Thursday 14 December 2017 / 01:52 AM

BALL DON’T LIE: NBA WEEK 5

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 surprise packets we 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 shook everything up this week? Let’s take a look.

Ball Don’t Lie

Sixers Keep Winning

You have to enjoy every minute of watching the Sixers this year after how bad they’ve been. This week, we got to see them play tough with the Warriors (blew a huge lead though), and smack the Lakers, with Simmons and Embiid hamming it up for the matchup with Lonzo. It’s a fun time to be a Sixers fan, which is a bizarre thing to say after the last few years. Simmons and Embiid are terrific, and that’s not counting how incredible Robert Covington is.

Celtics Historic Streaking

After my first Ball Don’t Lie pronounced the Celtics in trouble, they’ve been on this side for three straight weeks. They’ve hit fourteen straight wins, which is insane. And that includes this week’s win over the Warriors, which was about as impressive as could be: they held them to just 88 points, yet another game where they’ve smothered teams to under 100 points. Everything about this team is coming together.

Houston Scorching

Hey, it’s me just here to remind you how insane the Rockets offense is. They had another big week, continuing to lead the West in wins and the league in offense. The Rockets are rolling through everyone, and just this week decided to make history: scoring 90 (!) points in the first dang half against the Suns. This offense is lethal.

LeBron and Cavs Turn it On

It took over a month of lifelessness, but the Cavs have finally started to show a pulse. This week saw them rolling into streak territory, and won last night against the Pistons in flat-out impressive fashion. The renaissance has been by carrying the defense back to “trying” levels. They are working on that side of the ball again, and LeBron is carrying the offense in the meantime.

Ball Lies

Poor, Poor Bulls

We knew Chicago was going to be rough in their first year of the full on rebuild, but this is a whole different level of it. They can’t score at all, setting the NBA mark for points in a quarter twice this week: 7 and 8. That’s right, twice this week a professional basketball team scored 7 or 8 points in a 12 minute quarter. Yikes, this is going to be a long year.

Lonzo’s Broken Jumper

Lonzo Ball has been the talk of the NBA, and for probably good reason. His dad keeps talking, and Lonzo is a fine overall player. But what’s holding him back is plain: his shot is awful. No seriously, his percentages are the worst by a rookie in the last decade. It’s broken from everywhere, and he just keeps shooting. The Lakers need some mentorship coming his way.

Magic Come Back Down

The Magic were the feel good story of the NBA early on, but they’ve cratered back to earth rather quickly. The offense has stagnated pretty hard, and they’ve dropped five straight games, scoring under 100 three straight games. Not great. They are 3-7 in November, and now are facing streak of games against playoff teams, with four on the road.

Clippers Crash

This one frustrates me bad. The Clippers were so fun to watch in the early part of the season. But injuries to the roster have derailed some of that and the rest has probably been inconsistency. There are a lot of great players on this roster, but as Pat Beverley put it after their 9th straight loss: “Guys aren’t sacrificing, we gotta do what we need to do… they don’t give a s*** about what you’ve accomplished before.”

Ballers Of the Week

Kyrie Irving just continues to have great weeks. This week in his praise, Irving is scoring at an insane rate in clutch time, and he had a streak this week of 48 straight points without a missed shot. Irving has been unreal, and it’s a major reason of why the Celtics are rolling the way that they are.

Joel Embiid is always one of the must-follow players in the NBA, but this week has been one of those rare gifts only he can give. He started by trolling Lonzo Ball and having an historic night, and finished the week going toe-to-toe with the Warriors. The Sixers are fun again, and it’s all Embiid (with some help from Simmons).

Kemba Walker has again gone under the radar, but it’s just not fair this time. Walker is having an insane season this year, despite how bad the Hornets have struggled. The Hornets have been missing two starters all year, but Walker is carrying his team with some insane numbers. Aside from Irving, Kemba has been the best guard in the East so far.

Quick Hits

David Lee Hangs it Up

Lonzo’s Rough Night

Dirk Lets the Ref Know

Lonzo Walks Away

Jaylen Brown

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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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