The Warriors won their 10th in a row on Tuesday, besting a Bucks team that has won just seven times all season and is at the bottom of the league-wide standings.
The games still need to be played, however, and Golden State allowed Milwaukee to hang around for a half or so before blowing them out over the final two periods to finish with a 101-80 victory that now has them sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Warriors fans get on David Lee quite a bit for his inconsistency and lack of defense, but he’s been killing it on the offensive end of the floor as of late, and performed no differently in this one. Lee made 10 of his 12 shots, and finished with a game-high 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Although it was a 21-point victory for Golden State, it came on an off night of shooting from both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined to hit just three of their 17 attempts from three-point distance. But when the Bucks shoot just 38.8 percent from the field and get outrebounded by 17, that leaves plenty of margin for error.
The Bucks got just five points and six rebounds from franchise cornerstone Larry Sanders, who’s better at fighting with teammates these days than he is playing the game of basketball. Brandon Knight has been the best Buck all season long, and he finished with 18 points on 53.3 percent shooting, to go along with four assists.
The Warriors are at Brooklyn on Wednesday, and while road back-to-backs are never easy, they should have an advantage against a Nets team that will be without Deron Williams due to injury. From there Golden State hosts the Celtics and the Nuggets before hitting the road to face Oklahoma City, by which time their win streak could realistically have reached 13 games.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.
The Knicks have the No. 8 pick, and tomorrow’s draft will be the most important part of their offseason.
Will they also have cap space to add talent in free agency? That hinges on Enes Kanter‘s player option.
If Kanter opts out, New York will have even more room to operate thanks to Kyle O'Quinn declining his $4,256,250 player option.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Knicks expected this for a while, and they’re probably not disappointed. Steve Mills and Scott Perry want to put their stamp on the franchise. O’Quinn is a leftover from the Phil Jackson era and a reminder of the recent tumult in New York.
O’Quinn’s combination of block percentage (6.1) and defensive-rebounding percentage (27.8) was unmatched last season. He just really struck a nice balance between contesting shots and remaining in position on the glass. He’s also a smooth mid-range shooter with an improved ability to distribute.
How much is that player worth?
It’ll be a tight market, especially for bigs. For his sake, I hope the 28-year-old O’Quinn already has assurances from other teams. He might get a similar salary or, more likely, a larger overall guarantee on a multi-year deal. But it’s also possible he comes out behind by testing free agency.