Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while suing a casino for letting you bet big while drunk….
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls. Friend of this site Coach Nick called watching Noah play “coach porn” — he plays with a high IQ, he is focused on defense, he can pass, he moves off the ball, and the energy is always there. Wednesday night he scored eight points, added five assists and three rebounds in the fourth quarter to get his third triple double of the season. Noah finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Bulls got a 105-94 win over the Pistons. Noah is playing maybe the best ball of his career right now.
Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats. He just went out and dropped 34 points on 16-of-25 points on the best defense in the NBA. Jefferson completely outplayed future Defensive Player of the Year Roy Hibbert. Jefferson has had a monster season for the Bobcats and they are not playoff bound without him, and they don’t beat the Pacers Wednesday without him.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. The Knicks win. Theeeee Knicks win. Of course Carmelo Anthony was at the heart of that with 33 points on 14-of-27 shooting. He was attacking off the dribble and abusing Corey Brewer much of the night. The difference was it wasn’t just Anthony — Tyson Chandler was defending, even Raymond Felton played well for a night. Mike Woodson went big and that worked, too. Just that kind of night for the Knicks.
James Harden, Houston Rockets. The Rockets were sloppy in the first half against the Magic. James Harden led the charge in the second half, when he scored 25 of his 31 points on the night, shot 8-of-11 and Houston pulled away for the win. The Rockets are now 21-6 in 2014.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks. Round of applause for the man who knocked down a three in 127 consecutive games before Wednesday. He was 0-of-5 in this game despite getting some good looks, then in a blowout he didn’t get back in for the fourth quarter. This streak was pretty impressive, every night in that streak the opposing scouting report said “do not help off Kyle Korver at the arc, do not lose him” and every game he found a way to get space and get off his shot. Good on ya, Kyle.