While I’d love to talk about Tim Hardaway testing the double-jeopardy statute of being cancelled (there is no law), quickly getting right back into it after his post-hate clarity of attacking and then apologizing to the LGBTQ community and then moving straight into describing basketball plays as raking. It could have been graping because no one ever thinks about the grapes, you know? But as I said, Tim’s swan song as an NBA broadcaster isn’t exactly “fantasy basketball” relevant, so it might be better to focus on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s continued emergence as a legit NBA star (second team for sure, first team anyone?). Coming off a night where he scored 37 points with 4 rebounds and 8 assists, there were times last night (and during the season) where he just looks simply unguardable. Even the Celtics, who don’t run too many doubles, were throwing everything at him. While still pulling out the win, the Celtics’ elite defenders exposed SGA’s agility and shot IQ to be exceptional and confirmed that this may actually be a very special year despite tanking towards Wembanyama. (Trademark pending.)
Here’s what else I saw during last night’s light slate of games:
Jaden Ivey – 34 MIN, 6-16 FG, 1-5 3PT, 8-10 FT, 4 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, +3, 21 PTS. Ivey has looked good so far and I’m interested to see the continued trend lately of these really tall and long guards who move around a lot with quick shot selections. NBA’s talent level continues to grow at lightning speed…
Scottie Barnes – 34 MIN, 4-9 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-0 FT, 5 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, +1, 8 PTS. So did Scottie forget how to play basketball or what?
Mason Plumlee – 31 MIN, 8-9 FG, 2-2 FT, 10 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, +10, 18 PTS. Might’ve been Mason’s best game as a Hornet and I’m not sure if this says something more about Plumlee or the Magic.
LaMelo Ball – 34 MIN, 6-19 FG, 4-15 3PT, 1-1 FT, 4 REB, 9 AST, 5 TO, -2, 17 PTS. Hornets could definitely be a play-in team folks, in that the Hornets definitely play in the NBA.
Aleksej Pokusevski – 37 MIN, 7-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 14 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 3 BLK, 2 TO, +5, 16 PTS. Has been averaging 14.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over the last four games. I don’t think he’ll be a star, and the frame and size still gives me some concern, but dude’s legit and can be an NBA starter.
Jayson Tatum – 38 MIN, 9-23 FG, 1-9 3PT, 8-10 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK, 1 TO, +2, 27 PTS. Celts are killing it, Bruins have been killing it, Patriots looking to be back in a playoff position. Things are nice right now for Boston which means the complete opposite for the entire country.
Bam Adebayo – 36 MIN, 9-18 FG, 0-1 3PT, 12-14 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, +12, 30 PTS. Never ask a man how much he makes. Never ask a woman her age. And never ever ask a Heats fan what the free throw disparity is…
Eric Gordon – 26 MIN, 1-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT, 1 REB, 1 TO, -8, 4 PTS. Such a shame that Gordon has to languish and be wasted on this awful Rockets team. While it’s always nice to have tank commanders, I think we’d all see a different Gordon if traded to a contender this year.
Kevin Porter Jr. – 32 MIN, 6-18 FG, 0-4 3PT, 8-15 FT, 7 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 2 TO, -10, 20 PTS. KPJ with 18 shots and 15 free throws only to end up with only 20 total points. I’d be impressed if this wasn’t KPJ in a nutshell.
Jabari Smith Jr. – 29 MIN, 2-6 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-2 FT, 6 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, -14, 7 PTS. Not a huge fan of Jabari’s role this season so far. He seems to be that one 2k random that sits in a corner while waiting for KPJ and Green to finish doing their thing. I’d expect more from a top-3 pick and I don’t think it’s just Jabari here.
Trae Young – 34 MIN, 7-19 FG, 2-5 3PT, 5-5 FT, 3 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, +10, 21 PTS. Despite Young’s uninspiring play so far, the Hawks are still 9-5, which is a good sign for the team. It’ll be interesting to see when Young calms down a bit, the roller coaster year has me asking questions.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 31 MIN, 8-21 FG, 0-3 3PT, 11-18 FT, 8 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 8 TO, -13, 27 PTS. Not a great game from Giannis, but he’ll look better (and so will the Bucks) once the rest of the team, including Jrue and Khris get back into the rotation. Bucks can grind wins out, but if the injury bug keeps taking its toll, they will feel it in the standings at some point.
Anthony Lamb – 24 MIN, 6-7 FG, 5-6 3PT, 4 REB, 4 AST, 1 TO, +26, 17 PTS. I’m no NBA analytics expert, but if the Warriors just shoot 51% from beyond the arc, they should be okay!
Jordan Poole – 29 MIN, 13-20 FG, 5-10 3PT, 5-6 FT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, +33, 36 PTS. I for one did not ask for a Poole party today… *drops mic, leaves room.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell.