A deteriorate that was ostensible to be about juggernauts and destiny and foregone conclusions has been anything though so far, and a San Antonio Spurs’ uncharacteristic disadvantage on Monday was a latest explanation that no preseason account is ever a certain thing.
San Antonio fell to a Houston Rockets by a final of 101-99, losing during home for a third true time. As if a detriment itself wasn’t enough, a Spurs also trailed by double digits for, again, a third true time during home.
This from a group that forsaken usually a singular diversion during a ATT core in a whole 2015-16 season.
Wrangling James Harden is a large ask for any defense, even one with Kawhi Leonard’s forlorn interlude power. Even one that also got Danny Green behind for a initial time this season, reforming a NBA‘s many manly defensive wing tandem.
The twin did not deter Harden, who put adult 24 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds on 9-of-19 shooting. Leonard did what he could to compare Harden’s prolongation on a other end, scoring 34 points on 26 shots.
The Spurs had their chances to win, pulling forward in a opening moments of a fourth entertain with Harden on a bench. But a Beard’s lapse brought with it another clever Houston stretch. Just as he has all year, Harden tranquil all for a Rockets, and San Antonio didn’t have an answer, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
Harden with his prevalent 15 assists. Set adult Capela twice, upheld to Anderson for a 3 and strike a floater in dual mins given his return.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 10, 2016
Even after all that, San Antonio could have tied a diversion during a buzzer if Leonard or LaMarcus Aldridge had converted close-range looks—opportunities you’d design a intensity superpower to gain on. Those misses were not a usually justification that, right now, a Spurs are something reduction than that.
San Antonio fielded one of a biggest defenses of all time final season. Even with Pau Gasol replacing Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili removing comparison and David Lee relocating into a rotation, it was still reasonable to design some-more gloomy D. Leonard, after all, became a pivotal final year, and his powers have usually grown.
The Spurs have been glorious on D; they arrange among a league’s top 10. Failing to stop Harden merely shows they’re not otherworldly.
On a other end, they’re unequivocally good as well—thanks mostly to Leonard’s growth. But that’s kind of a point; descriptors like “fine” and “very good” are a reason a Spurs haven’t distant themselves from a incomparable category of likewise glorious (but not transcendent) teams.
So are stats like this, around Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News:
Per ESPN: The Spurs have authorised 60+ points in back-to-back initial halves for a initial time given Apr 1997.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) November 10, 2016
One can frequency discuss any severe patch for this authorization though half-seriously wondering possibly it’s usually perplexing to stay underneath a radar. Nothing would be some-more Spurs than that.
But San Antonio’s home instability and waste like a one opposite Houston underscore a fascinating early deteriorate truth: Right now, there are no monsters out there.
The Golden State Warriors have had their struggles (and mislaid to these Spurs…badly). The Cleveland Cavaliers are also predictably excellent, though they’re out East and widely approaching to coast. At best, they’re a sleeping giant—not one stomping on villagers en track to a 70-win season. They’d substantially be a collect for a league’s best team, though they don’t have that unbeatable vibe.
The Los Angeles Clippers have had some huge wins, though let’s wait until they get out of a second turn before we get too crazy.
There is a cavity in a NBA’s astronomical echelon, that singular turn reached by a Warriors, Spurs and Cavs final season. Someone, or several someones, competence check in eventually. But it’s engaging to note that in this deteriorate so many lamented as fixed and, therefore, somehow boring, it’s tangible so distant by a parity.
I theory there unequivocally is a reason they play a games.
The Knicks Figured A Few Things Out
Darron Cummings/Associated Press
One of that competence be: Kurt Rambis is a genius?
The New York Knicks kick a Brooklyn Nets by a final of 110-96, and a bespectacled partner recently put in charge of a invulnerability deserves all a credit. Except not really—mainly given there competence not be defensive scouting reports for many of a Nets players, though also given New York won this one on offense.
New York rode 22 points from Carmelo Anthony and had success towering his and Kristaps Porzingis’ mins in a second half (nice one there, Jeff Hornacek!) while holding Brooklyn to 41.3 percent shooting.
Long live Kurt?
There’s a Lot of Learning to Do in Chicago
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Jimmy Butler hung 39 points on a Atlanta Hawks, though a Chicago Bulls invulnerability authorised a Hawks to glow 50.6 percent from a margin in a 115-107 loss.
Afterward, Butler was forked in his comments to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Butler on defense: “Everybody in this locker room, including myself, a coaches, we have to start meaningful what we’re ostensible to be doing.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 10, 2016
Not a kind of speak we wish to hear outward of training camp, though a Bulls need some back-to-basics meditative now that they’ve slipped to 4-4.
Atlanta, meanwhile, got 8 players in double sum and changed to 6-2 on a year.
The Celtics Aren’t Right…On Either End
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Coming into their 118-93 detriment to a Washington Wizards, a Boston Celtics had a NBA’s top descent rating and field-goal percentage.
And now, after sharpened 43.2 percent and scoring 93 points, they don’t.
Not that offense was indispensably a problem. As has been a box all season, a Celtics struggled on a other end. Otto Porter strike them for 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting, something that usually doesn’t discriminate opposite a invulnerability that ranked fourth in a joining in 2015-16.
It’s bad, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com:
Celtics now upheld final in NBA in defensive rating (112.3), defensive miscarry commission (70.8%), and sum miscarry commission (45.5%).
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) November 10, 2016
The startling frailty—a outcome of injuries to Al Horford and Jae Crowder, though also overdue to some peculiar lapses in execution—persisted opposite a Wizards, who won for usually a second time this year.
After giving adult 128 points to a Cleveland Cavaliers and 123 to a Nuggets in a final dual games, Boston was likewise inexhaustible in opening a record opposite a Wizards, descending behind 34-8.
It’s been a while given anyone let Washington get so comfortable, according to Kyle Weidie of Truth About It:
#Wizards have not scored some-more than 30 points in a entertain while permitting reduction than 10 given 2008; usually a 4th time it’s happened given 1955
— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) November 10, 2016
The Celtics need to get healthy in a hurry. Either that, or they’d improved collect during slightest one finish of a probity to concentration on. That’d be improved than what happened Wednesday, when they botched both and fell to 3-4.
Construction Has Begun on Steve Clifford’s Statue
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Or, during slightest it should have.
The Charlotte Hornets ran their record to 6-1 with a 104-98 home win over a Utah Jazz (who were blank George Hill), restraining a Cavaliers for a best symbol in a East. It’s a initial time a Hornets have ever won 6 of their initial 7 games to open a season.
By branch a round over reduction than any group in a joining (it had usually 8 in this one) and removing double-digit scoring performances from dais players Frank Kaminsky, Marco Belinelli and Spencer Hawes, Charlotte pulled divided from a low Jazz group late, winning a fourth entertain 28-20.
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Devine laid out Clifford’s still box as one of a league’s best coaches:
The Hornets are good. Steve Clifford teams don’t kick themselves and a players fundamentally all get better.
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) November 10, 2016
Last year, we spent many of a deteriorate acid for a second-best group in a East. Charlotte joins Atlanta, Toronto and a healthy Boston in complicating that doubt once again.
Now, we consternation if there’s anyone we can speak to about that statue…
I usually upheld Michael Jordan, who looked unequivocally gratified by 6-1.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) November 10, 2016
Andrew Wiggins Is Different
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Though a spike screams unsustainable, Andrew Wiggins’ ongoing correctness from low is one of a some-more pleasing developments in a mostly drab Minnesota Timberwolves season.
Wiggins went 2-of-4 from 3 and scored 29 points in a Wolves’ 123-107 razing of a Orlando Magic, following adult a 6-of-7 bid opposite Brooklyn on Tuesday and dropping his altogether acclimatisation rate to 63.6 percent on a season.
This is a man who shot 30 percent from prolonged stretch final year and 31 percent as a rookie.
Minnesota has had no necessity of problems this year: Ricky Rubio’s bend injury, too many blown leads, a invulnerability inexplicably regressing underneath Tom Thibodeau and, until defeating a Magic, usually one win. The defense, during least, has to get better; Thibodeau’s bequest on that finish is real.
But if Wiggins’ growth as a shooter is, too, Minnesota has a profitable new descent dimension—one that looks even improved with Zach LaVine also blossoming. He had a career-high 37 points in Wednesday’s win.
Maybe that’s a good step in a routine of creation this deteriorate a rising pad many hoped it could be.
Gerald Henderson Has a Lot of Nerve
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Joel Embiid is ostensible to be a alpha and omega for a Philadelphia 76ers, that means no success should come when he sits out to rest.
But afterwards Gerald Henderson canned what seemed like a game-winning 3 on a damaged play with 6 seconds left, and it lifted disturbed questions: Does Embiid not matter? Is a Process a lie?
For a moment, it was tough to know what to believe.
And afterwards a Pacers tied a diversion and took it in overtime, winning 122-115. In hindsight, it was stupid to have ever disturbed about Philadelphia winning and compromising a Process’ integrity.
Per ESPN Stats Info, a Sixers usually do one thing in a early season:
The 76ers have mislaid their 44th true diversion in a month of Oct and November. Philadelphia’s final win in possibly month: Nov. 22, 2013
— ESPN Stats Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2016
Related note: Get it together, Pacers. Close ones like this are embarrassing.
You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do
And if you’re Russell Westbrook, we gotta do everything—which includes things we specifically pronounced we wouldn’t.
Westbrook had 36 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists on 9-of-26 sharpened from a margin and did some high-volume flinging from deep. That final partial is a engaging one given of this tidbit from Royce Young of ESPN.com:
Westbrook pronounced in training stay he wasn’t going to take some-more 3s. He’s taken 10 tonight, and is averaging a career-high 5.7 a diversion entrance in.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 10, 2016
Make it 12 triple attempts for Westbrook. And 3 makes.
This was also interesting, for opposite reasons:
The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to a Toronto Raptors by 10 points though were outscored by usually 3 when Westbrook was on a court. On a year, OKC has been trounced by 19.9 points per 100 security though Russ.
Poor spacing and few creators meant Westbrook has to be a starter and finisher of usually about all for this team. How he binds adult underneath that kind of aria will be a biggest determinant of a Thunder’s success.
A Brief Break to Highlight Something That Actually Matters
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
If Stan Van Gundy didn’t have anything to contend about a game, conjunction should we. Allow this awkward shoe-horning of his anguished, frustrated, impassioned, beautifully voiced pregame choosing comments to offer as your Pistons-Suns blurb, via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
Martin Luther King said, ‘The arc of a dignified star is long, though bends toward justice.’ we would have believed in that for a prolonged time, though not today. … What we have finished to minorities … in this choosing is despicable. I’m carrying a tough time traffic with it. This isn’t your normal candidate. we don’t know even know if we have domestic differences with him. we don’t even know what are his politics. we don’t know, other than to build a wall and ‘I hatred people of color, and women are to be treated as sex objects and as servants to men.’ we don’t know how we get past that. we don’t know how we travel into a counter and opinion for that.
The Pistons mislaid by a final of 107-100, though really, who cares?
With a Cavaliers streamer to a White House this week (and one of them telling Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated his group competence be a final to do it for a while), it’s transparent a NBA, one of a many on-going leagues in sports, will be heard.
Klay Thompson’s Fine, Guys!
The foe substantially helped, as a Dallas Mavericks were blank 4 starters, though Klay Thompson and a Warriors finally held common glow in a 116-95 win.
Thompson, mired in a heartless season-opening slump, strike his initial 7 shots from a margin and finished with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He was 4-of-7 from three-point range.
As a team, Golden State finished 17 of 33 low attempts in a 116-95 win.
Again, we have to cause in a opponent, though a Warriors had come in sharpened 28.1 percent on three-point shots designated as “open” by NBA.com, that means a defender was 4-6 feet away. That series was firm to rise, regardless of who a Warriors were playing.
The Dubs are no superpower yet, though this could be a pointer of what’s to come.
Anyone Want to Discuss a Mercy Rule?
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press/Associated Press
The Clippers pushed their record to an NBA-best 7-1, abrasive a beleaguered Portland Trail Blazers on both ends. The final measure of 111-80 undersold a astringency of a beatdown; L.A. led 93-50 after a third entertain and mailed in a final 12 minutes.
Portland played Tuesday night, so that was a factor. But so was a Clippers’ dialed-in play. This group has been a many unchanging in a joining so far, and as Dan Woike of the Orange County Register noted, a Clips have mostly finished it on defense:
Why are a Clippers so good right now? Among lineups that have played during slightest 70 min, starters have best D in league. 2nd? LAC 5-man bench
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 10, 2016
Los Angeles is as good as ever. The concentration now, as it’s been for years, is gripping a pivotal players healthy and rested. Because nothing of this will matter if it culminates in another early playoff exit.
Stats pleasantness of NBA.com.