Kurt Helin

Utah’s Trey Lyles drives, Gorgui Deng isn’t going to stop dunk

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It can get overshadowed at times by Rudy Gobert‘s blocks or Gordon Hayward‘s dunk, but Trey Lyles is playing well for the Utah Jazz this season.

He’s added to his skills set — we saw it at Summer League, and you can see it on the play above. Lyles just bodies up then spins and drives by Ricky Rubio like he’s not there. Minnesota’s Gorgui Deng rotates over, but he’s not going to stop this.

Utah picked up the 112-103 win, behind a combined 48 points on 29 shots from Gordon Hayward and George Hill.

Watch Russell Westbrook rack up third straight triple-double

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Russell Westbrook now averages a triple-double — for the season.

Westbrook put on a show at Madison Square Garden recording his third-straight triple-double with 27 points, 18 assists, and 14 rebounds leading the Thunder to a 112-103 win against the Knicks. Westbrook was 9-of-23 shooting, but he got some help from Enes Kanter who had 27 points on 17 shots off the bench.

Westbrook needed 11 rebounds in this game to average a triple-double on the young season, and he got there. Officially he is at 30.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game. The last person to average a triple-double for a season was Oscar Robertson, but ESPN’s Ryen Russillo makes a good point about the comparison.

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam with as fierce a blocked shot as you will see

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 26:  Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre on October 26, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It’s a common line on a big block: “He sent that into the fourth row.” It’s a colorful bit of hyperbole.

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam literally sent Philadephia’s Gerald Henderson‘s shot into the fifth row (by my count on the video). That is a vicious rejection by the rookie.

With no Joel Embiid in the game tonight (rest on a back-to-back, glad someone picked up the slack and got us some blocks. Toronto led by 11 at the half.

Isaiah Thomas is getting texted by Allen Iverson — and he is pumped

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13:  Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the first half of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on October 13, 2016 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Newly minted Hall of Famer Allen Iverson is the patron saint of undersized NBA players.

Boston’s All-Star Isaiah Thomas is the current leader of that movement. In Toronto last All-Star weekend, Iverson sought out Thomas at an NBA event and talked to him, saying he liked his game, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN. They have stayed in touch, up through Thomas’ effort to spur a Boston comeback against Minnesota last week and get the win. Which led AI to reach out again.

Thomas told ESPN the entire conversation went more like this:

“It was real early in the morning that he texted, like 8:30, so he must have been watching highlights [of the Minnesota game] or something,” Thomas said, unable to muffle a smile. “I told him, ‘I appreciate it and that I’m just trying to be like you.’ He was like, ‘Say no more.’ Those texts man, it just motivates me to keep going. Someone like that is watching me without me even reaching out to him, so I guess I’m doing something right.”

Thomas is averaging 26 points a game this season, he is doing something right. He’ll also have a lot more space to operate and do more things with Al Horford back in the lineup.

Report: Despite slow start, don’t expect Wizards to make move

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: John Wall #2 celebrates after Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards hit a three point shot against the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth quarter of the Wizards 95-92 win at Verizon Center on November 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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If you’re going to list the most disappointing teams to start the season, the Washington Wizards would be at the top of the list. A team with playoff aspirations, the Wizards are 5-10, they have a pedestrian offense and bottom 10 defense to this point, John Wall and Bradley Beal have been good but not great when paired (+3.1 per 100 possessions, via NBA.com), the bench has been a mess, they’ve had a few injuries (what team hasn’t?), and we could go on but you get the idea.

Is it time to think major changes in our nation’s capital — and not just at the White House?

Don’t bet on it. From J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com, via the insider’s report at CSNNE.com.

The chances that the Wizards make a roster move now? Despite a sub-.500 record, that still remains very unlikely.

League sources told CSNmidatlantic.com that the Wizards had discussions about Archie Goodwin, released by the New Orleans Pelicans, but that didn’t go anywhere…

The defensive effort has gotten better and with Ian Mahinmi back to help bolster the second unit, team president Ernie Grunfeld doesn’t seem likely to make a decision this early. Giving up on rookies such as Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu, all three on non-guarantees that are a minimal hit on the salary cap, to clear a roster spot wouldn’t make sense at this stage either.

The Wizards are about a year away from being in the Sacramento Kings’ shoes, where their star may be looking to bolt and they have a decision to make. John Wall has two seasons left on his contract after this one, and Bradley Beal just re-signed this summer. They have time to put other pieces around those two and see of Scott Brooks can work his magic.

If the Wizards don’t make the playoffs this season, then start next season slowly again, the conversation starts to take on some urgency. But don’t expect a bold move at the trade deadline.

If the Wizards don’t make the playoffs, the pressure — and maybe ax — will fall not on Brooks but on Grunfeld.