If you’ve only been paying cursory attention to the NBA in its early stages this season, you may not have noticed the rise of the Portland Trail Blazers.
But following Friday night’s 130-98 pasting of the Utah Jazz, Portland now has a record of 17-3 — the best in a very deep Western Conference.
Guys like Wesley Matthews have been shooting at historically great levels, LaMarcus Aldridge has been playing like an elite big man and Damian Lillard has been masterful in running the show.
The Blazers are playing so well right now that they’re setting NBA records.
In Friday night’s victory, the team made 17 of its 23 attempts from three-point distance, good for a mark of 73.9 percent. It was the highest percentage from beyond the arc in history for a club with at least 15 attempts, and it would have been even better if Will Barton hadn’t jacked up two misses from distance during the fourth quarter’s garbage time.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.