Good afternoon, folks. We have some SNUBS to discuss! Let’s talk NBA.
“Dedication sees dreams come true.” — Kobe Bryant
We’re going to start off today’s BBNBA post being mad about stuff that we probably shouldn’t be mad about: Both Devin Booker and Bradley Beal were left off of the reserves list for the 2020 NBA All-Star game.
The official rosters for both the Eastern and Western Conferences were released Thursday night on TNT (well, they were actually spoiled about an hour earlier than planned thanks to some national media folk) and I have some opinions on them.
We’ll start with what I like about the reserves.
*Keep in mind, while the All-Star starters are determined by a split vote between fans (50 percent), media (25 percent), and players (25 percent), the reserves are decided solely by the 30 head coaches across the league.*
Sources: 2020 NBA All-Star reserves:
East: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Domas Sabonis
West: Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 30, 2020
What’s that there? Is that Bam Adebayo as an Eastern Conference All-Star? In just his third NBA season? Color me shocked (I am not shocked). If you’ve been keeping up with the daily BBNBA posts, you’d know we’ve been hyping up Bam’s third year since the before the preseason. But I’d say Adebayo has surpassed even my loftiest expectations. We already knew he was arguably the best all-around defensive big man in the league, but we didn’t realize that he could be the fulcrum for a top-10 offense.
The moment Bam Adebayo and his mom learned that he’s an NBA All-Star. pic.twitter.com/S0XgY39kgt
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 31, 2020
Adebayo is just 22-years old putting up averages of 16.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks while shooting nearly 59 percent from the floor. It would have been a crime for Adebayo not to make this year’s roster. He was an easy choice as a frontcourt reserve. It will be the first of many for the former Wildcat big man.
Now time for some not so fun stuff. Devin Booker got absolutely snubbed and so did Bradley Beal. Both players are averaging over 27 points, four rebounds, and six assists per game. Out West, Booker was overlooked in favor of Russell Westbrook, who is turning the ball over four times per game and shooting 23.5 percent from three. Westbrook has been the sidekick to James Harden this season as the Houston Rockets sit comfortably with a 29-18 record. What he hasn’t done is make the same kind of impact that Booker has made on the Phoenix Suns. The former ‘Cat is one hot shooting night from three away from rejoining the 50/40/90 shooting club. He’s having a career-year by a country mile and the Suns have already won more games before the All-Star break than they did all of last season. Booker being left off the list is a joke, especially when Westbrook was the one who got in over him.
No NBA player had ever averaged 27 PPG and 6 APG on 60 TS% and missed the All-Star Game until Devin Booker. So that's fun
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) January 30, 2020
I’ve seen some complaints on social media about Rudy Gobert getting the nod over Booker, but Gobert absolutely deserved to be an All-Star out West – he’s the best defensive player in the world. So does New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram. Gobert, Ingram, and Booker have all been well-deserving of those spots. Westbrook has not. Unfortunately, Booker was the one left off. He could still get in as an injury replacement, but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out over the next week or so.
I just don’t understand someone selecting Ingram, but then arguing against Booker. It doesn’t make any logical sense. And I even PICKED Ingram as an All-Star.
I want to briefly talk about Beal not making the cut, either, even though he’s an ex-Florida Gator. Why? Because I personally love Beal and think he’s a great pro and a deserving All-Star, that’s why. My issue is Khris Middelton getting in over Beal. For some reason, there is this belief that the better a team is, the more All-Stars they should have. Giannis Antetokounmpo was on Twitter trying to say Eric Bledsoe was snubbed, for crying out loud (the first person to comment VORP or per-36 stats as All-Star justification will be get auto-banned). Bledsoe has had a fantastic season, but nothing compared to Beal or Middleton or even Kyle Lowry. I have no issue with Lowry making it in, although that would be a tough choice when it came down to it. But Middleton has coasted next to Giannis all season (which isn’t anyone’s fault) while Beal has put up his numbers on a terrible team. The Milwaukee Bucks would still be great without Middleton, the Washington Wizards might not even have 10 wins this season without Beal. You could argue that Beal hardly plays any defense, but that isn’t exactly what the All-Star game is looking for in the first place. I damn-near wanted to pick Beal as my Eastern Conference starter over Trae Young. In my mind, Beal was a lock.
Devin Booker (27.1) and Bradley Beal (28.6) are the only players to average 27+ PPG and not make the All-Star team in the last 35 years. pic.twitter.com/2e7xVWaSKZ
— StatMamba (@statmuse) January 31, 2020
Okay, now onto the games from Thursday night.
Kings rain down flurry of 3s against Clips
De’Aaron Fox posted a career-high of 34 points as the Sacramento Kings drilled a franchise-record 21 triples in a blowout, 124-103, win over the Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers. Lenoard was originally in the starting lineup but was a very late scratch with lower back tightness. Without Leonard – who has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games – on the floor, the Kings came out looking to take advantage early.
The Kings hit nine second-quarter threes to blow the game wide open before halftime. Sacramento took a 64-47 lead into the intermission and never looked back. The Kings have now won three out of its previous four games after dropping six in a row. The 21-point win is tied for the largest margin of victory this season for Sacramento.
”In most games I haven’t started off well early, but I wanted to try and come out and stay in attack mode,” Fox said after the game.
Fox did just that on Thursday. In addition to his 34 points, the former ‘Cat added three rebounds, eight assists, four steals, and two blocks while shooting 14-24 from the floor and 3-4 from above the arc.
- The Charlotte Hornets fell to a pissed off Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards, 121-107. P.J. Washington went for 15 points on a 7-10 shooting mark while Malik Monk added seven points, four rebounds, and three assists but on a 3-12 clip from the field. Beal posted 34 points, nine dimes, and nine boards in the aftermath of his All-Star snub. He straight-up embarrassed Miles Bridges and later expressed his disappointment in not being named an All-Star.
- Enes Kanter has now sat out the last four games for the Boston Celtics with a hip contusion.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||124-103 W @ LAC||34||14-24 (3-4)||3||8||4||2||3||+13||35|
|P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)||107-121 L @ WAS||15||7-10 (0-0)||1||1||1||0||1||-2||22|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||107-121 L @ WAS||7||3-12 (1-4)||4||3||0||0||1||-14||27|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||103-124 L vs. SAC||2||0-1 (0-1)||1||0||0||0||0||-4||8|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||106-100 W vs. UTA||0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||-4||3|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||107-121 L @ WAS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||119-104 W vs. GSW||DNP-Hip||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||109-115 L @ TOR||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||106-100 W vs. UTA||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||121-107 W vs. CHA||DNP-Foot||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Raptors @ Pistons
7:30: Bulls @ Nets
7:30 (ESPN): Mavericks (Cauley-Stein) @ Rockets
8:00: Grizzlies @ Pelicans (Miller-out)
9:00: Nuggets (Murray-out, Vanderbilt) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)
9:00: Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) @ Suns (Booker)
10:30 (ESPN): Trail Blazers @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)
- First game for the Lakers in Staple Center since the death of Kobe Bryant. Will be a must-watch game.