The Cleveland Cavaliers upset the Sixers tonight in an overtime confrontation. Impressive win by the Cavs. 

SexLand combined for 53 points (28 from Collin Sexton, 25 from Darius Garland). Garland also provided nine assists while Sexton stole the ball three times. Their big man of the future, Jarrett Allen, put up another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while also blocking one shot. The rookie Isaac Okoro also had a good outing with 15 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. 

MVP front runner, Joel Embiid, had another spectacular performance scoring 42 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while Ben Simmons had a near triple double with a 24/7/8 statline. Danny Green had a peculiar game scoring nine points but swatting three shots and stealing the ball twice. 

The Sixers seemed to miss that extra spark besides Embiid and Simmons, and that could have been the cause of this tough loss for them.  

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What a controversial ending in this game where Draymond Green lost the Warriors the game. The Warriors were up by 2 with about 9 seconds remaining and then Draymond got tossed after a double technical and Scary Terry proceeded to hit the game winner. 

From Golden State’s end tonight, it wasn’t the best, but a few surprises occurred with Steph Curry being a late scratch. Eric Paschall scored 16 points and grabbed 6 rebounds on 50% shooting from the floor while Brad Wanamaker stuffed the stat sheet with double-digit points, 5 assists as well as 3 steals. Damion Lee also contributed with 14 points and 2 steals on 62.6% shooting. Now for these three players, statlines like this will not be replicated often and can be considered flashes in the pan. Someone had to pick up the slack with Curry and they stepped up nicely. 

Kelly Oubre Jr. had a solid night with 25 points and 6 rebounds with 2 steals and a block while sinking 4 threes. Tsunami Papi tonight had to combine with Andrew Wiggins, who scored 19 points and grabbed 5 rebounds and drained 2 threes. Both of them are integral parts of the Warriors’ season moving forward as they are the next best options on the offensive end. With no Curry, they had to step up because Draymond Green was surely not going to score bucketloads. Speaking of Draymond, he posted a stat line of 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists with 2 blocks before getting ejected. Not exactly what we’ve been used to from Draymond lately, but I do believe this is just a one off. He’ll be back dishing out assists in the double digits and stuffing the stat sheet sooner or later. 

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Man, the Charlotte Hornets are fun to watch! But before we deep dive into Charlotte, let’s see how the East looks like now. The Philadelphia 76ers are still top with a 18-7 record followed by the Milwaukee Bucks who seemed to have read my piece from last week, at 16-9. But after that? Absolute turmoil. The Nets have gone a 1-3 run while the Celtics are one loss away from being .500 at the time of writing while the Pacers have fallen below .500. It is anyone’s ballgame out East and teams like the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors seem to be turning it up at the right time. But in this week’s spotlight, it is the fun and fast-paced Charlotte Hornets. 

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Another week done in the NBA world and the Philadelphia 76ers are still atop the East with a 16-6 record. The Bucks are in second at 13-8 followed by the Nets at 14-9 while the Celtics are at 11-9 with the Pacers and the Hawks who round off the top six at the time of writing. Teams like the Hornets and the Knicks continue to find themselves battling for those play-in spots and it is looking more and more likely that teams like these are legit while teams like the Heat, who just lost to the Wizards, may be pretenders. Maybe their finals run was just a flash in the pan. I am still not going to count them out, but it is looking increasingly tough for them this season as they just also lost Avery Bradley for 3-4 weeks due to a calf strain. The team I want to bring into the spotlight this week, though, is up north in Wisconsin. Those Milwaukee Bucks. 

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The Toronto Raptors have finally strung together wins while the Philadelphia 76ers are making statements with wins over the Lakers and the Celtics. After another week of NBA action, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves on top of the East with a 13-6 record followed by the Bucks, the Pacers, and the Nets to round off the top 4. The Celtics are in the middle of the pack after dropping a couple of games thanks to their absences while the Cavs find themselves still at .500 after some gritty performances and wins. The Hawks are also at .500 while the Knicks find themselves at the 8th seed tied with the Orlando Magic. I think this is how the East will look like moving forwards just instead of the Hawks and the Knicks and maybe even the Cavs it will have the Heat, the Raptors joining the top 8. This means that one of the Knicks or Cavs may find themselves in a playoff spot which is insane to think about. But with this season who knows? The Wizards continue to struggle and Bradley Beal continues to look miserable. Maybe signing that extension wasn’t a good idea huh, Brad? This week, I want to put the Wizards in the spotlight.

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What a week, huh? We finally saw Kyrie, KD, and Harden play together, but get taken to double overtime and lose to the Cavs or should I say to Collin Sexton. Sexton took the Nets to SexLand without the Land, if that even makes sense. He scored 20 straight points in overtime and dragged the Cavs to an excellent win, spoiling Kyrie’s return. We saw my guy Cole Anthony hit two threes in the clutch, one being a game-winner, to snap the Magic’s six-game losing streak in a win against the struggling T-Wolves. The Bucks have continued their upwards trajectory even though they caught an L from the Nets and the Knicks ended their losing streak with wins against the short-handed Celtics and Magic while the Raptors and Heat continue to struggle. 

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Finally, some sort of normality has been restored. At least I think so. The Bucks are back up on their Buck against sitting in the second seed at the time of writing having an 8-4 record. The Celtics have barely played thanks to the Washington Wizards. Yes, the Wizards and not Tatum. Now, the Wizards are also getting a couple of their games postponed as they have three players that tested positive for the virus, meaning pretty much their whole team is in the NBA’s “Health & Safety Protocol”. The Philadelphia 76ers are still holding their own at 8-4 after most of their team being held out because of the virus surprise, surprise, stemming from Seth Curry’s positive test. Speaking of the Wizards they are still towards the bottom at 3-8 and are now going to be without Russell Westbrook for another 3-4 weeks. Beal seems ready to feast, not that he hasn’t already, but now without Russ, he’s going to have to keep scoring those 30s and 40s if the Wizards are going to have any chance to win some games. The Indiana Pacers have seemed steady as Domantas Sabonis is running riot and Myles Turner is turning into a block machine! In his past three games he has averaged an amazing 4 blocks a game! Congrats to whoever took him as I’m sure he slid in many drafts. Oh, and yeah. THE BROOKLYN NETS MIGHT HAVE BROKEN THE NBA. Or did they? Maybe this just blows up in their face. Nevertheless, James Harden is now a Net after an absolute blockbuster trade. 

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More time has passed in the Eastern NBA world, but it still remains a little off to say the least. The New York Knicks are actually still good? The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer undefeated but are still over.500 at the time of writing and the Toronto Raptors are occupying one of the bottom positions amongst the Detroit Pistons and the Charlotte Hornets. Normalcy has not yet been restored and I kind of hope it doesn’t. This added level of surprise and unexpected things happening gives a different flavor to the magic of the sport we all love. At this point in time, we find the Philadelphia 76ers being on fire and leading the East with a 7-1 record followed by the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers. But for me, the story of the week is at the bottom. The Toronto Raptors have been far from their best. So, what is the problem in Toronto (or Tampa Bay now) and what assets can we expect to pick it up or stay the same? 

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The NBA is back and boy have we seen things nobody could have expected, and I mean NOBODY. Cleveland finds themselves atop of the conference at 3-0 at the time of this writing. James Harden also blocked out all the noise to drop 44/17 in the first Rockets game of the season. The title-contending Clippers got destroyed by 51 against Luka and his Mavs, the Knicks humbled Giannis and the Bucks at the world’s most famous arena, and the injury bug is still potent, striking Karl-Anthony Towns (dislocated wrist) and Spencer Dinwiddie (partially torn ACL) which will cost him the whole season. Let’s see how things are looking in the East and what players started off nicely. 

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With the new season approaching sooner rather than later, I think it’s time for some “right on time” or “way too early,” however you want to see it, predictions for the season. More specifically, the top 8 seeds in both conferences, including the 9th and 10th seeds that can be involved in the newly implemented play-in tournament.

What is this new play-in mini tournament thing you ask? Well, we first saw it in the Bubble and it allowed the teams that finished outside the top eight, specifically the ninth seed to play for a shot at entering the playoffs. This season, the rules will be that the 7th and 8th seed will play in order to win the spot of the 7th seed, while the 9th and 10th seed will battle it out for a chance at the loser of the previously mentioned matchup, where the winner takes that last 8th seed. 

There are also the questions of who will find themselves with the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and the Most Improved Player awards. I’ll give my predictions for those later on. This season will be one like no other. 72 instead of 82 games. No All-Star game, but an All-Star break. The usual frustrations of injuries, both in the fan bases and of the fantasy players will only be heightened since now we will also have inevitable positive COVID cases flying around. But who will come out on top and consider their teams “successful”? 

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