Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Anthony Davis continues to dominate

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Recap:

  • If the New Orleans Pelicans are going to make a push in the Western Conference, it is going to be behind huge performances from Anthony Davis, like the one he had last night. Davis finished with 44 points and 18 rebounds in the Pelicans win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Brow has now scored 36 or more points three separate times in December alone, including scoring over 40 twice. Davis now sits at 28.1 points per game, ranking fourth in the NBA, 12.4 rebounds per game which is 6th in the NBA, and 2.8 blocks per game, coming in at third in the NBA. If he keeps up this level of play, Anthony Davis is looking to be near the top of MVP voting come season end.
  • On the flip side, in the Eastern Conference, John Wall and Washington Wizards continued to struggle. They managed to take the mighty Celtics to overtime, but fell short in the extra period. Wall did about as much as he could to try for the victory, but his 34 points, 13 assists, and 6 boards were not enough to get the Wizards back on track.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns went up against fellow former Cats De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein last night as the Kings outlasted the Timberwolves in a high scoring affair. Towns finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Fox had 13 points and 8 assists and Cauley-Stein had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Sacramento wins 141 to 130 over Minnesota.
  • With Kristaps Porzingis out through this first half of the year rehabbing his ACL injury, the New York Knicks appear to be headed back to the tank in hopes for a top-5 pick in the draft. However, the lack of Porzingis in the lineup has opened up time for both Enes Kanter and Kevin Knox to put up better numbers. Last night, in a loss to the Cavaliers, Knox scored 19 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, while Kanter had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Stats:

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis118-114 win over Thunder4416-32 (1-3)182213+740
Julius Randle118-114 win over Thunder229-16 (0-2)123013+1532
Darius Miller118-114 win over Thunder104-6 (1-2)22302+124
Andrew Harrison118-114 win over Thunder00-0 (0-0)01000-97
Nerlens Noel118-114 loss to Pelicans41-3 (0-0)32011-211
Patrick Patterson118-114 loss to Pelicans31-4 (0-3)30200-618
Hamidou Diallo118-114 loss to Pelicans00-2 (0-1)00000-65
John Wall130-125 loss to Celtics3414-26 (1-5)613215-241
De'Aaron Fox141-130 win over Timberwolves135-9 (1-2)28104-332
Willie Cauley-Stein141-130 win over Timerwolves145-9 (0-0)83121+230
Karl-Anthony Towns141-130 loss to Kings198-15 (2-5)114032-135
Enes Kanter113-106 loss to Cavaliers208-12 (1-1)103001+1033
Kevin Knox113-106 loss to Cavaliers197-15 (3-6)71021-1533
Eric Bledsoe113-97 loss to Pacers2611-15 (2-5)16212-833
Malik Monk108-107 win over Pistons71-3 (0-1)10013-811
Bam Adebayo111-84 loss to Jazz31-5 (0-0)53121-1427

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • Los Angeles Lakers (Rajon Rondo) at Houston Rockets (Brandon Knight), 8pm ET
  • Los Angeles Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30pm ET
  • Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic (Isaiah Briscoe), 9:30pm ET
  • Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker), 10:30pm ET on TNT

@BrettBibbinsKSR


(Photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

BBNBA: Some Quick Thoughts on a Slow Night in the BBNBA

(Photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

Good afternoon, folks. It was a very, very slow night for the BBNBA, which means it’s time for another installment of me spurting out basketball nonsense. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • Just to give a quick recap of Tuesday night, Brandon Knight (HOU) and Devin Booker (PHX) both sat out. Knight continues to rehab his ACL injury and expects to return to the court sometime next week. Booker has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury, but has started practicing with the team and should return soon, as well.
  • The one former Wildcat that did play was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA scored seven points for Los Angeles to go along with two rebounds and two assists, but his Clippers were ripped apart by the East-leading Toronto Raptors – who were also without superstar Kawhi Leonard.
  • So, on to a few topics of discussion that I’ve been meaning to talk more about.

Where is Skal Labissiere?

  • I’m not entirely sure even he knows where he is. If you haven’t heard me reference Labissiere’s name much this season it’s because I haven’t. He’s been relegated to the very last seat on the Sacramento Kings bench – maybe even into the second row of the crowd. Labissiere has made a total of seven appearances for the Kings this year, averaging a mere 5.7 minutes in those games – most of which have been at the end of blowouts. He’s recorded a total of 17 points and nine rebounds in 40 minutes this season. Spoiler alert: that is not good. I feared at the beginning of the season that the Kings loaded frontcourt could pose to be an issue for one of Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Harry Giles, or rookie Marvin Bagley III. There was obviously never going to be enough minutes for all four of them and Labissiere has been the odd man out to begin the season. The Kings even reassigned forward Zach Randolph’s role from the team’s leading scorer last season to a strictly locker room/mentoring type presence. Randolph hasn’t even appeared in one game this season yet Labissiere still finds himself on the pine. As we know, WCS has had a breakout season, clearly separating himself as the top big man Sacramento employs with Bagley following him and Giles soaking up the remaining minutes. If you remember correctly, this is the same Harry Giles who is essentially playing on two chopsticks instead of actual bones. Giles has had, like, 45 knee surgeries since he was a sophomore in high school, but still plays more minutes than Labissiere. The former Kentucky forward is still only 22 and in his third NBA season, but it might be time to put him in a different situation. Labissiere will be a restricted free agent this summer and I wouldn’t expect the Kings to offer him much of anything. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them decline his qualifying offer altogether and allow him to be an unrestricted free agent. At this point, that may be his only hope of finding some playing time. That or a trade, which hypothetically could happen before the deadline in February.

How good is Kevin Knox?

  • I’m not sure just yet, but I will say he’s had spurts that show he’s capable of being a legitimate NBA player. The early season ankle injury threw off his development a little bit, but he’s hit double figures in 10 of his 21 games played, including two different 26-point outbursts. Not shockingly, Knox hasn’t been ultra-efficient shooting the ball, as with most rookies. In his 26 point games, he shot 9-20 in the first one (acceptable) and 10-25 in the second one (gross). But what frustrates me the most is the games that follow where he shoots 3-11 or 4-12. He’s only knocking down 35 percent of all his field goals this season. His 41.8 effective field goal percentage ranks him in the 6th percentile among all NBA forwards. To put it plainly, he’s not very good right now, but that’s okay. The Knicks are bad. Terrible, actually. Knox is being given free rein to play loosely and his head coach is encouraging his aggressive play. It’s going to be a process for Knox. I’d also like to note that Knox has a relatively high usage rate (20.9 percent) coupled with a low turnover rate (8.8 percent), so it’s not like he’s playing out of control, he’s just still learning how to find his shot. It’s going to take the entire season for him to feel comfortable getting to his spots. Although, first he needs to find his spots. Once he can be confident doing that and begins to understand how to let the game come to him, that shooting percentage should spike a bit. I wouldn’t put too much stock into Knox’s rookie stats, he’s going to be all eye-test and potential the rest of the season.

A brand new KAT

  • Before the Jimmy Butler trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 4-9 and Karl-Anthony Towns was playing like a pissed off sack of insecurity. Since Butler was shipped off to Philly, the Wolves have gone 9-5 and KAT is back to looking like the transcendent offensive flamethrower that we know and love. Here’s a little before and after of Towns’ stats pre- and post-trade.
  • Pre-Butler trade (13 games): 19.9 PPG/10.8 RPG/2.1 APG/2.1 BPG/45.9 FG%/40.6 3PT/91.7 FT%
  • Post-Butler trade (14 games): 23.1 PPG/12.8 RPG/2.6 APG/1.3 BPG/52.6 FG%/40.0 3PT/80.8 FT%
  • With the departure of Butler, Towns became energized and reengaged. He’s taking more shots and making them at a considerably higher clip, especially working within the paint. At the beginning of the season, you’d often catch Towns settling for threes without hesitation, now, he’s abusing the block and demanding the ball in the post more than he ever was just a few weeks ago. Towns is averaging 6.4 paint touches per game since the Butler trade and he’s converting on 71 percent of shot attempts in that area. Before the Butler trade, Towns was only averaging 5.2 paint touches per game while shooting a measly 52 percent on those shots. Watching Towns now is night-and-day compared to when the season began. It’s also helped that the two players brought over in the trade – Dario Saric and Robert Covington – have meshed with the team seamlessly. The frontcourt duo of Saric/Towns has been an optimistic pairing so far and Covington has filled the defensive void left by Butler quite nicely. Before the Butler trade, the Wolves ranked 17th in offensive rating 28th in defensive rating. Since the trade, they’ve ranked 16th in offensive rating and 6th in defensive rating. I’m still not exactly sure if this is a team that can sneak into the playoffs when considering the other 13 Western Conference teams that surround them with playoff aspirations, but there is no denying at this point the Butler move was anything but necessary. KAT is back and the Wolves are fun again.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)99-123 L vs. TOR73-6 (1-2)22102-2921
Devin Booker (PHX)86-111 L @ SASDNP-Hamstring----------------
Brandon Knight (HOU)111-104 W vs. PORDNP-Knee----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

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

7:00: Knicks (Kanter, Knox) @ Cavaliers

7:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Pacers

7:00: Nets @ 76ers

7:00: Celtics @ Wizards (Wall)

8:00: Trail Blazers @ Grizzlies

8:00 (ESPN): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle)

8:30: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Mavericks

9:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Jazz

10:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere)

10:30 (ESPN): Raptors @ Warriors (Cousins-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Boogie Nearing Return, Fox Takes Down Bulls

(Photo via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. DeMarcus Cousins is practicing again right as the Warriors are returning to full health. Buckle up. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • DeMarcus Cousins is inching closer and closer towards his return. He recently returned to practice and has been working with the Golden State Warriors G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors – the same team that rosters his brother, Jaleel Cousins. While Boogie isn’t expected to play in any of these games, it’s a sign that his return is right around the corner. Now let’s get into the games from Monday night.

Pelicans – 100 @ Celtics – 113

  • Anthony Davis was questionable before the start of this game after suffering a hip contusion in Sunday’s matchup against Detroit but was able to give it a go in Boston. So, of course, he dropped 41 points on 17-34 shooting to lead the BBNBA in scoring. However, a couple of late scoring bursts by the Kyrie Irving-less Celtics outlasted Davis’ efforts. Go ahead and add “scores 40-plus with an injury” to Davis’ MVP belt.

  • Julius Randle got the start again in place of Nikola Mirotic, scoring 20 points on 7-13 shooting and also grabbing 11 rebounds in the process. Darius Miller added seven points on 2-4 shooting from three.

Kings – 108 @ Bulls – 89

  • The Sacramento Kings came out flat. They allowed the Bulls to build an early lead while the Kings searched for their shot. The first two quarters were a mess for Sacramento, from defensive breakdowns to simply missing open shots they normally make. And then De’Aaron Fox decided to take over. After shooting 0-5 in the first half, Fox went 8-11 in the second half, scoring 23 of his 25 points. He rattled off eight straight points at one point for the Kings that ignited the offense and injected life into an otherwise unconscious squad. Fox made two things incredibly clear in the second half. One is that he’s the type of player who can take over games and swing an entire outcome by himself. And the second is that the Bulls are very very bad. Watching Fox decimate an entire team like it was a solo mission was so impressive and mystifying that it’s making me reconsider just how high his ceiling is. Yeah, the Kings only beat the Bulls, but you can’t ignore the spectacle that Fox put on display in Chicago on Monday night.

  • It felt like the Bulls were up 8-10 points for most of the game until Fox decided to take over. Once he found his groove late in the third, the Kings went up by double-digits themselves and that was all she wrote.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein may not be receiving the same type of hype that Fox is, but he still had another great night. WCS pulled in a season-high 16 rebounds to go along with 11 points, three assists, and three steals for his ninth double-double of the season. He continues to have a spectacular year.

Other notes

  • Karl-Anthony Towns had one of his better outings of the season in a loss to the Warriors, scoring 31 points on an efficient 11-14 shooting in addition to his 11 rebounds and four assists.

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Los Angeles Clippers narrowly escaped Phoenix with a victory. Despite Devin Booker sitting out his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury, the Clippers struggled to close out the 4-23 Suns. SGA scored 16 points on 8-12 shooting and stuffed the stat sheet, adding four rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. He was instrumental in the Clippers overcoming a late fourth-quarter deficit that forced the game to extra time.

  • Eric Bledsoe was ultra aggressive against the Cleveland Cavaliers and rookie point guard Collin Sexton. Bledsoe attacked Sexton – along with every member of the Cavs backcourt – any opportunity he got, scoring a total of 20 points on 8-15 shooting. He also corralled a season-high 12 rebounds and dished out five dimes.

  • Another start for Bam Adebayo equals another double-double. Adebayo was 6-11 from the field for 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Heat fell to the Lakers in the last ever meeting between longtime friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

  • For the Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray posted 16 points, five assists, and four steals while Trey Lyles had another rough shooting night, scoring nine points on 4-15 shooting from the field.
  • Lastly, we’ll quickly talk about the Oklahoma City Thunder and their Wildcat trio. Hamidou Diallo scored nine points on 4-5 shooting in only 10 minutes. Nerlens Noel added eight points and four rebounds on 4-7 shooting in 18 minutes while Patrick Patterson put up another goose egg, going scoreless in 18 minutes. Patterson now has six games this season where he didn’t register a single point while also playing at least 10 minutes.
  • Actually, one more thing. John Wall sat out the Wizards loss to the Indiana Pacers as he’s dealing with a bone spur in his heel, but that didn’t stop Pacers fans from trolling Wall anyways. When a couple different Wizards players were attempting foul shots, you could clearly hear a “John Wall hates you” chant from the crowd.

  • It’s one of those things that doesn’t really make sense but still made me chuckle.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis (NOP)100-113 L @ BOS4117-34 (0-2)72400-1837
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)108-116 L @ GSW3111-15 (1-4)114014-734
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)108-89 W @ CHI258-16 (4-6)46414+1733
Julius Randle (NOP)100-113 L @ BOS207-13 (0-0)114005-428
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)108-92 W vs. CLE208-15 (4-5)125001+1928
Jamal Murray (DEN)105-99 W vs. MEM166-10 (1-4)05421+836
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)123-119 (OT) W @ PHX168-12 (0-0)45112+833
Bam Adebayo (MIA)105-108 L @ LAL126-11 (0-0)105224-1028
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)108-89 W @ CHI115-11 (0-0)163301+1027
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)122-113 W vs. UTA94-5 (0-0)11000+110
Trey Lyles (DEN)105-99 W vs. MEM94-12 (0-5)70202+822
Nerlens Noel (OKC)122-113 W vs. UTA84-7 (0-0)40213-1018
Darius Miller (NOP)100-113 L @ BOS72-4 (2-4)21200-527
Andrew Harrison (NOP)100-113 L @ BOS31-1 (1-1)11000+23
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)76-101 L @ DAL31-3 (0-0)1100008
Patrick Patterson (OKC)122-113 W vs. UTA00-0 (0-0)41001-1318
Skal Labissiere (SAC)108-89 W @ CHIDNP-CD----------------
John Wall (WAS)101-109 L @ INDDNP-Heel----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)119-123 (OT) L vs. LACDNP-Hamstring----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)108-105 W vs. MIADNP-Hand----------------
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)116-108 W vs. MINDNP-Achilles----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)105-99 W vs. MEMDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

8:00 (NBATV): Trail Blazers @ Rockets (Knight-out)

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

10:30 (NBATV): Raptors @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) 


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via NBA.com/Knicks)

BBNBA: Knox Scores 26 Points For Second Time

(Photo via NBA.com/Knicks)

Good morning, folks. Kevin Knox has already tied his career-high in points. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Hornets – 119 @ Knicks – 107

  • The Charlotte Hornets controlled this game from the jump, which allowed Knicks forward Kevin Knox to play as free as he’d like. After setting a career-high with 26 points less than two weeks ago, Knox once again put together another 26-point outing. Knox also played a team-high (and personal season high) of 41 minutes. He shot 10-25 from the field including 4-8 from deep, but most noticeably, he pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds. With the Knicks trailing by 20-plus points for the majority of the game, Knicks head coach David Fizdale gave his rookie the reigns to the offense and told him to go to work. He was attacking the rim, working around screens, crashing the offensive glass, basically showcasing everything that made the Knicks fall in love with him in the first place. Having two 26-point games not even 25 games into your rookie season sure is a good start to your NBA career.

  • As a result of the blowout, Enes Kanter logged only 18 minutes for six points and four rebounds.
  • For the Hornets, Malik Monk contributed nine points and four rebounds on 3-8 shooting (2-4 from deep) while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was his usual swiss-army knife self, scoring eight points to go along with four rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. The Hornets now move to 13-13 on the season while the Knicks fall to 8-20.
  • There was also this beauty, involving three different Wildcats.

  • MKG has had some nasty chase down blocks this season.

Other notes

  • Anthony Davis missed most of the first half against the Detroit Pistons after colliding with Blake Griffin in the first quarter. He would return in the second half, but was clearly hobbled by the injury and his status for Monday’s game against the Celtics is questionable. With Davis out, Julius Randle once again picked up the slack, scoring a BBNBA high 28 points on 11-19 shooting in addition to six rebounds and five assists. Darius Miller added six points on 1-4 shooting. The Pelicans took down the Pistons on the road to move back to .500 at 14-14.

  • In a huge win for the Milwaukee Bucks over the Toronto Raptors, Eric Bledsoe scored nine points and dished out five dimes on 4-14 shooting. If Bucks-Raptors isn’t the Eastern Conference Finals matchup I will riot in the streets.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Julius Randle (NOP)116-108 W @ DET2811-19 (0-2)65021+1833
Kevin Knox (NYK)107-119 L vs. CHA2610-25 (4-8)150100-741
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)104-99 W @ TOR94-14 (0-4)25001-433
Malik Monk (CHA)119-107 W @ NYK93-8 (2-4)41101+220
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)119-107 W @ NYK82-3 (0-0)41022-123
Anthony Davis (NOP)116-108 W @ DET62-7 (0-2)94051+1025
Darius Miller (NOP)116-108 W @ DET61-4 (1-3)04001-622
Enes Kanter (NYK)107-119 L vs. CHA63-6 (0-0)40001-1718
Andrew Harrison (NOP)116-108 W @ DETDNP-CD----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Wizards (Wall-questionable) @ Pacers

7:00: Pistons @ 76ers

7:30 (NBATV): Pelicans (Davis-questionable, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle) @ Celtics

8:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Bulls

8:00: Cavaliers @ Bucks (Bledsoe)

8:00: Jazz @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson)

8:30: Magic (Briscoe) @ Mavericks

9:00: Grizzlies @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt)

9:00: Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Suns (Booker-out)

10:30: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Warriors (Cousins-out)

10:30 (NBATV): Heat (Adebayo) @ Lakers (Rondo-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Will Newton/Getty Images North America)

BBNBA: Wall Scores One Point in Blowout Loss to Cavaliers

(Photo via Will Newton/Getty Images North America)

Good afternoon, folks. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Something is wrong with John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • John Wall was anything but John Wall on Saturday night. He tied his career-low in points with only one made free throw. He was 0-5 from the field in 26 minutes. I’ve watched a lot of Wall over the years and I have to say, this was easily the least interested I have ever seen him look in a basketball game. From the opening tip, you could tell that something wasn’t right. The Wizards as a whole were so unenthused to begin with that they had no real chance of winning this game and it was over after the first quarter. Mind you, this was against the now 6-20 Cleveland Cavaliers. So, naturally, I was eager to hear the reasoning in the post game. Turns out, Wall has been dealing with a bone spur in his left heel that needed treatment after the game. So now my question is…. why? Why did he even play in this game? It was so blatantly obvious within the first few minutes of the game that Wall did not look normal and he had no interest in trying. He played 26 minutes. Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton – who scored 29 points – had a different excuse for Wall.

  • Sooooo, which is it?
  • But is there a deeper issue here? After the game, Bradley Beal talked about losing one of their teammates Jason Smith in a recent trade that sent him to Milwaukee and how it’s already affecting their chemistry.

  • So in 24 hours, the Wizards’ franchise player played with a bone spur, they were blown out by one of the worst teams in the NBA, and traded away a key locker room figure. Got it. All is well.

Nuggets – 98 @ Hawks – 106

  • I watched this entire game and I still can’t explain what went wrong for Denver other than they were simply outplayed by a much inferior opponent. Despite playing in the second game of a back-to-back on the road, Denver fell back into old habits from last season that often times doomed them. The Nuggets were flat in the second half (they scored a total of 21 points in the second, third, and fourth quarter. For reference, they average 29, 27, and 25 in those quarters, respectively) and couldn’t get anything going on offense.
  • Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles were the worst offenders for Denver, shooting a combined 4-22 and 1-8 from three. Lyles was inserted into the starting lineup due to the Paul Millsap injury and struggled to contain Atlanta’s John Collins, who scored a career-high 30 points. It’s only one game and it was the second night of a back-to-back, but missing Millsap was huge in this matchup. Murray ended up leaving the game in the second quarter after an awkward kick to his shin sent him to the locker room. He did return but was noticeably in pain. An already injury-riddled Nuggets team cannot afford to lose Murray for even one game.
  • Alex Poythress sat out his 10th straight game with a sprained ankle for the Hawks.

Heat – 121 @ Clippers – 98

  • Bam Adebayo got his second-straight start in place of Hassan Whiteside and once again did not disappoint. Adebayo went for 14 points and eight rebounds on 7-10 shooting while also dishing out four assists. In true Bam fashion, he blessed us with another high-flying dunk where he floats through the air like a giant butterfly. He was also a plus-25 in his 29 minutes. #StartBam #TradeHassan

  • For the Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added eight points and three rebounds on 3-9 shooting. The Clips were trailing the Heat by only a slim margin for the majority of the game and there was a point in the third quarter where it felt like they could take over and build a lead, but Miami quickly ended any thought of that. A 21-2 Heat run to open the fourth quarter immediately ended the game.

Other notes

  • New York Knicks center Enes Kanter led the BBNBA in scoring with 23 points on 10-13 shooting while also grabbing 14 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season. His teammate Kevin Knox was 3-6 for seven points in 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the Knicks couldn’t pick up the win against the crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets – who also beat the East-leading Raptors on Friday.

  • For the Sacramento Kings, they couldn’t overcome the Victor Oladipo-less Indiana Pacers on the road. De’Aaron Fox played well – because of course – as he scored 18 points on 7-14 shooting in addition to six assists. Willie Cauley-Stein added 14 points on 6-14 shooting while also pulling in nine rebounds. The Kings do manage to stay above .500, however, and move to 13-12 on the season.

  • Fox also signed autographs for some local Kentucky fans.

  • Lastly, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves were featured in the most exciting game of the evening as they faced the Trail Blazers in Portland. The entire fourth quarter was back-and-forth scoring with little breaks in the action and it sure was thrilling to watch. The game was neck-and-neck until a big three by Damian Lillard was followed by another three by C.J. McCollum that put the game out of reach with under a minute remaining. Even still, Towns scored 19 points on 6-16 shooting and tacked on 10 boards despite some first-half foul trouble.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Enes Kanter (NYK)104-112 L vs. BKN2310-13 (0-0)143100-926
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)105-113 L @ POR196-16 (2-6)102112-230
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)97-107 L @ IND187-14 (0-3)16123-1432
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)97-107 L @ IND146-14 (0-0)92122-1530
Bam Adebayo (MIA)121-98 W @ LAC147-10 (0-0)84110+2529
Trey Lyles (DEN)98-106 L @ ATL92-13 (1-7)102111-738
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)98-121 L vs. MIA83-9 (0-1)32101-919
Kevin Knox (NYK)104-112 L vs. BKN73-6 (0-1)41001+120
Jamal Murray (DEN)98-106 L @ ATL42-9 (0-1)63002-823
John Wall (WAS)101-116 L @ CLE10-5 (0-3)46001-1426
Skal Labissiere (SAC)97-107 L @ INDDNP-CD----------------
Brandon Knight (HOU)104-107 L @ DALDNP-Knee----------------
Alex Poythress (ATL)106-98 W vs. DENDNP-Ankle----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)111-88 W @ MEMDNP-Hand----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)98-106 L @ ATLDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

3:30: Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle) @ Pistons

6:00 (NBATV): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Raptors

7:00: Jazz @ Spurs

7:30: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


(Photo via Rob Foldy/Getty Images North America)

BBNBA: Fox Scores 30, Adebayo Sets New Career-High

(Photo via Rob Foldy/Getty Images North America)

Good afternoon, folks. Bam Adebayo posted a career-high while Hassan Whiteside sat out. Huh. Weird, right? Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • Something is going on in Miami with Hassan Whiteside and the coaching staff. After Whiteside left their game against the Orlando Magic with 40 seconds remaining – a game the Heat completely blew in the second half – he was held out of Friday night’s game for “personal” reasons. Dwyane Wade was quick to point out that Whiteside left the game early because he had to use the bathroom, but yeah, I don’t particularly buy that premise at all. Add in the context that Whiteside was benched because he played so poorly in the third quarter and now we have a real story. There appears to be some sort of disconnect somewhere between player and either front office or coaching staff. Which leads us to Bam Adebayo, who happily filled in those minutes in Whiteside’s absence. In Friday’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns, Adebayo posted a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds on 6-9 shooting. I’ve long been on the train that the Heat should be looking to trade Whiteside and his gaudy contract so they can implement Adebayo as soon as possible. Whether or not this situation becomes irreparable is what we’ll be looking at next. It wouldn’t shock me if the Heat found a way to gloss over this but it also wouldn’t shock me if they did hunt for a trade partner. The Heat is 10-14 right now and began the season with playoff aspirations. Now they have a bit of a controversy on their hands. #StartBam

  • Make sure to catch his alley-oop slam at the 1:15 mark. Oh, and another one at 1:50.

Nuggets – 107 @ Hornets – 113

  • What a big win for the Charlotte Hornets over the West-leading Denver Nuggets. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a massive block with under 30 seconds left that sealed the win. He also added six points and five rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
  • Malik Monk also had a solid outing, scoring 16 points on 5-12 shooting (3-8 from three) while also leading the team with a +/- of plus-21. Charlotte moves up to 12-13 with the win.
  • For Denver, Jamal Murray couldn’t find his range from deep, but still scored 20 points on 8-20 shooting. He also contributed five rebounds and seven assists but missed some critical threes that would have desperately helped the Nuggets. Trey Lyles had an off shooting night, going 2-11 from the field for only five points and five rebounds. But something interesting happened Friday night that might help Lyles going forward.
  • Lyles broke out last season due to Paul Millsap’s wrist injury that caused him to miss three months. When Millsap came back, Lyles was understandably given more of a bench role. Well, it looks like Millsap could miss more time after he broke his big toe on Friday. Insert Trey Lyles once again. The Nuggets are still one of the best teams in the NBA and losing Milsap doesn’t change that, but it definitely changes the dynamic of the team. We’re going to see more Lyles again and he’s going to have to continue to be aggressive and hunt for his shots – which really hasn’t been an issue for him. The issue is going to be converting on some of these tough drives to the basket that he loves. I’m excited to see how he can perform with a higher usage again. Lyles isn’t gun-shy at all.

Kings – 129 @ Cavaliers – 110

  • De’Aaron Fox could have won this entire game by himself if he chose to do so. Fox led the BBNBA in scoring with 30 points on 12-16 shooting (4-5 from three) to go along with 12 assists, three steals, and only one turnover. He dominated the matchup against rookie point guard Collin Sexton and was sprinting up and down the court with absolutely zero resistance. It was insanely fun to watch. Willie Cauley-Stein shot a perfect 5-5 from the floor for 10 points while also grabbing six boards.

Grizzlies – 107 @ Pelicans – 103

  • Anthony Davis and Julius Randle combined for 51 points, but could never separate themselves from the Grizzlies. Davis finished with 25 points 11 rebounds, and four blocks while Randle went for 26 points and 13 rebounds. We already know how good Davis is, but damn, even I didn’t think Randle could be this good. He’s averaging 30 points and 13 rebounds on 61 percent shooting over his last three games. He has been coming off the bench in favor of Nikola Mirotic, but Randle was forced to start the last three games while Mirotic recovered from an illness. Mirotic is almost healthy now, so it’ll be interesting to see if head coach Alvin Gentry continues with the hot Randle or goes back to his original starting lineup. Either way, Randle is playing like an All-Star right now and probably leads the Sixth Man of the Year race.


  • Darius Miller went 1-5 from deep for only three points.

Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)129-110 W @ CLE3012-16 (4-5)212301+3129
Julius Randle (NOP)103-107 L vs. MEM2610-19 (1-3)133202+734
Anthony Davis (NOP)103-107 L vs. MEM2510-21 (0-5)113243-935
Bam Adebayo (MIA)115-98 W @ PHX226-9 (0-0)102110+2032
Jamal Murray (DEN)107-113 L @ CHA208-20 (0-4)57201-236
Malik Monk (CHA)113-107 W vs. DEN165-12 (3-8)01010+2122
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)95-105 L vs. GSW146-12 (2-5)14405-629
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)129-110 W @ CLE105-5 (0-0)63201+1826
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)113-107 W vs. DEN62-4 (0-0)50010-715
Trey Lyles (DEN)107-113 L @ CHA52-11 (1-5)52131-718
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)112-114 L @ CHI42-3 (0-0)21001-19
Darius Miller (NOP)103-107 L vs. MEM31-5 (1-5)30000-719
Nerlens Noel (OKC)112-114 L @ CHI21-4 (0-0)20231-1115
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)90-112 L vs. IND00-010001+34
Patrick Patterson (OKC)112-114 L @ CHI00-1 (0-1)20000-811
Skal Labissiere (SAC)129-110 W @ CLEDNP-CD----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)98-115 L vs. MIADNP-Hamstring----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)120-133 L @ SASDNP-Hand----------------
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)105-95 W @ MILDNP-Achilles----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)107-113 L @ CHADNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

6:00: Rockets (Knight-out) @ Mavericks

7:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Pacers

7:30: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Hawks (Poythress-out)

7:30: Wizards (Wall) @ Cavaliers

7:30: Nets @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox)

8:00: Celtics @ Bulls

8:00: Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Grizzlies

10:00 (NBATV): Timberwolves (Towns) @ Trail Blazers

10:30: Heat (Adebayo) @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


BBNBA: A Different Kind of Recap

(Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Thursday night was a lame one for both the NBA and BBNBA. I still have some NBA to talk about, though.

RECAP

  • So nothing happened in the NBA on Thursday. There were two TNT games that both ended in blowouts and a third game on League Pass that suffered a similar fate. Only Enes Kanter and Kevin Knox were representing the BBNBA, and while they both hit double-digits in scoring, the Knicks team were tossed aside by the Boston Celtics 100-128.
  • Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to do a bit of a different recap for today’s post. Basically, I’m just going to dip the pen and let words spill onto the page however they choose to – related to NBA topics, of course. Might even step outside the BBNBA realm a bit.

Brandon Knight’s return

  • Let’s start with Brandon Knight, who is oh-so-close to finally making his return to the court. He went through his first full practice with the Rockets on Wednesday and the end to his year-and-a-half-long ACL recovery is right around the corner. He could step in right in time, too. The Rockets – if you haven’t heard – are horrendous right now. Their blowout loss to the also struggling Utah Jazz on national TV was all the proof you needed. Turns out the (Scape)GOAT Carmelo Anthony wasn’t the issue behind a team based almost entirely off of isolation offense that also lost their two best perimeter defenders for nothing. But I digress. I never really believed that Melo was the root of their problems anyway, and I say that as a major Melo hater. Sure, Melo shooting 1-11 was never helpful, but replacing the production lost on both ends of the court that Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute brought to the team has been even more outstanding than originally thought. Aside from losing basically their entire core of wing players and forcing 6-foot-6, 33-year old P.J. Tucker to play upwards of 34 minutes per game as a power forward, they have zero options at backup guard. Michael Carter-Williams is just as bad as you’d expect him to be. Knight’s return almost feels necessary for them at this point, which really isn’t a good thing. Do I think the Rockets will turn it around regardless of how much Knight impacts the game? Absolutely. They have two All-Star backcourt players (one being the reigning MVP), plenty of shooters, a brilliant offensive-minded head coach and an even smarter front office. They’ll make moves if they need to (moves that might potentially involve Knight), but right now, they need any sort of change to their system. Knight can be that change. It all depends on how confident he can play after sitting out for 18 months.

Teams that suck

  • This is a short list, actually. The Cavaliers, Bulls, and Hawks are all garbage. My Cavaliers play basketball like we are still in the 1990s. The Bulls fired their head coach randomly for reasons that I honestly don’t understand (they do know they’re tanking, right?). The Hawks are at least somewhat entertaining with Trae Young and John Collins, although Young is shooting 23.9 percent on threes (he’ll be fine, don’t let his first 25 games work you into saying something that Twitter will destroy you for in two years. Twitter never forgets). But the Phoenix Suns, man. The Phoenix Suns are downright torture to watch. Even when Devin Booker isn’t in and out of the lineup due to whatever one-wheeled contraption he’s falling off of, the Suns are awful. Their roster is comparatively better than last season’s with the addition of Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Trevor Ariza, and Ryan Anderson, yet they have just four wins. They have zero point guards. None. Booker has spent wayyyy too much time playing point guard for his – and the team’s – own good. Their front office is borderline drunk. I bet you they trade a first-round pick for some middle of the road backup point guard like Terry Rozier or Frank Ntlikina. Mark it down.

Do I even need to talk about John Wall?

  • I think we all know what’s going on in the nation’s capital. But let me refresh you a bit. The Wizards are a dysfunctional group of middle-schoolers. It’s hardly all Wall’s fault, but he’s certainly part of the issue. But without getting into all the drama that has fueled headlines for two months now, let’s just talk about Wall’s contract situation. He agreed to a four-year $170 million contract that doesn’t even kick in until next season when he’ll be 29. Think about that money for a second. By the final season of that deal, Wall is set to earn $46 million at age 33. That’s a lot of money for some bad knees with plenty of mileage and a playstyle that demands he be aggressive and attack the basket. Unless Wall adapts a consistent perimeter shot (he’s a career 32 percent three-point shooter), there is a huge chance that he isn’t going to age well in relation to his contract. The longer he stays in Washington, the more difficult it’s going to be to trade him away. Now before you fire up those trigger fingers and start pecking away at your keyboard let me say that Wall is still a very good and valuable player. He’s not the top-5 point guard he believes he is, but still an All-Star nonetheless. But judging by his lack of motivation and the tension within the locker room, I don’t foresee a situation where Wall and the Wizards finish this ride out together and on good terms.

The Magic and Kings are still good

  • I’ve been bragging about the Kings for months now – as they are my favorite team of all time and always have been – but the team I haven’t hyped up nearly as much despite having unexcepted success are the Orlando Magic. We know the deal with the Kings. De’Aaron Fox is the second-coming of Michael Jordan himself and Willie Cauley-Stein is already better than Shaq, but Orlando has quietly put together a 12-13 record. At the center of their success is Nikola Vuceivc, their floor-spacing center. Vucevic is putting together a legitimate All-Star campaign, averaging 21 points and 11.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. The Magic also employ Isaiah Briscoe, who has appeared in eight games this season. They’re a messy team to watch – and you’ll see what I mean when you watch Jonathan Issac and Mohamed Bamba try to learn the game of basketball on the fly – but they have a lot of fun and interesting prospects. Terrence Ross has also redefined his career at age 27. Fun times in Orlando.

I think that’s enough for today. There are 10 games tonight, so we’ll be back to our regular BBNBA recap on Saturday.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Enes Kanter (NYK)100-128 L @ BOS147-12 (0-0)111011-823
Kevin Knox (NYK)100-128 L @ BOS114-12 (2-6)42002-1924
Brandon Knight (HOU)91-118 L @ UTADNP-Knee----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)86-108 L @ PORDNP-Hamstring----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)

7:00 (ESPN): Sixers @ Pistons

7:00: Pacers @ Magic (Briscoe)

7:30: Raptors @ Nets

7:30: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Cavaliers

8:00: Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Bulls

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

8:30: Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Spurs

9:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Suns (Booker-out)

9:30 (ESPN): Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Five Cats take over to earn W’s

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Recap:

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves had a huge home stand against four really solid teams over the past week, and managed to take 3 out of four. Last night’s win over the Charlotte Hornets gives them six wins in their last seven games, and most of them have come behind the strength of Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves are now over .500 for the first time all year. Last night, Towns had another big game, finishing with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
  • Following Julius Randle‘s career night earlier this week, the Pelicans continued to stay hot, as Randle and Anthony Davis both scored 27 points a piece, and combined for 22 rebounds, 10 assists, and 5 blocks to earn a 132-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
  • The Denver Nuggets got a bit of a scare from the clear underdog Orlando Magic last night, as the Magic gave them all they could handle in an overtime thriller. Denver did pull out the win, mostly do to a whopping 46 minutes played by Jamal Murray in which he totaled 31 points, 8 assists, and 4 boards.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks are turning into a team that no one wants to see come playoff time. They are as solid as any team in the Eastern Conference and former Cat Eric Bledsoe led the way to another W last night. Bledsoe had 27 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in the 115-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Stats:

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns121-104 win over Hornets3514-20 (4-5)123262+2836
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist121-104 loss to Timberwolves94-10 (1-2)50102-423
Malik Monk121-104 loss to Timberwolves103-6 (0-3)10112+118
Julius Randle132-106 win over Mavericks2711-16 (2-3)181001+2135
Anthony Davis132-106 win over Mavericks2710-20 (2-2)49252+1134
Darius Miller132-106 win over Mavericks124-6 (4-6)12101+1026
Andrew Harrison132-106 win over Mavericks62-3 (2-3)00000+34
Jamal Murray124-118 win over Magic3110-25 (2-3)48101+246
Trey Lyles124-118 win over Magic124-8 (1-3)20011+419
Eric Bledsoe115-92 win over Pistons2710-17 (2-6)34401+1426
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander96-86 loss to Grizzlies124-9 (1-1)44311+1029
Patrick Patterson114-112 win over Nets00-3 (0-1)10000-117
Nerlens Noel114-112 win over Nets52-5 (0-0)90111-1614
Hamidou Diallo114-112 win over Nets10-1 (0-0)20002-35

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • New York Knicks (Enes Kanter, Kevin Knox) at Boston Celtics, 8pm ET on TNT
  • Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker) at Portland Trail Blazers, 10pm ET
  • Houston Rockets (Brondon Knight) at Utah Jazz, 10:30pm ET on TNT

@BrettBibbinsKSR