While we normally focus on game performances in the lede, it’s open to any big news story that’s trending the day before. Plus, when a pun like this is available, you don’t ever hesitate grabbing that low hanging fruit. Literally every mission objective by any content creator, spoiler alert! Indeed, this also is what you call a double whammy, in that anything Los Angeles sports soothes that SEO soul… but enough about internet metrics and writer’s fruit. Let’s talk about the bromance between the Lakers and Wizards front office that started with the Russell Westbrook trade last season and then culminated into a Kendrick Nunn and three second-rounders for the enigmatic Rui Hachimura.
Now, at first glance, it’s certainly easy to hate on the Wizards for a very Wizards move… middling return both in the player and picks for what is a somewhat younger player with some potential left. And of course, it’s easy to hate on the Lakers since they’re the Lakers, but keep in mind that they just traded for a dude that was made expendable by Kyle Kuzma to basically fill the Lakers Kyle Kuzma hole.
That being said, there is some notion here that while second round picks are generally worthless at first glance, they aren’t that bad, right? The NBA can’t be full of max contracts is all I’m saying. Lest we forget that despite Hachimura having a random injury history, he still lacks any semblance of defensive IQ, is quite streaky offensively and is on year four of his contract with only a better three-shot to show as progress.
On the flipside, it’s easy to forget that Hachimura looked his best when playing along Westbrook, so there is some merit here to the Lakers gamble including the need for size. While on the surface it’s easy to knock the two teams for what might end up being a meh deal, it’s really not that ripe for critique in the micro. But for the macro, yeah, both franchises are still run like trash. That’s right, even when there’s love, there’s gotta be HATE HATE HATE. Sweet and sour, you know what’s up. Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s slate…
Joe Ingles – 19 MIN, 2-4 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, +0, 6 PTS. Old man Ingles looking okay after his injury. Three-point stroke is still there and he can play enough defense to get legitimate minutes.
Bojan Bogdanovic – 28 MIN, 11-15 FG, 6-7 3PT, 5-5 FT, 3 REB, 1 STL, 2 TO, -23, 33 PTS. -23 on 33 PTS, 130 points from the Pistons and 280 points total this game. I suppose defense was optional last night?
Paolo Banchero – 36 MIN, 7-13 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-9 FT, 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 TO, +12, 23 PTS. Did you know that the Magic swept the Warriors and went 3-1 against Boston this season? Bow before your new overlords.
DeMar DeRozan – 37 MIN, 11-21 FG, 1-2 3PT, 3-4 FT, 1 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 1 TO, +20, 26 PTS. Gotta say, the past couple of weeks is the best stretch of games the Bulls have had since maybe last season and with eight winnable games coming up. This is sink or swim time.
Dejounte Murray – 36 MIN, 9-19 FG, 2-7 3PT, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 TO, -21, 20 PTS. I’ve long since pointifiated on this Hawks team, and obviously Trae is not hitting his usual TS%, but even when him and Murray get their points, the offense just still doesn’t click for me.
D’Angelo Russell – 42 MIN, 11-23 FG, 6-12 3PT, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 4 TO, -3, 30 PTS. Wolves have been an easy team to knock. I do in fact have a couple knocks this season, but they’ve been looking pretty good lately but still have had an issue losing to pretty bad teams. Two losses to the Spurs and Pistons, one to the Hornets and now one to the Rockets.
Jalen Green – 35 MIN, 15-25 FG, 6-12 3PT, 6-10 FT, 4 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +19, 42 PTS. I was told Jalen is a bust!
P.J. Washington – 27 MIN, 1-7 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, -20, 3 PTS. Come on down to the Queen City, Mr. Wembanyama!
Damian Lillard – 31 MIN, 12-19 FG, 7-11 3PT, 6-6 FT, 1 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, +6, 37 PTS. I refuse to believe that this is an actual regulation game. It was just two teams practicing their offensive sets in a crowded arena…
Josh Richardson – 19 MIN, 3-7 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-3 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, -22, 11 PTS. Putting together one of the worst defenses in NBA history is certainly one way to tank.
Domantas Sabonis – 30 MIN, 7-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 10 REB, 11 AST, 8 TO, +22, 14 PTS. 33-point blowout victory despite 24 combined team turnovers? That’s Kings basketball, baby! LIGHT THE BEAM.
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.