<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

K.J. McDaniels only reason to watch Sixers, throws down on Brandan Wright (VIDEO)

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It’s not easy to watch the now 0-16 Sixers, but there is becoming one good reason:

K.J. McDaniels.

He is the kind of explosive, exciting rookie every team is looking for and while everyone was talking about the big first-round picks of Joel Embid and Dario Saric (neither of whom are playing with the Sixers this year) McDaniels has been the highlight reel. Doing things like throwing down the big putback dunk on Dallas’ Brandan Wright.

Michael Carter-Williams had a triple-double and the Sixers picked up a moral victory by hanging with the Mavericks most of the game, but moral victories are not exactly what the Sixers need right now. Dallas got the road win they expected despite the team having an off shooting night from three (26 percent).

James Harden passes between DeAndre Jordan’s legs, crosses Matt Barnes (VIDEO)

Philadelphia 76ers v Houston Rockets
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From the start of the second quarter on, when the Clippers went on an 11-0 run, they pretty much owned this game against the Rockets. Blake Griffin had 30 and the Clippers were in control most of the way to cruise in for a win.

Still, James Harden put on a show for Houston.

Above he gets the assist with a nifty pass through De Andre Jordan’s legs. Below. Matt Barnes go torched with the crossover. It was fun, but the Rockets are not the same team without Dwight Howard and were no match for LA.

What rust? Russell Westbrook returns, puts up 32 points in 24 minutes (VIDEO)

Russell Westbrook
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Rust? What rust?

Russell Westbrook looked like his explosive self old self in a 105-78 win over the Knicks on Friday night, coming back from a broken hand and 15 games off by putting up 32 points (on 12-of-17 shooting), seven rebounds and eight assists, all in 24 minutes. His performance sparked the Oklahoma City win. A sign there was no rust: Westbrook shot 10-of-13 on contested shots. Or, if you want another sign, check out Westbrook’s shot chart:

source:

What really should make Thunder fans happy is the Thunder looked like the Thunder again. Sure, it was against the Knicks but the level of play from OKC was key. Westbrook was drawing the defense in and sharing, making nice skip passes, then every once in a while he’d just explode by his man and throw it down (as in the first dunk from the video above).

The Thunder have a lot of work to do make the playoffs out West, but they are back to being themselves. And that should scare teams.

 

Chris Paul’s touching tribute to fan who lost mother

Los Angeles Clippers v Detroit Pistons
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It started with this moving video posted by 13-year-old Jack Gallagher about his mother who passed away due to cancer.

Chris Paul was moved. He paid for Gallagher and his family to come see the Clippers and CP3 take on the Detroit Pistons last Friday in Detroit. Paul hung out with the family before the game and gave Jack a new pair of CP3s as well a bunch of Jordan/CP3 gear.

Then he put the mother’s initials on his shoes.

CP3 had 23 points and seven assists in a Clippers win with the initials on his shoes.

Sixers offense from bad to worse: Tony Wroten out week with sprained knee

Phoenix Suns v Philadelphia 76ers
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The Philadelphia 76ers are scoring a league-worst 92.2 points per 100 possessions so far this season (according to Basketball-Reference.com). Actually, not just league worst this season, that number would tie for the worst offense in NBA history (with the 76-77 Nets and 02-03 Nuggets).

Now the Sixers is about to get worse as they will be without their leading scorer, Tony Wroten, for at stretch.

From Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.

Wroten is averaging 17.9 points per game and coach Brett Brown had tried playing him next to Michael Carter-Williams in a gunning backcourt (together they average better than 30 shots a game, and neither is a good shooter). Wroten has been a turnover machine this season, coughing up the ball on 18.9 percent of his possessions he ended this season). That said, this team needs points and he can get them, if not efficently.

No Wroten in the starting lineup could mean more K.J. McDaniels, and that would be good for all of us.