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 thinking “Aliens” is the best technology movie ever…
Memphis Grizzlies. Welcome to the Grindhouse. In what was one of the best, most entertaining games of the season the Grizzlies ground down the Warriors, holding all that flashy firepower to 8.7 points per 100 possessions less than they average on offense. Stephen Curry shot just 9-of-25. Draymond Green was 2-of-11. Andre Iguodala 3-of-10. And the Warriors as a team shot just 41.1 percent. Meanwhile the Grizzlies got a combined 41 points from the big man combination of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph (the Warriors missed Andrew Bogut in this one). The Warriors are versatile, played small and the scrapped in this one, but Memphis played better down the stretch and got the 105-98 win and snapped the Warriors 16-game winning streak. I’ve been asked on a few talk radio shows if the Grizzlies can they keep this up come the playoffs? What do you think they’re doing right now — they dragged Golden State into a playoff style game and beat them. Teams should fear Memphis come the playoffs.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder. We focused a little on Kevin Durant, who reached the 15,000 point milestone, but it was Westbrook who was the best player on the court in the Thunder’s win over the Kings. Westbrook had 32 points, seven assists, six rebounds, four steals, and he just put pressure on Sacramento all night long. With the win the Thunder are just half a game back of New Orleans for the eight seed in the West. That didn’t take long and they will be a playoff team by the end of the week. It’s going to be a much harder climb to catch the teams still above them, they aren’t going much higher up the ladder. Then at the end of the season it will get amusing to watch the teams at the top of the West jockey to avoid the Thunder in the first round.
Milwaukee Bucks. That just sucks. When Jabari Parker went down Monday night I really wanted to believe it was just a sprain as first reported, even though when you watched the video of the injury and his reaction that didn’t seem likely. Tuesday night we found out the clear frontrunner in the Rookie of the Year race is out for the season with a torn ACL. That just sucks for the Bucks. This could mean more Giannis Antetokounmpo (playing the four), more John Henson when he gets healthy in the next week. And it could mean trouble for the playoff chances of the Bucks, who have looked good but Parker was a key part of their rotation.
John Wall. He is playing fantastic basketball of late and that continued Tuesday night against Minnesota in another Wizards’ win — he had 21 points and 17 assists. That was the 100th double-double of Wall’s young career.
Anthony Davis. The Pelicans’ star missed one game with a chest contusion but returned on Tuesday night wearing a special flak jacket for protection under his uniform. Clearly it didn’t slow him down — Davis had 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting, plus pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked three shots as the Pelicans picked up a win over Utah. The Jazz have a quality front line but they had no answer for Davis. Nobody does.
The Barclays’ Center roof. Pretty new building to be sporting leaks already. But just more than a minute into the first half between the Heat and Nets the game was delayed because of a leaky roof in Brooklyn that was dripping on the court. It took more than 30 minutes to fix the problem. And no, even that could not save the Nets from another loss.