Welcome to The Rundown! Today we take a look at the top stories from around the NBA and pick or Player of the Night.
Rockets top Cavs
Nick Billion: The Cavaliers suffer another loss at the hands of the Rockets last night. James Harden gets a triple-double. It’s clear that this Cavs team just cannot keep up on defense against these tougher teams.
Craig Brallier: Nick is absolutely right. The defense in Cleveland will hold them back from winning against a lot of teams in this league. I can’t see them beating Golden State, San Antonio or other contenders without playing well defensively. James Harden has been incredible all season, and has been tremendously carrying the load without Chris Paul.
John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter combine for 65
NB: John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter combined for 65 points against Lonzo and the Lakers. These 3 are quietly one of the top backcourts in the league. Lonzo again struggled with his shooting.
CB: Bringing back Otto Porter was key for Washington this summer, and he has been one of the best role players in the league. Wall and Beal have been awesome for years, and to be able to add Porter to the mix and hit shots is great for the Wizards. They just need to keep winning, and try and turn that into playoff success.
Which teams in each conference do you think will make a run?
NB: Eastern Conference team: My pick for a team to make a run in this conference is the Bucks. This team started strong, but currently are out of the playoffs. With the addition of Bledsoe this team will likely be a playoff team.
CB: In the East, I’m taking the Cavaliers. Currently, they’re sitting at the 11 seed, but I can’t imagine that will be the case come April. LeBron has been the best player on the planet for quite some time now, and he doesn’t do well with mediocrity. I expect them to turn this thing around sooner than later.
NB: Western Conference Team: Seems obvious, but my pick is the Thunder, also currently not in playoffs if the season ended today, this team will pull around and be a top seed. With the MVP, PG, and Melo, this team is a top 3 seed.
CB: In the West, I’m going to have to say the Thunder as well. They are really underachieving so far, and with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony on the floor that’s really unacceptable. I expect them to figure out how they will coexist on the floor and when they do, they’ll be dangerous. I don’t know if they’ll be in the top three, but three and four are definitely realistic possibilities.
Player of the Night
Unanimous: James Harden – 35 PTS, 11 REB, 13 AST in win VS Cavaliers
That’ll do it for The Rundown this week! Come back Monday, when we discuss the top stories of the weekend!