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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Julius Randle and DeMarcus Cousins involved in latest NBA trade rumors

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’re just about a month away from the NBA Trade Deadline, and two familiar names have been thrown around in rumors as of late.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to be sellers at the trade deadline, and former Wildcat Julius Randle will likely be on the move as a result.

“The Lakers have made it clear that Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance are available,” he said.

In the report, Wojnarowski claims the Lakers are desperately looking to shed salary to clear cap space for free agency this summer, with Paul George and LeBron James as the most rumored players of interest. If they bring in a major talent, they would be able to match any offer for the former Kentucky big man, but would not want to be locked in the luxury tax for a guy they don’t see as a long-term piece for the franchise. As a result, it is extremely likely we see a mutual breakup between both parties sooner rather than later.

While Randle may be on his way out of Los Angeles, another former Wildcat is considered untouchable by his organization. Wojnarowski reports the New Orleans Pelicans will not listen to trade offers for DeMarcus Cousins, and the organization will do whatever it takes to keep him in a Pelicans uniform when he becomes a free agent this summer.

New Orleans is determined to re-sign center DeMarcus Cousins and hasn’t invited trade offers on him,” he said.

Nerlens Noel has also been a rumored trade target for several teams, and there are always some surprises as the deadline comes in February, but it’s looking like the only major move surrounding the BBNBA will be Randle.

We need to see him on a winning team, anyway.

Go Cats.


BBNBA: Kanter’s double-double helps Knicks beat Mavericks

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America

Everyone’s favorite Turkish basketball player had another solid game to help the Knicks defeat Dallas. Kanter brought down 18 boards while also scoring 13 points. Enes is quietly turning in one of the best seasons in his young career. The former Cat is averaging 13.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. In other BBNBA action, Devin Booker had another solid day by hitting five three pointers to help him tally 26 points in the Suns’ victory over Oklahoma City. Booker has now led the Suns in scoring in five straight games.

Complete Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Bam Adebayo103-102 W vs. Utah41-120001-27
Enes Kanter100-96 W vs. Dal136-13181104+825
Patrick Patterson114-100 L vs. Phx82-3 (2-2)12000-817
Dakari Johnson114-100 L vs. Phx21-100000+23
Devin Booker114-100 W vs. OKC266-17 (5-10)24004-131
Tyler Ulis114-100 W vs. OKC73-8 (1-5)05210-132
Julius Randle132-113 W vs. Atl154-11 (0-2)94102-123

Highlights
Don’t you miss this stroke?


Randle with the slam!


ALLEY-OOP


Nice range from Dakari

Don’t you miss Tyler Ulis?

Tonight’s Games

  • Bucks (Bledsoe) at Pacers (Poythress) 7pm NBA TV
  • Raptors at Nets- 7:30pm
  • Rockets at Bulls- 8pm
  • Cavaliers at Timberwolves (Towns) 8pm
  • Pistons at Pelicans (Davis, Cousins, Rondo, Miller) 8pm
  • Spurs at Kings (Fox, Cauley-Stein, Labissiere) 10pm
  • Nuggets (Lyles, Murray) at Warriors- 10:30pm
  • Hawks at Clippers- 10:30pm

John Wall signs five-year endorsement deal with Adidas

Photo by Michael Huang

After a two-year hiatus from the shoe-endorsement world, John Wall has signed a five-year deal with Adidas.

The Vertical’s Shams Charania was the first to report the news.

Wall originally signed with Reebok out of Kentucky, where he had three signature shoes with the company, featuring the Zig Slash, Zig Encore, and Zig Escape. He then transitioned to Adidas, where he had two signature shoes, the J Wall 1 and J Wall 2.

After his contract with Adidas ran out, he held off on signing with anyone for two years, wearing both Nike and Adidas shoes on the court at various times.

Now, he’ll be going back to Adidas for his third signature shoe with the company.

No contract details have been released yet, but it is expected to be a lucrative deal in terms of dollar amount.

After signing a four-year, $170 million extension with the Wizards this summer, and now this endorsement deal, Wall will certainly be set for life.


DeAndre Liggins has been waived by the Milwaukee Bucks

After nearly three months with the organization, the Milwaukee Bucks have waived former Wildcat DeAndre Liggins.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, saying the Bucks released him last night to avoid guaranteeing his deal for the entire season.

ESPN reports that in games Liggins played 18 minutes or more, the Bucks were 10-1. His limited shooting ability, however, kept him from staying on as a long-term piece for the team.

Milwaukee was the sixth destination for Liggins in his NBA journey, where he has carved out a solid career on defensive intensity and leadership in the locker room. He also played for Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas, to go with several G-League organizations along the way.

Wojnarowski reports that though Liggins is no longer a Buck, he will be a hot commodity to be claimed off waivers or sign 10-day deals with contending organizations throughout the year.

He’s searching for a new home now, but he won’t be a free agent for long.

Best of luck to Liggins in finding the right fit at his next stop.


Eric Bledsoe spent yesterday afternoon inspiring local young adults in Milwaukee

While most NBA players relax or seek out local nightlife on days off, former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe spent his time off helping out in the community.

Yesterday afternoon, Bledsoe visited Messmer High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to inspire both the boys and girls high school basketball teams.

Bledsoe teamed up with MENTOR’s In Real Life, an organization dedicated to providing role models to young adults with no one to turn to in life. The former Wildcat spent his time at the school talking about the adversities he has overcome in life to reach his dreams and how those in attendance and their peers could stay on the right track to find success in life, as well.

According to MENTOR’s In Real Life, young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor are:

  • 55% more likely to enroll in college.
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly.
  • 90% are interested in becoming a mentor.
  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

With the help of Eric Bledsoe, those in the local Milwaukee community have a better chance at thriving.

Check out some of the pictures taken from his time at the school by Jeff Phelps of the Milwaukee Bucks:

.

Once again, nothing beats the BBN.

Keep making us proud, Eric!


Six Wildcats in first return of NBA All-Star Voting

NBA All-Star Weekend is right around the corner, and the Big Blue Nation is likely to be heavily represented in Los Angeles for it.

The first voting returns for the 2018 All-Star Game were released today, and six former Wildcats made the cut.

Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, John Wall, and Enes Kanter were on the list.

Here are the returns and how many votes each player received:

Go on Twitter and post #NBAVote with any former Wildcat to cast your votes.

You can also go here to vote for several different Cats at the same time.

11 days left to vote! Get the BBN to Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend!


James Young signing two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers

Jeannette Merten/for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, Oshkosh Northwestern

According to several news outlets, former Wildcat James Young has signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers this afternoon.

The former Wildcat is currently averaging 22.3 points per game and 37.1% from behind the arc in the G-League this season.

As a two-way player, Young is allowed to spend up to 45 days with the Sixers, although no time is guaranteed. The former Kentucky guard will spend the remaining time this season with the Delaware 87ers.

More importantly, Young was this close to rocking the epic SpongeBob uniforms we showed you guys earlier.

Congratulations to James Young on the big move. Here’s to hoping he can take the next step up in the league and reach his potential.

Go Cats.


De’Aaron Fox shows off shoe collection to GQ Magazine

De’Aaron Fox shows off shoe collection to GQ Magazine

Okay, sneakerheads, this one’s for you.

Like any young hooper, De’Aaron Fox loves his shoes; so much so that GQ Magazine came in and asked him to show off his collection. Fox’s shoe collection — which is so big it takes up its own room in his house — tells the story of his young career, from the Kobes he wore when he broke the NCAA Tournament freshman scoring record vs. UCLA to the custom breast cancer awareness slippers he wore to the NBA Draft. Too much shoe talk? Don’t worry; Fox also shares his “Mt. Swishmore” of NBA legends he would want to play against.

Ladies, feel free to use this clip as ammunition the next time your man complains about the number of shoes you own.


Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Update, Anthony Davis is still really good

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

In case anyone was wondering, Anthony Davis is still really good at the game of basketball. Just another normal night for Davis last night, as he finished with 29 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block. His efforts, along with the efforts of fellow former Cats, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Darius Miller, were enough to help the Pelicans to a 108-98 win over the Utah Jazz.

The Brow is having another monster season in New Orleans, despite sharing the load with Boogie Cousins. Davis is currently averaging 25.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. He ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks, despite playing alongside one of the other best big men in the game.

Here are some highlights from Davis’ game last night:

Numbers:

 

 

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis108-98 win over Jazz2911-26 (1-3)154312+1641
DeMarcus Cousins108-98 win over Jazz197-11 (2-4)111214+031
Rajon Rondo108-98 win over Jazz125-9 (2-5)33001-315
Darius Miller108-98 win over Jazz93-6 (3-5)10100+934
John Wall121-103 win over Knicks259-18 (1-3)39113+2734
Jodie Meeks121-103 win over Knicks00-2 (0-1)34000-712
Enes Kanter121-103 loss to Wizards125-8 (0-0)41002-2018
Karl-Anthony Towns98-97 loss to Nets168-16 (0-4)100000-340
Devin Booker134-111 loss to Nuggets174-13 (2-7)25002-2030
Tyler Ulis134-111 loss to Nuggets52-6 (1-1)12000-915
Jamal Murray134-111 win over Suns136-11 (1-6)02211+226
Trey Lyles134-111 win over Suns165-11 (2-5)111002+327
Julius Randle133-96 loss to Thunder93-6 (0-0)52103-821
Patrick Patterson133-96 win over Lakers72-4 (1-3)11001+015
Dakari Johnson133-96 win over Lakers63-4 (0-0)10000+115
Eric Bledsoe122-101 win over Pacers73-4 (1-2)15101+1528
DeAndre Liggins122-101 win over Pacers00-0 (0-0)33201+423
Alex Poythress122-101 loss to Bucks52-2 (1-1)00100+06
Bam Adebayo111-104 win over Pistons00-4 (0-0)31001-510

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets, 8pm ET on TNT
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (Patrick Patterson, Dakari Johnson) at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm ET on TNT

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Booker leads Suns in comeback win

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Booker hit three free throws with 12.3 seconds left to cap off the Suns 10-point comeback win. Booker led both teams with 34 points and 7 assists. In other BBNBA action, Skal had 17 points and 15 rebounds in the Kings loss against the Hornets. It is good to see Skal have what is one of his better games over his young career.

Complete Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Enes Kanter100-91 L vs. SA126-761001-817
Devin Booker104-103 W vs. Atl349-17 (2-3)57308+1042
Tyler Ulis104-103 W vs. Atl42-545203+324
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist131-111 W vs. Sac105-731000+1321
Malik Monk131-111 W vs. Sac31-3 (1-3)00000-25
De'Aaron Fox131-111 L vs. Cha175-12 (1-4)34103-1933
Skal Labissiere131-111 L vs. Cha177-14150002-1728
Willie Cauley-Stein131-111 L vs. Cha83-784012-1223
Andrew Harrison113-105 L vs. Lac73-7 (1-2)40001+520

Highlights

Fox to the house!


How did he steal this?!?!?


Yeah… Devin Booker is pretty good…


MKG

Today’s Games

  • Rockets at Magic- 7pm
  • Spurs at 76ers- 7pm
  • Knicks (Kanter) at Wizards (Wall and Meeks) 7pm
  • Timberwolves (Towns) at Nets- 7:30pm
  • Pistons at Heat (Adebayo) 7:30pm
  • Cavaliers at Celtics- 8pm (ESPN)
  • Raptors at Bulls- 8pm
  • Pacers (Poythress) at Bucks (Bledsoe and Liggins) 8pm
  • Warriors at Mavericks (Noel*) 8:30pm
  • Suns (Booker and Ulis) at Nuggets (Murray and Lyles) 9pm
  • Pelicans (Davis, Cousins, Rondo and Miller) at Jazz- 9pm
  • Thunder (Patterson and Johnson) at Lakers (Randle) 10:30pm (ESPN)

*Not Playing


Eric Bledsoe dribbles the ball agains the Toronto Raptors.
(Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Bledsoe goes for 29 in overtime loss

Eric Bledsoe dribbles the ball agains the Toronto Raptors.
(Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Recap

It was a quiet New Years Day for the NBA overall, but also for former Kentucky players. Only three Wildcats were on the court, but all three had solid games, especially Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe had an efficient 29 points, but his team couldn’t overcome DeMar DeRozan’s 52 points as the Milwaukee Bucks lost in overtime to a red-hot Toronto Raptors squad.

Julius Randle started his third straight game for the Los Angeles Lakers and faired well in his Christmas Day rematch against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Towns ultimately got the better of Randle in both the box score and final score, but both were excellent once again. Towns and the Wolves have won seven of their last eight games overall and are sitting pretty in the Western Conference’s fourth spot. Check out the full box score below.

Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)127-131 OT L @ TOR299-15 (5-7)73405-934
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)114-96 W vs. LAL167-13 (2-4)131214+1728
Julius Randle (LAL)96-114 L @ MIN15 6-10 (0-0)120114-1628
DeAndre Liggins (MIL)127-131 OT L @ TORDNP-CD----------------

Highlights

Tonight in the NBA

7:00 (NBATV): Trail Blazers @ Cavaliers

7:30: Spurs @ Knicks (Kanter)

9:00: Hawks @ Suns (Booker, Ulis)

10:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere)

10:30 (NBATV): Grizzlies (An. Harrison) @ Clippers

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is Willie Cauley-Stein as he leads his Sacramento Kings in a home game against the Charlotte Hornets. Cauley-Stein has had an outstanding third year as a pro, separating himself from the rest of his teammates as the alpha dog. Tonight he’ll go head-to-head with Dwight Howard and a team that is struggling overall. Charlotte, who was once a team with playoff hopes, could actually have a worse record than the Kings if they lose tonight. Cauley-Stein is averaging 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game over his last six while also shooting 57.3 percent from the field. Going up against a veteran such as Howard will be a challenge, but he’s played well against superior frontcourts practically all season long.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

BBNBA: 2017-18 mid-season awards

(Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

It’s not technically the mid-way point in the NBA season just yet (about 36ish games in), but what better way to kick off the new year than recognizing which former Wildcats got off to a great start in the 2017 season. I’ll be handing out awards for this event that will feature your typical NBA awards, such as the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and even a few surprise awards towards the end. Now before we start to trudge along, let’s start off with the important ones.

Most Valuable Player

There are two incredibly deserving players that have earned this award and two Kentucky fans could argue back-and-forth for hours over who deserves it more, and neither of them would be wrong. Because of that, the MVP award will be given to both individuals. The easiest way to describe them is the New Orleans Pelicans frontcourt.

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are two of the 15 best players in the NBA and still improving every game. The Pelicans are 18-18 on the season and that record would look a lot worse without them. Their individual stats alone prove their value, but their actual impact is invaluable.

Davis is averaging 25.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting the ball at clips of 56.3 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from the three-point line, and 80.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Boogie is averaging similar numbers at 26.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks. His shooting numbers are 47.9 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from deep, and 74.8 percent from the charity stripe.

These two accomplish things every game that some will spend their entire career trying to obtain.

Boogie is the only player in the NBA who has recorded at least 40 points and 20 rebounds in one game, and he’s done it twice. Boogie is also one of two centers this season who averages more than five assists per game, the other being Al Horford. No player has more 20 point, 10 rebound, five assist games this season than Boogie – his 14 games are more than the next three highest combined (Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, and Blake Griffin all have three such games each). He holds the Pelicans only triple-double of the season and he’s also recorded five steals in two games. His 27 double-doubles are second-most in the NBA (two behind Karl-Anthony Towns). He may weigh nearly 270 pounds but no one his size has ever been as versatile.

Davis is having just as insane a season as Cousins, but for different reasons. Davis has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 24 of the 31 games he’s played this season. His overall field goal percentage is good enough for eighth in the entire NBA. His 2.1 blocks are fourth highest in the NBA. He’s one of the very best isolation players across the league, ranking in the 94.2 percentile, but at the same time, he’s also an incredible off-ball player. Davis ranks in the 90.4 percentile on cuts and the 98.4 percentile on putback opportunities. Davis’ unnatural length gives him advantages that other players can only dream of one day having. He can bend around defenders, contorting his body in every direction, and still have enough strength to power through contact.

There are few big men in the NBA that can attack the paint with such proficiency while also being able to hit pull-up threes and dribble around quicker defenders. However, none are better at it than Cousins and Davis.

Most Improved Player

This was another close race, and the award ultimately came down to three players; Trey Lyles (DEN), Jamal Murray (DEN), and Darius Miller (NOP). All three are well-deserving and have shown unexpected improvement in a way that has benefitted their team.

Darius Miller is 11th in the NBA in three-point percentage, making 44.0 percent of his threes this season. After spending the last few years in Germany (winning multiple championships, I might add), he returned to the NBA for his second stint in New Orleans. This season, he appears to be a contributor his team can bring with them for future seasons. Miller has become a dependable shooter on a team whose most glaring weakness entering the season was their inability to shoot from deep. Not consistently, at least. Going into 2018, the Pelicans are currently sixth in the NBA in three-point percentage (38.1) and Miller’s 1.8 makes per game help them stay near the top.

After being traded from Utah to Denver in what will be known as the “Donovan Mitchell trade”, Trey Lyles was anything but the headliner. But after the Nuggets star player, Nikola Jokic, went out for a few weeks dealing with an injury, Lyles received an influx of minutes. In those minutes, he’s become one of the Nuggets most consistent scorers. Lyles has made 46.1 percent of his threes this season, fourth highest in the NBA. He’s perfect for small-ball lineups as he can shoot from anywhere on the court but has the quickness to beat his defenders and drive to the hoop. He was vitally important in Jokic’s absence and his production hasn’t taken much of a hit since Jokic came back.

While those two have been great individually and even better as a part of their team, Jamal Murray deserves this award. It’s difficult to give this award to only a second-year player, but Murray has earned it. He’s averaging 5.9 more points per game than last season and his shooting numbers are up across the board. It appears that Denver is dedicating their future backcourt to him and Gary Harris, and rightly so. Murray has scored 20 or more points in 14 games this season and 30 or more in four games. He’s the exact same instant offense player he was at Kentucky and it’s more than likely he scores six, seven, or eight points in a span of two minutes than almost any player in the league. His unlimited range has defenders on their toes and his improvement when attacking the rim has made him an even deadlier weapon.

Rookie of the Year

There were only three options that qualify for this award; Malik Monk (CHA), De’Aaron Fox (SAC), and Bam Adebayo (MIA), but I didn’t hesitate much with this one. Bam Adebayo has been the most consistent – and honestly the most impressive – of the three former teammates. 

Adebayo is averaging 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game while shooting 59.8 percent from the field. His first 20 games in the NBA were ones that saw limited court time, but obvious displays of talent. In the month of December, Adebayo played in every game, averaging over 24 minutes and even starting six games. He’s a ball-hawk on the boards and a freak athletically. He had a high-motor at Kentucky and the Miami Heat have pulled even more of that out from him. He’ll dive for loose balls, contest every shot, and make power moves in the post. The Heat saw in him exactly what Kentucky fans saw last season and he should be an integral part of their plans for the future.

Defensive Player of the Year

Another battle between the Pelicans frontcourt, this award came down to Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins yet again, but this one had more separation than MVP. Anthony Davis has been a defensive monster this season, somehow better than years past. He averages 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, but his impact goes beyond the stat sheet. Players attempt 15.3 shots per game where Davis is their primary defender, but they only convert on 41.1 percent of those shots. For comparison, Clint Capela and Myles Turner, two of the NBA best shot-blockers allow 50 and 47 percent respectively on nearly the same amount of shots. Davis alters shots more than any other player in the NBA. His pure presence alone drastically changes the shot selection of opposing players. Davis wants to defend every shot, and he will gladly make life hell for whoever dares shoot over him.

Veteran of the Year

The criteria for this award is any Kentucky player over the age of 28, which leaves us somewhat limited with Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Liggins, and Jodie Meeks. But Rondo has easily been the best of the three at age 31. He certainly has his flaws, but his uncanny ability to find the open teammate is something that comes along every 10 years or so. His 25 assist game on Dec. 27th was the highest of the season, his personal best, and the most in a game since Jason Kidd in 1996. He’s averaging 8.5 assists per game and has been playing some of his best basketball in nearly three seasons.

Player I want to see more from

This one isn’t an award, but more of an observation with hope for the future. There are over 25 former Kentucky players in the NBA and unfortunately, they can’t all have great seasons. One player sticks out in particular that I’d like to see finish the season strong after a not-so-hot start.

That player is Andrew Harrison from the Memphis Grizzlies. Harrison has never done anything to blow me away through his first season and a half in the pros, but the Grizzlies see something in him that they find worth keeping around. Starting point guard Mike Conley went down with an achilles injury over a month ago and has yet to return, so Harrison has received plenty of minutes. The Grizzlies are one of the worst teams in the league, so there isn’t pressure on Harrison to perform every single night, but he needs to find a strength that can separate him.

He’s an average shooter, average passer, average defender, average dribbler, and so on. He doesn’t have a defining quality that sticks out with him. Harrison has started 21 games this season and played in 31 but only one game of his has stood out. A 20-point, seven assist performance in a loss to the Washington Wizards showed that he can compete, but a plethora of sub-par games question that. There are far more five-point, three assist games for him than there are 10-point, six assist games. His 38.1 percent shooting and 30.9 percent from deep are dreadful numbers for a starting point guard.

“Luckily” for him, it’s unclear when exactly Conley will return, giving him even more opportunities to prove himself.

Player under the radar

There is one former Wildcat who is having a great season, but probably not receiving the attention he deserves. Willie Cauley-Stein has proven himself as the Sacramento Kings best player through the first half of the season. WCS is averaging 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 50.3 percent shooting from the field. He’s begun to develop a post game and is already one of the most devastating rim runners in basketball. He defends the paint well and can switch out to smaller and quicker players. He’s their most versatile player and it shows in his play. His confidence is blooming at 24 years old and he is still going to become so much better. His Kings are 12-24, third worst in the Western Conference, but he gives the organization a lot to look forward to.

And on that note, that will be the last award mid-way through the season. There’s a lot of exciting basketball being played in the NBA right now and Kentucky is a huge part of it. So make sure to check them out as much as possible in 2018.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan 


Pelicans forward Anthony Davis dunks after the contact by Knicks guard Ron Baker (Jonathan Bachman/AP)

BBNBA: Anthony Davis nearly ends Ron Baker’s entire existence

Pelicans forward Anthony Davis dunks after the contact by Knicks guard Ron Baker (Jonathan Bachman/AP)

Recap

Both Jamal Murray and Anthony Davis scored 31 points last night despite both of their team’s losing close games. DeMarcus Cousins also added another 29 points and 19 rebounds for the New Orleans Pelicans and Trey Lyles had another solid game with 16 points and eight rebounds. But what is making its rounds on the internet this morning is the life-ending dunk that Davis delivered to New York Knicks guard (and former Wichita State Shocker) Ron Baker. As you’ll see in the highlights below, Davis dunked all over Baker like he was a piece of tissue paper and flung him into the stands in the process. Baker would actually have to leave the game and the aftermath of the highlight makes Baker look like he just got in a bar fight. Check out the rest of the stats from Saturday night’s games below.

Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)127-131 OT L @ TOR299-15 (5-7)73405-934
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)114-96 W vs. LAL167-13 (2-4)131214+1728
Julius Randle (LAL)96-114 L @ MIN15 6-10 (0-0)120114-1628
DeAndre Liggins (MIL)127-131 OT L @ TORDNP-CD----------------

Highlights

Tonight in the NBA

3:30: Bulls @ Wizards (Wall, Meeks)

5:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Pacers (Poythress)

5:30: Nets @ Celtics

7:00: Lakers (Randle) @ Rockets

7:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Clippers

7:00: Mavericks (Noel) @ Thunder (Johnson, Patterson)

7:00: Grizzlies (An. Harrison) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Labissiere, Fox)

8:00: Sixers @ Suns (Booker, Ulis)

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is Julius Randle. If you’ve kept up with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, you would know that Randle’s situation has been one of the more confusing ones in the NBA. He’s clearly one of the Lakers best players, yet hardly sees the floor. It is becoming more and more clear that Randle not seeing the floor was purely a business decision and had nothing to do with his play. Before their most recent game against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers held a “team meeting” to try and sort things out. The very next game, Randle was inserted in the starting lineup for the first time this season and posted numbers of 18 points and seven rebounds on 8-16 shooting in 28 minutes. There was talk amongst the players in the locker room that some of them were being perceived as placeholders until the team attempt to sign high-profile free agents this coming summer. For now, however, the Lakers are doing Randle right. Randle expects to start again Sunday against the Houston Rockets and he’ll have an opportunity for success as Houston’s frontline is dealing with injuries.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


eff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Bledsoe and the Bucks vs Towns and the Timberwolves

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

While Thursday nights are not the busiest night for NBA action, we still had the chance to see a couple former Cats take the floor for their respective teams. In one of the games, Eric Bledsoe and the Milwaukee Bucks took on Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Bledsoe coming out on top.

Minnesota’s Jeff Teague, brother of former Kentucky guard and member of the 2012 National Championship team, Marquis Teague, is out indefinitely with a knee injury, allowing for Eric Bledsoe to take advantage of the back up, Tyus Jones. Bledsoe finished with 26 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals, while Towns had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Watch E-Bled go to work:

Numbers:

 

 

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe102-96 win over Timberwolves268-15 (2-4)36504+634
Karl-Anthony Towns102-96 loss to Bucks228-12 (4-8)54112+236
Enes Kanter119-107 loss to Spurs125-10 (0-0)61002-1117

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards (John Wall, Jodie Meeks), 7pm ET on NBATV
  • Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors, 7:30pm ET
  • Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo), 8pm ET
  • Indiana Pacers (Alex Poythress) at Chicago Bulls, 8pm ET
  • Dallas Mavericks (Nerlens Noel) at New Orleans Pelicans (Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Darius Miller), 8pm ET
  • Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Liggins) at Oklahoma City Thunder (Patrick Patterson, Dakari Johnson), 8pm ET
  • Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis) at Sacramento Kings (De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere), 10pm ET on NBATV
  • Charlotte Hornets (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk) at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm ET
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle), 10:30pm ET

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Rondo dishes out 25 assists

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Rajon Rondo had one of the best passing performances in the history of the NBA. While Rondo may have had only 2 points, he more than made up for it with a whopping 25 assists. The former Kentucky guard becomes the first player since Jason Kidd in 1996 to rack up that many assists in a single game, and he’s only the 7th player ever to do so. The 25 assist mark was a New Orleans Pelicans franchise record. Keep in mind, Rondo was just 5 assists shy of tying the single-game NBA record of 30, and Rondo only played 30 of the 48 minutes.

Helping Rondo along the way were three former Cats, Anthony Davis had 33, DeMarcus Cousins had 27, and Darius Miller had 8. Along with the two points from Rondo, former Kentucky players scored 70 of the Pelicans 128 points. Is that good? I think that is good.

Take a look at some of Rondo’s masterful passing.

Numbers:

 

 

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Rajon Rondo128-113 win over Nets21-5 (0-1)725103+2830
Anthony Davis128-113 win over Nets3311-19 (4-4)112161+3732
DeMarcus Cousins128-113 win over Nets2710-19 (2-6)145112+3932
Darius Miller128-113 win over Nets82-6 (1-3)00001-519
Jamal Murray128-125 loss to Timberwolves216-20 (2-9)78001-146
Trey Lyles128-125 loss to Timberwolves238-14 (4-8)100011+731
Karl-Anthony Towns128-125 win over Nuggets146-12 (2-3)136043+1130
Willie Cauley-Stein109-95 win over Cavaliers178-14 (0-0)94010+2836
John Wall113-99 loss to Hawks103-9 (0-2)111002-1634
Jodie Meeks113-99 loss to Hawks144-6 (1-1)21002-316
Andrew Harrison109-99 win over Lakers154-12 (0-4)12001+2328
Julius Randle109-99 loss to Grizzlies62-5 (0-0)30001-811
Enes Kanter92-87 loss to Bulls42-7 (0-1)111001-522
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist102-91 loss to Celtics135-9 (0-0)42011-425
Patrick Patterson124-107 win over Raptors00-3 (0-2)20010-617
Alex Poythress98-94 loss to Mavericks00-0 (0-0)10001-82

 

Highlights:

 

Schedule:

  • Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic, 7pm ET
  • Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics, 8pm ET on TNT
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl-Anthony Towns) at Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Liggins), 8pm ET
  • New York Knicks (Enes Kanter) at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30pm ET
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm ET

@BrettBibbinsKSR