Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while reading about how strange the 1904 Olympic marathon in St. Louis was….
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. After a decent shooting first quarter (but one the Warriors as a team would like to forget) Curry got hot — 10-of-14 shooting, 4-of-5 from three, 28 points, nine assists and he was a +25 as the Warriors earned a win over the always-tough Bulls. Curry shot the rock like a guy looking to win the All-Star Weekend three-point contest.
Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls. He has been thrust in the role of a top scorer (when he’d really thrive as option No. 3) and he responded Thursday night with a career-high 26 points, plus he had 13 rebounds. It wasn’t enough, but we should acknowledge that he is playing well.
Alan Anderson, Brooklyn Nets. Usually this is the Joe Johnson role for the Nets, but like the understudy stepping up for a night on Broadway Anderson took over the role for the All-Star. Anderson scored 17 of the Nets 21 points in the stretch late in the third into the fourth when the Nets pulled away, and he finished with 22 points on the night to key the Nets come-from-behind win over the Spurs.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.