I had the good fortune of playing on some pretty good basketball teams in my youth. Well, good fortune in the sense that I was on teams that won a bunch of games and had the best seat in the house at the end of the bench. The two high school classes ahead of mine were absolutely loaded, creating a bottleneck of talent and pushing varsity-caliber players down to a JV squad that churned through overmatched programs over and over again. Winning by 15+ and then getting an earful about how poorly we played the next day in practice was a pretty routine occurrence. I’m not sure we lost more than three games over the course of two years.
What Jonas Valanciunas did to the Wizards reminded of these glory days, as JV was absolutely dominant against a frontcourt that didn’t have anything resembling an answer for the Memphis big man. Jonas is a load in the paint, and if you don’t have a big body to throw at him, the results can be Just Vicious.
JV feasted on Washington’s undersized group. Moritz Wagner could only hang for 21 minutes with him before collecting six fouls. Davis Bertans racked up five fouls in 20 minutes. Robin Lopez fared better than those other two, but Scott Brooks eventually had to turn to his fourth big, Alex Len, for a couple of minutes in search of relief from the abuse. This is the second time Valanciunas has posted a 20+ points and 20+ rebounds line this year. Skilled and huge, he abuses teams that don’t have an ogre of their own to throw at him. With only two games on the slate, there was nowhere to hide JV’s dominance.
Here’s what else I saw on slow Wednesday in the NBA:
Maybe Beal was annoyed that the NBA made him come in and work on a weekday when everyone else got to relax? Even in chill mode, Beal is a walking bucket. The stocks and free throws go a long way in covering up the poor shooting .
Even with the zeros in this line, you take 50+% shooting from Russ any time you can. It says a lot about the rest of this Washington group that this pedestrian line from Westy was a highlight.
Ja already knows he’s good. Morant cruised tonight with a bushel of FTs, a bunch of dimes, and easy efficiency.
Drew the start and logged 30+ minutes. Bane didn’t disappoint. The points and made threes were both career highs. The shooting stroke is real from Bane and he could be in line for an increased workload going forward.
LaMarcus Aldridge joins Andre Drummond on the death by exile iceberg, opening the door wide open for Poeltl to play a lot in San Antonio. He logged 32 minutes despite drawing four fouls tonight, which is literally the only positive to take away from this one. Gross.
Alright, I’m stepping out on a limb here: after a short, Covid-y offseason and showing up heavy, I bet Luka is going to off in the second half now that he’s got his legs under him. What’s that? That limb is so heavy that it’s already fallen to the ground?
Not saying that LaMarcus could or would have been able to do anything about it, but KP was a problem for San Antonio all night. Too quick and mobile for Poeltl, too big for the DeMar/Rudy Gay “power” forward duo.