Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saturday's Games

Saturday's slate of games was the perfect advertisement for League Pass. After two months of playoffs and a four month off-season, I had kind of forgotten how much fun it was to flip through 7-8 NBA games in the span of an hour and a half. I had money on a few college football games and I couldn't even check 'em out really, there was just too much fun stuff happening in the NBA.

Thunder 101, Nuggets 92

This was the famous Pop in Miami game, when he got fined for sending the Big Three home and then almost beat the Heat with his scrubs, except turnt all the way up to 100. The Thunder didn't just win the game - they were up 55-33 at the half. That first half was about as dominant a display of basketball as I've seen in some time ... and they weren't playing the Washington Generals either!

Even without any of their guards, the Thunder still have a good frontcourt - they start three 6'11+ elite athletes with the skill-sets to do multiple things on offense. Eveyone knows about Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka, but these last two games have been all about Perry Jones III. 

Hat tip to the Daily Thunder

Check out the last shot he made and remember this is a 6'11 guy. A guy with the size of a center should not be able to do the things that PJ3 can do.

It's been a long, cold six months for Team PJ3. There wasn't much to say, but me and people like my man staggopoulos have been keeping note of some of the slander that was being thrown so recklessly across the interwebs. Perry Jones the First! Ha!

Mavericks 109, Pellies 104

This was a really fun game - two talented teams going back and forth for 48 minutes. The ball was flying around the court and there were multiple guys on each team getting buckets. New Orleans has some issues to work out, but they have the talent to run with just about anyone in the league on a nightly basis.

Anthony Davis did Anthony Davis things, but there are other guys on this team who can play too. Tyreke Evans almost had a triple double, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. He was playing like a 6'6 Monta Ellis - an elite slasher and underrated passer who doesn't need a 3-point shot to take over the game. Get him in the right situation and his contract won't seem like a big deal.

From the Mavs POV, Tyreke's play showcased the biggest hole on their team. Without Shawn Marion and Vince Carter, they don't have many perimeter stoppers and they have precious little size on the wings. Chandler Parsons has been billed as a versatile defender, but he really couldn't do anything on Tyreke.

As for the demerits side in New Orleans, take a look at this box score and tell me if you notice something different about Eric Gordon's stat-line.
Sometimes the stats lie, but this is not one of those times. EG really was that bad. The obvious move is to make him the 6th man and allow him to take away possessions from guys like Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons instead of Jrue Holiday and Evans. Monty Williams could learn a lot from Rick Carlisle when it comes to staggering minutes.

Jazz 118, Suns 91

Utah got soundly drubbed in their first two games, so of course they turn around and beat the stuffing out of a Phoenix team that had just upset San Antonio. You have to love the first week of the season - no one knows anything. No team has been beaten down by the losing yet. There's optimism in the air and the arenas are (mostly) packed.

The key to the Suns first two wins was their second-unit guards, when they brought IT2 and Gerald Green off the bench and had them play next to The Dragon or Bledsoe. They were going up against guys like Ronnie Price and Cory Joseph and they were absolutely slaughtering them. That changed on Saturday, with the Jazz going strength on strength and throwing Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Dante Exum and Rodney Hood at them. That is a ton of length and athleticism.

Exum was the real highlight of the night to me. He went 3-4 from 3-point line, which was considered the weakest part of his game coming into the NBA. If he can consistently knock down 3's, there's going to be no stopping this kid. You should have seen the way he towered over IT2 - he's a sleek 6'6 killing machine. I'll put it out there already - if he's knocking down 3's, he's winning ROY. Trey Burke is good, but Exum - Burks - Hayward on the perimeter could be something special.

Raptors 108, Magic 95

Shh. Nothing to see here. The Raptors are now 3-0 against the spread and they have been handing out solid beatings to every team they face. So while they haven't really played anyone yet, they have been doing work. People are going to be shocked to see how good this team is at the end of the season.

I love all their guys, but the one I have to put on for is Terrence Ross. He is a bad MF and most people have no idea. James Herbert at CBS is working on a big thing about him, so watch out for that. He's Canadian, which means he has on the ground access as well as free health care. (Thanks, Obama.) Really watch out for anything James writes, but you already knew that.

Rockets 106, Celtics 90 

The Celtics come into Dallas on Monday, so I wanted to watch them ahead of time to get a feel for what they were up to this season. If we go by what happened on Saturday, it's not a damn thing.

They attacked with Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard and they bloodied up Boston at the rim. Then James Harden got going, creating easy drives for himself and open 3's for everyone else, and then the game was over.

Since he has come in the league, Jones has gotten less publicity than Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, but he straight gave those guys the business. He had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks on 10-16 shooting - he was ballin outrageous on the Celtics. I don't really understand which young guys the media decides to gas up and which ones they don't, because they sure aren't basing it on talent. T. Jones is definitely on my first-team Y'all Need to Stop Sleeping on These Guys team.

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