Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) What Klay Thompson did to Chicago is not fair — but so much fun to watch. We knew this was coming. We knew that the 5-of-36 from three start to the season was not who Klay Thompson is. We knew that at some point he would erupt like Vesuvius and some poor team was going to end up like Pompeii.
Thompson set an NBA record with 14 three-pointers made. Thompson had 10 threes in the first half, and as a team the Warriors had 17 for the half — another NBA record. The Warriors scored 92 points in the first half, second in the NBA record books. Thompson had 22 points in the first quarter (the ninth time he had a 20-point quarter) and finished with 52 points, his third 50+ point game in his career. Oh, and the Warriors cruised to a 149-124 win.
That’s just not fair to Chicago (which is not a very good perimeter defensive team, not that it was going to matter much on Monday.
But oh, it was so much fun to watch. And Klay figured out is it was one of those nights early.
The Warriors are 6-1 to start the season and are more focused — and having more fun — during the long regular season than we have seen in a while.
2) The Sacramento Kings are 4-3… bet you didn’t see that coming. I’ll admit it, I haven’t been totally buying the hot start for the Kings because of who they beat: the Thunder (a team stumbling out of the gate, although the Kings spoiled Russell Westbrook‘s return), the flawed Grizzlies, and the flawed and imploding Wizards.
But Monday night they went into Miami, fell behind early to a solid Heat team, fought back in the second quarter, owned the third with 43 points, and hung on for the 123-113. Willie Cauley-Stein had 26 points and 13 boards, continuing to play like a man who wants to get PAID next summer.
Also, De’Aaron Fox is playing impressive basketball and had 23 against the Heat, and Buddy Hield added 20.
There’s a feeling among West teams that when Sacramento and Phoenix come up on the schedule you have to get the win — in a deep West with few gimmies, teams feel they have to beat the couple of weak teams. Except, the Kings have proven not to be that — they are playing good basketball. The Kings are playing at the second-fastest pace in the league so far. I’m not jumping on the “they can totally keep this up all season” bandwagon, but the Kings are not pushovers.
3) And then there was one: Bucks last undefeated team in NBA after knocking off Raptors. This game lacked much intrigue after it was announced both Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard (rest) and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (concussion) would be out for the night. So much for the fun early-season measuring stick.
Still, it was the last two undefeated teams in the NBA going head-to-head. Someone had to win.
That was the Bucks, 124-109, behind an impressive performance from Ersan Ilyasova with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Starting for the Greek Freak, Ilyasova was everywhere at the start, making plays on both ends and setting the tone. It was a reminder the Bucks can go with some shooting heavy and small-ball lineups that don’t feature their MVP-level player and still succeed.
The Bucks are 7-0. The last time they started that fast was 1971, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading them.