Our game recaps from Tuesday, or what you missed while reading Free Darko….
Celtics 105, Pistons 100: Boston did what they do on defense — Detroit was just 2-18 from three point range and turned the ball over one of every five times down the court. The Celtics also shot the ball much better than the Pistons. Should have been a blowout, but it wasn’t.
Detroit may not be a good team but they do one thing very well — crash the offensive glass. Second best team in the league at that, grabbing 31 percent of their missed shots on the season. And the Celtics either were not prepared for it or did not adjust. On this night Detroit grabbed the offensive board on 40 percent of their missed shots and that is the only thing that kept this close. Boston made the plays at the end to hold on, but this game was closer than it should have been. No Celtics fans can feel good after that win.
Heat 110, Warriors 106: Miami decided to play this game at Golden State’s pace (99 possessions, one off Golden State’s season average, but nine possessions faster than the slow-it-down Heat), and that helped keep it close. The Heat made a little run in the third quarter after they went to a 2/3 zone but the lead melted away with the game’s pace. But at the end, it was about execution. Golden State had chances — Anthony Morrow missed a good-look three, Ronny Turiaf had a pass for a game-tying dunk slip right through his hands. The Warriors didn’t close out well, the Heat did.
Thunder 113, Kings 107: Nobody really played defense — at least until the Thunder got focused the last five minutes or so — and that made this a fun one to watch. For OKC, this win is a sign of maturity because good teams win games when they don’t bring their “A” game sometimes. And the Thunder are becoming a good team. For Sacramento, their moral victory record is now 45-15.
Lakers 122, Pacers 99: We could talk about Ron Artest’s defense on Granger or Jordan Farmar’s hot hand or DJ Mbenga diving into the front row for a loose ball like it was a playoff game. But here’s what really tells you how big a blowout this was: Adam Morrison got 15 minutes — more than a quarter’s worth of burn, and they were not showcasing him for a trade.
The Bulls’ point-guard position is a quagmire.
Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne are both injured (and not necessarily good). Jerian Grant is maybe an adequate backup pressed into starting. Ryan Arcidiacono is on a two-way contract.
Enter Kay Felder.
The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone, and claimed guard Kay Felder off waivers.
Felder was waived by the Hawks, who acquired him in a salary-dump trade from the Cavaliers. Cleveland drafted Felder No. 54 last year, but ran out of roster spots this year.
Felder is only a moderate prospect. He impressed in the D-League, but at 5-foot-9, he has significant limitations. (His size also makes him incredibly fun to watch when he gets rolling.)
For Chicago, he’s a quite-noteworthy addition.
Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.
LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.
LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:
No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.
LeBron – he’s just like us!
As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.
Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).
The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.
Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.