Welcome to Off The Ball’s bi-weekly newsletter. We’ll give you the rundown on what’s happening around the NBA, plus any other basketball related news.
Edit: I didn’t get this post off in time, so just gunna lightly revise it.
Walt is getting excited
The New York Knicks shot poorly early but ended strong, beating the nine available Heat players in Miami. Already Clyde and Knicks fans are calling this a statement win – that’s right, 21 games into the season – they have won 8 out of the last 10 and are 12-9, tied for third in the east. A wake up call will soon come with the Cavs visiting MSG tonight. Then they hit the west coast to play the Kings, Lakers and Suns (probably a better gauge on how legit they are).
Edit: Yep, Knicks got smoked.
Playing with something to prove
In case you’ve been locked in a fallout shelter during the election, Westbrook has been playing out of his mind. He just got his 6th triple double in a row (11th of the season), in a 102-99 win over the back-peddling Hawks. OKC have won every one of those 11. He’s on pace to be the second player ever to average a trip-dub; the only other since Oscar Robertson in ‘61-’62 for the Cincinnati Royals. Side note: Oscar has had an incredible life, definitely read up on him and peep his Basketball Reference when you can. The man could ball.
This will help Thunder fans move on from Durant and keep that exciting atmosphere in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
When it rains, it pours
Klay “Hot n’ Cold” Thompson showed us he is capable of pulling off incredible feats from out of the blue every season. After just 90 seconds with the ball physically in his hand, he put up 60 points – oh and without a single turnover. Oh and with just 11 dribbles. Oh and he rested the fourth quarter. Sixty points in just 29 minutes. Don’t worry, he was still his monotonous self in the postgame. Curry & friends were more excited about it than he was.
Balls to the Wall
John Wall, where did that come from? Don’t blame you for being upset after dropping 52 points and still loosing. Welcome to another day in Anthony Davis’s life.
The revolution of the big man is very much alive
The Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol has found his 3-point stroke. He’s attempted 66 threes in his NBA career until this season (12 went in), where he has thrown up 78 attempts, and 33 have gone in. Not to mention they couldn’t come at a more clutch time. He beat the Clippers with it and sent it to OT against the Pelicans with a clutch 3. Memphis have won 5 of 6 since they lost the most expensive signing in the NBA and nicest guy in the world Mike Conley.
Edit: He went 4-6 from 3 pt range in a 88-86 win on Thursday! BEAST.
Seeing more and more big men (Kristaps, KAT, Davis, Lopez, etc.) taking threes (some much better than others) makes the game dynamic much more interesting. Marc’s 3 ball evolution (coming in his 9th NBA season) has proved, if anything, that with practice you really can expand your game. Who woulda thought?
Rest of the league roundup:
- Kawai is still putting the team on his back. They are undefeated on the road. Edit: Popovich is laying into them for their low energy performance loss against the Bulls, the first L on the road.
- Isaiah Thomas is a fantastic PG but the Celtics are still looking to find a rhythm
- ^^^ Ditto, but for Lillard and the Blazers
- The Jazz: pretty much the same team as last year: better than you’d expect
- Lakers are maintaining their impressive .500 record
- Rockets: how’d they beat the Warriors in Oakland?
- Brooklyn: Lin being out makes them awful earlier than we thought we’d see.
- Hawks: Dwight’s struggles are contagious
- Denver Nuggets: Denver Nuggets
- Philly: Joel Embiid has branded himself The Process (literally filed a patent and sells swag), so his priorities are straight.
- Bobcats: considering the team plays in front of Michael Jordan every night, they’ve got a respectable 12-9 record and are playing well.
- Detroit: have been playing well as of late, and Reggie is almost healthy again.
International play of the week: