Didn't get to see the Skills Challenge, but I believe Bam Adebayo won it. It's interesting that a number of bigs have been winning the skills challenge, considering it seems to be more suited to smaller players that play the guard position. I guess that goes to show how skilled the bigs are nowadays.
Buddy Hield won it and I'm not surprised that he did. That guy can flat out shoot threes and is not afraid to shoot threes anytime during a game. Every time I see the Kings play the Mavericks, Buddy Hield is always shooting threes and making most of them. Devin Booker put up a good fight and like what Reggie Miller said, has a beautiful shooting stroke.
The Rockets did not play a traditional center in their victories over the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans over the weekend despite having 7-foot reserves Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein available. Houston became the first team to go an entire game without using a player taller than 6-foot-6 since the New York Knicks in a Jan. 31, 1963, win over the Chicago Zephyrs, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
The link is for an article about a trade that sent Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks, but the quote above is the most interesting part of that article for me. I think that small ball lineups is a preview of the future of NBA basketball.
Centers playing with their back to the basket, backing down defenders is a rare sight in the NBA these days. Joel Embiid is probably the last dominant, back to the basket center the NBA has left. Most other tall centers/power forwards nowadays prefer to shoot perimeter shots anyway. Yet these same players can sometimes be too slow in defense, especially in “switch-all” defensive schemes.
After rolling off 18 consecutive victories, the Milwaukee Bucks have tasted defeat for the first time since Nov. 8 following a 120-116 loss to the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The Mavericks are the first team in NBA history to snap a single-season win streak of 15-plus games without its leading scorer, according to Elias Sports Bureau data.
The Mavericks have had some impressive wins this season, notably those against the Rockets and the Lakers. However, I think this may be their most impressive win yet; beating the scorching Milwaukee Bucks without their superstar Luka Doncic.
Only two NBA players are averaging at least 25 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game this season. One of them — surprise, surprise — is the Lakers’ LeBron James. LeBron has had himself a long career during which he has dominated every inch of the floor for a very long time. He arguably has the most varied skill set in the history of the game, and it has earned him career averages of 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. This is just kind of what he does; it’s his version of normal.
The other player averaging at least 25, 7.5 and 7.5 is 20-year-old Luka Dončić of the Mavericks. That is not normal; that is special. The complete list of players ever to average 25, 7.5 and 7.5 over a single season looks like this: LeBron, Oscar Robertson (six times), Russell Westbrook (twice), Larry Bird, James Harden and Michael Jordan. None of those legends was as young as Dončić.
Good read for any NBA fan. I never understood why it didn't work out for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks, but this article explains it. It also explains why the Rockets let him go after only a handful of games.
I just recalled a discussion I had with my wife a few weeks ago about an advantage online journals had over their paper counterparts; you can embed photos and videos to online journals. I couldn't have been more wrong, especially on the part about embedding photos. You can attach photos to paper journals, you just have to print them first! (Insert mind blown/face palm gif here... I'm too lazy to find one right now...)
The Toronto Raptors had a golden opportunity to win last night, but the defending champs proved why they are the defending champs.
The 9-0 run to get back the lead was impressive. Steph Curry who was struggling to hit 3 pointers the whole second half, hit a big one. Klay hit a couple more and all of a sudden the Warriors were up 6 points.
This was the best chance for the Rockets, or for any playoff team for that matter, to take out the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were playing without Kevin Durant and it didn't even matter. Absolutely disappointing performance from the Rockets.
Credit to Steph Curry and Steve Kerr. They came up it with a way to win without their best player in the lineup. You just cannot underestimate the heart of a champion. I'm no Golden State Warriors fan, but I'm a basketball fan and tonight the Warriors showed that they fully deserve to continue their playoff run.