Lo and behold, it is the gift quote that keeps on giving… Not only is “The Hardest Road” still very much meme-worthy, mostly because the always fragile Kevin Durant still seems a bit hurt that Chuck labeled him a bus-rider dating back to last season, and Durant can’t help but remind us every time there’s a mic within a five-mile proximity (the irony of doing this in a Suns jersey is too rich for my blood), but also because of the insane yet symmetrical home-road split that the Warriors have sustained. Probably with dark magic or something. So many hard roads, so little time!
Before last night, the Warriors were 29-7 at home and 7-29 on the road. Balance in all things, as they say. And just for context, that was as many road wins as the 2019-20 Warriors, the ones that tanked on purpose on their way to a 15-50 record. A bit different than the defending champions we see before us. And while that’s probably not where there at now, I don’t think even the most hardcore of Warriors fans would try and say this team can go deep into the playoffs unless they seed higher for home court, it’s still always so hard to discount this team as long as Steph Curry is healthy and shooting.
Progress can be made incrementally though, so even though last night’s road win, their first since like 25 decades ago (I think January?) is a step in the right direction, the Western Conference continues to be muddled and in flux and will likely remain so until the play-ins.
Here’s what else I saw during last night’s games…
Joel Embiid – 44 MIN, 11-22 FG, 0-2 3PT, 15-17 FT, 16 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 BLK, 5 TO, +8, 37 PTS. Bulls are now 1-12 against Embiid after being 0-12 at least proving the theory that you cannot beat the Bulls 13 times in a row. Will this be what tips the MVP scales? Time will only tell…
Zach LaVine – 47 MIN, 8-20 FG, 2-9 3PT, 8-10 FT, 2 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, +5, 26 PTS. The Bulls have beaten the Bucks, Celtics, and Sixers twice each this year (1-10 versus those teams last season) which is rather impressive since you can’t go through the 2023 playoffs without going through the Bulls who aren’t going to make the 2023 playoffs. Wait, what?
James Harden – 47 MIN, 2-14 FG, 0-6 3PT, 1-1 FT, 7 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 5 TO, -11, 5 PTS. Probably one of his worst games this season, maybe Top 10 all-time, but don’t take it too seriously as the Bulls have had Harden’s number for a while. He’s only been able to produce a 12/7/11 in their match-up this year, which doesn’t look terrible until you realize it was off 20% field goal shooting, 15% from beyond the arc. Historically too, he’s only had one game where he scored more than 17 against the Bulls, and this isn’t the first time he’s only scored five points on them as well. This leads me to believe that Chicago has the best strip clubs in the world.
Klay Thompson – 37 MIN, 11-21 FG, 5-13 3PT, 2-2 FT, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, +13, 29 PTS. *Scratches neck* Y’all got any more of them Rockets away games?
Jabari Smith Jr. – 39 MIN, 7-15 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-4 FT, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, +2, 17 PTS. I really believe in just a few seasons both Jabari and Tari Eason (9-16, 21 PTS) are going to be one of the best and energetic wing duos in the league.
Dillon Brooks – 30 MIN, 3-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, -3, 9 PTS. I clown on Brooks a lot, but I can’t deny that both him and JJJ are really great on the defensive end for the Grizzlies. Fearless, aggressive, tons of energy.
Luke Kennard – 25 MIN, 4-9 FG, 2-6 3PT, 4 REB, 1 AST, +18, 10 PTS. Kennard with a +18? Biggest acquisition of the trade deadline? It’s a joke until it isn’t.
De’Aaron Fox – 36 MIN, 14-21 FG, 6-9 3PT, 3-4 FT, 4 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, -3, 37 PTS. Kings personally making sure Lakers stay out of the play-in. We salute you and your sacrafice, dim the beam.
Walker Kessler – 30 MIN, 4-6 FG, 2-4 FT, 8 REB, 2 AST, 5 BLK, 1 TO, +7, 10 PTS. Utah has some very nice young players and a bunch of assets. Sign me Danny Ainge, I’d actually help the team tank!
Ochai Agbaji – 33 MIN, 8-14 FG, 6-10 3PT, 5-5 FT, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +18, 27 PTS. The Jazz are putting out players I’ve never heard of in my life and still winning. We really going to see a Wemby tank job turn into a playoff run?
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.