While not an actual in-game injury, news broke late last night that Kawhi Leonard is now out indefinitely amid his ACL recovery. This is both possibly the least-surprising surprise since Elon Musk bought Twitter and turned the platform into… well whatever you want to call it. I’m sure if you tie a bunch of adjectives and expletives, you’d be pretty accurate. And this was the same week! True, Kawhi had not looked great all so far and was already very limited recently due to “tendinitis” but I think it’s clear at this point that the best Kawhi ever was has already happened and his magical run in playoffs on the Raptors may have been the number one contributing factor to the Leonard we see now today. And frankly the past several years. And no matter how you look at it, we’re talking about a player who took a year off and has been handled with extreme care so far in 2022 and probably hadn’t had back-to-back games since the Great Depression. Hate to say it, but this might be his career swan song. On that note, it’s Tuesday so go vote! That way we don’t lose Kawhi and Democracy in the same week…

Here’s what else I saw during last night’s full slate of games:

Cade Cunningham – 36 MIN, 8-21 FG, 2-7 3PT, 3-4 FT, 11 REB, 7 AST, 1 BLK, 5 TO, +12, 21 Points. You heard it heard first (probably not) but Cade is going to be an absolute monster for this team. The Pistons just look so different when he has the ball in his hand, just really ups the tempo and flow of their game. Sky is the limit.

Josh Giddey – 25 MIN, 4-12 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -12, 9 PTS. Is it just me or is Giddey not athletic enough to be a top-tier point guard? He’s not that great off the ball and with spot-up three’s… but still a pretty useful sixth man if that’s where he ultimately ends up.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – 38 MIN, 13-23 FG, 7-7 FT, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4 BLK, 1 TO, -8, 33 PTS. SGA is very good at basketball. That’s all we need to know.

Jalen Duren – 21 MIN, 2-5 FG, 3-6 FT, 4 REB, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -11, 7 PTS. Duren has a lot to learn, but the potential is there, especially since he’s just 18 years old.

Paolo Banchero – 35 MIN, 8-16 FG, 2-4 3PT, 12-14 FT, 6 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 5 TO, -9, 30 PTS. More like Paolo “despite the loss” Banchero, amiright folks?

Jabari Smith Jr. – 22 MIN, 1-4 FG, 1 REB, 1 AST, 3 TO, -4, 3 PTS. We’ll call Jabari the anti-Paolo at this point.

Zach LaVine – 32 MIN, 11-20 FG, 4-8 3PT, 4-5 FT, 13 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK, 5 TO, +5, 15 PTS. That LaVine guy is pretty good… but if you want some analysis with that hot take, just watch how a defense reacts to DeRozan with LaVine on the court. I get that the Bulls might be verge on the boring and mediocre train, but this is still a low-rent playoff team. Back-handed compliment is still a compliment, right?

Zion Williamson – 34 MIN, 10-15 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-6 FT, 7 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -9, 26 PTS. Are the Pelicans working right now? Zion’s spacing with Valancunias looks stuttered at times, but I think my biggest worry on the roster construction is a clear lack of inside defense and on the other side, some spacing issues.

Myles Turner – 37 MIN, 11-18 FG, 4-7 3PT, 11-11 FT, 12 REB, 1 AST, 3 BLK, 1 TO, +10, 37 PTS. Myles Turner was out there looking like the idea of Myles Turner. Definitely the most watchable Pacers team since 2017. Probably the most watchable Indiana team since Andrew Luck.

Anthony Edwards – 38 MIN, 5-14 FG, 1-7 3PT, 5-6 FT, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, -5, 16 PTS. Ant has not been good so far… maybe a handful of okay games so far this season. The whole team is struggling, but I’m concerned slightly. Still plenty of season left.

Julius Randle – 33 MIN, 9-15 FG, 8-13 3PT, 5-6 FT, 8 REB, 3 AST, 5 TO, +4, 31 PTS. Randle matched his career high in made threes with eight. I think it’s clear that Brunson taking the offensive load off of him has really helped.

Jamal Murray – 32 MIN, 9-17 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-3 FT, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, +10, 19 PTS. Jamal Murray in the clutch is like hitting all green lights on your way home from work.

Nikola Jokic – 34 MIN, 11-20 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-5 FT, 8 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 3 BLK, 4 TO, +15, 26 PTS. Jokic’s touch around the basket has been pretty bad, even last night, Murray could have had maybe a dozen assists if he had hit some floaters. Of course this is not a concern this early in the season, but maybe it is.

Joel Embiid – 37 MIN, 8-21 FG, 1-4 3PT, 16-16 FT, 10 REB, 5 AST, 1 BLK, 3 TO, +10, 33 PTS. This was Embiid’s best defensive game that I’ve seen this season, but he still looks pretty slow and meandering out there.

Tyrese Maxey – 40 MIN, 4-18 FG, 0-4 3 PT, 3-6 FT, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, +8, 11 PTS. Maxey has been forcing his shots way too much since Harden got injured. Not sure if he should be a primary ball-handler either.

Grant Williams – 38 MIN, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, +6, 2 PTS. I believe Grant Williams was cosplaying as Ben Simmons last night. Superb effort.

Darius Garland – 38 MIN, 8-17 FG, 2-9 3PT, 1-3 FT, 1 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 5 TO, -2, 19 PTS. Could have gone to the Cavs but I felt Garland was too error-prone late in the game including the turnovers. Way too much hero ball.

Paul George – 40 MIN, 10-20 FG, 5-11 3PT, 1-3 FT, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, -4, 26 PTS. Kawhi or no Kawhi, PG is still that dude.

Ben Simmons – 16 MIN, 1-3 FG< 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, -7, 2 PTS. It wasn’t supposed to be this bad. I think it was fair to assume that Simmons would play some great defense, get some transition points/assists, and help playmaking for the second unit. Dude is just afraid of the rim. Every time he touches the ball, he can’t wait to offload it and really is just dead weight at this point.

Stephen Curry – 38 MIN, 17-24 FG, 7-12 3PT, 6-7 FT, 8 REB, 8 AST, +20, 47 PTS. Wow, it only took 47/8/8 from Steph to beat the Kings… he is seriously going to have chronic back problems with how much he has to carry this team.

Lauri Markkanen – 28 MIN, 10-15 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-3 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +14, 23 PTS. Utah has sole possession of the #1 seed in the West! Wait, what? Maybe the Jazz got confused and instead of getting the number 1 pick, they got the number 1 seed.

 

 

 

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. 

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Kelder
2 months ago

I agree, I cut Simmons in the writer’s league and don’t think I’m gonna regret it. He’s a classic case of the yips.

Sansanto
Sansanto
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Call Steve Sax and Chuck Knoblauch to BKN and set up a support group!

Gregarious
Gregarious
2 months ago

Jay – in a 9Cat H2H league and ignoring specific needs…would you give up Bam and Gary Trent Jr. for his CP3 and John Collins? I think it’s close…

Thanks man!

Joe Beisbol
Joe Beisbol
2 months ago

Picked up Brogdon as it looked like he was close to replacing White in the starting 5 and then the Celtics went with Grant Williams instead. Womp womp. Would you drop Brogdon and/or Ayo for any of Clarkson, O’Neale, Strus, or Walker (Lonnie)?

Freedminds
Freedminds
2 months ago

Thoughts on Gobert and Rockets Green for Capela and Hield ?