Thursday 19 October 2017 / 02:35 PM

BALL DON’T LIE: EDITION No.23

We’re down to just a week to go in the regular season of the NBA, and that means things are getting juicy. And with no dominant team this year, everything is up in the air going forward. So, what better place to get yourself caught up each week than right here?

Each week, 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 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

Russ Gets His

Russ keeps lighting up the scoreboards, and his feats are getting more and more ridiculous. Russ is putting up some insane numbers, and they have been translating to some Thunder wins, with OKC locking up a playoff berth this week. As gaudy as Russ’ stats have been this year, this whole thing is about the championship, and Russ is looking for some revenge come playoff time.

Noel Changes the Mavs

Despite the rampant talk we heard around the trade deadline, we may have a different winner of the trade deadline than we all thought: the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs dealt a conditional first round pick for Nerlens Noel from Philly, and Noel has transformed everything about the Mavericks. He’s turned into a young Tyson Chandler, and his anchoring defense led the Mavs to a 13-6 surge before injuries finally bit the team this week.

Blazers are Blazing

The Trail Blazers struggled mightily most of the year, looking like one of the NBA’s biggest flops for the season after the All-Star Break. Damian Lillard had regressed hard and quickly, and the shooting of the roster wasn’t cutting. Add in trade deadline move with the Nuggets for Nurkic, however, and the Blazers have gained steam. They’ve since passed the Nuggets for the last playoff spot, and don’t look like they’re giving it up anytime soon.

The TNT Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have fallen short of every bit of expectation they’ve had before the season started, most of them put on themselves. But the Bulls are coming on at the end of the season, and have been sparked in the most peculiar way: they can’t be beat on TNT. The Bulls have won 23 straight home games on TNT, and got their most recent one by dismantling the Cavs in front of a sold out crowd.

Curry vs. The Best

Stephen Curry has been perceived to have a down year, and most of that hasn’t been fair. Nonetheless, with Durant’s injury, Curry has stepped things up to a new level. Namely, Curry has outplayed the likes of Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the last few weeks.

BALL LIES

Harden’s Record… Turnovers

James Harden has been the truth this season, competing for the MVP and leading the Rockets to one of the top records in the West. But there’s one record Harden probably doesn’t want: the NBA record for turnovers in a season. Harden set the record this past week, and I doubt he can use that one on the MVP resume he’ll have prepared for the coming weeks.

Pistons Tumble

The Pistons have been in that weird sport for a team that we always get out of one team every year. The Pistons surprised last year and looked to be heading on to the next step of contending, but they’ve fallen down hard, struggling to maintain .500 and any semblance of a playoff chance. Those dreams are all but dashed this week, with the Pistons latest three-game skid putting them out of the playoff spot for good, and contemplating their future.

Noah Suspended, Worst Contract Gets Worse

Joakim Noah got one of those eye-popping contracts that only the Knicks can offer during the offseason, ending up with a four-year deal worth bunches of money, and it’s only looking worse toward the end of the year. A few days after being ruled out for the year due to injury, the NBA announced Noah will serve a sizeable suspension at the start of next year due to PEDs.

Clippers Sliding Down

The Clippers are in a weird spot: they’ve got the record to lock up a trip to the postseason, and the stars to make some noise. But the end of the season hasn’t been kind, as they flirt the line of not hosting a playoff series. They’ve got a rough end of the season on top of it, and a losing record against their potential second round matchup: the Warriors.

QUICK HITS

Butler Comments on Defense

Smart guy, that Jimmy Butler.

Russ Game Winner

Brodie gets it done again.

Rubio to Rush

How about that dime?

Whiteside Wins It

Even big guys get some clutch buckets.

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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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