Shoutout: A cool 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for DeMarcus Cousins in the Kings’ beatdown of the Chicago Bulls, who can’t beat them in Sacramento for some reason. And watching him just beast guys down low was like watching the FIBA World Cup all over again. Too. Strong.
Not so much: In last night’s destruction at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Miami Heat compiled more turnovers (12) than assists (11) while also seemingly giving up more alley-oops (like a million) than any team in the history of basketball.
Speaking of: Seriously, so many alley-oops.
According to the play-by-play data, there were only seven Clipper oops last night, but those must be measured in dog oops, where every standard alley-oop counts for seven alley-oops. Only logical explanation.
Shoutout: On a great night of basketball, let’s give some shine to Monta Ellis, who has it all, including 34 points and four assists in a nice Mavericks win over the Wizards. That’s five straight wins for Dallas, who now sit 9-3 in third place in the Western Conference and whose offense cannot be stopped.
Not so much: Things are not going well for the Thunder, who dropped yet another game last night, this time in Denver against the Nuggets, who were the team everyone was zinging for being bad last week. If you lose to the most zinged team in the league, maybe you deserve to be zinged.
Whoops: Oh no, Brandon Knight.
Yes!: Way to go, Brandon Knight!
That’s how you overcome one of the biggest boners of the season, by knocking in a clutch three like it ain’t no thing. Not to mention, missing that layup means we got to see happy Nets fan all over again, so I’m happy it happened. Good stuff.
Shoutout: 28 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, two steals and a win for Anthony Davis. 24 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in the loss for DeMarcus Cousins. This is going to turn in to our generation’s Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams debate, and I’M LOVIN’ IT (McDonald’s).
Not so much: The Hawks lost. At home. To the Lakers. Who had one win coming in to the night. I am le sigh — why must every Western Conference team be better than every Eastern Conference team?
Missed you: Oh man, I missed Nick Young. Good to see him back, making shots and airballing ones he shouldn’t have taken. The best part of his night, however, was this instant classic postgame interview.
To be honest, I think Swaggy has a point — the Lakers are an angry, bad team, so maybe having the league’s happiest player back helps them not take things so seriously. They aren’t a piece of space age titanium, so they shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Nick Young for MVP.
Shoutout: Markieff Morris (the Markieffier of the Morris twins) went for 30 points on 14-21 shooting, while adding seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in Phoenix’s thrilling victory in Boston, proving exactly why he got the bigger portion of the twins’ joint contract extension and also got to choose the PIN on their shared debit card. Rumor has it Markieff also gets to choose which bunk bed he wants to sleep in every night, and that he usually goes for the top.
Not so much: Another really bad loss for the Hornets, this time by 25 at home against the Mavericks, who have been straight-up slaughtering opponents over the past week. They’ve won their last three games by a combined 94 points, which is very good.
Very solid: After last night’s win in L.A. over the Clippers, the Bulls are now 6-0 on the road and looking good doing it.
Too many teams have used “Bench Mob” as a nickname for their bench units, including the Bulls a few years back, so I’m really against that for this team, but it’s starting to look like Chicago’s bench is going to name a nickname. Please submit your choices in the comments.
Shoutout: Quite the night for the Trill Blazers, who got 29 points and seven assists from Damian Lillard and 25 points and 14 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge in a come from behind victory over the Hornets who rely on a little too much Gary Neal for my liking. Nice win for Portland.
Not so much: 78 points on 33 percent shooting for the Thunder, who went in to Milwaukee and caught an L because the Bucks aren’t a pushover this year. OKC is now 2-6 on the year and head to Boston tonight to play another team that isn’t an easy win for a team on the second half of a road back-to-back that really struggles to generate offense. Still pretty concernicus about OKC, you guys.
Legend: Dirk Nowitzki, now the 9th leading NBA scorer of all-time.
You’ll see a lot of stuff today about Dirk being the leading foreign-born scorer in league history now that he’s passed Hakeem Olajuwon, which is true but has also been true for a while since the guys he’s been passing have all played for Team USA in international competitions. He’s been the best non-American player for a long, long time and it’s going to be nice to get to see him honored time and time again while he keeps creeping up the scoring list.
Shoutout: Gordon Hayward did it up again, going for 30 points, eight rebounds, five assists and one smothering chasedown block in Utah’s loss to the Pacers, all while rocking a trendy new haircut. I’ve been saying this for years, but when it comes to chasedowns, with Paul George out and LeBron James slack-a-lacking, Gordon Hayward might be the best in the league at knocking a shot away from behind. I’ll hear your nominations in the comments, but you can’t deny he’s great at it.
Not so much: The Clippers took a six-point lead in to the fourth quarter, only to be let down by BGCP3TV in HD in their loss to the Spurs. Chris Paul went 1-3 in the quarter, had one assist and turned the ball over twice, including getting ripped by Kawhi Leonard for a game-clinching steal. For his part, Blake Griffin went 1-4 with two turnovers (one of which sent Doc Rivers in to a conniption fit) and saw the man he was guarding score or assist on four of the Spurs’ last five baskets, with the fifth coming off of his turnover. He was also getting rid of the ball as soon as he caught it before even looking at the rim for a big portion of crunch time. Weird, weird night for the Clips.
They’re alive: Last night’s second half showed us the the Cavs team everyone should be scared of, with Kyrie Irving taking over in the third quarter.
Kyrie was Wilmer Valderrama caaash maaaney in the third quarter, going for 13 points on 6-9 shooting while adding three assists, but you could tell the Cavs were making a concerted effort all night to move the ball. That’s how LeBron notched another (ill-gotten) triple-double and Kevin Love knocked in six threes, which is kind of how things should go for this team. Perhaps not coincidentally, Dion Waiters didn’t play.
Shoutout: Just because I can’t imagine he’ll be showing up here too often this season, shoutout to Luol Deng for hanging 30 on the Mavericks in a big win in Dallas. He also chipped in five rebounds, four assists and a steal, all without turning the ball over, because the man is a professional. Still feels weird to see him in anything but a Bulls jersey, but I still like when he’s ballin.
Not so much: Well, the 76ers lost by 32 to the Raptors, so they can just stay here. Going to be seeing a lot of the 76ers in this entry, so get used to it.
Just being honest: The Lakers finally got a win, Charles Barkley gets to eat and Ed Davis crammed on Jason Maxiell, so it was a great day in Los Angeles.
Besides that dunk, Honest Ed also busted out one of the season’s best tweets after the win, though it might be time to update that Twitter background. Baby steps.
Shoutout: Aron Baynes should have to change his name to Bobba Q. Chicken after what Dwight Howard did to him last night. 32 points on 12-18 shooting with 16 rebounds, a steal and two blocks in 32 minutes. And as you’ll see later, it was pretty much just alley-oops. Dude was EATING last night.
Not so much: Timmy and Manu were resting, Patty and Tiago were hurt and the Spurs scored all of 29 points in the first half on their way to a blowout loss to the Rockets. Thanks for not showing up, in more ways than one.
Oops, Dwight did it again: Seriously, so many alley-oops.
This is a nice fall-back for the Rockets to have — whenever you’re unsure what to do, just throw the ball near the rim and let Dwight take care of the rest. He was basically living on Baynesy’s shoulders.
Shoutout: Let’s just give a hand to the NBA season for being awesome last night. 12 games, nine of which were decided by single-digits and two separate buzzer-beating game-winners. It’s the kind of night that makes it awesome to be a basketball fan. Let’s give em all a hand.
Not so much: Pretty much the only dud of the night was the Los Angeles Clippers, who dropped to 3-2 and still haven’t looked good yet this season. Doc Rivers was quite upset with his team for playing super soft, and rightfully so. Get it together, Clippers. You’re supposed to be good.
Air Gordon: Bit of a surprise, but Gordon Hayward cemented his MVP candidacy last night, by straight-up LeBronning LeBron.
A chasedown block, a fast break flush and a game-winner, all in the same game? Sounds like an MVP to me.
Shoutout: I’ve been hesitant to really buy in to the Rockets because they went 4-0 against four garbage teams, but after last night’s easy win in Miami on the second night of a road back-to-back, color me at least semi-impressed. Also impressive — 25 points and 10 assists for James Harden (with some surprisingly stout defense, not a joke) AND 26 points and 10 rebounds for Dwight Howard. Assuming both of those guys stay totally healthy, watch out.
Not so much: The Cavs are a mess, as they dropped to 1-2 last night in a loss on the road in Portland. Kyrie Irving dribbled 30 million times on his way to nine points on 3-17 shooting, while Dion Waiters went for six on 3-11 shooting before being yanked for Joe Harris, who is not a default NBA 2K15 created player. LeBron James, meanwhile, had 11 on just 4-12 shooting while kind of checking out, possibly to teach his teammates a lesson. It’ll be fun to remember all this when they’re scoring 120 a game in March.
Finally: It’s been a whole week and we haven’t had a crazy Gerald Green dunk, so in last night’s win against the Lakers, he gave us three of them.
This serves as another reminder to keep watching the Lakers, because something interesting is always going to happen. I mean, besides these dunks, you could have also peeped Kobe going for 39 points on 37 shots while simultaneously wishing he could vaporize each and every teammate. Fun stuff.