NBA WEEKLY SMACK (EDITION 5)

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MELO IS BACK! BEN SIMMONS HITS A THREE, GIANNIS IS UNSTOPPABLE, IS THE SPURS PLAYOFF STREAK OVER?

Monday, November 18

Knicks (4-10) def. Cavs (4-9), 123-105

 The tank battle royale was on as the Knicks and Cavs collided. The festivities ended in a rare W for the #Knickstape. Julius Randle had his first breakout game as a Knickerbocker (30 PTS, 7 REB, 2 STL) and Marcus Morris continues his run as New York’s de-facto first option (23 PTS). New York State of Mind, word to God’s Son. The Cavs continue to pile up the L’s in Leaveland. Kevin Porter Jr. got the start and responded with buckets (18 PTS). The midseason era of KPJ playing with free reign will be a joy to watch. Look for him to assume the role of tank commander over the next few weeks. With all the tanking going on in the NBA, why doesn’t Adam Silver propose one of his tournaments to decide who gets the number one pick?

Pacers (8-6) def. Nets (5-8), 115-86

 Holiday season! Aaron (24 PTS, 13 AST) and Justin (20 PTS, 4 3PM) led the way as the Pacers slaughtered the Brook-nam Nets. The Holiday brothers pair of 20 pieces ousted Dinwiddie’s own 20 piece (28 PTS, 8 AST). Brooklyn is suffering a heavy hangover right now. After a year in which they surprised the league with a playoff run and an offseason where they shocked the world with high profile acquisitions, the Nets have stuttered out the gates. The Kyrie media circus could be to blame or maybe it’s just the sheer volume of roster turnover the Nets have (10 new players). Either way, the Nets should be able to fight through the media circus and injuries to secure a playoff spot. As for Indiana, they continue to impress despite the absence of various key players. Nate McMillan has to be one of the most underrated coaches in the NBA. 

Raptors (9-4) def. Hornets (6-8), 132-96

 OG Anunoby’s career high (24 PTS), Siakam’s smorgasbord of stats (20 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST) and Toronto’s all around dominance reigned supreme over Buzz City. Without K-Low and Serge, the Raptors keep chugging along. They have a crazy knack for finding talent and making savvy additions. As exemplified by the performances of Terence Davis, Rondae Hollis Jefferson and Chris Boucher during this shorthanded stretch. Norman Powell is beginning to find consistency as well. The Raptors are one of the most well-rounded teams in the league. Up there with the Denver Nuggets in terms of depth. No one showed up for the buzz kids in this game. The Hornets have surprised in the early season but losses like this are all a part of the rebuilding journey. The Devonte’ Graham show shall resume shortly. 

Bucks (10-3) def. Bulls (4-10), 115-105

 Giannis continues to dominate with ease (33 PTS, 10 REB, 3 STL). His FT% has dropped to an abysmal 59%, which is about the only valid complaint you can make about his play thus far. We’ll see if he can rectify his Shaq-like ways at the line or if the Raptors conference finals has scarred him for life. Hoodrich Brook Lopez came through with a solid line in the victory (19 PTS, 10 REB, 5 BLK). The Bucks are crushing opponents right now. Khris Middleton’s return will only make things easier. The loss of Brogdon might show itself come playoff time. As for the Bulls, it must be time to get rid of Boylen. Their player development has been suspect and it’s only looking worse after Lauri Markkannen’s early season form. Rook Daniel Gafford surprised everyone with a 20 piece (21 PTS, 2 BLK). Everyone else on the Bulls were relatively uninspired. #GarPax forever delivering mediocrity. 

Rockets (11-3) def. Blazers (5-9), 132-108 

 Although he didn’t make his debut, we would like to extend Carmelo Anthony a genuine congratulations for landing with the Trail Blazers. After this loss, the Blazers sit at 5-9 on the year. They gotta turn this ship around quickly if they want to be back in the playoffs. 3J McCollum (25 PTS, 5 3PM) led the way for the sliding Blazers. Melo might not save them but it makes things interesting for them. It also gives them a scape-goat in case things go really awry. The three-headed monster of Capela (22 PTS, 20 REB, 4 BLK), Harden (36 PTS), and Westbrook (28 PTS, 13 REB, 10 AST) destroyed Portland in this one. The Rockets and their unconventional style is rolling right now. Harden should push averaging 40 PPG by the season’s end. He’s that damn good. 

Mavericks (8-5) def. Spurs (5-9), 117-110

 Luka the Ruler continues to outshine and out-perform the majority of the league. His torrid stat-stuffing way continued in the Mavs W (42 PTS, 12 REB, 11 AST). Porzingis is getting himself back healthy, leaving Doncic as a true one-man band-man. Word to Swizz Beats. Dorian Finney-Smith helped out with his 20-piece (22 PTS). The Mavs roster is severely outmatched but Rick Carlisle’s system and Luka’s magic has them in the mix for the playoffs. The Spurs continue spiralling down the power rankings. Sitting at 5-9, the Spurs are facing a reality they’ve been avoiding since Tim Duncan, Manu, T-Parker and Kawhi left town. They’re on their way to being lottery bound for the first time in a long time. Demar ‘When I was 2 I turned 4 because I don’t fuck with 3’s’ dropped a perc 30 (36 PTS, 8 REB) in the loss. Their outdated way of playing basketball has become evident in the 19-20 season. #EmbraceTheYouth #FreeLonnieWalker

Celtics (11-2) def. Suns (7-5), 99-85

 The fifth St. Lunatic, Jayson Tatum, was on-song (26 PTS, 11 REB) for the green gang as they duelled with the Suns in the desert. K-Walk (19 PTS) and Marcus Smart (17 PTS) were on point for the green guys. Marcus Smart’s play has impressed. He may brick an ungodly amount of shots but I think his play far exceeds the ‘glue-guy’ label he is smeared with. He’s one of those unique Role Players who can contribute across the board. Whilst remaining elite on the defensive end. I’m sure every franchise wishes they had a guy like M.Smart. The Suns were stifled in defeat, putting up only 85 points against the stout defense of Boston. D-Book had a 20-piece (20 PTS) for Phoenix. The Suns are the real deal. Five weeks deep and they’re still competitive. Who would have thought. Monty Williams for Coach of the Year.

Tuesday, November 19

Timberwolves (8-6) def Jazz (8-5), 112-102

 KAT tore down the Stifle Tower in Minny’s 10 point victory over the Jazz band. KAT sure does know how to stuff a stat sheet (29 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLK, 2 STL). If Minny wins 52+ games then the MVP race might become a three-way dance. Salute to Minnesota for the bounce back season. Last season was far too fuckery filled for them to succeed. Wiggins and KAT are finally becoming the duo everyone imagined they would be. The Jazz were balanced in their losing effort. Mike Conley might have seriously forgot how to shoot. Five weeks deep in to the year and he’s still tossing up bricks like he’s Waka Flocka. RIP Slim Dunkin’. Minny and Utah are two teams who should definitely be in the hunt for a 4-5-6 seed in the Western Conference playoff race. It’s about to get really exciting after the All-Star break. 

Clippers (9-5) def. Thunder (5-8), 90-88

 CP3 returned to Staples Center (and their secret tunnels) in a losing effort. His valiant effort (22 PTS, 4 STL) was bested by Montrezl Harrel’s outstanding performance (28 PTS, 12 REB). The bench unit for the Clippers remains as fierce as ever. PG13 and Kawhi-et Storm chose up on the right franchise. Trade season has to commence for the Thunder soon right? At this rate, Steven Adams would have lost all his value by February. Pull the trigger Presti. Trade season, Trade season!

Pelicans (5-9) def. Blazers (5-10), 115-104

 Melo’s debut (10 PTS) did not go according to plan for Portland. He showed a few signs of rust which is more than expected after a year out of the league. The over-reaction to this Melo situation has been and will be unreal throughout this saga. Call it Melo-Drama 2.0. 3J 20 pieced (22 PTS) in Lillard’s absence. The Blazers were struggling before Melo’s arrival. Please don’t blame Melo for these upcoming losses. Please media. Big Dog B.I. was the top shotta for the Pelicans (21 PTS, 2 STL), as was Jrue Holiday (22 PTS, 10 AST). Both of these teams can turn their season around. Time is always ticking though.  

Warriors (3-12) def. Grizzlies (5-9), 114-95

 The young Grizz took a massive L to the Golden State G-Leaguers. Growing pains for the Baby Grizz. The Grizzlies are the type of team to play an elite team close and struggle against the tanking squads. Ja Morant (20 PTS, 7/20 FG) continues his impressive rookie campaign. Alec Burks AKA ‘The only serviceable NBA player on this roster’ put up big numbers in the rare W (29 PTS, 8 REB). Injury derailed his rise, but Burks is a solid bucket-getter in the NBA. The bandwagon has departed GSW, finally.

Kings (6-7) def. Suns (7-6), 120-116

 Sac-Town has rebounded from their sluggish start with a bang. Bogdan Bogdanovic (is he the better Bogdanovic now?), continues to shine bright in De’Aaron Fox’s absence (31 PTS, 7 AST, 3 STL). Richaun Holmes beasted up for a 20-10 performance (20 PTS, 15 REB, 2 BLK). The Kings are back on track. Lets see if they can keep this up as the season progresses. The Suns take another L here to their Pacific Division rivals. D-Book dropped a perc-30 (30 PTS, 8 AST), Oubre (20 PTS, 5 STL) and Mikal Bridges (20 PTS, 2 STL) 20-pieced up for Phoenix. Luke Walton is making me eat my early season criticism. The Maloof Curse still looms over Sac-Town.   

Lakers (12-2) def. Thunder (5-9), 112-107

 AD and LBJ continued their dominance of the NBA against the Thunder. AD (34 PTS, 7 REB, 4 STL, 2 BLK) and LBJ (25 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST) keep posting transcendent stats for the new-Showtime Lakers. KCP  (13 PTS) is playing extremely well in the starting lineup and slowly shedding his reputation as a bonafide scrub. Klutch Sports always prospers. The KCP double-digit theory continues to gain precedence with each W. That LBJ x Frank Vogel feud might not eventuate if they keep stacking wins at this rate. OKC Draft Assets played the Lakers close but not close enough. Dennis Schroeder (31 PTS) and Danilo Gallo (25 PTS) got their numbers for the Draft Assets. All eyes on Presti. Draft Assets stacking up like LiteCoin.

Wednesday, November 20 

76ers (9-5) def. Knicks (4-11), 109-104

 Ben Simmons (18 PTS, 13 AST, 7 REB) hit the first three of his career. Krazy but it’s true. The prolific Point Guard has faced a plethora of criticism for his lack of a jump-shot. This three pointer silenced the critics for one night. He may never be able to do this consistently but his first three-pointer should be known as the ‘shot heard round the world’. Joel Embiid chipped in with his expected contributions (23 PTS, 19 REB) to the 6ers winning cause. History was made in Philly on this fateful night. Marcus Morris (22 PTS) and Frank Nitty (not the Drew League one) (17 PTS) kept the Knicks close in their losing effort. The Knicks are abysmal. At least Frank N. is showing strides of development. Fuckery will surround this organisation forever.   

Wizards (4-8) def. Spurs (5-10), 138-132

 Real Deal Beal was the Real Deal in a rare Washington W (33 PTS). Washington is an offensive juggernaut. Too bad the squad subscribes to the matador defense theory. Ish Smith (21 PTS) and Bertans (21 PTS) poured it in for ‘Zards. Scott Brooks must just tell them to go out there and shoot as many times as possible. Do it all for the #DCLottery. This is a bad loss for the Spurs. The type of loss that should lead to the #YouthMovement. DeMar AKA ‘I don’t shoot threes’ had another perc 30 (31 PTS) in the loss. He’s getting his numbers despite the unwavering threat of being traded again. The Spurs have been bad in the early season. The real question is, does it get worse? Or does it get better? For the boys in San An-tone.

Bucks (11-3) def. Hawks (4-10), 135-127

 Giannis (33 PTS, 11 REB) was Giannis as the Bucks dismissed the Hawks. As crazy as it sounds, a 30 PT, 10 REB performance is the usual for the dominant force. He’s really on another level. Shaq Diesel was right to crown him the new ‘Superman’. E-Bled AKA Mini-Bron has been feasting recently in conjunction with Giannis (28 PTS, 7 REB). With all this talk of ‘duos’ in the NBA, can we assume E-Bled and Giannis are the most swole ‘duo’ in the league? De’Andre Hunter (27 PTS) put in a nice performance. The rookie’s stock has been ascending over the past couple weeks. The National Champ has been draining threes and clamping up like an elite two-way prospect should. Cam Reddish (17 PTS) broke out of a permanent slump for ATL. Reddish has been a plus on defense but his offense has been historically bad. Despite the struggles, Reddish and Hunter project to be versatile clamps for the Hawks. IceTrae (25 PTS) continues his hero ball run for ATL. The Hawks are down bad right now, just wait a couple years ATLiens.

Mavs (9-5) def. Warriors (3-13), 142-94

 This game was bad. On national TV as well. Adam Silver must have been spewing. The Mavs dominated, Luka (35 PTS, 11 AST, 10 REB, 4 STL) dominated and we all had to bear witness to one of the most brutal losses in recent NBA history. #DubNation.

Heat (10-3) def. Cavs (4-10), 124-100

 The Heat keep stomping on the league. Jimmy Buckets (21 PTS, 2 STL, 4 BLK) and Tyler Herro (22 PTS) played second fiddle to Michigan product, Duncan Robinson (29 PTS, 9 3PM). Robinson rained treys down on his College coach’s squad. #HeatCulture continues to thrive. Their progression throughout the season should be monitored. They could emerge as a surprise Conference Finalist come playoff time. Jimmy Buckets made the perfect choice by joining the Heat. Something I didn’t think at the time he made the move. KLove (25 PTS), stat-padded like he was back in Minny. Command the tank, Beilein. 

Nets (6-8) def. Hornets (6-8), 101-91

 Brook-nam is standing up in the absence of the malcontent Kyrie. Jarrett Allen (22 PTS, 17 REB, 2 STL) was a man amongst boys. Taurean Prince (20 PTS) and Digi-Coin Dinwiddie (20 PTS) helped out for the Brooklynites. Their start hasn’t been the greatest but Brooklyn is starting to build their chemistry and rally through their injury problems. Their record should get above .500 in no time. The Buzz Kids were outplayed in this matchup. As long as the young guns continue to get their minutes (and shots) every game should be viewed as a step in the right direction for the Hornets.  

Raptors (10-4) def. Magic (6-8), 113-97

 The Raptors continue to assert themselves as a top-tier squad in the Eastern Conference. OVO Vanvleet (24 PTS), Siakam (18 PTS, 11 REB) and Terence Davis (19 PTS) were dominant in the Raptors 16 point victory. The Raptors gon’ shine regardless, with or without the Klaw. Jonahtan Isaac (16 PTS, 13 REB, 3 BLK) was the lone bright spot for the Magic. Nikola Vucevic sustained an injury and will be out for the foreseeable future. Time to unleash Mo Bamba, Coach Clifford. Harlem World will be on the rise, again. 

Bulls (5-10) def. Pistons (4-10), 109-89

 The battle of the ‘Treadmill Teams’ went to the Bulls in emphatic fashion. Lauri Markkannen (24 PTS) had a bounce back performance. If he can string some 20-pieces together the Finnisher will restore his reputation as an elite big-man prospect. Shaq Harrison was an all-around beast in a spot start (15 PTS, 11 AST, 3 STL). With reports of GarPax’s jobs being at risk, will we witness a panic trade from the Bulls. It would fit the GarPax narrative perfectly. The Pistons were lethargic. That ‘Treadmill’ life will do that to you.  

Jazz (9-5) def. Wolves (8-7), 103-95

 Wiggins return (22 PTS) was spoilt by the Jazz band, as they exacted their revenge for their prior L to the Timberwolves. Gobert limited KAT and put in a decent line of his own (12 PTS, 15 REB, 5 BLK). Spida Mitchell (26 PTS) and Bojan Bogdanovic (30 PTS) brought the buckets for Utah. The Bogdanovic mystery continues. Who is truly the better ‘Bogdanovic’? FInd out in the next edition of ‘Weekly Smack’. The Wolves were handed a thorough L by the Jazz. It doesn’t dampen my positive outlook for the Minny squad. They’re creepin on ah come up.  

Nuggets (10-3) def. Rockets (11-4), 105-95

 The Nuggets nullified Harden (27 PTS, 8 TO’s) to secure a key victory over the Rockets. Yes an efficient 20-piece does equate to nullifying the Beard. Westbrook struggled with his shot (25 PTS, 8/22 FGs) as the Rockets succumbed to their 4th loss. This win proved the Nuggets are still for real. Their depth is enviable. The Mile High boys are smoking their way to the top tier of the Western Conference. Jokic was a star (27 PTS, 12 REB) amongst the Nuggets permanently balanced scoring attack. Do they get punished if their whole starting lineup doesn’t score in double figures or something? Denver is the epitome of sharing the wealth. Denver has one up on the human cheat code (Harden), for now. 

Clippers (10-5) def. Celtics (11-3), 107-104

 The highly anticipated debut of ‘The Outsiders’ Paul George and Kawhi-et Strom took place in this contest. The game was a defensive slobber-knocker which went to overtime. As proceedings came to a close, it was LouWillVille, not PG13 or Kawhi, who came through in the clutch for the Clippers. Kawhi (17 PTS, 3 STL) did seal the game with a block at the buzzer but Lou Will (27 PTS) was beyond clutch. Ice cold. Patrick Beverly (14 PTS, 16 REB, 7 AST, 2 BLK, 3 STL) hit some huge corner threes and did his usual schtick of irritating the opposition. His flop game is something else. PG13 (25 PTS) continues to fit seamlessly in the Clippers operation. Clipset is about to be at full force. A scary sight for the rest of the league. Tatum crossed up PG for a game-tying triple on his way to a perc 30 (30 PTS, 2 STL, 2 BLK). That boy from St.Louis is OD nice folks. This loss forced the Celtics to drop the prestigious mantle of owning the league’s best record. Y’all gon be ok Celtics fans. This was one of those rare early season games which had a big game feel, The league is coming alive in week 5!

Thursday, November 21

Bucks (12-3) def. Blazers (5-11), 137-129

 Giannis was monstrous yet again. His stat-stuffing ways continued against the short-handed Blazers (24 PTS, 19 REB, 15 AST, 3 STL). E-Bled beasted once more for Milwaukee (30 PTS, 6 AST). With Middleton out, Bledsoe is absorbing the stats that Giannis doesn’t get. It’s not for a lack of trying, Giannis could have a 20-20-20 game when it’s all said and done. Melo’s second game in a Blazers uniform resulted in another L. He looked decent (18 PTS). There’s nothing like watching Melo operate on offense. Hopefully this Blazers tenure brings a scoring binge from Carmelo. 3J tried his best to keep the Blazers within breathing distance (37 PTS, 10 AST, 3 BLK). The effort was in jest as the Blazers continue to trend downwards. A couple more weeks like this and the Blazers will definitely be out of the playoff race. Melo needs to lead them to the promised land. Or he is a tank commander in disguise? 

Pelicans (6-9) def. Suns (7-7), 124-121

 Big Dog B.I was that dude yet again. The superstar potential is coming to fruition (28 PTS, 8 REB, 2 BLK). Jrue Holiday chipped in (23 PTS, 9 AST, 3 STL) and JJ Reddick made it rain (26 PTS, 5 3PM). The Pelicans could just be turning the corner. The Suns continue their mini-slide back to .500. They’re still competing, which can’t be said for a lot of the teams in the league. Oubre led the way for Monty Williams’ Suns (25 PTS). Two teams that could be vying for a late playoff berth, the Pelicans and the Suns, showed their mouth-watering potential in this contest. 

Friday, November 22

Pistons (5-10) def. Hawks (4-11), 128-103

 Bruce Brown Jr bottled up TraeTL (9 PTS) as the Pistons blew out the Hawks. B-Griff (24 PTS) and Drummond (23 PTS, 15 REB) duo’d up to pioneer the Pistons 5th W. The Hawks continue their slide with HGH Collins on the sidelines. When he returns we can truly gauge how ‘for real’ the Hawks are. The swaggiest player in the league DeAndre ‘Bout It’ Bembry poured in a career high (22 PTS, 6 AST, 4 STL) for the Hawks. Both teams are dwelling at the bottom of the Leastern Conference, but a little winning streak could throw both sides in the hunt ASAP, no Rocky. 

Wizards (5-8) def. Hornets (6-10), 125-118

 Michigan State’s Miles Bridges pieces was hitting against the Wizards. He dropped a career high (31 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL) in the loss. The Hornets’ trio of young guards: Monk (19 PTS), Devonte’ (19 PTS), and Terry Rozier III (19 PTS) filled it up as well. The Wizards and their sieve-like defense should be named the ‘Career High Scheme’. They hand out career highs like they’re servin’ bricks on the block. Real Deal Beal continues to put up mind-boggling numbers (30 PTS, 12 AST). He led the Wizkids to another W. Bertans (20 PTS) and Thomas Bryant (20 PTS, 11 REB) got their numbers as well. The #DCLottery continues in the nation’s capital. 

Nets (7-8) def. Kings (6-8), 116-97

 Digi-Coin Dinwiddie continues to apply pressure in the absence of Kyrie Irving (23 PTS, 7 AST). Dinwiddie and 3-Point Marksman Joe Harris (22 PTS) led the Nets over the Kings. The Nets continue to thrive through injury problems. Those Kyrie storylines continue to pop up. It’s gonna be a long year in Brook-nam. Despite the blowout loss, the Sac-town Kings continue to bounce back after their sluggish start to the year. This loss was merely a bump in the road on the way back to .500. If the Kings can slide into the playoffs then I owe Luke Walton an apology. 

Heat (11-3) def. Bulls (5-11), 116-108

 South Beach has a relevant basketball squad once again. Jimmy Buckets (27 PTS, 7 AST, 4 STL) has brought the juice back to Miami. Bam Bam Bigelow (16 PTS, 14 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL) and Kendrick Nunn (21 PTS) were key cogs to their victory over the Bulls. Miami continues to prove itself as a top-tier organisation in the NBA. Their ability to unearth gems in the draft and free agency is finally paying off in the 2019-20 season. Pat Riley is the mastermind. #HeatCulture is the brand. No one on the Bulls had any noteworthy performances. Boylen’s job security must be on the brink of being compromised. The Windy City is suffering from a serious case of treadmill-itis. Zach LaVine can get buckets, however it seems he doesn’t project as a true franchise player. Maybe Minny did the right thing by keeping Wiggins.

76ers (10-5) def. Spurs (5-11), 115-104

 San An-tone is falling. This loss to the 76ers makes it their 11th of the year. And their 8th in a row. Their worst losing streak in 22 years. Adapt or die, Spurs. DeRozan continues to post his numbers through these L’s (29 PTS, 7 REB). 50/50 chance he gets traded this season. The odds will raise with each loss. Tobi (26 PTS, 2 BLK) and Embiid (21 PTS, 14 REB) led the way for Sixers. After a mini losing streak, the Sixers are back on their path to glory. If the squad can remain in good health, then the regular season should be a breeze. Just don’t pay attention to their reactionary fanbase. 

Lakers (13-2) def. Thunder (5-10), 130-127

 The Lakeshow grinds out yet another win. LBJ (23 PTS, 14 AST) and AD (33 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 11/11 FTs) continue to be the dynamic duo they promised to be. AD could just be LeBron’s best teammate ever. The perfect sidekick to the ageless King. KCP (17 PTS) continues to prove the ‘Double Digit Theory’ correct. I’m unsure if he’ll ever be able to get rid of his bad reputation amongst the Laker faithful but the boy is hooping right now. The Lakers fanbase is too casual to believe KCP can be anything other than a scrub. SGA (24 PTS) and Steven Adams (22 PTS) kept OKC close. Not close enough. SGA will go through ups-and-downs being the de-facto first option for the Thunder. It will be worth it in the long run. SGA projects to be a star in the next few seasons. Don’t forget about those draft assets either.   

Mavericks (10-5) def. Cavs (4-11), 143-101

 The Mavericks continue to blow out the easy-beats. This time they defeated the Cavs by 42 points. Luka was magical yet again (30 PTS, 14 AST, 7 REB). If you just want to see a player get complete free reign on the basketball court. Then watch Mavericks games. Luka has the keys to the offense. Nuff said. 

Nuggets (11-3) def Celtics (11-4), 96-92

 The Nuggets pick up another marquee victory. Are they the best ‘team’ in the league? Top 5 at least. Jamal Murray (22 PTS) and Jokic (18 PTS, 16 REB, 10 AST, 3 STL) spear-headed the Nuggets attack. The Nuggets are more balanced than Kyrie’s chakras. Word is bond. Denver ain’t surprising no one anymore. They’re just that damn good. K-Walk suffered a gruesome looking injury. The collision was scary, for real. It seems like he won’t miss much time, so the green gang will be back rolling by next week. Jaylen Brown (22 PTS, 10 REB) was the high scorer for the Celts. They may no longer have the league’s best record, but the Celtics are still proving to be an elite NBA squadron.  

Jazz (10-5) def. Warriors (3-14), 113-109

 The Jazz Band squeaked by the G-Leaguers. Gobert was in DPOY mode (8 PTS, 19 REB, 7 BLK), Spida Mitchell continues to thrive as a franchise cornerstone (30 PTS) and Mike Conley showed up (27 PTS). As long as the Jazz got the W, their fans should be happy. Alec Burks got buckets (20 PTS) on the team that selected him in the lottery many moons ago. More L’s for GSW. Will we see LaMelo in the Yay Area?

Clippers (11-5) def. Rockets (11-5), 122-119

 The Clippers emerged victorious from another duel with an elite NBA team. This team the Clipset barely ousted the Rockets. Kawhi hit the game winner (24 PTS, 3 STL), Lou Will filled it up in the second half (26 PTS) and PG13 struggled with his shot (19 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST, 4/15 FGs). With the Clippers sending out their full-strength roster, they suddenly become must watch TV. Every game the duo plays against a fellow contender feels like a ‘big-game’. The return of PG13 has added some juice to the NBA season. Westbrook bricked an open 3 badly in crunch time (22 PTS). The Clippers didn’t even try to guard him. Harden continues to activate cheat codes (37 PTS, 12 AST, 8 REB, 4 STL). The battle between the Beard and the Klaw was fun to see. Two of the best going toe to toe. If you don’t like that, you don’t like NBA basketball. If Westbrook can’t get his jumper right, it’s going to seriously hinder the Rockets in crunch time situations. Live by the three, you die by the three. 

Saturday, November 23

Suns (8-7), def. Wolves (8-8), 100-98

 In a battle of the super-best-friends, Booker defeated KAT. The two stars, who hope to be teammates one day, brought their A-games in this contest. Booker had a perc 30 (35 PTS, 12 REB, 9 AST) and Oubre chipped in a 20 piece (25 PTS) in Phoenix’s W. With Rubio and Baynes out due to injury, PHX’s two young wings were able to takeover and buoy them to a much needed win. KAT had a perc 30 of his own (31 PTS, 17 REB). Whilst Wiggins (21 PTS) and Keita Bates-Diop (22 PTS) 20 pieced for the Wolves. The Wolves and the Suns are two of the season’s early surprises. On this day, Phoenix had the better of the upstart Wolves.  

Pacers (9-6) def. Magic (6-9), 111-106

 The Pacers held down the fort against the Magic. TJ Warren (2 PTS) got the Jonathan Isaac treatment. Luckily, Sabonis was able to pick up the slack (25 PTS, 9 REB) and lead the Pacers to another W. Brogdon is on the verge of returning, meaning the Pacers should continue to be a threat in the Eastern Conference. Nate McMillan has been whipping up the recipe for the Pacers so far. J Isaac is breaking out something fierce. Not only is the Florida State alumni posting some of the best defensive stats in the NBA, he has also improved drastically on offense (25 PTS, 4 STL, 2 BLK, 4 3 PM). Isaac’s versatility makes him one of the most exciting young prospects in the league. Evan Fournier (26 PTS) stepped up with Vucevic out for the next few weeks. The young prospects on the Magic don’t necessarily make them a ‘treadmill team’ but competing for a 7/8 playoff seed seems like a futile practise. Let Bamba, Fultz and Isaac reign supreme.  

Bulls (6-11) def. Hornets (6-11), 116-115

 Zach LaVine became the first non-splash bro to drain 13 three-pointers in an NBA game.He sunk an improbable game-winner and single-handedly carried the Bulls to the W. A transcendent display of bucket getting (49 PTS, 13 3 PM) from the dunk aficionado. He was locked in. After being criticised by everyone’s least favorite coach (Jim Boylen), LaVine responded in outstanding fashion. Coby White (28 PTS) was pivotal in the W as well. The Hornets literally fumbled this game away. Unsure if the last second turnover was an inexplicable error, or an effort to begin the long awaited Charlotte tank mission. If it was the latter, then this game should go down in tanking history. Right next to the process era. Terry Rozier (28 PTS) and Marvin Williams (21 PTS) were the top performers for Buzz City. LaVine’s performance was special. The Hornets late game display was anything but.  

Raptors (11-4) def. Hawks (4-12), 119-116

 Siakam returned to posting monster lines (34 PTS, 2 BLK) against the Hawks. OVO VanVleet (25 PTS) and Norman Powell (20 PTS) ensured the Dino’s got the narrow victory. De’Andre Hunter (26 PTS, 6 3 PM) hit a bunch of threes late to keep this game close. Trae Young’s hero ball (30 PTS, 10 AST, 10 REB) meant his game-tying attempt clanged off the backboard. There’s nothing more deflating then seeing a potential game-winner/ game-tying shot miss badly. Especially when it’s a ‘hero-ball’ attempt. TraeTL is is still that dude. This late game brick was just a learning experience.

Spurs (6-11) def. Knicks (4-12), 111-104

 The Spurs ended their losing streak against the Knicks. Seeing the Knicks on your schedule after enduring an 8-game losing streak must make you breathe a sigh of relief. LMA (23 PTS, 3 STL) and DeRozan (21 PTS, 9 REB) ensured the streak didn’t reach 9 games. The Spurs will probably start another losing streak when they face another formidable opponent. San An-tone is still facing dark days. Ntilikina stuffed the stat sheet (9 PTS, 9 AST, 6 STL) and Marcus Morris (20 PTS) showed up for the Knicks. If Frank N. can continue to make strides, then there’s at least one positive to take from another lost Knicks season.   

76ers (11-5) def. Heat (11-4), 113-86

 Jimmy Butler returned to a chorus of boos and promptly got blown out of the Wells Fargo Center. Buckets ‘revenge’ game certainly didn’t go to plan (11 PTS, 4/13 FGs). It was Josh Richardson who exacted his revenge on the Heat franchise (32 PTS, 6 3PM). This game was meant to be must see TV. But it turned out to be one of the biggest blowouts of the year. Circle your calendar for the next Sixers- Heat matchup. It can only get better than this dud. 

Cavs (5-11) def. Blazers (5-12), 110-104

 Dame-Time (23 PTS) returned to another Blazers L. This time to the lowly Cavs. Things can only get better from here right? Please don’t scapegoat Melo. All he wants to do is hoop. Portland has to right the ship over these next couple weeks. Or they might be on the wrong side of the Western Conference playoff race. This might be the last year we see Dame and CJ together. Tristan ‘Faithful’ Thompson ( 25 PTS, 10 REB, 2 STL) put in another decent performance for the Cavs. His stock has lowkey rose throughout the season. Beilein has unlocked the former 4th overall pick. J Clarkson had his obligatory 20 piece off the bench (28 PTS). It’s all bad in Rip City right now. 

Lakers (14-2) def. Grizzlies (5-10), 109-108

 After a loss to the lowly Warriors, the Grizzlies nearly took a game away from the Lakeshow. Ja 2 Crazy (26 PTS, 6 AST, 5 STL) and Jae Crowder (21 PTS) were the standout performers for the Baby Grizz. As long as Ja continues to show out, Memph-town fans should be satisfied. The Grizz are much like Bruno Caboclo. A few years away from being a few years away. AD (22 PTS, 5 BLK) and Bron (30 PTS) barely took care of business. KCP (12 PTS) is proving the ‘Double Digit Theory’ as 100% facts with each of his starts. The Lakeshow now sit at 14-2, holders of the best record in the league.  

Bucks (13-3) def. Pistons (5-11), 104-90

 Giannis = W’s. The chosen one continues his soul-crushing run through the NBA (28 PTS, 10 REB). Monster nights are a routine for the reigning MVP. As are victories against lowly squads, such as the Pistons. D-Rose had a 20 piece (20 PTS) in the defeat. Nothing else notable to say. Giannis has destroyed my will to write in-depth about Bucks games. He’s an one-man-army. 

Jazz (11-5) def. Pelicans (6-10), 128-120

 The Jazz turned up and secured another W, this time against the No-Limit Pelicans. Spida MItchell (37 PTS, 6 3PM) feasted on the lackadaisical defense of the Pelicans. Bojan (28 PTS) lit it up for Utah in conjunction with Spida. Jrue (28 PTS, 4 STL) and Big Dog B.I. (33 PTS) were ‘Bout It Bout It’ for Nawlins. Alvin Gentry’s high octane system has been perfect for Ingram. However I’m unsure if the high-tempo system will result in a playoff berth for the Pels. Zion must be back soon right?

Sunday, November 24

Mavericks (11-5) def. Rockets (11-6), 137-124

 Luka led the Mavs to a big win over their inter-state rivals Houston. The Don (41 PTS, 10 AST) continues to put up video game numbers in his sophomore season. Tim Hardaway Jr. emerged for a perc 30 (31 PTS) and Porzingis 20-10’d to cap off the Mavs win (23 Pts, 13 REB). Prior to this, the Mavs had been beating down on easy-beats such as the Cavs and Warriors. This key win and their 11-5 record proves Luka-ball is working quite well. We’ll see if it can last the whole 82 games. Harden (32 PTS, 11 AST, 9 REB), Westbrook (27 PTS) and Capela (21 PTS, 23 REB) held it down for the H-town. But their gaudy numbers weren’t enough to fuel a victory. Houston should be aight’ though. Don’t stress it. RIP DJ Screw.

Nets (8-8) def. Knicks (4-13), 103-101 

 Digi-Coin Dinwiddie continues to galvanize the short-handed Nets. His performance (30 PTS) allowed the Nets to win the battle of New York. This W also puts the Nets back at .500. Brook-nam is trending in the right direction. The same can’t be said for the Knicks however. Marcus Morris (26 PTS, 7 3PM) was automatic from downtown and he continues his breakout year. It’s always interesting to see players break out of role-player status on struggling squads. He is earning himself a nice contract this offseason with these performances. Also earning himself a place in Knicks folklore.

Kings (7-8) def. Wizards (5-9), 113-106

 Sacramento got back to their winning ways against the Wizkids. Harrison Barnes (who’s having a sneaky good season, btw) led the way with a 20 piece (26 PTS). Shout out to Richaun Holmes who was a beast (16 PTS, 10 REB, 4 BLK). Rich-Holmesy-Quan has been a key cog in the Kings revitalisation. Beal came back to earth with a 20 piece (20 PTS, 8 AST). The only noteworthy performance from DC. Them lottery odds keep rising. 

Nuggets (12-3) def. Suns (8-8), 116-104

 Will Barton (22 PTS, 8 REB), Paul Trillsap (23 PTS) and Jamal Murray (22 PTS) delivered a trio of 20-pieces for the Denver Nuggets. This trio of 20 pieces helped the Nuggets attain their 12th W of the year. Dem Mile High Boys are putting the league on notice for the second straight season. Dario Saric (18 PTS, 17 REB) and Chieck Diallo (22 PTS) were the standout performers for the injury plagued Suns. Once they get Rubio and Baynes back, the Suns should continue to hunt for a playoff spot. 

Week Five brought us more NBA madness. Ben Simmons hit a three folks! Don’t hesitate to join us as we break down what’s really good with the state of the NBA. Melo is back, The Heat got slapped by the Sixers, Luka is going crazy and Giannis is the immovable object. Stay tuned for more ‘Weekly Smack’ throughout the NBA season.

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

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