NBA WEEKLY SMACK (EDITION 4)

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ITS WIGGINS’ WORLD, WE ARE JUST LIVING IN IT, #WASHEDBRON IS A MYTH, WERE THE HAWKS SMOKING RUNTZ OUT THE POUND?

Monday, November 11

Timberwolves (6-4) def. Pistons (4-7), 120-114

 Wiggins World. He’s shedding the bust label at a rapid rate. Another night, another huge statline (33 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST). Wiggy and KAT (25 PTS) are officially the duo. Pogo Stick Layman (16 PTS) was nice off the bench for the Wolves. Is Minny playoff bound? Is Wiggins an All-Star? If the dribble pull-up god keeps up this torrid run, there’s no reason to doubt the answer to either question. Blake Griffin’s return (19 PTS) was spoiled with another Motor City loss. Duke Kennard (25 PTS) continues his own emergence. The Pistons are pure treadmill status though. Tune in to the ‘Rise of Wiggins’ each night the Wolves play. For real. 

Celtics (8-1) def. Mavericks (6-4), 116-105

 Kemba (29 PTS) and Jaylen Brown (25 PTS) led the way for the Green Gang. They keep rollin’. Sitting at 8-1, they possess the league’s best record. The redemption is real. Boston fans can finally be happy as K-Walk is starting to thrive as the top-dog in Beantown. Luka-Magic (34 PTS, 9 AST) continues to put up gargantuan numbers for the MAGA-ricks. Luka’s Sophomore run, so far, has been unprecedented. If you’re hating on Luka right now you’re a fool. Anthony Randolph’s former team mate is balling out. If Dallas wants to make a serious run this year, they may have to explore the trade market however. 

Grizzlies (3-7) def. Spurs (5-5), 113-109

 Triple J broke out of his Sophomore slump (24 PTS) to gift the Baby Grizz their 3rd win of the year. The Michigan State product has had a slow start to the year. His breakout will be upon us soon. Dil-Brook (21 PTS) and Valanciunas (18 PTS, 12 REB) were other standouts in the W. The Spurs are sliding for real. It might be #RebuildTime for the silver and black. All eyes on RC Buford and Greg Poppovich over the next few months. Draft assets and youth or another playoff berth? What would you prefer SA fans?

Rockets (7-3) def. Pelicans (2-8), 122-116

 The Beard is unreal (39 PTS, 9 AST, 2 STL). He put Houston on his back yet again in another W. Houston is an outlier with the way they play basketball but they are stacking up the W’s early on. Capela (11 PTS, 20 REB) and Westbrook (26 PTS, 4 STL) ran it up against the shorthanded Pelicans. All the Pelicans lottery luck has flipped on its head in this early juncture of the regular season. Zion, Ingram and Lonzo are out. Josh Hart is playing well (19 PTS) but they are simply too short handed to make any noise right now. JJ Reddick (24 PTS, 7 3PM) and Jrue Holiday (18 PTS, 11 AST, 9 REB, 6/21 FG) were solid in to the loss. Holiday season has to initiate now. The Pelicans are trending in the wrong direction. 

Jazz (7-3) def. Warriors (2-9), 122-108 

 The ‘Three Piece Band’, Gobert (25 PTS), D-Mitch (23 PTS) and Conley (22 PTS) were in tune as the Jazz beat the Golden State G-Leaguers by double digits. The Jazz are ready to get rolling right now. GSW however, is going out sad. Casual fans are about to be seriously confused come playoff time. D’Loading (33 PTS, 8 AST) is in 04-05 Kobe mode. Everyone else on the roster is like ‘04 Medvedenko. 

Clippers (7-3) def. Raptors (7-3), 98-88

Kawhi’s first game against his old team was a victorious effort. He was average in the game (12 PTS, 11 REB, 9 AST, 9 TO) but Lou Will stepped up (21 PTS) in a revenge game of his own. #SixthMan energy. PG13 is back soon. The cypher is about to be complete. The Raptors were stifled in the defeat. It doesn’t take anything away from their impressive start to the season. #WeTheNorth with or without Kawhi. Props to T-Dot for keeping it moving in this new season.

Tuesday, November 12

Pacers (7-4) def. Thunder (4-7), 111-85

 A rough night from the slender one, SGA (11 PTS, 3/11 FG), led to an easy win for the Pacer Mane. Sitting at 4-7, the OKC Draft Assets seem closer to approaching firesale season. The price for the Thunder’s trade bait (Gallo, Adams, Paul) is unknown. But potential trade scenarios have started to float around the World Wide Web. Is Gallo a Trail Blazer before 2020? Will CP3 find a new home? And will Steven Adams send New Zealand into a tailspin by getting traded? One thing is guaranteed in OKC this year and that’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander getting buckets. The Pacers have shrugged off their sluggish start to show that they could potentially be a threat in the East at 100% health. The Oladipo-less, Turner-less and Lamb-less squad are sitting at 7-4 on the year. TJ Warren (easily the biggest steal of the offseason) led the Indy franchise to the W (23 PTS). TJ ‘Born to Get Buckets’ Warren is finding his comfort zone on the depleted Pacers. Brogdon (20 PTS) continues his All-Star run, Sabonis (18 PTS, 16 REB) dubbed up, and Aaron Holiday (17 PTS) proved that the Holiday’s are the best family in basketball. HHH > BBB (no Hunter Hearst Helmsley). 

76ers (7-3) def. Cavs (4-6), 98-97

 In one of the more surprising twists to the early NBA season, the Cavs are playing near .500 basketball. Belein has turned Tristan Thompson from TMZ headline bait into a borderline elite big-man (17 PTS, 2 3PM, 12 REB) and Kevin Love has resuscitated his stat-stuffing ways (20 PTS, 8 REB). Their young guards, Sexton (18 PTS) and Darius Garland (6 PTS) still appear to cancel each other out but they have youth on their side. If Tris-Thomp can become a legit offensive threat after years of being a limited rim-running big, then either Sexton or Garland can develop into playmaking deity’s. The Cavs might be worth watching soon. It’s almost unbelievable. A game-winning dunk from Joel Embiid (27 PTS, 16 REB) ensured the 6ers squeaked past the Cavs. Ben Simmons returned with an all-round display (15 PTS, 6 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK). The Sixers barely took care of business. Ring the bell Philly, the Sixers are back at full strength (for now). 

Heat (7-3) def. Pistons (4-8), 117-108

 Alpha-Dog Jimmy Buckets continues to lead the resurgence of #HEATCulture. His performance (20 PTS, 13 AST, 2 STL) was instrumental the Heat’s 7th W. Bam Adebayo (18 PTS, 14 REB), Kendrick Nunn (20 PTS) and Goran Dragic (18 PTS) showed out alongside Jimmy Butler. Alpha Butler’s move to the Heat was one of the more questionable decisions of the offseason. However it appears that this move was just what both the Heat and Jimmy Buckets needed. May the Heat continue to prosper. Duke Kennard continues to assert himself (22 PTS). Does he have a case for the Most Improved Player award? If we return to the era when players like Aaron Brooks and Bobby Simmons won the award then the race should definitely be between Devonte’ Graham and Duke Kennard. I’m sure Pistons fans would prefer to have Donovan Mitchell reppin’ the Motor City but Duke Kennard might have turned the corner. Here’s a toast to his continued success. Drummond didn’t double-double (16 PTS, 9 REB) and Bruce Brown put up a poor-man’s Jason Kidd statline (3 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST) in the loss. Detroit Treadmill’s, in limbo since Rip, Rasheed, Tayshaun, Billups and Big Ben left town. 

Bulls (4-7) def. Knicks (2-9), 120-109

 It’s a whole lotta sneak dissin’ going on in Knick-town. We all knew they were finna be trash so why is the front office tryna act like they didn’t anticipate this start? Fiz may not be the right coach for the mecca but how is he meant to prove anything when you sign four Power Forwards to Team Option deals? Irregardless off the Knicks dilemma, RJ Barrett returned to form (21 PTS, 9 AST) and Marcus ‘I’ll Crown Myself the First Option of This Squad’ Morris chucked his way to some numbers (22 PTS, 6/17 FG). The return of Dennis Smith is only gonna make things spicier in NY. How about we just remove the Knicks from the league and let them film a reality show with this roster. Send them to Jersey Shore or something. Coby White produced a historic night to spark the Bulls to victory. White (27 PTS, 7 3PM) became the first rookie in history to splash 7 triples in a quarter. White had it going with 25 points in the 4th. Zach LaVine had a routine 20 piece (25 PTS) to add fuel to the Bulls W. Markkanen has gone from potential breakout candidate to struggling to get 30 minutes per game. Is it Boylen’s fault? Or is Markkanen’s ceiling lower than we expected?

Hawks (4-6) def. Nuggets (7-3), 125-121 

 TraeTL is that dude. Ice Trae was extra icy in the four point victory (42 PTS, 11 AST, 8 3PM). His 40 bomb was rife with limitless-range trey balls and AND1 streetball moves. Of all the young guards in the league, Trae might be the most exciting. ATL is on the path to relevance for the first time since they gave Joe Johnson the big big bag. Jabari Parker continues to fill the void that HGH Collins left behind (20 PTS, 9 REB). Denver was balanced as always. Will ‘The Thrill’ Barton (21 PTS, 9 REB), Jokic (20 PTS, 7/19 FG), Millsap (19 PTS) and Jamal Murray (18 PTS, 8 AST) were stout in defeat. Trae’s highlight-filled night was simply too much for the Mile-High Nuggets this night. Trae’s College career was polarising but there’s no denying he’s a certified star in the NBA. 

Lakers (8-2) def. Sun (6-4), 123-115

 An ice-cold triple from Bron was the dagger in this one. LeBron (19 PTS, 11 AST) and Anthony ‘Locker Room’ Davis (24 PTS, 12 REB) doubled up for the new illuminati. Laker land is bliss right now. Kuzma’s recovery from his injury issues appears to be complete as he 20 pieced off the bench (23 PTS). Rondo made his season debut in the contest. The Dwightmare continued his metamorphosis into fan favorite (12 PTS, 9 REB). Rubio (21 PTS, 10 AST), D-Book (21 PTS, 9 AST) and Baynes (20 PTS) were defiant in defeat. The Suns are a tough out for any team in the league. Gone are the days of D-Book chasing scoring records whilst losing by 30 points. Keep a lookout for Cam Johnson out of UNC (11 PTS, 3 3PM), the rook has range and a picturesque jumpshot. He’s playing well enough to steal both Saric and Oubre’s minutes. The Suns are back to ballin’. It’s been a minute. 

Jazz (8-3) def. Nets (4-6), 119-114 

 Spida Mitchell (30 PTS) and Rudy ‘I Got Hoes’-bert (18 PTS, 15 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) were in dynamic duo mode in the 5 point win. Conley continues to re-learn how to play basketball (18 PTS). The Jazz have depth and their 8-3 record shows that they are living up to the pre-season hype they received. For Brooklyn, Big Blood Kyrie shot the ball 30 times! (27 PTS, 10/30 FG). #ShootersShoot. Dinwiddie (21 PTS) and DeAndre Jordan (15 PTS, 17 REB, 2 BLK, 2 STL) were on-point in the loss. Brooklyn is an interesting case study right now. Whichever way Kyrie’s mood swings will determine their season outlook. Stay woke Brook-nam. 

Kings (4-6) def. Blazers (4-7), 107-99 

 The ‘Luke Walton Effect’ has worn off. Attention! ‘The Luke Walton Effect’ has worn off. It took a few weeks but the Kings are playing like an NBA team again. Will they completely flip the script? The other Bogdanovic was beastly off the bench (25 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL) and Bjelica doubled up (19 PTS, 12 REB) in the Kings 4th W. If the Kings make the playoffs does ‘the Luke Walton Effect’ transform into a positive? That would be some simulation material. The Maloof Curse works in mysterious ways. The Blazers could be spiralling out of control. For a team that has had consistency like the Blazers over the past seasons we will view this early skid as just a bump in the road. What is the criteria for a bonafide playoff squad falling off? I believe they are entitled to a shaky start. A shaky January or February would be cause for concern though. #GetGallo, sooner rather than later, Portland. Lillard (27 PTS) and McCollum (24 PTS) were their usual selves in the loss. 

Wednesday, November 13 

Magic (4-7) def. 76ers (7-4), 112-97

 Them Philly boys continue their mini slide as the L column piles up to 4. With Embiid on rest duty, only J-Rich (19 PTS) and Ben Simmons (18 PTS) contributed anything noteworthy on the statsheet. State Property was blown out in this jawn. 100% chalked. 7 double digit scorers featured for the Magic. They were led by chase-a-bag Vucevic (25 PTS, 12 REB) as he put up big numbers against his former team. Aaron Gordon also stuffed the stat sheet in the W (18 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST). The Magic continue to be on the borders of the playoff hunt in the East. AKA Treadmill city. At least Magic fans can continue to salivate at the emergence of Jonathan Isaac. Fultz and Bamba gotta follow in his emerging footsteps to complete the wingspan cypher. State Prop fell victim to Disneyland in this Eastern Conference battle.

Grizzlies (4-7) def. Charlotte (4-7), 119-117

 Ja 2 Grazy AKA Ja 2 Crazy did the deed in this game. He buried a tough game-winning layup to help the Baby Grizz over Buzz City. You know how I said Ja might lead the league in almost highlight plays? He may just lead the league in highlights instead. His contorting finishes and explosiveness give me John Wall vibes. Like a wiry John Wall (without the dougie). The battle for highlight king is between Ja and Trae Young right now. Ja’s game winner sealed the deal on a stellar performance (23 PTS, 11 AST). JJJ (16 PTS), J-Val (18 PTS, 12 REB), Dillon Brooks (15 PTS) and Marko Guduric (17 PTS) all chipped in for the Three-6-Mafia. Scary Terry (33 PTS) had his best game as a Hornet, Devonte Graham got the starting nod (19 PTS, 7/19 FG) and Malik Monk (20 PTS) was solid off the bench. The young pieces are giving Hornets fans something to look forward to. That Devonte Graham Most Improved Player candidacy is trending up with each performance. 

Celtics (9-1) def. Wizards (2-7), 140-133

 The team that possesses the best record in the NBA took care of business against the ‘Zards. Beal (44 PTS) broke out of his slump in his battle with fellow St. Lunatic, Jason Tatum (23 PTS). Rui had a 20 piece (21 PTS). The only thing that matters for the Wizards is that they keep improving their lottery odds. #DCLottery. It’s about to be a jackpot. Jaylen Brown (22 PTS), K-Walk (25 PTS), Carsen Edwards (18 PTS) and Marcus Smart (17 PTS) all shined in the win. Redemption time for the Celtics franchise is in effect. Brad Stevens is restoring his reputation with each Celtics W. Im anti-Boston sports but seeing Kemba lead a potential contender is good to see. He’s a ‘Real Hooper’ no doubt. 

Rockets (8-3) def. Clippers (7-4), 102-93 

 Harden is bad bad man. He feasted on the Clipset (47 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB, 3 STL, 7 3PM, 16/17 FTs). A true monster statline. Harden is the most polarising player in the league, It doesn’t stop him from being one of the best. Sure the Rockets system is centered around him dribbling the air out of the ball, but not many players in the league could put up these numbers on a consistent basis. Hate or Love It, the Beard’s on top. Sidenote: it seems we’re heading for the exact same MVP race this year. Harden vs. Giannis part II, who gets the trophy this season? Capela was a menace in the paint (12 PTS, 20 REB) in the contest. PJ Tucker also cemented his spot on the all decade blooper-reel with his missed layup attempt. At least you’re still the sneaker king, PJ. Kawhi (26 PTS, 12 REB) and Lou Will (20 PTS) did their usual in the loss. PG13 season is upon us. The full-strength Clippers are apart to be Bodeine Brazy. RIP Yams. 

Timberwolves (7-4) def. Spurs (5-6), 129-114

 Wiggins is on fire. The #fadeaway god continues to thrive in Ryan Saunders high tempo offense. A change of scenery wasn’t needed, just a change of system. Wiggins (30 PTS, 11 REB, 2 STL) is scoring efficiently and is putting up career-high numbers across the board. KAT is entrenching himself as a bonafide superstar as well (28 PTS, 11 REB, 2 STL). If the Timberwolves continue to thrive, expect KAT to be in the MVP discussion. The duo everyone forgot, Wiggins and KAT, is finally developing into something special. Touch Me Teague Me (18 PTS) did his thing. DeRozan fought through the universe altering force that is known as ‘Trade Rumors’ (Orlando WTF?) to deliver his signature dose of all-round production (27 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK). LMA (23 PTS) was the only other notable performer in San Antonio’s loss. The Spurs are floundering after a decent start to the year. Is it finally time for San An-tone to embrace the rebuild?

Lakers (9-2) def. Warriors (2-10), 120-94

 JaVale was a bully against the franchise that brought him a championship ring (18 PTS, 17 REB, 3 STL, 3 BLK). The Warriors really can’t catch a break in the 2019-20 season. Kuz (22 PTS) and LeBron (23 PTS, 12 AST) added insult to GSW’s list of injuries. D’Angelo put up a 20 piece (21 PTS) in the hefty loss. Get your numbers D’Loading. Who really cares about the other Warriors at this point. If you’re one of those ‘process’ fans then you’ll be infatuated with GSW’s rotation right now. We’ll leave that sensationalization to Reddit though. GSW vs NYK should be played behind closed doors. It’s about to be some ugly basketball. 

Raptors (8-3) def. Blazers (4-8), 114-106

 Can we throw Siakam in the MVP race? He posted another monstrous line in the Raptors win (36 PTS, 6 REB). Vanvleet continues to break out in the absence of K-Low (30 PTS, 7 AST). The Raptors continue to prove they are the real deal. Does Toronto even miss the Klaw? It’s been a fun season in T-Dot thus far. Salute Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16 PTS, 11 REB) for the solid outing. Hood was a stud in his return (25 PTS). The Blazers continued their slide to mediocrity as Lillard and McCollum posted rare duds. Rip City is getting ripped apart right now. Keep your eyes peeled on the Blazers as they will definitely be active in the trade market. 

Thursday, November 14

Heat (8-3) def. Cavaliers (4-8), 108- 97

 Kendrick Nunn AKA ‘The Teflon Don’ kept his name in the headlines with another solid performance (23 PTS, 8 AST). He’s right up there for the ROTY award. An unprecedented run for the undrafted guard. J.Buckets (14 PTS, 3 STL, 2 BLK), Bam Bam Bigelow (16 PTS, 15 REB, 5 AST), Meyers Leonard (12 PTS), Duncan Robinson (11 PTS) and Tyler Herro (16 PTS) all starred in the victory. Salute to the whole South Beach squad right now. They are putting the league on notice. #HEATCulture is for real. K-Love continues to channel his Timberwolf self (21 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL). Outside of his spell on the contending Cavs, has K-Love played on some of the weirdest rosters known to man? He endured the David Kahn era in Minnesota and now he is dealing with a trio of shoot-first guards in Beilein-land. Never forget the Darko Milicic era of Timberwolves history  

Pelicans (3-8) def. Clippers (7-5), 132-127

 Jrue Holiday broke out of his slump in emphatic fashion (36 PTS, 7 AST, 6 STL). Holiday, D-Favors (20 PTS, 20 REB) and Frank Jackson (23 PTS) spoiled the return of PG13. Offseason talk of Holiday being an MVP candidate has not come to fruition yet and most likely won’t eventuate this season, but this performance is proof that Holiday is capable of putting up superstar numbers. After a slow start, New Orleans has to start stacking up wins to keep up in the Western Conference. If Holiday can perform at a superstar level as he did in this game, he can buoy the Pelicans back to playoff-land. PG13 put up nice numbers in his return (33 PTS, 9 REB, 10/10 FT). Pointless stat of the night: PG13 is the first player to score 30+ PTS in under 25 Minutes in a player’s debut with a new team. That’s one of the most convoluted stats I’ve ever seen. Also one of the most pointless as well. PG13 was admittedly disappointed with his performance on the defensive end. Once he’s up to speed on both sides of the ball, we will begin to witness the Clipset at full strength. That is, until they decide to load manage Kawhi-et Storm. Lou Will popped a perc 30 (31 PTS, 9 AST, 2 STL), Trezz (18 PTS) dropped his efficient buckets and Rodney McGruder (20 PTS) surprised off the bench. I’m sure the Clippers fans didn’t envision a 7-5 start. I’m also sure Clippers fans didn’t envision a roster with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Their season officially starts now.  

Bucks (8-3) def. Bulls (4-8), 124-115

 Khris ‘Pure Scorer’ Middleton is out for a few weeks. This means it’s Giannis and Baby-bron Bledsoe time. Giannis (38 PTS, 16 REB, 3 BLK) and Bledsoe (31 PTS, 8 AST) popped perc 30’s in the Bucks win. Bledsoe started slow however he has caught rhythm over the past couple weeks. Good news for Bucks fans. Letting Brogdon go might cost them in the long-term though. Giannis pursuit for back-to-back MVPs is well underway in Milwaukee, WI. Coby White became the youngest player in NBA history to 5 3-pointers in consecutive games. He also set a new NBA record for most 3-pointers made by a Rookie in consecutive games with 13. Another scoring outburst for the promising rook (26 PTS, 6 3PM, 3 STL). LaVine (25 PTS, 3 STL) continues to drop 20-pieces for fun. Markkanen has to find a way to put it together. His early season struggles has the Bulls season outlook looking bleak. Has the Finnisher been crowned too early?    

Knicks (3-9) def. Mavericks (6-5), 106-103

 The Knicks secured their most important series sweep in recent memory dismissing the MAGA-ricks for the second and final time on the year. The atmosphere at the Garden was reminiscent of the Royal Rumble 2000. The capacity crowd reigned jeers and hateful chants to Fuck-The-Knickstaps Porzingis for the duration of the game. They treated KP like he was peak heel Vince McMahon. Pure heel heat. Marcus Morris has established himself as the true alpha dog on the squad and hit a clutch three to secure the W (20 PTS). Despite all the snakery going on in the Knicks organisation, the franchise was able to band together to deliver KP one final ‘F*** You’. Luka-Magic continues to perform his European Witchcraft on the league. Dropping another 30-point triple double (33 PTS, 11 AST, 10 REB). HIS NUMBERS RIGHT NOW ARE RIDICULOUS. @kporzee struggled in his Knicks return (20 PTS, 11 REB, 7/17 FGs). KP has been up-and-down in his return season. It’s to be expected after you continually tear your ligaments. The Mavs need one more featured player to take the load off the Euro-Duo.  

Nuggets (8-3) def. Nets (4-7), 101-93

 The ‘Kyrie is unhappy’ and ‘Kyrie is a team cancer’ storyline is well under way. Can the media just let my mans hoop? ESPN is either trying to turn the NBA into a meme-fest or a soap opera. Can they please make their mind up. The Nets are sliding and an injury to Caris LeVert doesn’t help. ‘Quick-Step’ Caris can’t seem to stay healthy. It’s a damn shame since he’s been close to breaking out over the past two seasons. This season was always going to be a weird one for the Brooklynites, a playoff push should keep them happy enough until Kevin Durant returns. Jarret Allen AKA ‘The Fro-Show’ put up a decent line in the loss (17 PTS, 10 REBS). The Nuggets were balanced like Kyrie’s chakras in the W. Jokic (18 PTS, 10 REB) and Trillsap (18 PTS, 9 REB) were the scoring leaders for the Nugs. The balanced attack is a joy to see but I don’t know if Jamaal Murray is a good enough 2nd-option to get it done in playoff time. They can cruise through the regular season with this roster. However, the Nuggets should consider flipping some of their promising role players for a legit star to pair with Jokic. Please get Bradley Beal, Denver. Bol Bol for Beal. Grunfeld would’ve pulled the trigger.    

Suns (7-4) def. Hawks (4-7), 128-112

 Oubre Jr. exploded for a perc 30 against the ATLiens. The Kansas product showed out for Phoenix (30 PTS, 7 REB, 2 STL). The Suns turnaround is a joy to see. D-Book (27 PTS) and Dario Saric (23 PTS) popped out the cut at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. One month into the season, it’s safe to say the Suns resurgence is one of the best storylines. TraeTL nutmegged himself to a night, despite shooting struggles (21 PTS, 13 AST, 7/18 FGs). A$AP Bari Parker continues to shine bright in John Collins absence (24 PTS, 7 REB, 3 STL) and Alex Len doubled up (21 PTS, 10 REB). It’s been a tough start to ATL’s season. Watching Jabari and Trae put up numbers is fun though. Wiggins and Parker were just waiting ‘til the new decade to realise their potential. They are flipping the script on the bust label with each standout performance.  

Friday, November 15

Orlando (5-7) def. Spurs (5-7), 111-109

 #TeamWingspan were victorious over the sliding Spurs. Embrace the youth Poppovich. Free Lonnie Walker ‘til it’s backwards. Evan Fournier (26 PTS) and Terrence Ross (20 PTS) put on a shooting clinic against the Spurs. Salute to Al-Farooq Aminu who put up nice numbers (13 PTS, 13 REB) in a spot start for the injured Jonathan Isaac. Orlando plays at one of the slowest paces in the league. It definitely aids their defense first mentality but it reduces the hope for a Fultz breakout this year. All I want for Christmas is for #FultzMania to run wild brother. A month into the season and the Spurs are contending for treadmill team of the year. Trade rumours are afloat in cowboy hat central. It seems like the Spurs are more likely to try and compete for the playoffs then fully embrace the rebuild. When LMA decides to go back to Portland (or retire) and DeRozan gets traded, then the Lonnie Walker movement will be initiated. 

Hornets (5-7) def. Pistons (4-9), 109-106

 Malik Monk hit an epic three at the horn to guarantee victory for Buzz City. Coach Borrego has placed an ample amount of faith in the Kentucky product and it appears to be paying off for Charlotte (19 PTS). Devonte’ Graham (18 PTS, 10 AST, 8/23 FGs) and Rozier (19 PTS, 3 STL, 8/18 FGs) had subpar shooting games but helped out in other areas. Devonte’ Graham has looked like a true floor general throughout the season. Combine this with his deadly pull-up game and he projects to be a real problem for the league over the next few years. Mike Bibby-esque. Langston ‘Role Player’ Galloway had the game of his life for Detroit (32 PTS, 7 3PM). The sniper was scoped in for the whole night. Drummond went Drego mode with another doble-double (16 PTS, 20 REB) and the rest of the Pistons didn’t really add much. B-Griff is back and is working his way back to full health. Once he is in full gear we can project how the Pistons season is going to turn out. Sidenote: Drummond is about to have some historic career numbers once it’s all said and done but what exactly will his legacy be? It’s not like he’s a transcendent bigman. He’s more like a rare anomaly in this pace-and-space era. His late career is going to be weird. 

Rockets (9-3) def. Pacers (7-5), 111-102

 James Harden went: Down, X, Right, Left, Right, R1, Right, Down, Up, Triangle for the Rockets in this contest. In other words the Beard was a cheat code (44 PTS, 8 REB, 4 STL). It’s scary to say, however it’s completely feasible that the Beard averages 40 ppg this season. His shooting numbers are progressing to the mean with each game. If he does end up averaging 40 for the whole year, it would be one of the greatest regular season runs of all time. You can’t dispute Harden’s talent no matter what narrative his detractors might spew out. The Beard is undoubtedly one of the greats. Eric Gordon is out for the foreseeable future which has opened up the Ben McLemore career redemption arc (21 PTS, 4 3PM). His jump shot form is one of the prettiest of the decade. Houston is the perfect place to revive your career because all you are asked to do is stand in the corner and shoot. Just don’t miss a million consecutive threes in Game 7 of the Conference Finals and you will be alright. The injury bug is rife in Indy. Lamb, Turner, Dipo and now Brogdon have been sidelined for the Pacers. This left plenty of stats to go around in this game. Sabonis (18 PTS, 13 REB) and McDermott (18 PTS) filled the stats void in the loss. Doug McDermott getting a long term contract a couple seasons ago was another #finesseMoment in NBA history. Turner is expected to return soon. The full strength Pacers should be a joy to watch.    

Wizards (3-7) def. Timberwolves (7-5), 137-116

 Real Deal Beal returned to Real Deal form with a big .40 cal (44 PTS, 10 AST). Bradley 2 Times probably receives the most defensive attention, on a night-to-night basis, from opposing teams. Purely because he’s surrounded by either unproven players, complete non-factors and the ghost of Isaiah Thomas. Mo-money Wagner arrived out of nowhere to be the second option Beal desperately needs on this fateful night. Potentially the most unexpected perc 30 of the season came from Michigan Mo (30 PTS, 15 REB). The former Laker’s per-minute numbers are tantalising, it would take a Thomas Bryant injury for him to be unleashed. Or, if he keeps dropping these perc 30’s he  might usurp him in the rotation. Scott Brooks rotations are weird as hell so it’s best not to predict anything in Wizard-land. The Timberwolves were without the Weed-man Wiggins who was absent due to personal reasons (condolences Wiggy). KAT feasted (again) to pop a perc 30 of his own (36 PTS, 10 REB). I sincerely hope the Wolves can make a playoff push this year. Losses to the Wizards ain’t gonna cut it though.  

Thunder (5-7) def. Sixers (7-5), 127-119

 Everyone’s favorite team after two weeks, the 76ers, continue to pile up losses. This time they faltered against the OKC Draft Assets. What would you rather have? Draft Assets or Cryptocurrency? CP3 put in a vintage performance (27 PTS, 8 AST) against dem Philly boys. SGA (24 PTS) and Gallo (28 PTS, 11/11 FTs) were filling it up in the W. I mention this every write-up, but when does OKC pull the trigger and throw their trade bait in the ocean. A handful of franchise’s (Portland) are looking desperate for some viable NBA players. Presti season will open up soon. Philly might be as polarising as the Rockets. You laud their unorthodox roster when it’s pulling in W’s and you despise their lack of bench depth and Ben Simmons shooting ability when they lose. I guess that’s just how things are in the reactionary era. Is it time to move on from Brett Brown? I think so. Tobias broke out of a slump (21 PTS), J-Rich exploded (28 PTS) and Embiid was dominant (31 PTS, 12 REB). These individual performances weren’t enough for Philly to pull out the W though. 

Grizzlies (5-7) def. Jazz (8-4), 107-106

 Ja Morant is that dude. He spoiled Conley’s return to Memp-town in style (25 PTS, 8 AST). Conley is the greatest PG in Grizzlies history but Morant proved that his reign atop might be short lived. Dillon Brooks continued his mini-breakout in the W as well (20 PTS). The Canadian marksman must thoroughly enjoy playing with the high-energy Ja. Morant got that electricity in his game fosho’. Gobert and Mitchell were beastly in this encounter. ‘I Got Hoes’ Gobert (23 PTS, 17 REB, 5 BLK) reminded everyone why he is known as the ‘Stifle Tower’. Spida Mitchell (29 PTS, 9 REB) continues to be the truth as the first option in Utah. Conley is struggling mightily in Utah. If a few more losses pile up then expect a few negative narratives to circle around the nicest guy in the league AKA ‘0 Technicals’. 

Celtics (10-1) def. Warriors (2-11), 105-100

 The Green Guys took over the Left Coast as they cruised (relatively) to their 10th W of the season. The champions of the first month reigned supreme. Jaylen Brown (22 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL), Jayson Tatum (24 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL) and Kemba Walker (20 PTS) dropped 20-pieces on the beleaguered Bay Area Warriors. Alec Burks (20 PTS) was the only player to note for GSW. News of a thumb sprain to D’Loading means the Warriors will succumb to more losses. Can we send the whole franchise to the G-League? Their demise has been poetry in motion. 

Lakers (10-2) def. Kings (5-7), 99-97

 LeBron led the Lakeshow to a narrow victory over the Kings. Luke Walton’s return to STAPLES was nearly one for the history books. LBJ (29 PTS, 11 AST, 3 STL) is dropping dimes at a torrid pace. KCP got the start and proved the ‘double-digit theory’ correct (16 PTS). The Lakers have had an ideal start to the year. Kuzma is starting to find his feet in his bench role as well. Showtime is back. Last season was just a pump fake. Buddy Hield (21 PTS, 6 3 PM) bombed away in the two point loss. Out of his 15 field goal attempts, 14 were 3-pointers. De’Aaron Fox is out with an ankle sprain. Could the ‘Luke Walton Effect’ strike again? 

Saturday, November 16

Brooklyn (5-7) def. Bulls (4-9), 117-111

 With Kyrie and Caris sidelined, the Nets supporting cast stepped up to bring a much needed W to Brook-nam. Joe Harris (22 PTS, 8 AST, 2 STL) and Spencer ‘Digi-Coin’ Dinwiddie (24 PTS, 14/15 FTs, 2 BLK) put on for the Brooklynites. The newfound attention means Brooklyn is in line for a treacherous regular season. Kyrie will always be one of the most talked about players in the league. Sadly, for reasons other than basketball. On the bright side, it appears that Brooklyn has made another savvy mid-round draft selection with Nicolas Claxton. The kid can hoop. Zach ‘Black Hole’ LaVine (36 PTS, 11/12 FTs) got his and his only for the Bulls. Wendell Carter is developing nicely (18 PTS, 14 REB) in Chi-Town. The main takeaway from the Bulls season thus far is Markkanen. The Finnisher is in a serious slump right now.  

Bucks (9-3) def. Pacers (7-6), 102-83

 The Bucks slapped the Pacers silly. Giannis (26 PTS, 13 REB, 3 3PM) is a man amongst boys. He even equipped a pull-up three package for this game. The new Superman is atop the MVP leaderboards thus far. Well, him or Harden (seems familiar?). Hoodrich BLopez (15 PTS, 5 BLK) was protecting the paint like it was a trap-house on Candler Rd. Bucks are gon’ Buck. Myles Turner returned with a double-double (16 PTS, 11 REB) but the Pacers remain short-handed. Don’t fret about the blowout loss, Indiana. Things will be better soon.  

Hornets (6-7) def. Knicks (3-10), 103-102

 The Pull-Up God, Devonte’ Graham buried a game-winning triple for the Hornets to shatter the Knicks hopes of obtaining another victory. A second straight game-winner for Charlotte. I don’t think anyone expected Buzz City to be knocking on the door of a .500 record after a month of play. Devonte’ Graham went ballistic sinking 9 triples on the night (29 PTS, 9 3PM). The Most Improved Award is his for the taking. He is one of the best young scorers to watch thus far. The rook PJ Washington had a nice outing as well (19 PTS). He also assisted on the game-winning play. James Borrego has Charlotte playing some inspired ball right now. Batum AKA ‘The French Finesser’ returned to start collecting his otherworldly bag. RJ Barrett (22 PTS) continues to be one of the few bright spots for the Knicks. Are you team #FireFiz or #MoveMills? Or should we just eradicate the Knicks from existence?   

Heat (9-3) def. Pelicans (3-9), 109-94

 Jimmy ‘Alpha-Dog’ Buckets turned into the chief distributor for Miami in their 15 point victory over the ‘New- No Limit’ Pelicans. Jimmy Buckets (16 PTS, 13 AST, 8 REB, 3 STLS) stuffed the stat sheet to the brim. Bam Bam Bigelow (18 PTS, 14 REB, 3 BLK, 2 STL) and ‘The Chosen Nunn’ (22 PTS) contributed heavily to Miami’s W. South Beach is shining’ right now.All we need is a Slip-N-Slide Records resurgence. The Pelicans continue to look like No Limit records in the 2000’s. Subpar. The good news is that Nickeil Alexander-Walker AKA ‘Hell NAW’ broke out for the first time (27 PTS, 6 3PM). More NAW, coach Gentry. Please. Hoody Hooo.  

Rockets (10-3) def. Timberwolves (7-6), 125-105

 James Harden used: R1, R2, L1, X, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, UP, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, UP, this time as he sauteed the Timberwolves. James Harden is not a human being (49 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB). Greatest scorer ever. McLemore continues his redemption run (20 PTS, 4 3PM, 2 STL), Austin Rivers (19 PTS) balled out and Chris Celmons (19 PTS) starred in Westbrook’s absence. The Timberwolves Wiggins-less slide continues. KAT helped himself to another prolific statline though (27 PTS, 15 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK). Jake ‘I Guess White Men Can Jump’ Layman 20 pieced up in the loss (20 PTS). That boy Harden is a different breed. Real greatness.

Mavericks (7-5) def. Raptors (8-4), 110-102

 Luka Da Don continues his unprecedented stats binge with another all-round explosion (26 PTS, 15 REB, 7 AST). He might be on his way to one of the best Sophomore seasons in recent history. He has free reign in Dallas, so these gaudy statlines will continue throughout the season. K Porzee’s doubled up in the dub (20 PTS, 15 REB). Will we witness Playoff Luka this year? Siakam stumbled in this contest. He posted one hell of a dud on the box score (15 PTS, 6/24 FGs). Spicy P shall bounce back with a vengeance. OVO VanVleet (24 PTS, 7 AST) and Norman Powell (26 PTS, 6 3PM) picked it up for the Raptors. The Raptors should be ‘aight. Don’t fret a Siakam slump.  

Blazers (5-8) def. Spurs (5-8), 121-116

 The spirit of Carmelo Anthony led the Blazers to a much needed W. The new signee is not active until next-week but best believe the Basketball Gods blessed Portland for their decision. 3J McCollum (32 PTS, 7 AST), Dame (22 PTS, 13/13 FTs) and Hassan Whiteside (21 PTS, 12 REB, 3 BLK) broke the Blazers out of their collective slump. All eyes on Melo’s debut against the Pelicans. I can’t wait to witness the jab-step wizardry. LaMarcus had himself a night against his old squad (30 PTS, 13 REB). Who cares though. I won’t care about the Spurs until Lonnie Walker gets significant minutes. As mentioned before, it’s time for the youth movement in San An-tone.   

Clippers (8-5) def. Hawks (4-8), 150-101

  49 Points? Krazy but it’s true. PG13 has been maniacal in his return (37 PTS, 11/11 FTs, 6 3PM). 70 Points, in 44 minutes, over his first two Clippers appearances,. Them shoulders be healthy. The Clippers annihilated the Hawks. Errbody showed out against the Hawks. ATL must of been off the Runtz pack for real. Outside of the slaughter not much noteworthy happened in this game. Damian Jones is a nice hyper-athletic 5 for the Hawks. He should be a nice fit alongside John Collins once he returns. 

76ers (8-5) def. Cavaliers (4-8), 114-95

 The 6ers break their slide against Beilein-land. Tobias Harris led the way with a stellar night (27 PTS, 5 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK). He’s been traded a bunch of times but he always provides such consistent production. If he stays in Philly for the duration of his deal, he should be a Philly icon when it’s all said and done. The Cavs were stifled by the 6ers in this contest. Sexton top scored (17 PTS, 7/17 FGs), as Cleveland has some serious woes throughout the contest. After a few surprise W’s and Tristan Thompson’s breakout, things just got uninteresting in Cleveland again. Tristan it’s time for some mo’ groupie love. 

Kings (5-7) def. Celtics (11-2), 100-99

 Marcus Smart’s game-winner was oh so close. He attempted a floater in the lane as the clock expired. Sadly for the Green Gang, the floater bounced off the rim an agonising amount of times and missed the mark. 7 Celtics scored in double digits in a balanced display of teamwork. Jaylen Brown led the way for the C’s (18 PTS, 8 REB, 2 STL). The Kings are slowly shaking off their horrible start to the season. Without Bagley and De’Aaron Fox, the Kings are stacking up the victories. Buddy ‘Get Buckets’ Hield carried the Purple to triumph (35 PTS, 7 3PM, 4 STL). That Maloof Curse is waiting to strike again. Kings gon’ King at the end of the day. 

Magic (6-7) def. Wizards (3-8), 125-121

 Markelle Mania was running wild at the Amway Center. He had a solid outing (19 PTS, 2 3PM) which featured a clutch steal and jam to seal the Magic win. May Markelle keep prospering. Chase-a-bag Vucevic was a monster (30 PTS, 17 REB) and Evan Fournier (25 PTS) filled it up for Isaac-less Magic. Sitting at 6-7, the Magic are on track to achieve their goal of being a playoff team. The treadmill is still chugging along. #DCLottery odds keep rising. Real Deal Beal continues getting his numbers (34 PTS, 8 AST, 5 3PM) and CJ Miles bombed away to a 20 piece (21 PTS, 6 3PM). To think in 2017 the Wizards were supposed to have next. Beal has emerged since then, Otto Porter can’t stay on the floor for the Bulls, John Wall seems to be sidelined for eternity and Kelly Oubre is breaking out on the Suns. The front office really fumbled the bag with that 2017 squad. The league needs John Wall back ASAP.

Nuggets (9-3) def. Grizzlies (5-8), 131-114

 Jamal Murray ‘The Blue Arrow’, green-beaned his way to a colossal night (39 PTS, 8 AST, 7 3PM, 3 STL). His performance secured a blow-out win for the Mile High team. Trillsap, the savvy vet, chipped in with a nice 20 piece (23 PTS, 5 STL). The Nuggets keep getting it done. Arguably one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, the regular season shall be a breeze for them. JJJ (22 PTS) and Brandon Clarke (19 PTS, 8/8 FGs) were impressive for the defeated Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a few years away but they don’t own their draft pick this year. They’ll be trying to compete in every game this year (maybe). Ja Morant is still a nightly highlight machine by the way. 

Pelicans (4-9) def. Warriors (2-12), 108-100

 Two teams that have been destroyed by the injury bug collided in this contest. If you watched this game, you’re a real NBA fan. Both rosters are seriously depleted. The Point-Draymond experiment failed for the Dubs (7 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST) as they stumbled to yet another lost. From first to worst, literally. Eric Paschall had another scoring outburst (30 PTS, 7 REB) and Ky Bowman was solid off the bench (19 PTS) for the G-League Warriors. The Pelicans injury report is longer than Big Smoke’s order at Cluckin’ Bell. Luckily, they still have Jrue Holiday to lead the flock (22 PTS, 9 AST, 9/23 FGs). JJ Reddick (26 PTS, 6 3PM) and NAW (19 PTS) came through for the ‘New No Limit’ Pelicans. This game was probably the saddest matchup of the season so far. 

Lakers (11-2) def. Hawks (4-9), 122-101

 The Hawks were off the Runtz pack once more. Falling to the Lakers by 21. This has to be one of the more embarrassing LA road trips in a long time. 2 losses by a combined margin of 70 points. Ridiculous. The loss didn’t stop TraeTL from getting his stats (31 PTS, 7 AST, 8 TO). LeBron was his all-world self again (33 PTS, 12 AST, 6 3PM). This might be the best he has ever shot the three-ball in his career. He’s still the best in the league. As long as he is playing he deserves that title. The Lakers are tied with C’s for the best record in the league. Is this the 80’s? 

Week Four brought us more NBA madness. One month down, many more to go. Don’t hesitate to join us as we break down what’s really good with the state of the NBA. The early surprises have emerged, the disappointments have shattered fanbases hopes and Andrew Wiggins is en-route to fulfilling his potential. The Celtics and Lakers are reigning supreme. All we need now is the Converse Weapons to return. The real Weapons, not those weak ass retro’s. #WhatsReallyGood. We apologise for the one week hiatus. Regular programming has returned. 

Weekly Smack and More NBA content coming at you every week on LO-FI: The Magazine!

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