Our grades from Monday around the NBA, or what you missed while watching your fantasy football matchup go down in flames …
The Clippers offense. Coming into Monday night’s showdown with the Rockets, the Clippers were far and away the best offensive team in the league statistically with an average of 113.3 points per 100 possessions. Houston was second in the league in the same category defensively, but L.A. lit up their opponent for 137 points on the way to an easy victory. Much was made of the addition of Doc Rivers and the impact he might be able to have on the Clippers’ team defense, but if Chris Paul keeps orchestrating an offense that to this point has been unstoppable, they can simply outscore most opponents on most nights to keep piling up the wins.
Andre Iguodala’s return to Philadelphia. We knew the Sixers wouldn’t sustain the magical level of basketball the undermanned roster has put together over the team’s first three games of the season, but the Warriors showed very quickly on Monday just how far Philadelphia is from legitimate contention. Iguodala was the star for Golden State on this night, torching the team he played for in his first eight NBA seasons for a game-high 32 points, which included hitting 7-of-11 attempts from three-point distance.
The Sixers “stars.” Look, we understand that Philadelphia will be outclassed from a team talent standpoint on most nights, and that’s fine. But the relative stars on the roster need to provide a certain level of consistency for the team to simply be competitive, and except for Evan Turner, no one else expected to contribute had a positive impact in this one. Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and Michael Carter-Williams combined to shoot a dismal 8-for-33 from the field, while committing 11 of the team’s 24 turnovers.
Jerryd Bayless, specifically his fourth quarter performance. The Grizzlies were a step slow offensively all night long against a scrappy Celtics team, and were in real danger of dropping a home game to a team it should never lose to given the talent in place on both rosters. Enter Bayless, who took over to score 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting while playing all 12 minutes of the final period to ensure his team wasn’t victimized by the upset.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.
This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).
However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.
Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).
I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.
It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.
Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”
This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.
Both men got technicals and were ejected.