Good afternoon, folks. It wasn’t courtesy of Malik Monk this time, but the Charlotte Hornets hit another game-winner on Saturday. Let’s talk NBA.
Devonte’ Graham downs Knicks with two seconds left
- ‘The Charlotte Hornets are fun’ is a sentence I literally thought I would go my entire life without writing and I couldn’t be happier to be proved wrong. Not even Michael Jordan’s sweet, sweet ineptitude can take away from the excitement the Hornets give me when they’re on the court. Just one short day after Monk drained a buzzer-beater to take down the Pistons, Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham received a hand-off pass from P.J. Washington above halfcourt before taking a step into a three that was about two feet behind the line. Charlotte was down two, 102-100, and Graham drained his NINTH triple of the night with under three seconds left that gave the Hornets a one-point lead and the victory.
- Graham is a second-year player out of Kansas who has exploded onto the scene early in the year for the Hornets, even outshining his point guard counterpart, Terry Rozier, who signed a three-year, $58 million deal over the offseason. Graham will make less than $1.5 million this year. Let’s compare…
- Hmmmm… Shoutout to Michael Jordan: great basketball player, habitual gambler.
- Even though Monk didn’t hit the game-winner for the second consecutive night, he still posted 12 points, four rebounds, and five assists on 5-13 shooting for Charlotte. Washington added 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block on 7-9 shooting.
- For the Knicks, Julius Randle did his best to will New York to the win late in the game. Randle scored or assisted on the final eight points for the Knicks, but missed a floater with roughly 12 seconds left that would have put his team up four. He finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and just one turnover. Kevin Knox played 14 minutes for the Knicks but shot just 1-6 for only two points.
Adebayo and Heat control Pelicans
- Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo continues his reign of terror on the NBA after totaling 18 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks in a 109-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, who were missing roughly six rotation players due to injury.
- Adebayo has transformed himself into a pick-and-roll maestro as the roll man, especially when he has the ball at the elbow. He’s a threat to catch a lob every time he and his pick-and-roll partner get to dancing at the top of the key. His passing touch has improved to the point where he can act as a point guard with elite vision and the ability to see over defenses. Adebayo’s assist percentage is the highest it’s been during his career by far and NBA.com ranks him in the 90th percentile in terms of playing as the roll man out of pick-and-rolls. Over 20 percent of Adebayo’s plays have come as the roll man and he’s turning those into 1.43 points per possession – an elite number. If he can get his shooting touch up to par with the rest of his offensive game, Adebayo will turn into a legitimate superstar. He hit a nice floater in the paint and a couple of other nice shots close to the hoop, but his range doesn’t extend much further. He’s been shooting more shots in the mid-range this season compared to his first two years but isn’t quite a reliable shooter from that area just yet.
- His Kentucky teammate, Tyler Herro, contributed 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists on 6-12 shooting for the Heat.
KAT’s 27 and 15 not enough for Harden’s 49
- The Minnesota Timberwolves have now dropped two straight games after James Harden poured in 49 points for the Houston Rockets in a 20-point win. Despite Karl-Anthony Towns posting his third-straight double-double and ninth of the year with 27 points, 15 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, the Wolves were trounced by Harden and company.
- Andrew Wiggins sat out his second game in a row for personal reasons, forcing Towns to bear most of the brunt work. Shabazz Napier and Josh Okogie were also sidelined for the short-handed Wolves squad.
- Eric Bledsoe recorded 10 points, three rebounds, and five assists in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 19-point drumming of the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are dealing with several injuries to key players such as Victor Oladipo, Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. McConnell.
- The San Antonio Spurs lost its fifth straight game on Friday when they fell at home by a score of 121-116 to the Portland Trail Blazers. Trey Lyles was the starter once again, adding three points, three rebounds, and three assists on 1-3 shooting from the field. The Spurs regular starting lineup of Lyles, DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bryn Forbes, and Dejounte Murray has been dreadful this season as the most-used five-man lineup for SAS. The second-must used lineup – which swaps out Murray for Derrick White – has been almost as terrible. It might be time to rethink Lyles’ as the small-ball center next to Aldridge. It’s clearly not working.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||105-125 L vs. HOU||27||9-15 (3-6)||15||0||2||2||1||-5||32|
|P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)||103-102 W @ NYK||19||7-9 (1-2)||5||3||1||1||0||-3||36|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||109-94 W vs. NOP||18||8-11 (0-0)||14||4||2||3||3||+7||34|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||103-102 W @ NYK||12||5-13 (2-6)||4||5||0||1||0||+2||26|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||102-103 L vs. CHA||12||5-13 (0-2)||7||6||0||0||1||+4||25|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||109-94 W vs. NOP||12||6-12 (0-1)||5||2||1||0||3||+12||32|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||102-83 W @ IND||10||5-14 (0-2)||3||5||1||0||3||+12||26|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||116-121 L vs. POR||3||1-3 (1-2)||3||3||0||1||1||-9||20|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||150-101 W vs. ATL||3||1-1 (1-1)||0||1||0||0||0||+11||7|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||102-103 L vs. CHA||2||1-6 (0-3)||3||1||0||0||1||+5||14|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||121-116 W @ SAS||2||1-4 (0-1)||6||1||0||1||2||-4||12|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||103-102 W @ NYK||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||94-109 L @ MIA||DNP-Achilles||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
3:00: 76ers @ Cavaliers (Knight)
3:30: Celtics (Kanter) @ Kings (Fox-out, Gabriel)
6:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ Magic
6:00: Nuggets (Murray, Vanderbilt) @ Grizzlies
7:00: Warriors (Cauley-Stein) @ Pelicans (Miller-out)
9:30: Hawks @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)