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 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
The NBA has a plethora of great point guards, but let’s highlight one of the little guys in the NBA that’s a baller: Thomas in Boston. The Celtics guard missed time this season – and the Celtics offense promptly fell off a cliff. He put up 40 points on just 16 shots the other night, and is carrying a struggling Celtics offense alone while they try and fit Al Horford. If the little man keeps it up, he’s going to be an All-Star.
— Celtics News (@CelticsNewsNBA) December 26, 2016
The Bucks have figured things out to a degree after the rough start. But that was the be expected, with a new point guard that happens to be 6’11. The Bucks’ great December can be supported in another way too, though: the former top-three draft pick that’s playing out of his mind. Jabari Parker is averaging just under 20 points per game, and shooting 50% (!) from the field. He’s been the perfect compliment to Giannis, and the Bucks look competitive.
I can’t believe how good Jabari Parker is.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 21, 2016
Kyle Lowry’s Christmas Spirit
Of course, it’s Christmas week in the NBA, and it’s good times around the league. But beyond basketball, the players are making efforts to make sure their family and friends have a good holidays. Some are going a step further and giving back, like the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry. Lowry bought 24 kids as many toys as they could grab for Christmas this year, giving them not just presents, but a memory of a lifetime.
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) December 21, 2016
Zach LaVine Doesn’t Just Dunk
While the Timberwolves have been very bad this year, there’s been a bright spot in the development of Zach LaVine. Long seen as a one-trick pony that just dunks, LaVine has been terrific for the Wolves. He’s nailing threes, playing good defense, and shooting really efficiently. LaVine has matured greatly, while the others around him may have not.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 24, 2016
Ball Does Lie
KAT Bad Defense
While we’re talking about the Timberwolves, let’s highlight again their struggles. And this one is the most glaring: Karl Anthony-Towns’ defense is bad. And I mean historically bad for a player as talented as he is: Towns ranks 69th out of 69 qualified centers in the NBA in defense. And the Timberwolves’ defense when Towns is on the floor is 29th in the NBA. Just bad at every level.
JR Goes Down
The streaking Cavs got some disappointing news this week that will certainly change the makeup of the team: JR Smith, battling injuries and inconsistent play since the start of the season, will be out at least 12 weeks. With the loss, the Cavaliers all of the sudden turn to journeymen DeAndre Liggins and Iman Shumpert. Expect the Cavs to be players at the deadline.
Cavs fears realized today with JR Smith. He will need surgery on his thumb and will be out an extended period, sources said
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) December 21, 2016
George Karl Sells Books
Former Nuggets head coach George Karl made some headlines this week for all the wrong reasons, releasing his autobiography about his coaching in the NBA. It went over pretty well aside from his comments made that part of Carmelo Anthony’s issues were the absence of a father in his life. That went over about how you’d expect, with players across the NBA voicing their displeasure. Low move, man.
I didn’t have a father going up. We all know that. What’s George Karl excuse for being a terrible person
— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
Okay, I know it’s that time of the year, but can we pump the brakes on the whole “X player is getting traded” with any amount of certainty? Just in the last week, we’ve had ‘confirmed’ reports of Cousins, Wall and about three other players that were shipped out. As a caution to casual NBA fans: don’t believe it until it’s official.
Patty Mills Clutch Gene
Good luck stopping the Spurs.
Malcolm Brogdon Puts King James on a Poster
No matter what happens, he’ll have that for life.
Kyrie Owns the Bucks
Kyrie is asked if he’s worried about the Bucks: instant classic.
Curry is Still Great
Games to Watch
Grizzlies @ Celtics – Wednesday (AEDT)
The Grizzlies are rolling, and the Celtics are putting things together. Great early test.
Raptors @ Warriors – Thursday (AEDT)
The Raptors get to see if they can hang with the big guys.
Celtics @ Cavaliers – Friday (AEDT)
Can anyone stop King James and company?