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).
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 Does Lie), and some highlights, lowlights and upcoming match-ups. It’ll be a small spreadsheet for everything you may have missed in the NBA.
Ball Don’t Lie
Kevin Love Finds His Game
Kevin Love has been a lightning rod for derision since joining Cleveland a few seasons ago. He’s easily forgotten, and most often simply criticized before praised. But that quiet Kevin Love has disappeared in recent weeks, replaced by a dude that is letting it fly. He torched the Blazers for 34 points in the first quarter the other night, and followed it up by burying the Mavericks. He’s lighting up the three-point arc, and if he keeps playing like this, Cleveland’s Big Three may finally be just that.
Grizz Do What Grizz Do
It was easy to dismiss Memphis coming into the season, with the Grizzlies floundering a year ago and getting another season older. And if you are only following mainstream media, they’ve been forgotten. But the Grizzlies are quietly 10-5, and scoring in ways they haven’t in a long time. The defense is still as good as it’s always been, but they are letting it fly more and more. Mike Conley is also the truth. The old man game is strong in Memphis again.
— FOX Sports Grizzlies (@GrizzliesOnFSSE) November 27, 2016
DeRozan’s Old Man Game Shines
Speaking of Old Man Game, DeMar DeRozan has got it. Who could have possibly known that you could average 30+ PPG in today’s NBA with an absolutely non-existent three-point shot? DeMar is dunking, layup-ing(?), and hitting the mid-range jumper all day long, and has carried the Raptors through the early part of the season. He’s the league’s leading scorer, and hitting those Kobe jumpers as if the Mamba passed his soul to him after he left the game. But seriously, just back up two feet and hit a three, man.
— Raptors Nation™ (@WeTheNorth__) November 23, 2016
Anthony Davis Hears Your Trash Talk
Jeff Van Gundy made a little Twitter noise during the NBA broadcast the other night between the Pelicans and Timberwolves. He made the comment that he’d trade Anthony Davis for Karl Anthony-Towns. This is one of those flame war debates that we aren’t gonna jump into, but Davis must have heard him, promptly schooling Towns on the next two plays and getting a particularly quiet response from JVG. Be careful talking that junk, Jeff.
Ball Does Lie
Rockets Shooting Like the Y
The Rockets have been tearing it up on offense in the young season, like many expected them to do. But their most recent game against the Kings briefly turned into a game you’d see at the local playground, with the Rockets attempting an NBA record 50 three-pointers. And they won by 13. I’m not math guy, but there seems to be little strategy in just hoisting bombs all night long. Come on guys, this is the pros.
Utah Jazz Defense Struggles
The Jazz have had a well-documented rough start to the season after much hype. But the defense has only gotten worse in our brief time since then. They are near the bottom of the NBA in efficiency, and look like a shell of the group that harassed teams on a nightly basis last year. Just get healthy, guys.
Listen, Russell Westbrook is great. He’s a star, no question. But can we talk for a second about how trash his defense is? Seriously, we rip Harden all day long for no defense, but twice this week Westbrook got hammered by teammates for his lack of trying on the defensive end. He’s just not a good defender all the time, and he needs to pick that up. Oladipo can’t guard the one all game.
Watch Westbrook throughout this entire possession and then come back and tell me about Harden’s defense.pic.twitter.com/QaAFZSGPzc
— Red Nation Hoops (@RedNationHoops) November 23, 2016
Don’t Do the John Wall
The Wizards are pretty garbage this year, but most of that blame lies on the duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall. The two have yet to really click at all in their time together, despite all the hype around them. They gripe on the bench, and just don’t look like they enjoy their time together. But the Wiz have both locked up a while with lots of money committed to them. They need that relationship fixed ASAP.
LaVine Slams It Home
Zach LaVine submitted an early entry for dunk of the year, and it’s a beauty.
Melo Still Got It
The Knicks sunk the Hornets last night, behind Melo doing what he does and burying the dagger in OT.
Steph’s Missed Dunk
Steph Curry had the chance to throw one down, something he normally doesn’t do. And maybe he shouldn’t after the way this turned out.
KD’s been getting a lot of Twitter hate lately, and he’s been handling it mostly with class. But sometimes you just gotta let a guy know when he’s acting like a total idiot.
@brandizz3l 😂 cool story bro, happy thanksgiving. Your family is looking for u and you in the bathroom tweeting away 😂😂
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) November 24, 2016
Games to Watch
Rockets @ Blazers
Anytime you can catch James Harden against a team with a bad defense, you have to right? Same can be said for Lillard, who needs his supporting cast from last year back.
Hawks @ Warriors
The mini-Spurs against the Warriors, these two match up really well. The Hawks have guys inside that can hammer the Warriors, but the eye will be on what the guards can do against Curry-Thompson-Durant.
Grizzlies @ Raptors
This one is going to be a beat down, slugfest fight. These two teams love to play old school, and it’s going to be magical to watch.