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 trying to figure out how you’re going to get wifi at your inlaws when there for Thanksgiving (or maybe that’s just me)…
Marc Gasol. What the Grizzlies did to the Clippers was a bloodbath. Literally. At one point after a hard foul Blake Griffin’s mouth was bleeding. Once again the Grizzlies played tough, physical basketball, found some outside shooting and looked like the best team in the West (or close to it). The Clippers continued to struggle, specially defensively where they let Marc Gasol get too many open midrange jumpers early, he knocked them down, found his rhythm it was over. Griffin finished with 30 points on 18 shots, hitting 3-of-4 from the midrange and 8-of-9 within eight feet of the rim, plus he had 12 rebounds and a couple blocks. He owned this game, the Grizzlies cruised to a win and remain on top of the West.
Charlotte Hornets. I was among the many that thought with Lance Stephenson in the fold this team was going to mean a dangerous Charlotte team, one taking a step forward off last season where they made the playoffs. Nope. They are 4-10 on the young season after blowing a fourth quarter lead against the Heat Sunday. Stephenson has struggled shooting the ball — he’s taking more long twos than last season and he’s not hitting his midrange shots — and the Hornets’ offense is bottom 10 in the league. But that’s not even the real problem. The Hornets made the playoffs last season on the strength of their top five defense, but that has gone sideways and they are a pedestrian 17th in the league giving up almost three more points per 100 possessions this season. That is the end of the court the Hornets really need to get right.
Chris Bosh. Another night with 20 points, this time the last two came on a 12-foot fadeaway jumper that proved to be the game winner as the Heat beat the Hornets. To be fair, Bosh got this chance because Mario Chalmers went on the attack in the fourth quarter (12 points in the final frame, 9 of them at the free throw line) and Luol Deng having a big night, but It was Bosh, averaging 21.5 a night (on an above average .562 true shooting percentage), that once again played like a legit No. 1 option and hit the key shot late. Give the man his due.