Author: Kurt Helin

Andrew Wiggins, Michael Carter-Williams, Mo Williams

PBT’s Wednesday Night Winners/Losers: Philly is winless no more


Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while stealing an ambulance so you could go to a strip club

source:  Philadelphia 76ers. It wasn’t pretty. Nobody with the Sixers cares. This is a team that was on the verge of tying the NBA all-time consecutive losses to start a season record but they got a repreive and picked up a win, 85-77, knocking off a depleted Minnesota team. The Sixers did it despite shooting just 39 percent because Minnesota’s offense was worse, shooting just 35.7 percent (and Minny was 3-of-17 from three). The Sixers scored just nine points in the entire second quarter. The Sixers started 1-of-20 from three (but hit four in a row late). None of that was because of great defense, either. This entire game lived down to expectations. Yet Michael Carter-Williams stepped up with a near triple-double (20 points , 9 rebounds, 9 assists, who cares if it took him 20 shots to get there) and off the bench Robert Covington had 17 points (including three fourth quarter threes). It’s a win. Philadelphia will take it.

source:  Referees in Sixers/Timberwolves. Are you kidding me? They had to replay the first 16 seconds of the Sixers/Timberwolves game because the two teams were shooting at the wrong baskets. Which pretty much summed up this entire game. But while it’s easy to laugh and say “it figures, it’s the Sixers/Wolves” this isn’t on the teams, it’s on the referees for not noticing and fixing it before. They are the cops out there and they were caught thinking about donuts, not doing their job.

source:  Kyle Lowry. The Raptors’ star point guard looked up, saw two Utah rookies had the assignment to cover him, and started to drool. With no DeMar DeRozan for another month or so Toronto needs more nights like this, where Lowry looks to get himself going first. He finished with 39 points (a career high) on 13-of-22 shooting. He got whatever shot he wanted and hit most of them.

source:  Houston Rockets. No Dwight Howard. Or Patrick Beverley. Or Terrence Jones. Or Isaiah Canaan. Yet the Houston Rockets handed the Grizzlies just their third defeat of the season. They did it by getting out and running on Memphis, a team that wants to slow it down and make every game the pace of a playoff game. This game was played at 99 possessions, which is up in Denver Nuggets territory and faster than either team likes to play. The Rockets had 25 fast break points on the night and their pressure wouldn’t let the Grizzlies’ defense get set, and at that pace Memphis had 20 turnovers. Also a good night from Donatas Motiejunas with 15 points and 7 boards, but more importantly really strong defense in the paint as he and the Rockets held Marc Gasol in check (8 points). Houston had 23 offensive rebounds on the night, also.

source:  Monta Ellis. It’s not exactly what you’d call an efficient night for Ellis, who had 23 points but needed 26 shots to get there. Didn’t matter, he got away with it. Just like he got away with a travel on the last shot — no call then he got the difficult shot to fall. Dallas wins.

Orlando rookie Elfrid Payton airballs two free throws in a row (VIDEO)

Milwaukee Bucks v Orlando Magic

Elfrid Payton has some potential as a young point guard, but he has some things to work on. Like shooting. On the season he is shooting 38 percent overall. Less impressive, he is shooting 49 percent from the free throw line. Fifteen feet away and unguarded, he still hits less than half his shots.

It was worse than that Monday night in Los Angeles, where the Magic’s rookie airballed back-to-back free throws. That’s Shaq/Dwight Howard like. It’s a little disturbing for a point guard to be doing that.

Hat tip to James Herbert of Eye on Basketball.

Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova out indefinitely with broken nose

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

In the second quarter Tuesday night the Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova took an inadvertent forearm to the face from LeBron James, which ended Ilyasova’s night (he had 9 points in that second quarter and was a key reason the Bucks went on a 13-2 run to take a lead that quarter).

Now it turns out that blow is going to keep Ilyasova out at least a couple more games with a broken nose and concussion symptoms, the team announced Wednesday. From the official press release:

After being examined in the locker room at halftime, he was taken to the Cleveland Clinic where he underwent a CT scan that revealed a nasal fracture. He also displayed symptoms of a mild concussion. Ilyasova was held overnight for observation, released this morning, and is returning to Milwaukee. Ilyasova will not play in tonight’s contest and is not expected to travel on the team’s next trip to Dallas (Dec. 7) and Oklahoma City (Dec. 9).

Ilyasova is averaging 10.1 points a game in almost 19 minutes a night, shooting 50 percent on the season. With him and John Henson (foot) still out, expect to see more minutes for Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo at the four — that should be exciting, but gives me a “be careful what you wish for” feeling.

Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins hospitalized with virus infection, out at least two more games

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings have lost their last 14 games when DeMarcus Cousins has had to sit out for whatever reason, including their last three this past week. Which makes this especially bad news.

Cousins has been admitted to a Sacramento area hospital to fight the viral infection that has kept in sidelined the last week, the team announced Wednesday. Doctors said Cousins needed “rest and treatment.” Cousins will be out at least two more games, this Friday and Saturday, and may return to the rotation next week (maybe next Tuesday vs. Toronto).

Cousins is having a career year coming off his time with Team USA this summer, averaging 23,5 points and 12.6 rebounds a game, with 1.5 blocks a game thrown in.

His play led Sacramento to a fast 9-5 start to the season, but the Kings have fallen back to .500 with Cousins out. Something that will continue for at least a couple more games now,

Stephen Curry, wife remake Drake “0 to 100” with “Chef Curry With The Pot” (VIDEO)

Stephen Curry

I’m not a Drake guy. Maybe I’d feel differently if I was born in Toronto (I live in Long Beach so I’m more a Snoop Dogg guy, although frankly I live on the Sublime side of town).

But apparently Drake gave Stephen Curry a shoutout in his track “0 to 100/The Catch Up” (hat tip to Kyle Neubeck at Bleacher Report):

“I been Steph Curry with the shot. Been cookin’ with the sauce, chef, curry with the pot, boy.”

So Curry and his wife have responded with their own remake version. Well played.