I’ve heard Florida is where woke goes to die, which seems like a pretty fair assessment. I remember my dad living in the Tampa Bay area back in the day and generally napping all the time, so I have to assume America’s nursing home has only gotten more sleepy. And while this war on being awake continues, it’s always important to remember that America’s armpit is home to one of our country’s most sacred of figures: the Florida Man. I’d say any rational character would legitimately wonder how they got themselves into this poor state (Pun Achievement Unlocked), but then again, I am no Ja Morant. As the Grizzlies continue their underdog (and somewhat hated?) push into the playoffs (garnering their 41st win last night against the now 34-35 Mavs), Morant has kept himself in the headlines in the most audacious ways possible, from flashing a piece on IG, to a dumping of negative stories ranging from terrible parenting practices to wholesome strip club experiences. Range on and off the court, I say.

And while it’s hard to know what’s really happening or going on behind the scenes, it’s obvious this is just not a blip on the radar, as just today, it was reported that Morant has entered into a counseling program in Florida with no timetable on his return. Unfortunate news, especially when you realize you’ll have to receive counseling for living in Florida first. And you may think I enjoy making fun of Florida (I do) but not as much as I enjoy making fun of the Celtics, so I wish Morant the best of luck, this is obviously a step in the right direction, and doing so while knowingly ceding his probable All-NBA selection this season (worth about $39 million) does garner my respect. Plus, when Morant’s on the court, I feel like Dillon Brooks annoys me less so win-win.

Here’s what else I saw during last night’s games… *checks notes* Wait, that did really happen? The NBA’s worst team just beat the “favorite” to win the title? Wemby sweepstakes just as cutthroat as the Western Conference standings, prove me wrong.

Anthony Edwards – 36 MIN, 12-25 FG, 2-10 3PT, 6-10 FT, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 3 TO, +23, 32 PTS. ANT scoring 30+ per game will continue until morale KAT returns! Somewhat related, now that the T’wolves have been a pretty alright the last several weeks, I’ve been seeing the commentary that they can only get better when KAT returns. Granted, he should have already returned and I have no idea what his true status is, but isn’t this team solid because they don’t have like 80 centers playing at the same time? Call me crazy, and I know it’s silly that the team gave up what they did for Gobert just to see it work without KAT, but I think that’s what it is, they are actually playing solid basketball because the lineup works. But what do I know?

Mike Conley – 28 MIN, 9-13 FG, 3-5 3PT, 0-1 FT, 1 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, +19, 21 PTS. Sustainable solid play for the Timberwolves? Is that allowed even?

Trae Young – 34 MIN, 15-25 FG, 1-4 3PT, 10-10 FT, 6 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, -4, 41 PTS. Flashes of 2019 Hawks when Trae did everything and the rest of the Hawks did nothing.

David Roddy – 26 MIN, 8-11 FG, 3-5 3PT, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +9, 19 PTS. More like David “Cocaine Bear” Roddy.

Dillon Brooks – 33 MIN, 7-19 FG, 4-11 3PT, 1-1 FT, 3 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, +16, 19 PTS. I believe Brooks is as a pure of a shot creator that you can be in the NBA. He just doesn’t make them.

Jayson Tatum – 41 MIN, 8-22 FG, 2-10 3PT, 4-4 FT, 8 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, -2, 22 PTS. Missed a last second lay-up to tie the game. While I’m okay with that attempt, it should have gone to Jaylen Brown, who was cooking all night (16-25 FG, 43 PTS). What is dead may never die in terms of Tatum’s MVP chances, but that game might have sealed the deal no matter what.

Marcus Smart – 28 MIN, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1-2 FT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4 TO, -5, 6 PTS. Today, we are all Rockets fans. I tell you though, I don’t mean to be too harsh on the Celtics, so any New England fan can tell it to me straight, but when Smart is bad, his game just looks so pathetic, dragging everyone down. I’ll eat crow, but I don’t see this team beating the Bucks right now. Probably the Sixers still, though.

Jabari Smith Jr. – 36 MIN, 9-11 FG, 5-6 3PT, 1-2 FT, 11 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +0, 24 PTS. Smith was cooking last night and could not miss. Great to see him being consistent and energetic through the entire game. Interesting stat as well, did you know the Rockets are 16-0 on the season now where they outscore their opponents? CRAZY.

Klay Thompson – 34 MIN, 14-23 FG, 8-14 3PT, 2-5 FT, 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +4, 38 PTS. Champs at home; chumps on the road. But at least Klay got his revenge game out of his system.

Chris Paul – 30 MIN, 5-13 FG, 0-4 3PT, 1-2 FT, 5 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, 11 PTS. Suns really shot 4-for-21 from three? Scary team in the playoffs, maybe a favorite in the West, but why do I feel that they are really beatable right now? Could be a lack of Kevin Durant lately, yes, but both the Suns and Nuggets don’t seem to have what the Bucks or maybe even the 76ers have at the moment, but still a lot of time left. Two weeks to see what can happen…

Deandre Ayton – 35 MIN, 13-19 FG, 1-1 FT, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, -8, 27 PTS. Wow, I don’t think there’s another player right now that can put up such an empty double-double than Ayton.

Devin Booker – 35 MIN, 12-20 FG, 0-2 3PT, 8-10 FT, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 2 TO, -14, 32 PTS. Booker has now shot 12.8% of his FT’s this year against the Warriors. That’s something.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 34 MIN, 19-28 FG, 2-2 3PT, 6-7 FT, 12 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 5 TO, +15, 46 PTS. Such a casual 46-point game, really scary team overall and definitely a step above the Celtics right now. Holiday (+23) also probably having his best year ever as well.

Domantas Sabonis – 39 MIN, 11-23 FG, 1-2 3PT, 17 REB, 15 AST, 1 TO, -19, 23 PTS. Crazy that a triple-double from Sabonis, 28 points from Huerter and 35 points from Fox wasn’t enough to beat the Bucks. DIM THE BEAM. :'(

 

 

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.