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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: AD and KAT Battle it Out in Minnesota

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. How many times have two number one overall picks from the same school faced off against each other? Let’s talk NBA.

Your daily reminder to vote to send the BBNBA to the 2019 All-Star game.

RECAP

[20-23] Pelicans – 106 @ [21-22] Timberwolves – 110

  • Talk about some Cat on Cat crime. Not one, but TWO first overall draft selections from Kentucky went head-to-head as Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns put on a show.
  • Davis scored 30 points for the Pelicans, which led the BBNBA on Saturday, to go along with 14 rebounds on 10-22 shooting from the field. It was the 13th consecutive double-double for Davis.
  • Julius Randle also posted a double-double consisting of 22 points and 11 rebounds, his 22nd of the season. Darius Miller shot 2-5 from the field for four points.
  • For Minnesota, Towns was a monster on the glass, pulling down a career-high 27 rebounds to match his 27 points on 10-23 shooting. His 27 rebounds were also the most in a game by one player this season. Towns got the better of Davis and NOLA in the end, as the Minnesota star sealed the game for his team after blocking a three-point attempt by Davis that would have given the Pellies the lead late in the game.
  • ”It was a lot of Kentucky on Kentucky crime we had to go through,” Towns said.

  • ”I’m sure Cal uses this as a recruiting tool,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said, ”but you’re playing against great Kentucky players every night in this league so it’s not a big deal to those guys.”
  • *Shrugs shoulders*

[28-13] Nuggets – 93 @ [11-33] Suns – 102

  • The Denver Nuggets posses the best record in the NBA’s Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns are holders of the worst record in the West. So, naturally, the Suns dominated the Nuggets (without Devin Booker, I might add, who missed his third straight game with a back injury).
  • Jamal Murray shot a disgusting 4-17 from the field for only 12 points (although he did contribute nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals) and Trey Lyles was sidelined due to a wrist injury he sustained on Thursday. There is currently no timetable for Lyles return.
  • The Nuggets are still dealing with several injuries but came out flatter than a pancake against one of the bottom two teams in the entire NBA. The Suns took an early first quarter edge that they never relinquished. That lead was pushed to 18 at one point in the third quarter and stood strong at 15 halfway through the fourth quarter. This wasn’t a game that got out of Denver’s control towards the end, they never had the reigns in the first place.

[19-23] Hornets – 97 @ [22-21] Kings – 104

  • Willie Cauley-Stein posted his second straight double-double as he recorded 12 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in Sacramento’s win over the Charlotte Hornets. The young Kings only turned the ball over 11 times and – even though they allowed Kemba Walker to drop 31 points – were able to close the game out late.

  • De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the Kings.

  • For Charlotte, Malik Monk – playing against his former Kentucky backcourt teammate, Fox – registered 10 points while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 11 points in 25 minutes, the most he’s played in eight games.

Other notes

  • Bam Adebayo got the start at center for the Miami Heat as their starting big man Hassan Whiteside sat out with an illness. Which led to the Adebayo playing in 37 minutes, his highest total this season, and posting an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.
  • For the Oklahoma City Thunder, Patrick Patterson had one of his most efficient shooting nights of the year, making all three of his three-point attempts for a final tally of 13 points. The Thunder were able to avenge their double-overtime loss in San Antonio on Thursday night with a win at home against the same Spurs squad on Saturday.
  • Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis (NOP)106-110 L @ MIN3010-22 (2-5)142013+136
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)110-106 W vs. NOP2710-23 (3-8)273243+737
Julius Randle (NOP)106-110 L @ MIN227-13 (0-1)113002-1033
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)104-97 W vs. CHA216-15 (1-4)74312+130
Patrick Patterson (OKC)122-112 W vs. SAS135-7 (3-3)42001+422
Jamal Murray (DEN)93-102 L @ PHX124-17 (2-6)95304+333
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)104-97 W vs. CHA126-11 (0-0)124211-231
Bam Adebayo (MIA)112-108 W vs. MEM113-6 (0-0)102213+1837
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)97-104 L @ SAC115-10 (1-1)70031-425
Malik Monk (CHA)97-104 L @ SAC104-11 (2-6)01103-319
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)104-109 L vs. DET73-7 (0-1)14102+316
Darius Miller (NOP)106-110 L @ MIN42-5 (0-1)11012+119
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)122-112 W vs. SAS10-4 (0-1)20000-612
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)105-103 W vs. BOS00-1 (0-0)14000+2021
Skal Labissiere (SAC)104-97 W vs. CHADNP-CD----------------
Trey Lyles (DEN)93-102 L @ PHXDNP-Wrist----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)102-93 W vs. DENDNP-Back----------------
Nerlens Noel (OKC)122-112 W vs. SASDNP-Concussion----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)93-102 L @ PHXDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

1:00: 76ers @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox)

1:00: Raptors @ Wizards (Wall-out)

3:30: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Hawks (Poythress-out)

6:00: Rockets (Knight) @ Magic (Briscoe)

7:00: Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Mavericks

8:00: Trail Blazers @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out)

9:30 (NBATV): Cavaliers @ Lakers (Rondo-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


Devin Booker to donate 2.5 Million Dollars to Phoenix Children’s Charities

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Devin Booker was a fan favorite during his short time in Lexington and that has carried over to Phoenix where he is turning into one of the NBA’s best young stars.

Last night, Booker proved why he has a bright future after he pledged to donated $2.5 million over the next five years to children’s charities in the Phoenix area.

Booker says that he will develop what he will call “the Starting Five.” Every year, the board of directors will pick five charities to get $100,000 dollars for a total of half a million dollars per year.

Everything that I have ever heard about Booker as a person makes this not come as a surprise. His message on the topic on Twitter was even stronger though.

While Booker is on a struggling team in Phoenix, he is doing the right thing in trying to make the community around him better.

The Kentucky Basketball program made a similar message when they heard about the good deed by the former Cat.

Now the question is could this help sway Drew Franklin to making the pick of Phoenix as his NBA team? We will have to wait for a comment.


(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: KAT Scores 30, Kanter Eats Himself Sick

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Enes Kanter is trying to convince everyone that he ate seven fast-food cheeseburgers in one sitting. It’s time to investigate. Let’s talk NBA.

Don’t forget to vote once a day to send the BBNBA to the 2019 All-Star game.

RECAP

  • Enes Kanter sat out the New York Knicks game on Friday due to what was listed as an “illness” after he showed signs of flu-like symptoms. But some aren’t too convinced the explanation is that cut and dry. You see, Kanter posted a video on Wednesday of himself displaying a buffet of meat patties he claimes he intended to finish all by himself. It was his cheat day.

  • Kanter subsequently missed practice on Thursday because he was sick and then had to be ruled out altogether for the game on Friday. Were the mystery burgers too much for the 7-footer’s digestive tract? Some of those burgers had triple patties on them. I am quite literally the opposite of a 7-foot, 250-pound behemoth of a basketball player, but one of those bad boys would have had me comatose. Kanter’s head coach doesn’t believe he ate them all in the first place.
  • “Eat seven burgers? No way. His body would have rejected that,” Knicks head coach David Fizdale said. “No, I can’t see that. Enes, the guy walks around with his shirt off all day in the locker room. There’s no way he’s stuffing seven burgers down his face. I just don’t see it. I think people sometimes take the Gram [Instagram] too seriously.”
  • We need the proof, Mr. Kanter. Just because it’s your day to cheat on your diet, doesn’t mean you can cheat us out of the experience of watching a grown man eat an entire cow.
  • Kanter’s teammates made sure to have some fun at his expense, too.

In-game notes

  • Karl-Anthony Towns led the BBNA in scoring on Friday night after he poured in 30 points on 12-21 shooting for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Unfortunately, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled Towns’ big night – which was also Wolves interim head coach, Ryan Saunders, first home game since the firing of Tom Thibodeau. Towns exited the game in the first quarter after a brief ankle injury scare but did return.

  • Enes Kanter may have missed the Knicks matchup against the Indiana Pacers, but Kevin Knox didn’t. Knox scored 14 points on 5-10 shooting in 27 minutes in a loss.
  • Brandon Knight had his most productive game since returning from his ACL injury, scoring 12 points for the Houston Rockets to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Knight shot only 2-8 from the field but was 8-8 from the free throw line as the Rockets dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers from the opening tip.
  • Finally, we’ll end with Eric Bledsoe, who had a rough shooting night in the Milwaukee Bucks loss to the John Wall-less Washington Wizards. Bledsoe went 7-21 from the field, including 2-9 from deep, but made an impact elsewhere, recording eight rebounds, nine assists, and three steals.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)115-119 L vs. DAL3012-21 (1-3)112040+1430
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)106-113 L @ WAS187-21 (2-9)89301+527
Kevin Knox (NYK)106-121 L vs. IND145-10 (2-5)22003-1127
Brandon Knight (HOU)141-113 W vs. CLE122-8 (0-5)44003018
Malik Monk (CHA)96-127 L @ POR72-7 (1-4)14000-923
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)96-127 L @ POR52-4 (0-1)31000-1417
Alex Poythress (ATL)123-121 W @ PHIDNP-G League----------------
Enes Kanter (NYK)106-121 L vs. INDDNP-Illness----------------
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)146-109 W vs. CHIDNP-Achilles----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)95-113 L @ UTADNP-Finger----------------
John Wall (WAS)113-106 W vs. MILDNP-Heel----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

3:30: Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Pistons

5:00: Grizzlies @ Heat (Adebayo)

7:00: Celtics @ Magic (Briscoe)

8:00: Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle) @ Timberwolves (Towns)

8:00 (NBATV): Spurs @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel-out, Patterson)

9:00: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Suns (Booker-doubtful)

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

10:00: Bulls @ Jazz


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Twitter.com/Nuggets)

BBNBA: Murray Leads the Nuggets to Victory over the Clippers

(Photo via Twitter.com/Nuggets)

Good afternoon, folks. The former Wildcats are struggling in the All-Star ballot, it’s time to change that. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • The second return of fan votes was released on Thursday and the BBNBA is…. not doing as well as they should be. Here’s a look at the voting numbers through the first two weeks.

  • So, some personal thoughts: Shoutout to Devin Booker for just sneaking into the top 10 voting for Western Conference guards – over Chris Paul, too.
  • I’m not surprised John Wall didn’t make the list, especially with his heel injury. Although, I feel that even if he was fully healthy, Wizards fans would have a tough time convincing themselves to vote for him. His teammate, Bradley Beal, did snag the 10th spot among Eastern Conference guards, however.
  • DeMarcus Cousins still received over a quarter million votes despite not playing in an NBA game since January. But then again, Draymond Green – who is having one of his career-worst seasons – received damn near a half-million votes, so we’ll chalk that up to the power of Golden State’s insatiable fans.
  • Players such as Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, and Vince Carter may have a high total of fan votes, but the lack of media and player votes will surely cancel those out. Don’t worry, you won’t have to watch Rose limp around an All-Star game this season. Although Luka Doncic might be able to sneak his way in as a rookie.
  • Uhhhhh, where the hell is Karl-Anthony Towns???
  • Make sure to vote, people. All votes count for double today. VOTE HERE!

[24-17] Clippers – 100 @ [28-12] Nuggets – 121

  • The Denver Nuggets continue to wreak havoc on the Western Conference. After a win over another playoff contending opponent on Thursday night, the Nuggets move to 28-12 and 1.5 games ahead of Golden State for the best record in the West and the third-best record overall. Jamal Murray led both his Nuggets squad and the BBNBA in scoring with 23 points on 10-16 shooting (2-4 from deep) to go along with six rebounds.

  • Trey Lyles played 22 minutes against the Clippers – the most he’s played in nearly a month – but had a cold shooting night, going 3-11 from the field for seven points. The next several games are going to be an important stretch for Lyles. The man who effectively replaced Lyles in the rotation – Juan Hernangomez – has been dealing with an abdominal injury that could sideline him in the future. Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said of Hernangomez that “if it gets to a point we have to shut him down for a bit, we’ll do so.” If that is going to be the case, Lyles is going to have to step up.
  • For the Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cooled down after back-to-back impressive performances. SGA scored only three points on 1-4 shooting in addition to two rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes.

Other notes

  • In Miami, the Heat surprisingly dominated the Boston Celtics – who had won their previous four games and were playing some of their best overall basketball of the season. Bam Adebayo played 26 minutes (five more than starting Heat center Hassan Whiteside) and posted a stat line of eight points (3-5 shooting), seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks. He also may or may not have (but most definitely did) get swatted at the rim by 6-foot-4 Marcus Smart.

  • Live and learn, Bam.
  • In San Antonio, the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder battled through an intense double-overtime affair that resulted in a Spurs win, a new career-high for LaMarcus Aldridge (56), and another triple-double for Russell Westbrook. Nerlens Noel did not play as he has entered the NBA’s concussion protocol following his hard fall earlier in the week. The other two former Wildcats played minimal minutes for the Thunder. Hamidou Diallo and Patrick Patterson both played 11 minutes apiece and combined for only five points, three rebounds, and two assists.
  • Finally, in Sacramento, the Kings took on a Blake Griffin-less Detroit Pistons squad. The Pistons have been bad enough with a healthy Griffin (losers of 9 of their last 11 outings), so this game had the all the potential workings of a blowout. Despite only winning the game 112-102, it was a breeze of a victory for Sactown. The Kings never trailed and were up by 17 at both halftime and when the game entered the fourth quarter. De’Aaron Fox registered 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and a chase down block in what is now becoming known as a trademark move for him while Willie Cauley-Stein contributed 14 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. The Kings move back to .500 with the win to put them at 21-21.

  • Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Jamal Murray (DEN)121-100 W vs. LAC2310-16 (2-4)62004+1932
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)112-102 W vs. DET145-10 (0-0)145023+1725
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)112-102 W vs. DET125-8 (1-2)56112+1724
Bam Adebayo (MIA)115-99 W vs. BOS83-5 (0-0)75220+926
Trey Lyles (DEN)121-100 W vs. LAC73-11 (1-4)21010+1222
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)100-121 L @ DEN31-4 (1-2)21103-2120
Patrick Patterson (OKC)147-154 2OT L @ SAS31-3 (1-3)21000011
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)147-154 2OT L @ SAS21-1 (0-0)11000+911
Skal Labissiere (SAC)112-102 W vs. DETDNP-CD----------------
Nerlens Noel (OKC)147-154 2OT L @ SASDNP-Concussion----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)121-100 W vs. LACDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ 76ers

7:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Wizards (Wall-out)

7:30 (ESPN): Pacers @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox)

7:30: Nets @ Raptors

8:00: Cavaliers @ Rockets (Knight)

8:00: Mavericks @ Timberwolves (Towns)

10:00 (ESPN): Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Jazz

10:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Trail Blazers

10:30: Bulls @ Warriors (Cousins-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


NBA Cats need your help in All-Star Voting

(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA All-Star voting started a few weeks ago, and several former Cats could use your help.

Fans account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the All-Star Game, which takes place Sunday, February 17 in Charlotte. So far, only Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Devin Booker have finished in the top ten of the fan returns, which means you need to get to work. You can vote once a day until January 21. Here’s how:

  • NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: Fill out one full ballot per day (per day is defined as once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser.  Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.
  • NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.
  • Google: Vote on com or the Google Search App by searching “NBA Vote” and “NBA All-Star Vote” or simply by searching for your favorite player or team. Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day.
  • The Google Assistant: NBA All-Star Voting is available on the Google Assistant for the first time. Vote via any Google Assistant-enabled device by saying, “OK, Google, talk to NBA All-Star.”  Fans may submit votes for up to 10 unique players per   The Google Assistant is available on laptops, phones, speakers, tablets and other connected devices.

The latest returns:

Eastern Conference

Frontcourt

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), 2,670,8161 votes
2. Kawhi Leonard (TOR), 2,092,806 votes
3. Joel Embiid (PHI), 1,710,229 votes
4. Jayson Tatum (BOS), 599,289 votes
5. Jimmy Butler (PHI), 569,354 votes
6. Blake Griffin (DET), 500,072 votes
7. Vince Carter (ATL), 273,719 votes
8. Gordon Hayward (BOS), 237,813 votes
9. Pascal Siakam (TOR), 206,290 votes
10. Al Horford (BOS), 199,474 votes

Guards

1. Kyrie Irving (BOS), 2,381,901 votes
2. Dwyane Wade (MIA), 1,199,789 votes
3. Kemba Walker (CHA), 858,798 votes
4. Ben Simmons (PHI), 695,032 votes
5. Victor Oladipo (IND), 567,893 votes
6. Kyle Lowry (TOR), 488,825 votes
7. Zach LaVine (CHI), 330,504 votes
8. Jeremy Lin (ATL), 200,648 votes
9. Goran Dragi? (MIA), 191,541 votes
10. Bradley Beal (WAS), 168,137 votes

Western Conference

Frontcourt

1.  LeBron James (LAL), 2,779,812 votes
2. Luka Doncic (DAL), 2,220,077 votes
3. Paul George (OKC), 1,859,216 votes
4. Kevin Durant (GSW), 1,717,968 votes
5. Anthony Davis (NOP), 1,564,347 votes
6. Steven Adams (OKC), 1,034,014 votes
7. Nikola Jokic (DEN), 740,918 votes
8. Kyle Kuzma (LAL), 584,842 votes
9. Draymond Green (GSW), 411,131 votes
10. DeMarcus Cousins (GSW), 276,849 votes

Guards

1. Stephen Curry (GSW), 2,094,158 votes
2. Derrick Rose (MIN), 1,986,840 votes
3. James Harden (HOU), 1,674,660 votes
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC), 1,494,382 votes
5. Klay Thompson (GSW), 706,960 votes
6. Damian Lillard (POR), 610,839 votes
7. DeMar DeRozan (SAS), 594,012 votes
8. Lonzo Ball (LAL), 529,164 votes
9. Devin Booker (PHO), 310,944 votes
10. Chris Paul (HOU), 306,808 votes

Fan votes count double as much today, tomorrow, and January 21, so set some reminders.


Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Anthony Davis leads the Pelicans to win over the Cavaliers

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Recap:

  • It was a slow night for former Cats in the NBA last night, but the one bright spot was another dominant performance from Anthony Davis for the New Orleans Pelicans. While his big game may have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the worst teams in the league, this has become almost a nightly occurrence for Davis. The Brow finished with 38 points on 11 of 17 shooting, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, 2 steals, and went 15 of 16 from the charity stripe. Fellow Pelicans’ starters Julius Randle and Darius Miller both also gave solid contributions to the New Orleans victory. Randle had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and was 9 for 9 on his free throws, while Miller put up 8 points, 3 assists, and 2 boards.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks continued on their tear through the first half of the season. Last night, taking on one of the better teams from the Western Conference, the Bucks took care of business, disposing of the Houston Rockets 116 to 109. Eric Bledsoe played well for Milwaukee, with 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block, but he picked up a technical in a small scuffle after being called for a charge. On the other end, Brandon Knight played sparingly for the Rockets, scoring 3 points and grabbing a rebound in just seven minutes.

Stats:

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis140-124 win over Cavaliers3811-17 (1-1)137241+1237
Julius Randle140-124 win over Cavaliers174-8 (0-2)84022+1427
Darius Miller140-124 win over Cavaliers83-8 (2-7)23003+2836
Eric Bledsoe116-109 win over Rockets105-11 (0-3)45214+728
Brandon Knight116-109 loss to Bucks31-2 (1-2)10000-97
Isaiah Briscoe106-93 loss to Jazz21-4 (0-1)43001-818

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • Boston Celtics at Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo), 7pm ET on TNT
  • Los Angeles Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) at Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles) 9pm ET
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (Patrick Patterson, Nerlens Noel, Hamidou Diallo) at San Antonio Spurs, 9:30pm ET on TNT
  • Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings (De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere), 10pm ET

@BrettBibbinsKSR


BBNBA: Noel Diagnosed With Concussion, KD Praises Knox

© Alonzo Adams | USATSI

Good afternoon, folks. Nerlens Noel took a scary fall after receiving an inadvertent elbow from Andrew Wiggins that caused Noel’s head to crash onto the hardwood. Luckily, he was diagnosed with only a concussion. Let’s talk NBA.

Don’t forget to vote the BBNBA into the 2019 All-Star game. Voting ends Jan. 19.

RECAP

[27-12] Nuggets – 103 @ [19-20] Heat – 99

  • Behind Nikola Jokic’s fourth triple-double of the season and a game-winning shot with time running low in the fourth quarter, the Denver Nuggets were able to hold on to beat the Miami Heat Tuesday night. After pulling above .500 for the first time this season on Friday, the Heat have now lost two games in a row to drop to 19-20, however, they are still sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.
  • Jamal Murray registered 18 points, four rebounds, and six assists on 7-19 shooting for the Nuggets while also finding Jokic with a slick bounce pass that would ultimately lead to the shot that sealed the win. Trey Lyles took full advantage of his 15 minutes, scoring 15 points on 6-8 shooting (3-5 from three) and grabbing three rebounds.

  • For Miami, Bam Adebayo scored two key baskets with under two minutes left to tie the ball game for the Heat before Jokic hit the game-winner over his outstretched arms with only seconds remaining. Adebayo finished with 13 points and four rebounds on 6-7 shooting in 24 minutes.

[20-21] Timberwolves – 119 @ [25-15] Thunder – 117

  • Incredibly scary moment for Nerlens Noel in the third quarter of this game, as he was inadvertently elbowed by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins while Noel was going up for a block attempt at the rim. Noel – who was trying to block Wiggins’ shot – took a vicious elbow to the head before crashing down to the hardwood and smacking his head on the floor. Noel remained on the ground for several minutes and was noticably unconscious. He was carted off on a stretcher and soon moved to the Oklahoma University hospital, where he was held overnight. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Noel was diagnosed with a concussion as of Wednesday morning and avoided any type of bone fractures. Great news.

  • Amidst the tragedy, a game still had to be played, and it resulted in the Timberwolves pulling off one of their biggest wins of the season. In Minnesota’s first game with interim head coach Ryan Saunders at the helm and behind 40 points from Wiggins, the Wolves were able to pull out their first win of the post-Thibodeau era. Karl-Anthony Towns was dealing with first-half foul trouble but finished the game strong with some big shots down the stretch. Towns finished with 20 points and nine rebounds on 8-14 shooting to beat one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
  • For the Thunder, Noel still recorded six points and a rebound in five minutes before the injury. Hamidou Diallo added four points on 3-3 shooting and three rebounds while Patrick Patterson contributed five points and three rebounds.

[20-21] Kings – 111 @ [10-32] Suns – 115

  • Well, this sure was a horrendous loss for the Sacramento Kings. There really isn’t any other way to look at it. The Kings led by 21 at one point in the second-half before forgetting how to play basketball. Sacramento turned the ball over SEVENTEEN times in the second half and a season-high 26 for the entire game. De’Aaron Fox was especially guilty with seven of his career-high eight turnovers coming in the second half. And these were lazy turnovers, too. Picking up his dribble with a defender in his grill or just tossing a floating pass to a well-covered teammate, Fox didn’t seem too interested in the third quarter. This was all against a Devin Booker-less Phoenix Suns team as he sat out with back spasms. Fox still finished tied for the BBNBA lead in points with 24 on 7-12 shooting (3-4 from three) to go along with three rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

  • Despite Fox being one of the main reasons the Kings found themselves blowing a 21-point lead all in one quarter, he and Willie Cauley-Stein were the only ones trying to win them the game in the end. Fox was attacking the basket mercilessly for bucket after bucket while WCS made two impressive blocks and a steal on the defensive end while working perfectly with Fox in the pick-and-roll. Unfortunately, for the last two to three minutes, Fox and WCS appeared to be the only players who wanted to win the game for Sacramento. Cauley-Stein finished with a beautiful stat line of 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks.
  • ”It was just turnovers,” Fox said following the game. ”We gave up the ball too much and it’s what cost us the game. The times that we didn’t turn the ball over we got what we wanted, but when you 20-some turnovers, you can’t win like that.”
  • This was only the Suns’ second win this season without Booker in 11 attempts.

[10-31] Knicks – 95 @ [27-14] Warriors – 122

  • The game itself was a blowout and Kevin Knox had a poor shooting night (4-11 for 12 points), but it was the high praise that Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant spoke about Knox that had the media and fans analyzing every word.

  • KD to NY confirmed!
  • Guess who else is in the news for the Knicks? Go ahead, take a wild shot in the dark. That’s right, it’s Enes Kanter (Again!). ESPN has reported that the Knicks and Kings are in the early stages of trying to find a trade that involves both Kanter and Kings veteran reserve Zach Randolph.

  • Now while this potential trade makes exactly zero sense to me in any capacity at this point – especially from the Kings perspective – I’m going to let it develop a bit more first and see what else could be involved. Kanter has stated recently his unhappiness with the playing time he’s receiving in New York and Randolph hasn’t even played in a game this season despite leading the Kings in scoring last year. Randolph isn’t hurt, rather playing the locker room role while Sacramento prefers developing the young talent instead of playing a 37-year old Randolph. Kanter recorded 12 points and 16 rebounds in 25 minutes during the Knicks blowout loss.
  • But wait! There’s more! It was reported yesterday by the NY Times that DeMarcus Cousins could make his team debut on Jan. 18. It’s happening!

[19-21] Hornets – 109 @ [24-16] Clippers – 128

  • In the nightcap game on the west coast, the Los Angeles Clippers dominated the Charlotte Hornets in the second half to win an easy game at home. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has now played two solid games in a row after a rough stretch to end the month of December. SGA went 3-6 from the field for six points, three rebounds, two assists, three steals, and four blocks.
  • For Charlotte, Malik Monk was tied with De’Aaron Fox for the most points amongst the BBNBA with 24 on 7-14 shooting and 4-7 from three. 19 of Monk’s 24 points came in the fourth quarter, but it was never enough to challenge the Clippers hefty lead. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with eight points in 19 minutes.

  • Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)111-115 L @ PHX247-12 (3-4)35318-531
Malik Monk (CHA)109-128 L @ LAC247-14 (4-7)10001-920
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)119-117 W @ OKC208-14 (2-5)91002+424
Jamal Murray (DEN)103-99 W @ MIA187-19 (1-4)46011+431
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)111-115 L @ PHX156-11 (0-0)73330-531
Trey Lyles (DEN)103-99 W @ MIA156-8 (3-5)30001-815
Bam Adebayo (MIA)99-103 L vs. DEN136-7 (0-0)41100+424
Enes Kanter (NYK)95-122 L @ GSW126-12 (0-0)162103+225
Kevin Knox (NYK)95-122 L @ GSW124-11 (0-4)20003-2431
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)128-109 W vs. CHA83-6 (0-0)32342-921
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)109-128 L @ LAC82-5 (1-1)10100-919
Nerlens Noel (OKC)117-119 L vs. MIN63-4 (0-0)10000-25
Patrick Patterson (OKC)117-119 L vs. MIN51-2 (1-2)30000-814
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)117-119 L vs. MIN42-2 (0-0)30000-610
Skal Labissiere (SAC)111-115 L @ PHXDNP-CD----------------
Alex Poythress (ATL)101-104 L @ TORDNP-G League----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)115-111 W vs. SACDNP-Back Spasms ----------------
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)122-95 W vs. NYKDNP-Achilles----------------
John Wall (WAS)115-132 L @ PHIDNP-Heel----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)103-99 W @ MIADNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Pacers @ Celtics

7:00: 76ers @ Wizards (Wall-out)

7:30: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Nets

8:00 (ESPN): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Rockets (Knight)

8:00: Spurs @ Grizzlies

8:00: Cavaliers @ Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle)

8:30: Suns (Booker-questionable) @ Mavericks

9:00: Magic (Brisoce) @ Jazz

10:00: Bulls @ Trail Blazers

10:30 (ESPN): Pistons @ Lakers (Rondo-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


DeMarcus Cousins Expected to Make Warriors Debut During Upcoming Road Trip

@NBCSWarriors

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make his team debut and his first NBA appearance since tearing his Achilles back in January during an upcoming road trip, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

As Stein notes, Cousins could return as soon as next Friday as the Warriors will kick off a five-game road trip.

The former Kentucky big had begun practicing in December and has competed in team scrimmages as of late.

Cousins tore his Achilles as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans during a matchup with the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26 and then signed a one-year deal with Golden State in the summer while rehabbing.

He averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists 47 percent shooting in 48 total games last season and recorded three triple-doubles, as well.


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Davis Scores 36, Harden Drops Murray

(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Anthony Davis may be close to seven-feet tall, but that doesn’t prevent him from embarrassing unsuspecting victims with vicious dribble moves. Let’s talk NBA.

Make sure to vote to send Davis to the NBA All-Star game.

RECAP

[18-22] Grizzlies – 95 @ [19-22] Pelicans – 114

  • Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans won their second straight game for the first time since the middle of November after taking down the Memphis Grizzlies 114-95 at home. Davis led the BBNBA in scoring, going off for 36 points on an impressive 14-20 shooting from the field including 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocks in 35 minutes. It was Davis’ 28th double-double of the season.
  • His stat line wasn’t even the most impressive aspect of his Monday night. Davis whipped out a nasty “Shammgod” move on Memphis’ JaMychal Green late in the first quarter that sent the entire crowd into a frenzy.

  • Following the game, Davis had this to say about his brilliance: ”I’ve got a lot of stuff in my bag. I just don’t pull it out often.”
  • That might be the scariest thing I’ve heard all season. Please, AD, for all that is holy, pull it out as often as possible.
  • Julius Randle contributed 15 points and nine rebounds on 5-9 shooting while Darius Miller went for seven points on 2-6 shooting.
  • It’s only two wins a row and those have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers and now the Grizz, but the return of Elfrid Payton to the lineup following a long injury absence may be the spark this team needed to start stringing together some runs.

[17-23] Magic – 95 @ [20-20] Kings – 111

  • The Sacramento Kings put an end to their four-game losing streak on Monday with a rare blowout win over a struggling Orlando Magic squad. After being pitted against four straight Western Conference playoff teams (Lakers, Trail Blazers, Nuggets, and Warriors), it was a sigh of relief for the Kings to see a weak team from the East coming to town. They didn’t mess around either.
  • The Kings won this game handily behind 20 points and five steals from De’aaron Fox, who shot 9-14 from the field and dunked on Nikola Vucevic so hard the refs felt obligated to give the former Kentucky guard a technical.

  • Yikes…
  • “Don’t jump” – De’Aaron Fox, Jan. 7, 2019.
  • As for the other two Kings in Sacramento, Willie Cauley-Stein posted an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double on 5-11 shooting and Skal Labissiere even found some minutes late in the blowout, adding two points in five minutes.
  • For the Orlando Magic, Isaiah Briscoe played his second-most minutes of the season, adding nine points and four assists on 3-8 shooting in 17 minutes.

[26-12] Nuggets – 113 @ [23-16] Rockets – 125

  • Jamal Murray got crossed into another dimension by the reigning MVP James Harden. And when I say Harden crossed him over, I mean he used his mind-control powers to remove the ankles of Murray like bones sliding out of a perfectly cooked rack of ribs.

  • Let the memes begin..
  • Murray still finished with 13 points and four assists on 5-13 shooting but insult was added to injury as his Nuggets team couldn’t overcome Harden’s 32 points.
  • Trey Lyles added four points and four rebounds for Denver while Brandon Knight was 0-2 from the field in six minutes for Houston.

Other notes

  • Enes Kanter has recently been in the news in regards to his travel situation as the New York Knicks will head to London on Jan. 17 to take on the Washington Wizards. Kanter has stated his fear for traveling and that his life could potentially be in danger if he were to decide to leave the United States. Kanter – a Turkish native – has openly expressed his hate for Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and recently described him as a “lunatic” and a “dictator”. This article here does a great job of explaining Kanter’s current situation and the Twitter “beef” that was born on Monday between himself and former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu – who is also a Turkish native and a current advisor to Erdogan. It’s a crazy, crazy situation all around. Despite the controversy, Kanter recorded his third straight double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds against the Portland Trail Blazers. His teammate, Kevin Knox was 1-6 from the field for eight points.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis (NOP)114-95 W vs. MEM3614-20 (0-1)133232+2435
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)111-95 W vs. ORL209-14 (0-4)32501+722
Enes Kanter (NYK)101-111 L @ POR188-12 (0-0)142003+729
Julius Randle (NOP)114-95 W vs. MEM155-9 (0-1)92004033
Jamal Murray (DEN)113-125 L @ HOU135-13 (0-3)24003-2429
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)111-95 W vs. ORL115-11 (0-0)112002+1017
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)95-111 L @ SAC93-8 (2-4)14201+617
Kevin Knox (NYK)101-111 L @ POR81-6 (1-2)31101-821
Darius Miller (NOP)114-95 W vs. MEM72-6 (1-4)12110+2730
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)114-102 W vs. UTA63-11 (0-4)46306+528
Trey Lyles (DEN)113-125 L @ HOU42-5 (0-2)22000+817
Skal Labissiere (SAC)111-95 W vs. ORL21-1 (0-0)10000-35
Brandon Knight (HOU)125-113 W vs. DEN00-2 (0-2)00000-66
Andrew Harrison (NOP)114-95 W vs. MEMDNP-CD----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)107-97 W @ DALDNP-Finger----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)113-125 L @ HOUDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Pacers @ Cavaliers

7:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ 76ers

7:30: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Heat (Adebayo)

7:30: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Raptors

8:00 (NBATV): Timberwolves (Towns) @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson)

9:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Suns (Booker)

10:30 (NBATV): Knicks (Kanter, Knox) @ Warriors (Cousins-out)

10:30: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Tim Warner/Getty Images North America)

BBNBA: Wolves Fire Head Coach Following 22-Point Win

(Photo via Tim Warner/Getty Images North America)

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the Minnesota Timberwolves…. Welcome back. We’ve all missed your dysfunction. Let’s talk NBA.

Make sure to vote to send KAT to the All-Star game. 

RECAP

  • Karl-Anthony Towns led the BBNBA in scoring on Sunday night, pouring in 28 points on 11-20 shooting to go along with 18 rebounds and four blocks. Towns’ efforts were enough to easily work the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers by a 22-point margin. Minnesota players were heard discussing a trip to Top Golf following the win. Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau was even cracking a smile and laughing with the media. It was one of the Wolves most impressive wins of the season and it came with two of their key players still sidelined with various injuries. About an hour after the Wolves pulled off the win and with everyone going about their regular business, Thibodeau was fired by the front office. The timing might seem inappropriate, but this had been a longgggg time coming. This should have been done months ago, honestly. The fact that the Wolves waited until *now* to finally pull the trigger is more telling about how this organization works than anything (is “works” the right word?). You’d think after the whole Jumiiy Butler fiasco they’d try to avoid mid-season controversy, especially since the team boasts a winning record since the Butler trade – although they’ve slipped a bit over the last couple of weeks, mostly due to several injuries to starters/vital role players. The Wolves will insert 32-year old Ryan Saunders – son of the late Flip Saunders who coached the Timberwolves into relevancy during the late 90’s, early 2000’s – as the interim coach and he is fully expected to compete for the full-time position. Glad to have you back, Minny.

[16-24] Wizards – 116 @ [25-14] Thunder – 98

  • Uh-oh. The Washington Wizards beat a good team without John Wall. SOMEONE PREPARE THE HOT TAKE CANNON!
  • The Wizards are 3-2 since Wall’s injury and the win over OKC was easily their most impressive of the three (the other two wins came against Hornets and Hawks while their two losses were courtesy of the Heat and Bulls….). Now, before someone claims that the Wizards don’t need Wall because they beat a Thunder team that has now lost seven games this season to teams currently out of the playoffs, let’s consider that neither Russell Westbrook or Paul George shot over 50 percent from the field and that Dennis Schroeder was a minus-32 in under 17 minutes (how is that even possible?). The Wizards are still awful, that is one of the few things in this world I can state with certainty. With their next four games coming against the 76ers (twice), Bucks, and Raptors, we’ll all understand why.
  • But about the game…. Patrick Patterson and Nerlens Noel both added two points a piece on a combined 2-8 shooting for OKC while Hamidou Diallo played in only four minutes and did not register a point.

[19-20] Hornets – 119 @ [9-32] Suns – 113

  • Devin Booker did not reach 20 points in this game for the first time since he returned from his hamstring injury. Unfortunately, the reason he couldn’t hit that mark was that of a nagging back injury, which forced him to exit early after playing only 12 minutes. His availability for the Suns game on Tuesday against the Kings is still questionable. Booker scored seven points and added three assists before heading to the locker room.
  • For the Hornets, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist was 3-5 from the field for seven points, two rebounds, and two steals in 15 minutes while Malik Monk shot 2-8 from the field for only five points and three rebounds.

Other notes

  • Isaiah Briscoe played only one minute in a loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, but still managed six points, a rebound, and an assist.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had his best outing in weeks, scoring 13 points on an efficient 6-7 shooting in addition to two rebounds and two assists. I wrote on Sunday about how he’s hit the “rookie wall”. Give it a read if you’d like.
  • For the Miami Heat – who lost by 24 points to a horrendous Atlanta Hawks team for reasons I cannot properly comprehend – Bam Adebayo outplayed fellow teammate, Hassan Whiteside, scoring 12 points on 5-9 shooting while contributing six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks in 26 minutes.
  • Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)108-86 W vs. LAL2811-20 (1-4)183243+2635
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)106-96 W vs. ORL136-7 (1-1)22101+123
Bam Adebayo (MIA)82-106 L @ ATL125-9 (0-0)62221+126
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)119-113 W @ PHX73-5 (0-1)20203+415
Devin Booker (PHX)113-119 L vs. CHA73-7 (1-2)03002+312
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)96-106 L @ LAC61-1 (1-1)11000+51
Malik Monk (CHA)119-113 W @ PHX52-8 (1-4)31000+216
Patrick Patterson (OKC)98-106 L vs. WAS21-4 (0-3)40010-1215
Nerlens Noel (OKC)98-106 L vs. WAS21-4 (0-0)40010-2616
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)98-106 L vs. WAS00-1 (0-0)01000-34
Alex Poythress (ATL)106-82 W vs. ATLDNP- G League----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)86-108 L @ MINDNP-Finger----------------
John Wall (WAS)116-98 W @ OKCDNP-Heel----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Spurs @ Pistons

7:30: Nets @ Celtics

8:00: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Rockets (Knight)

8:00: Jazz @ Bucks (Bledsoe)

8:00: Grizzlies @ Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle)

8:30: Mavericks @ Lakers (Rondo-out)

10:00: Knicks (Kanter, Knox) @ Trail Blazers

10:00: Magic (Briscoe) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Getty Images)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Has Hit the ‘Rookie Wall’

(Photo via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has cooled as of late after an impressive start to his promising NBA career. His numbers have slipped and – despite still being the starting point guard – his minutes have taken a hit over the last few weeks.

He’s running into what is known as the “rookie wall”, where first-year players with star potential run into a rough patch during the middle of the season. Similar to the “sophomore slump”, which plagues second-year players after promising rookie seasons.

In an article posted by the L.A. Times, Gilgeous-Alexander talks about life as a rookie and his recent struggles.

“I’ve obviously had a little bit of success, but I’ve also had moments like this in my career,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I know how to get through them and I know I will.”

SGA is averaging 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists through his first 38 NBA games, starting the previous 29. He averaged 27 minutes per game through his first 17 games a starter but has seen that number cut down to 24.3 over the previous 12, including seven games where he didn’t even top 22 minutes.

Over his last four games, SGA has failed to eclipse double-digits in points – although he did post a nine assist game against the Suns on Friday. His body language is evident that his confidence has slipped. Being named a starter 10 games into your NBA career on a team with serious playoff potential can be daunting, but it’s nothing he hasn’t dealt with before.

We’ve seen Gilgeous-Alexander struggle at Kentucky. He had to learn his way into the starting position over Quade Green but did so at an impressive rate. He’s already played more games as a Clipper than he did in his entire Kentucky career and 2019 isn’t even a week old. He’s not used to this level of grind just yet. But if his one season at Kentucky taught us anything, it’s that he’ll adapt. He has an innate ability to absorb basketball information combined with the body and talent to put it all into action.

Gilgeous-Alexander is actually shooting the ball with a higher efficiency over the last 10 or so games than he had to start the season, but at a lower volume. When I watch him play, he does a great job of creating looks for himself in the short mid-range area but will hesitate on threes or open lanes to the basket. This hesitation happens to most rookies, and not even a player with insanely high basketball IQ such as Gilgeous-Alexander is immune.

The author of the L.A. Times article notes how Gilgeous-Alexander has posted a minus-6.8 net rating over his previous 12 games (and these are in minutes where he plays mostly with the starting unit or Lou Williams) and has seen his rebounding numbers cut almost in half. Fatigue is definitely an issue as he moves into one of the duller months of NBA basketball – just watch him play defense and it’s almost immediately noticeable. This is typically the time where veteran players will be more likely to go through the motions and fan interest wanes a bit until All-Star weekend kicks off in mid-February. For Gilgeous-Alexander, he can’t let the repetitiveness of an 82-game, grind it out season affect his composure.

He’s dealt with the pressure of being a prominent player on a good team before, I’m not worried about him overcoming that adversity. Honestly, we shouldn’t have any reason at all to be worried about SGA. The term “rookie wall” is so commonly used because it happens so often to even the best rookies, ones that go on to have All-Star career paths. Good players always find a way to break out of a slump. Klay Thompson is doing it right now for Golden State after his early-season shooting struggles. Russell Westbrook is having one of the worst shooting seasons of his infamous career but is still averaging a triple-double for the third straight year. Those are more extreme examples, but Gilgeous-Alexander is way too smart and way too good to let a two or three-week rough stretch ruin the following 10.

The Clippers are still 22-16 and fourth in the hilariously competitive Western Conference despite going 5-7 over their last 12. Their next two games are against the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets – two teams with subpar defensive backcourts.

Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t going to see a drastic reduction in his role. Doc Rivers, the Clippers head coach, is a bigger SGA stan than I am. The Clippers are more than comfortable letting him work through his mid-season struggle. They also don’t really have someone who can reliably come in and run the game. Milos Teodosic doesn’t even want to play in the NBA anymore and Patrick Beverley isn’t the kind of game manager that Gilgeous-Alexander is. Beverley is perfectly suited as the off-the-bench intimidating defender. Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t going anywhere.

*All stats are accurate as of Jan. 5*


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan