Theme of Tuesday: Minutes and Opportunity
Bulls – Raptors
The Bulls lose and refuse to play Patrick Williams and Coby White in an effort to make the play in. Noble goal, but I was hoping to see more minutes go to these guys. Nikola Vucevic ruined a 4 three-pointer evening with 6 turnovers. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan both disappointed with less than 20 points. The Bulls really aren’t interesting, but keep an eye on them if they tank and go to young guys at the end of the season. Keep in mind though that Williams and White aren’t actually very good.
The Raptors had a Raptors game. Same five guys and Gary Trent Jr. got the minutes. Good to see OG Anunoby with an active line (17-8 and a steal, but shoulda been more because the Bulls are just terrible. Yes I’m an angry Bulls fan. Jakob Poeltl needs more than three boards too but the entire Raptors squad is like the same size so it’ll happen. Not much to take away from here.
Hawks lose their first game with the new coach who’s name I don’t care about
Interesting PT shakeout though. Clint Capela had 35 minutes last night, but only 20 in the three before that. Capela was on last night (15-15, 2 steals and 3 blocks) so apparently he gets inconsistent minutes based on production. Trae Young, fresh off his victory over his now vanquished coach, shot 11-26 and 31 points, but they lost, so maybe it’s not the coach’s issue? I’m concerned that the Hawks enabled Trae, and now his worst instincts will come out now. Can’t be a happy locker room.
The Wizards are just so weird. Bradley Beal had 37 points and I feel like he’s underappreciated because of that crazy contract. He’s an elite 2-guard and a good second round value. Daniel Gafford is very mean. He dunks the basketball and had another double-double. He’s very good until that certain 7-3 unicorn comes back. Delon Wright has not taken advantage of Monte Morris’ absence and can continue to be ignored.
Bucks defeat the Nets who aren’t as good as they used to be
The Bucks win, yadda yadda yada. I’m worried now that Khris Middleton isn’t going to get 30 minutes per game this year. He did have 18-4-6 in 22 minutes, but he’s, again, only 22 minutes. 22-25-17-24-24-21-20 are the minutes for his last eight. Dang.
For the Nets, their rotation seems to have sorted out. Seth Curry and Joe Harris are not a part of it and that makes me wish they could get bought out. Seems like Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie are going to be able to do whatever they want and Im here for it. It’s legit, and they should be upgraded going forward. Love these guys going forward.
Grizzlies over the AD-led Lakers.
No real news from the Grizzlies. Luke Kennard had a whopping 6 points, but they continue to be stable.
Lakers are missing a certain aging superstar so interesting to see how this plays out for a bit. Anthony Davis with a 29-18 line and 5 blocks; he’s going to absolutely blow up from here out. He probably is now day-to-day after this:
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 1, 2023
The wings and forwards minutes are worth perusing:
Troy Brown 26
Austin Reaves 27
Lonnie Walker 22
Seems to me like Vanderbilt and Reaves are the preferred candidates for the 3 and 4 spots. Poor Rui. He had a bit of a run there, but it looks like he’s been phased out a bit. In fact, since the deadline his minutes high is 21. Bye bye, Rui, like N’Sync said back in the day so beautifully stated in a hip hop sorta way. I’d ride Vanderbilt and Reaves for now until we find out more about LeBron.
Nuggets destroy the Rockets
Saw some things on the Twitter machine about Jabari Smith and his broken jumper. It’s true. All of it.
Jabari Smith Jr 2022-23 rookie season highlights 👀 pic.twitter.com/myX5e1mD86
— GreenTroii (@JGMyGoat) February 18, 2023
4-10. 3-11. 4-16. Just his past three games. Smith has been a huge disappointment for anyone who drafted him. I’d say he is what his numbers say he is at this point. Get him off your team if you want to win.
Kings Minus De’Aaron Fox over Thunder minus Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Harrison Barnes with a random 28-9, but you know that’s an outlier. Malik Monk crashed back to earth with 15 minutes and 7 points. He’s obviously going to have his minutes ebb and flow depending on something, like his play for example.
For the Thunder, their highlight was Jalen Williams, the guard. 27-5-8 is getting. It. Done. Josh Giddey got his minutes cut to 19. Opportunity Cut.
Pacers victory and the super boring Mavericks
I feel so bad for Mavs fans. They are as bad a watch as the Bulls. Luka Doncic had his usual massive game, Kyrie Irving had a terrible shooting night (7-18), and the rest of the team isn’t very good at basketball. Well, they are better than me, a 45-year-old with a 10-inch vertical. But for our game, they really all can be ignored at this point.
The Pacers, on the other hand, I love that team. Myles Turner is the truth (24-7 with 4 blocks) and so is Tyrese Haliburton (32-7-6). Jordan Nwora has played a role for them since coming over and busted out last night with 16-3, which for him qualifies as busting out apparently. He’s a tough one though, the Pacers have seven guys who can pop off or disappear completely at any moment. I don’t trust any of them.
Spurs over the Jazz, which is actually a win for the Jazz and their lottery chances
Walker Kessler with 10 points and 15 boards continues to make the most of his opportunity. I was completely wrong on him after his freshman year at UNC before he transferred out. The guy can play and will for 10-15 years. Kris Dunn in a deep league is worth considering. He’s averaging 12-3-4 in around 20 minutes per, and could continue to carve out minutes in an NBA comeback attempt. His shot has been smoothed out a lot; let’s see if he can do it in a game before we buy in.
Warriors over Trail Blazers
Look guys, Cam Reddish just isn’t going to be that guy. 29 minutes last night, and could only muster 10 points and 1 assist. He’ll occasionally tease like he did two games ago with 24 points, but then will follow it up with 7 and 10 the next two. Motor is a skill, one he doesn’t have. I’d predict Nassir Little gets more minutes going forward, but who knows with this team.
Wolves over the Clippers
Let’s all say goodbye to Mason Plumlee, trade deadline casualty. Here he is, memorialized in haiku, which may or may not be correctly written by a random haiku generator.
Late courts wintertime
A such, creative pass plays
because of the shoot