Mavericks vs Magic
Hey Dallas, did you overlook your opponent just because they were 1-9? Was it because they were the Orlando Magic? Was it because their best player this year, Paolo Banchero, was out for the game? You only scored 87 points against a very inexperienced team and 53 of those points came from Spencer Dinwiddie and Luka Doncic. The bench depth as a whole has been a weak point for the Mavericks this season. Outside of Christian Wood, players such as Dwight Powell, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber really haven’t been producing for them.
As for the Magic, while they didn’t look amazing this game, they came to play and capitalized on the opportunities the Mavericks presented them. Bol Bol put up 11 points and 7 rebounds with 1 block. Franz Wagner led the team in scoring with 22 and Wendell Carter Jr. led the team in boards with 12.
Trail Blazers vs Hornets
The NBA is a pretty chaotic league but some things will never change. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers in points and assists, Mason Plumlee will be the starting center forever in Charlotte and will grab at least 10 rebounds, and as we all expected, Josh Hart led the Trail Blazers in rebounds. He grabbed 11 last night, only trailing the aforementioned Plumlee in rebounds for each team. Jusuf Nurkic didn’t play last night in fairness but it was still an impressive night for Hart. Other than that, nothing too impressive from either team last night, Terry Rozier led the Hornets in scoring with 18, which should tell you everything you need to know about how the Hornets’ night went.
Nuggets vs Pacers
Aaron Gordon has been playing really well for Denver this season and had a monster performance last night: 18 points, 6 assists, a block, a steal and 17 total rebounds! After a relatively slow start, the Nuggets have been a well-oiled machine over their last few games, winning their last four and scoring at least 115 in each of them.
The Pacers, on the other hand, have been a .500 team so far this season. This can be attributed to rookie Bennedict Mathurin having a super strong start to the season. He absolutely balled out last night, leading the team in scoring with 30 points off the bench.
Jazz vs Hawks
The Utah Jazz are now 10-3! Lauri Markkanen scored 32 points last night and is the clear front runner for MIP. Collin Sexton only played 13 minutes. They beat the Atlanta Hawks last night, when all of Atlanta’s starters had at least 15 points and Clint Capela dominated the glass with 19 rebounds. It’s gonna get old eventually, but until it does, this team will astound me. All hail the Utah Jazz and their terrible, terrible jerseys.
Pistons vs Celtics
Rough night for Cade Cunningham: 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists on 9% shooting from the field and 0% from three. The Pistons team as a whole struggled to shoot last night, going 21% from three collectively. Killian Hayes had his best game so far this season putting up 16 points off the bench.
Knicks vs Nets
The battle of New York was an interesting one to say the least. The Knicks started Jericho Sims at center over Isaiah Hartenstein and played him for a season high 27 minutes. He produced 7 points and 6 rebounds which in fairness was more than Hartenstein’s 2 points and 5 rebounds.
Kevin Durant torched the Knicks for 29 points and 12 rebounds, Ben Simmons came off the bench and put up 6 points and 9 rebounds. It’s a shame Yuta Watanabe was injured and out for this game as he’s been really turning up the heat lately, averaging nearly a block per game.
Rockets vs Raptors
In a surprisingly close game the Raptors edge out the Rockets 109-116. Fred VanVleet led the Raptors in scoring with 32 points, OG Anunoby led the team in minutes with 39 and in rebounds with 10. Otto Porter Jr. got to see some floor time off the bench last night, playing 23 minutes and putting up 14 points and 6 rebounds.
For the Rockets, well they honestly imitated the Raptors last night running basically a five-man rotation. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. played for 40 minutes each last night!
Pelicans vs Bulls
The only thing notable about this matchup was the horrible shooting from both star shooting guards. CJ McCollum shot 23% from the field on 13 attempts and 0% from three on five attempts. Zach LaVine‘s percentages look better, as he shot 40% from the field and 25% from three totaling 23 points, however, just look at the number of attempts: 9-22 from the field and 3-12 from three.
Suns vs Timberwolves
I haven’t talked about the Suns much this year but they’ve been surprisingly good. I really thought after all the offseason drama with their owner and Deandre Ayton that they were gonna fall off hard. The exact opposite has happened as the Suns are 9-3, just behind the Jazz in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, have been pretty mediocre when I thought they were gonna be amazing. Is it the system, is it the fit, is it the supporting cast, who knows?
Bucks vs Thunder
No Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jrue Holiday for the Bucks and they still managed to pull out the win last night, 136 to 132. The main question I have coming out of this game is how much would Chet Holmgren have helped this OKC team? I thought they were dark horse playoff contenders even without Chet, they seemed to really have a competent roster, talented supporting cast and an emerging star in Josh Giddey, but they seem like the same OKC team as last year.
Grizzlies vs Spurs
Steven Adams grabbed 19 rebounds last night and is averaging 11 on the season. I don’t see this being talked about anywhere and I need to stress how dominant this man is on the glass every single night. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane combined for 64 points, but no, I want to talk about the New Zealander who dominates one category every single night.
Lakers vs Clippers
We had the battle of New York and the battle of Los Angeles last night, and both matchups were interesting affairs. Paul George is still a star player, and after all the Playoff P memes, he really seems to have put his head down and focused on nothing but basketball. He scored 28 points last night and is averaging 26 on the season so far. The Clippers are now over .500.
Cavaliers vs Kings
I really don’t know what to make of the Sacramento Kings this season. They have nights like last night where they look fantastic, they have spacing, they have a rim presence with Domantas Sabonis, and they have a score-first all star level leader in De’Aaron Fox. They have all the pieces of a playoff team. But they’re 4-6 on the season. They don’t play like that every night and sometimes look flat and lifeless. We shall see as the season progresses which team they truly are.
As for the Cavaliers, tough loss but it’s nothing to be concerned about, shake it off and get them next time.