Another week in the NBA has come and gone. Phil is back to share his thoughts on the week that was in the National Basketball Association.
Best games to watch this week
Tuesday: The Houston Rockets don’t seem to be the same team from one season ago. The Denver Nuggets are missing Will Barton yet haven’t missed a beat. Two of the best in the west collide at 9:00 pm Eastern.
Wednesday: Jimmy Butler and his new 76ers teammates, travel from Miami to Orlando and play a Magic team that has loads of talent, yet little positive results. This one is on ESPN so you probably are getting the chance to see Butler and the rest of the 76ers. This one starts at 7:00 Eastern.
Thursday: Golden State heads to Houston with loads of questions regarding the health of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Houston still hasn’t figured out how to replace Trevor Ariza and his perimeter defense. At any rate, it should be interesting. Tune in on TNT at 8:00 pm Eastern for this one!
Friday: The Portland Trail Blazers travel to Minneapolis to take on the new look without Jimmy Butler Timberwolves. Now we will see a better defensive Timberwolves team taking on the explosive diminutive duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Game time is 8:00 pm Eastern.
Saturday: Denver visits the Big Easy for what should be a highly entertaining Saturday night contest. Two of the best Bigs in the game square off in a possible April playoff series. Nikola Jokic vs Anthony Davis is much seen TV. Tipoff is 8:00 pm Eastern.
Jimmy Butler gets his wish
It’s 9:00 pm on a Saturday night, and already this trade has been dissected, hashed out and 100 other freaking things so there isn’t much point in piling on whoever’s carcass I choose as the loser of the trade.
I do have some thoughts;
· We’ll finally get the opportunity to see why Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens was anonymously rated as the best Head Coach in the National Basketball Association. If Brad Stevens can drag the Celtics past Toronto, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn, then we can revisit my list.
· Philadelphia has the first legit “Big Three” in the East since the days of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. I’m curious as to which of the aforementioned clubs make a move to counter Philadelphia’s huge gamble. My guess? The Celtics.
· The Timberwolves came out of this deal looking good. Maybe the team is better now with Butler gone. Couldn’t have been much fun watching Butler hold the team hostage. I hope Karl-Anthony Towns enjoys watching the playoffs from the 19th Hole because that’s what his inability to “co-exist” with Jimmy Butler created.
· Getting rid of Butler probably made the Timberwolves Front Office giddy; but what next? Most of this is on Tom Thibodeau and I have to wonder just how long before Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor says goodbye to the former architect of the 2008 Boston Celtics defense.
· Prior to the Butler fiasco, Minnesota was pegged to make the playoffs. I’m pretty sure now that Butler is in Philly, the Timberwolves don’t make the playoffs, so that means some team is going to take their spot. I originally had Portland missing the playoffs, so now I think it’s either Portland or the Sacramento Kings, who will get that eighth seed.
· What’s going to happen to Markelle Fultz? He needs the ball in his hands and that eliminates him from the first team. Hard to believe a #1 lottery pick is looking for table scraps, but it is what it is. If he can accept the second team leader role, then good for him and even better for the 76ers. If he can’t then the 76ers have a nice trade piece.
Guess the stat line of the week!!!
Let’s play a game, shall we? I will give a five-game stat line of a current NBA player, and you use the comments section to tell me who you think the player is.
How does that sound?
Which NBA player, over his past five games, was three of 26 from beyond the arc?
That’s 3-26 from 23 and a quarter feet.
That’s 11 percent for the last five games in a three-point shooting league.
Let us know who you think it is!
The Brooklyn Nets might be for real.
The poster child of bad acquisitions and no actual plan caught up with the Nets. For years they were the laughing stock of the NBA. May 16, 2016, Brooklyn hired former Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson to be their new head coach, and off to the races they went.
The trade for D'Angelo Russell was a tremendous move, Caris LeVert has been nothing short of sensational, Jerrett Allan is averaging nearly a double-double with a low Usage Rate (17 percent) and two seasons into the Atkinson rebuild, the Nets are looking like a playoff team.
Brooklyn might be 6-6 so far this season, and I don’t know if this will mean anything to you or not, but the Nets are 7-5 against the spread (ATS) overall, 2-3 against the spread at home and 33-14 ATS on the road since the 2018 season. Being able to play and compete on the road is a good thing.
I love this mini crossover, then the switch to square up, then put it in the cup. This kid LeVert is incredible.
I don’t know yet if the Nets are for real or not, but Allen sure is. The twenty-second pick of the first round of the 2017 Draft. FEARLESS plays like these are why he is able to stay on the floor.
During this three-game winning streak (they are playing Golden State as I write this) the Nets defeated the 76ers at Barclays Center and then flew out to Denver and knocked off the Nuggets.
Brooklyn is currently fifth in the NBA in made three-pointers per game (12.8) and rank #16 in three-point shots attempted, and that boils down to this; their 36 percent from beyond the arc leaves them in the top ten. If they can keep that up I see them making the playoffs.
Do You See the Nets Reaching the Playoffs This Season?
This poll is closed
Carmelo and the Rockets in “Talks” About His Role?
This is s a strange thing for me. You have a player in Carmelo Anthony who is a LEGENDARY me first, ball stopping NBA “pure scorer”. Okay, he’s much more of the former than he is the latter, but he used to be.
What the hell type of “role” could these two parties have to discuss that they didn’t take care of prior to signing the 22nd leading scorer in NBA history and future first ballot Hall of Famer?
That’s about as crazy as getting married and AFTER talking about how many children you want to have.
Anthony might be struggling, but what did they expect him to do for the Rockets?
He’s not the scorer that he once was, he isn’t the best defender on the planet, there aren’t any young people to mentor either.
The Rockets had to realize Anthony wasn’t going to replace Trevor Ariza or Luc Mbah a Moute and if Daryl Morey thought he could then he needs to be fired.
Over the past five games, Anthony is shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc; that’s better than Trae Young’s 11 percent lol and not far off from his career 34 percent. That type of regression seems about right for an NBA player that has scored over 25 thousand points and a career 24 points per game average.
Oh, and 15 seasons banging bodies down low carrying some pretty awful teams to the playoffs has also taken its toll on his body.
Blaming Anthony for the Rockets sputtering offense isn’t fair to Anthony, nor is it correct to do so in my opinion. At this point in his career, Carmelo is what he is and he isn’t about to change for anyone.
LeBron James is the “Godfather” of the NBA?
Remember this classic?
Apparently, James took a page out of the playbook of Don Vito Corleone, called his old buddy James Jones, and allegedly asked him to release Tyson Chandler so the Lakers could acquire him. Being the nice guy that he is, he did both Chandler and James a favor and now Chandler is a Laker.
Isn’t acquiring players and inquiring about other players the General Managers job?
Welcome to the world of LeBron James lol.
Enjoy the NBA this week!!!