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BBNBA: Anthony Davis has arrived and so has Keldon Johnson

(Kim Klement/Getty Images)

(Kim Klement/Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. I am investing all of my money into Keldon Johnson stock and you should too. Let’s talk NBA Bubble.

RECAP

Anthony Davis drops 42 points on two-time DPOY Rudy Gobert

Someone please explain to me how Rudy Gobert is once again a favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year.

On Monday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis announced his arrival to the NBA Bubble with a 42-point pummeling of Gobert and the Utah Jazz. L.A. earned the win, 116-108, and secured the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs in the process. The former Wildcat shot 13-28 from the field including a 4-8 mark from deep to go along with 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block. Not only was he feasting on the offensive end, but he showed up Gobert and everyone else on the other end of the court, dominating from start to finish.

This is the version of Davis that makes the Lakers so dangerous. When he is the team’s best player–not LeBron James–the Lakers should be the favorite to win the Finals. He’s unguardable on offense and a constant deterrent on defense. Against the Jazz, Davis wasn’t picky with his shots. After an awkward 14-point game on Saturday against the Raptors, the MVP candidate dropped 13 in just the first quarter on Monday and had 24 by the half. His points came from all across the court: cutting to the rim, isolation post-ups, and outside jumpers. Davis closed his spectacular evening with a four-point play against–you guessed it–Rudy Gobert with under a minute left to play.

 

SGA and Thunder fall to Murray-less Nuggets in overtime

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray still hasn’t played in the first two seeding games due to hamstring tightness and it isn’t clear when he’ll return. Ahead of Monday’s matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said that, even if this were the playoffs, the players ruled out would still be out–Murray included.

However, Murray’s absence didn’t prevent the Nuggets from putting together an excellent game. Nikola Jokic dropped a 30-point triple-double while rookie Michael Porter Jr. popped off for a career-high 37 points as Denver nabbed a 121-113 overtime win. While the Nuggets were without Murray along with fellow starters Gary Harris and Will Barton, OKC was dealing with a depleted roster themselves. A top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, Dennis Schröder, left the Bubble to attend to the birth of his child. Another rotational piece, Terrance Ferguson, was out with a leg injury. With minutes to fill, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan turned to Hamidou Diallo, who posted two points, seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 24 minutes.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for OKC with a team-high 24 points in addition to five rebounds and two assists on 6-13 shooting. SGA played a big role in keeping the game close down the stretch (while playing the fourth quarter with five fouls, I should add) but the Thunder were outscored 12-4 in the extra period. OKC’s do-it-all man Nerlens Noel went for four points, seven rebounds, two assists, and three blocks in 17 minutes. Noel now has seven blocks through two seeding games in just 34 total minutes.

 

Invest in Keldon Johnson stock ASAP

San Antonio Spurs rookie Keldon Johnson didn’t come to Orlando just to sit on the bench; not even close. The 20-year old one-time ‘Cat has found a cozy role within Gregg Popovich’s rotation that has him looking like a future 15-year NBA player. Even though the Spurs fell in a tightly contested battle against the Philadelphia 76ers 132-130, Johnson continued to build on the recent success he’s found on the court.

Johnson recorded 15 points, three rebounds, and one assist while shooting 4-6 from the floor and connecting on his lone attempt from beyond the arc. He also made six of his seven free-throws, played 21 key minutes that included a stint in the closing moments, and helped engineer the Spurs to overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit. While Johnson isn’t someone the Spurs can depend on to create his own shot at this point in his career, his endless motor always puts him in a position to make a play off of the ball as a cutter, especially in a pass-happy San Antonio system. That isn’t to say he can’t create his own shot, because as you’ll see in the video below he knows how to attack a defense. But when he has teammates such as Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, Johnson is best utilized as a complementary addition that makes things ugly and scores when presented the opportunity. His confidence might be the most impressive aspect of his game. He’s exceeded even my loftiest expectations for him down in the Bubble with no sign of slowing down.

Through three seeding games, Johnson is averaging 10.7 points and five rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent overall (11-19) and 57.1 percent from three (4-7). One good game could be a fluke, two good games in a row is hopeful, but three good games is the start of a trend. Johnson has a long NBA career ahead of him. Invest now.

Other notes from the Bubble

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis (LAL)116-108 W @ UTA4213-28 (4-8)124311+738
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)113-121 (OT) L vs. DEN246-13 (3-6)52003-938
Keldon Johnson (SAS)130-132 L @ PHI154-6 (1-1)31000+321
Tyler Herro (MIA)103-107 L vs. TOR125-11 (2-5)53101+325
Bam Adebayo (MIA)103-107 L vs. TOR105-9 (0-0)84112+231
Nerlens Noel (OKC)113-121 (OT) L vs. DEN42-4 (0-0)72031+617
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)113-121 (OT) L vs. DEN21-5 (0-1)74101+1924
Jamal Murray (DEN)121-113 (OT) W @ OKCDNP-Hamstring----------------
Rajon Rondo (LAL)116-108 W @ UTADNP-Thumb----------------

TODAY IN THE NBA BUBBLE

1:30 (NBA TV): Nets @ Bucks (Bledsoe: probable)

2:30: Mavericks (Kidd-Gilchrist) @ Kings (Fox) 

4:00 (NBA TV): Suns (Booker) @ Clippers (Patterson) 

6:00: Magic @ Pacers

6:30 (TNT): Celtics (Kanter) @ Heat (Adebayo, Herro) 

9:00 (TNT): Rockets @ Trail Blazers (Gabriel)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

1 Comment for BBNBA: Anthony Davis has arrived and so has Keldon Johnson



  1. michaelb
    12:14 pm August 4, 2020 Permalink

    Davis gonna get his first ring, couldn’t be happier , he’ll prob get finals mvp if they win it