Thursday 23 November 2017 / 03:26 AM

BALL DON’T LIE: NBA WEEK 4

The NBA season is in full swing, with almost a month gone in the season. the contenders are starting to separate and move toward the top, including some teams that we weren’t fussed on to begin the year and now know more about. But everyone in the league is still mathematically in this thing, and there’s still time for teams to fall and rise. So what got shook up this week? Let’s take a look.

Ball Don’t Lie

Pistons Keep Blazing

Detroit is rolling through their schedule with almost the entire roster transforming. Avery Bradley is hitting a stunning amount of threes, and it’s only like the 3rd most exciting thing about this team. Everyone on the roster is letting it fly, and it’s behind mostly the playmaking ability of Reggie Jackson. But we also need to talk about Andre Drummond, with his career rebounding and his incredible free throw turnaround, may have turned into the best center in the East.

Paul George Is Dealing

Earlier in the week, we had a nice long debate with whether or not Paul George should be the Thunder’s top scoring option. That followed a string of losses in the beginning of the week, and he must have heard us: down are the shots of Carmelo and Russ, up are the production numbers of Paul George, who has scored 40 and 38 in the last week, and posting near triple double numbers on offense.

Celtics Keep Sizzling

We all knew about the Celtics win streak building from the last two weeks, but it reached dumb levels of adjustment this week. The Celtics ran into the Hornets, who jumped out to a 20 point advantage with injuries to Al Horford and Kyrie, as well as a late injury to Jayson Tatum. They still came back and won, and have won another still. Kyrie has been spectacular, and the wins and guards have the Celtics rebounding numbers to levels they didn’t get even with KG and Perkins.

Bledsoe Upgrades Bucks

I’ve gotten way too used to the Greek Freak running the point for the Bucks, and then all of the sudden Eric Bledsoe found a new home. And Giannis still runs his share of the point, but Bledsoe has found a new home. He’s been great for the Bucks, and so far looks like a worthwhile investment. He’s transformed the offense, if they can just get their shooters to hit their shots.

Spurs Cook Without Kawhi

A bizarre part of this season has been the play of Spurs without Kawhi Leonard. Rudy Gay has been absolutely terrific, particularly on offense. But let’s recognize his defense, too. He’s been like a Kawhi-lite, and the Spurs defensive efficiency is way up when he’s on the floor. He’s been terrific, and we’ve already touched on LaMarcus Aldridge and his offensive growth. The Spurs are hanging around, even without a top-five player.

Ball Don’t Lie

Mad James and Dysfunction Cavs

Last nights game for the Cavs against the Knicks was the talk of the town, with everyone focused on all the crap talking from James and the Cavs. To recap, James took a shot at Phil Jackson for drafting Frank Ntilikina over Dennis Smith, then walked it back away from Frank. But that didn’t stop Enes Kanter and Frank from taking offense, coming after James. The Cavs won a thriller, but we need to talk about this: is this the only way these Cavs can get motivated?

This Week in the Ball Family

In the ongoing drama of an NBA family, the Ball family got going again this week. Lonzo Ball and LaMelo got caught up talking crap about their old coach at Chino Hills, while LiAngelo and UCLA went to China. While there, Ball managed to get arrested with two teammates for shoplifting, and NBA Twitter reacted just about the way you expected. There’s always something.

NCAA v NBA

I don’t think anyone was expecting it, but this week saw a nice little punchline from NBA stars against the NCAA collegiate system. We’ve already seen Adam Silver say that the one-and-done rule my be unfit for the system, and this week we saw Ben Simmons say he didn’t get anything out of his time at LSU, and then got some snarky comments from Stan Van Gundy literally laughing at the idea of a “student-athlete” that the NCAA has come up with.

Jazz Can’t Score

We knew that Gordon Hayward absence on offense was going to create a scoring void for this team, but I don’t think anyone was quite ready for what that has entailed. The Jazz are flat out bad on offense. And now, with the news of Rudy Gobert’s injury, it’s only going to get significantly worse. They need an alpha on this team and fast.

Ballers Of the Week

Tobias Harris is like the fourth most interesting thing about this Pistons team, but may be the most important. He’s shooting an insane 50% from deep so far, and shot 64% this week, scoring 21 over the course of three games. He keeps the offense rolling without Drummond, and he’s dealing right now.

Yes, NBA Reddit, we can talk about Nikola Jokic. He’s living up to his fan club’s hype, posting double double numbers for most of the year, and getting a crazy amount of assists for a big man. The Nuggets are firmly in the Western Conference playoff race, and it’s a big reason because of him.

Two straight weeks, let’s talk about James Harden. He’s still holding down the fort without Chris Paul and doing magnificent doing it. We told you about that insane 56 point performance last week, but he followed it up with 35, 13 and 11 against the Cavs. Yeesh.

Quick Hits

Fox Wins the Game

Curry Nutmegs

LeBron Sinks Knicks

…After the Fight

Kyrie, Kyrie

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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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