ship before the All-Star Break

Hawks @ Clippers (Thursday AEDT)

The second tier of the East and West square off.

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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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