Now that Thanksgiving is over and done with, I feel I can now safely state what I’m not thankful for. Balance in all things! And you know, I’m totally willing to accept that I bring this on myself, but I tend to get all the lame headlines this season heading into the NBA midweek. A roller coaster ride, as we’ve held the funeral for Kawhi Leonard’s career (a roller coaster in of itself), we’ve dealt with Ben Simmon’s fear of approaching the basketball rim in any shape and form. We’ve, of course, seen the drama of Kyrie Irving (and others, yikes) and we even missed the resurrection of Wilt Chamberlain in the form of Ivica Zubac and 29 rebounds… you’d think it’s timed that I miss all the fun things and have to talk about all the dumb things. But the one shining light has been the consistent and amazing play from Tyrese Haliburton. Coming off a nail-biting 116-115 win against the Lakers, it was Haliburton’s third straight game of 10+ assists with 0 turnovers, and in his last three games, has 30 assists and no turnovers. To insulate myself, I hereby declare Tuesday “Tyreseday” in hopes I can just talk about him the rest of the season. Just please, I don’t want to talk about Kyrie anymore… Here’s what else I saw during last night’s games:
P.J. Tucker – 28 MIN, 0-0 FG, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0 BLK, -7, 0 PTS. He’s scored like what, two points in the last 20 games? Okay, it’s more like zero points in his last seven-out-of-eight games, but that’s like the same joke and just as sad.
Joel Embiid – 35 MIN, 9-18 FG, 0-1 3PT, 12-13 FT, 8 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 4 TO, +4, 30 PTS. So this is what happens when Embiid has a foot strain. If I have a foot sprain, I can’t even get out of bed and walk for weeks. Then again, that could also be depression.
Kristaps Porzingis – 31 MIN, 12-18 FG, 6-10 3PT, 11-11 FT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 3 BLK, 1 TO, +13, 41 PTS. So, uh, is he an All-Star this year? Career-high 41 points last night, and still just 27 years old, even though it feels he’s been around forever. As always, the question is health, and while he’s played in 20 of the Wizards 21 games, it’s still something to consider.
Rudy Gobert – 29 MIN, 7-7 FG, 0-0 3PT, 5-5 FT, 7 REB, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -22, 19 PTS. Wolves should see how many draft picks they can get for Gobert. Haha, sorry, too soon?
Karl-Anthony Towns – 22 MIN, 2-6 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-6 FT, 2 REB, 4 AST, 3 TO, -6, 8 PTS. I figured the Wizards had the worst offense in the league, but after watching the Timberwolves last night, there is a new worst offense and I’m not sure it’s close. Towns suffered a calf injury and is now out four-to-six weeks.
Luke Kornet – 18 MIN, 4-4 FG, 1-1 FT, 8 REB, 1 BLK, +18, 9 PTS. The most dominant nine-point performance I’ve ever seen. Though, I’m not sure how many I’ve seen! Could be too many or not enough.
Marcus Smart – 31 MIN, 8-11 FG, 6-9 3PT, 2 REB, 15 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO, +44, 22 PTS. Celtics shot 67% through three quarters… I think some NBA teams would struggle to do that in an empty gym…
Bol Bol – 39 MIN, 10-15 FG, 3-6 3PT, 1-3 FT, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 1 TO, +1, 24 PTS. Crazy, went from putting up no stats on the Nuggets during garbage time to shooting 59% FG and a 40% 3PT. If I were a Nuggets fan, one of the dozens, I’d be kinda mad.
Kevin Durant – 39 MIN, 19-24 FG, 3-5 3PT, 4-4 FT, 7 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 6 TO, +11, 45 PTS. Say what you want about the content that the Nets generate, but Durant is probably one of the best shooters and three-level scorers I’ve ever seen and sometimes it’s easy to forget.
Donovan Mitchell – 25 MIN, 3-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1-1 FT, 1 REB, 2 AST, -21, 8 PTS. That’s a streak of 121 games in a row with 10 or more points for Mitchell that ended last night. OG and the Raptors defense has been unbelievable this year.
Zion Williamson – 35 MIN, 11-18 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-1 FT, 8 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 3 BLK, 4 TO, +19, 23 PTS. There’s no reason a guy like Zion should have just one free throw, especially with 18 shot attempts, and that attempt coming with just 44 seconds left in the fourth. Absurd.
Nikola Jokic – 27 MIN, 11-17 FG, 1-2 3PT, 9-10 FT, 12 REB, 8 AST, 3 TO, +8, 32 PTS. Last we spoke, Jokic was looking a bit, I dunno, not himself. But what an efficient game, obviously wasn’t worried, but good to see him do his usual thing…
Lauri Markkanen – 38 MIN, 12-18 FG, 7-11 3PT, 1-2 FT, 9 REB, 1 AST, 2 TO, -3, 32 PTS. Crazy that Clarkson and Beasley basically ball-hogged and iced out Lauri from any fourth quarter touches after he went 9-10 with 24 points in the first-half. And it’s not like these guys are efficient shooters. If Beasley had a name to describe his NBA talent, he’d be named Chuck.
Devin Booker – 41 MIN, 17-28 FG, 1-6 3PT, 9-9 FT, 8 REB, 4 AST, 6 STL, 6 TO, +14, 44 PTS. Is he the most overrated or underrated players in the NBA right now? Always hard to put a finger on it, but if he gets a chip, that would solve the conversation. It’s the Suns, so maybe a big ask, but no doubt the dude can score.
Bennedict Mathurin – 32 MIN, 10-22 FG, 3-8 3PT, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, +7, 23 PTS. Fun fact! Did you know rookie Bennedict Mathurin is undefeated against LeBron James for his career?
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.