Sunday 18 February 2018 / 09:33 PM


Can you believe it? We’re already back for a new NBA season! And if you can believe that, you really won’t believe that we didn’t get canceled! That’s right, Ball Don’t Lie is back for season number two, and as always, we’ve got everything you need right here for the week you need in the NBA. We’re two weeks into the NBA season, and it has been exactly as exciting as you were expecting, so let’s catch you up on what’s going on.

Ball Don’t Lie

Grizzlies Grit and Grind

After hitting the reset button courtesy of a slight revamp, with Zach Randolph and Vince Carter moving on, the Grizzlies were one of those circled for a step back. Instead, the Grizzlies have raced out to the league’s best record, and that’s over in the loaded West. They’re using the league’s highest rated defense and a surprisingly fluid offense, and that defense is smothering. They’ve already bothered teams into committing seven technicals on the young season.

Magic Show Some Magic

Raise your hand if you had the Orlando Magic at any point having the best record in the East? And that record isn’t just cake either: the Magic blew the doors off the Cavs and the Spurs in the same week, and have used some length to smother teams defensively. And their offense is nice too so far, with Vuc changing his game and earning himself a spot back on the floor, and the rest of the lineup looking finely tuned so far.

Dipo and the Pacers Fun & Gun

The rebuilding Pacers have lowkey become my League Pass addiction. These guys are legitimately fun, and that’s largely part to Victor Oladipo. He’s been phenomenal, leading the Pacers in scoring and running the offense in a crazy way. Is it too early to think the Pacers may have gotten a haul out of George, rather than giving him away for peanuts? Dipo looks like a totally different player.

Twin Towers Dazzle Big Easy

It hasn’t turned to big wins just yet, but how much fun is the Davis-Boogie connection in New Orleans? These two are just doing EVERYTHING for the Pelicans: passing, defense, rebounding and scoring. They are just a two man wrecking crew, and that’s shown in a pair of triple doubles for both on the young season. Boogie takes over one night, Davis the other. And that’s troublesome for long term success, but if these guys are enjoying it as much as they put off, just leave them alone.

Pistons Wreak Havoc

So, can I just cast my early MVP ballot for Avery Bradley? It’s no secret that I love the guy, but even I didn’t think that he would gel this lineup the way he has for Detroit. The last week of games, they are locking in on teams, with Jackson and Drummond both playing better on offense. But defense has been spectacular, with the lifeless Pistons looking like a new team with Bradley out there harassing everyone. Heck, they beat Golden State this week! In Oracle! Madness.

Ball Lies

Warriors Get Sloppy

I wrote last week about how the Warriors mentality was to just have fun and do what they needed to do. But after a full week, now I’m starting to get a little concerned. The Warriors have cranked up their “win on talent” approach to careless levels. I know that Steph and Durant will be fine, but this isn’t great for the bench, who needs to gel a little as we go through the year without all these turnovers.

Cavs Stink, Too

Man, Cleveland. How quickly you can go from Cloud Nine to getting beat by Brooklyn. The Cavs are getting very little production out of anyone not named LeBron or JR Smith, with the bench playing poorly and the starting lineup not coming together at all. They’ve already moved Wade to the bench, and Tristan Thompson is getting abused. He’s a non factor on the glass, and that’s pretty much all that he’s there for.

Week of Fultz

You paying attention to all of this? The Sixers had Fultz, who had shoulder troubles over the offseason, work on his shot. That didn’t work, with the Sixers blaming his horrible shooting on that coaching for his shot. That turned out to be a stretch, with reports from Sixers camp reporting Fultz literally couldn’t lift his arm over his shoulder. Then the debate shifted to the Sixers playing him hurt, and now they’ve shut him down for at least the next month. This whole thing is so, so bizzare.

Lonzo and Lakers Too Much

I love Lonzo Ball and Lavar about as much as anyone does, but after all the drama with John Wall, coupled with the media coverage, it’s hard to escape. But that’s not the trying part of this whole escapade: Lonzo is really, really bad on defense. Like, liability bad. He’s getting torched by almost everyone, and that is really tough when you consider that the Lakers have the most national games of anyone not named the Warriors this year. WHY?

Ballers Of the Week

Victor Oladipo had a week, leading his Pacers over some marque wins, including a dagger of a game winner. He’s also scoring over 20 PPG, and his teammates LOVE him. That’s something, considering he was Westbrook’s flailing side kick this time last year.

Talk about good weeks though: Blake Griffin owns this league. The point-forward has been dishing the rock without Chris Paul, and the Clippers offense is exploding. And Griffin is living his best life: he’s had two vicious slams, including one against Defensive Player of the Year favorite Rudy Gobert AND a game winner. Not a bad week at the office.

Quick Hits

Gordon Hits Winner

Green-Beal Go At It

Booker’s a Fool

Monk Forgets Where He Plays

Bradley Struggles

And Finally, for Halloween:

See you guys next 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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