Wednesday 23 August 2017 / 07:57 PM

BALL DON’T LIE: EDITION NO.2

The NBA season is now in full swing, with teams across the NBA quickly realizing their dreams are doomed, or thinking they are the team of destiny (looking at you, Knicks).

With the start of the season upon us, and some meaningful basketball to actually watch (the preseason stinks, go ahead and admit it), we are going to try something new here!

Each week (hopefully), I’ll be taking a look around the NBA and look at some things I like (Ball Don’t Lie), some things I don’t (Ball Does Lie), 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

Klay is Back

Klay Thompson had a rough, rough start to the season, and that is putting it mildly. But when you’ve got Durant and Curry flinging it up, it’s not so bad. And he turned things around relatively quickly this week, letting it fly and getting his jumper back. Now, the Warriors are really dealing, and have hit their stride after a patchy (by their standards) start to the season.

Good luck defending all the freaking threes, as evidenced by the Warriors having FOUR players hit four or more threes in one game. In the words of Steph Curry, “Way to go Draymond!”

Hornets’ Hot Start

Raise your hand if you had the Charlotte Hornets leading the Eastern Conference on November 10! Now put it down, you big liar. The Hornets have whipped up on the East so far, and most recently sent the Utah Jazz packing en route to a 6-1 record.

They’ve done it largely behind the play of Kemba Walker, who is just a madman in the fourth quarter. Like seriously, if your life is on the line based on a shot in the fourth quarter of a game, you better have Kemba on your team. The Hornets get a huge test Friday and Sunday, though, with the Raptors and Cavs on the docket this week.

Harrison Barnes is the One

Okay, okay. I got a lot of jokes in on the Mavericks for the really ridiculous max contract they gave to the Warriors fifth fiddle. But I have to admit: he really looks good. Like, cornerstone of a franchise good. Barnes has posted three 30-point games for the Mavericks, where he had one when he was with Golden State. I’m still not sure he’s worth the max, but he’s earning that money right now. If you don’t believe me, just follow Mark Cuban on Twitter. Actually, save yourself the hassle and don’t.

Clippers Are…Good?

So, can we talk about who the best team in the West is? The Clippers are the best defense in the NBA in terms of efficiency, top 10 in offense, have played eight teams that are above .500, and sit atop the West. Jesus, every word of that feels wrong. The Clippers are rolling, and if this continues we may have a new favorite going forward. Just imagine if they were healthy a year ago.

Ball Does Lie

Celtics are Kinda Bad

Okay, can we pump the brakes on the Celtics? I know they were the de facto No.2 team in the East, but just maybe they aren’t. Horford has struggled to stay healthy, and they’ve dealt with injuries. But even when they have been healthy, this team hasn’t been great. Turns out that Crowder + the Nets pick can’t play that great of ball. Oh, and Brad Stevens ain’t won nothing – stop the genius stuff. Try winning a playoff series first, boys.

John Wall the Quick Temper

John Wall has been one of the coolest-headed dudes since entering the NBA. I mean, how can you not be when you had a god-awful song follow you into the league? You don’t just live that down.

My middle school self just tried to Dougie to that I think. But lately Wall has been quicker to pop off, and has been tossed from two games consecutively as of late. First, it was a temperament with the officials that got him thrown out.

Then, after that, he and Avery Bradley traded some words that got Wall ejected again. He’s saying he’s not getting calls, and I tend to agree, but you’re no use out of the game, man.

Pelicans Waste Davis

Hey, you guys remember when the Pelicans were the 8 seed and actually played the Warriors close a few years ago? Yeah, that happened! It’s easy to forget because they’ve sucked ever since, and have promptly wasted some asinine stats from the Brow. He’s literally carrying this team, as the second- best player was Lance Stephenson, and they cut him due to injury. I mean, they gave big money to Solomon Hill. Someone help this guy.

Timberwolves Playoff Hopes

Remember during the season preview where I said to pump the brakes on the Timberwolves catching the league on fire? Yeah, remember that. This team is Y-O-U-N-G, and what that means is really sloppy defense, turnovers and losses. They are going to look good, but with so many guys that are barely legal to buy beer in the US, they are going to take some time.

Mark Cuban’s Temper Tantrum

Mark Cuban made headlines for more than just his brazen anti-Trump message over the last week. He also made the stunning move to ban two ESPN reporters from Mavericks games. The move was said to be in response to ESPN using robo-journalists to do game summaries, and was meant to fight the trend. I doubt it makes a difference, but this isn’t a great look.

Quick Hits

Kemba Break Those Ankles

Just Kemba doing Kemba, man.

Russ Block

Russell Westbrook sent this thing across the Pacific.

New York Just Sucks

This is New York basketball at its finest.

 

Jennings Don’t Want No Sportsmanship

You best not be helping up nobody in Brandon Jennings’ house.

Rope Tree Journalist

Let’s get political. The US just elected a new president and his fans don’t particularly like…me…? I hope he’s talking about a tire swing.

Barack is Gone

With the election of Trump, the world leader with the most game is gone. US falls on the basketball power rankings for sure. Gonna miss you, Barry!

Games to Watch

Raptors @ Hornets – Saturday (AEDT)

The Hornets hot start will be tested against the league’s top scorer. Something has to give.

Clippers @ Thunder – Saturday (AEDT)

The Clips get a taste of the Russell Westbrook revenge tour.

Raptors @ Cavs – Wednesday (AEDT)

The two best teams (outside of the Hornets) meet for a rematch of the first week.

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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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