Welcome to The Rundown! Today we take a look at today’s top stories from around the NBA, pick our Player of the Night and analyze tonight’s games!
Embiid and Simmons go off in LA
Nick Billion: When Embiid starts flirting with a quadruple double, and Simmons does the same with a triple double, you better believe it’s worth talking about. These two continue to have big game after big game. Sixers fans have to be loving “The Process” now.
Craig Brallier: Brett Brown said it best, when he said Joel Embiid is like Shaq with the feet of a soccer player. There was so much to love about his game last night. I saw excellent footwork, pick and roll execution, beautiful jump shot and of course big time slams. The Embiid/Simmons pick in roll has to be one of the toughest things to defend this season, as no matter which guy you key on, they’re still going to kill you. As for Simmons, he’s just been awesome, and continues to be awesome. This team looks legit and I’m loving every second of it.
Tim Hardaway Jr.’s big fourth quarter propels Knicks over Jazz
NB: When you think of the Knicks, most people think of Porzingis. However, last night the star was Tim Hardaway Jr., scoring 14 of his 26 points in the 4th. Hardaway lead the team to a narrow victory over the Jazz. Having games like this is nothing but positives for the Knicks. Get some consistent shooting to back up Porzingis, and this team could be a problem.
CB: Hardaway’s contract over the summer was a huge topic over the summer, as most NBA fans felt like he got too much money. And I, for one, agree with that statement. However, he does have that J.R. Smith-like ability to come up and have big games, so bad contract or not, it’s good to have a guy like him be able to step up and play like that.
Bucks block 16 shots in win over Pistons
NB: It was a block party last night for the Bucks as they totaled 16 in a win over the Pistons. This team is showing more and more that they’re ready to compete. With Bledsoe being traded to Milwaukee it looks as if this team is ready to make a playoff push, and with defensive efforts like last night, I like their chances.
CB: If any team is going to block 16 shots in a game, it’s this one. The wingspans of this group are outrageous! Giannis, Henson, Brogdon, Bledsoe and even Middleton all have very long wingspans, so that length disrupts passes, alters shots and of course blocks shots. Blocked shots are some of my favorite plays in basketball, so I love watching this team swat this many away.
Bull awful 1st quarter set the tone for ugly game
NB: Going into the season, it was anticipated that this Bulls team would struggle. With Butler gone, it looked as if the Bulls were in full rebuild mode. With a young team, you just want them to go out and compete and grow. However, it looked as if this young team needed some help last night. After starting the game down 27-7 it became clear just how young this team really is. As crazy as it may sound, sometimes a quarter like that is what a team needs. It’s a teaching moment for the coach. If I’m the Bulls I just continue to build up the young talent and go and compete to the best of your abilities. The rest will come with experience.
CB: This Bulls team just isn’t nearly good enough to hang with elite teams in this league. That bad first quarter came without Russell Westbrook scoring. They aren’t a good defensive team and they aren’t a good offensive team. They’re just not good, but that’s what happens when you opt to rebuild. Like Nick said, look past it, use it as a lesson and play as hard as you can. They games this group wins this year will be because they outwork their opponents. They aren’t as talented but they work their tails off.
Player of the Night
Unanimous: Joel Embiid – 46 PTS, 15 REB, 7 AST, 7 BLK, 70% FG in win VS Lakers
NB: Two teams, both with impressive win streaks playing to end the other? How could you not watch this game?! What I feel will be one of the more fun games to watch this season, I expect a back and fourth battle. That being said, it’s hard for me to go against Kyrie and the Celtics after all the injuries over their win streak, but Golden State has too much fire power and I think they’ll pull this off.
CB: Boston, the best defensive team, taking on Golden State, the best offensive team. It’s basketball at its best ladies and gentlemen. However, This Warriors team might be the best they’ve put together yet, and their fast pace offense tends to offset the defense no matter how good it is. It’s a safe bet that Golden State wins this, unless Kyrie Irving GOES OFF.
NB: The Suns have had a big season so far from Booker and Warren, but it may not be enough as they matchup against the Rockets tonight. Controlling on defense and shooting the 3 well, the Rockets can control this game on all fronts. I’m taking Houston in this one.
CB: From what I’ve heard, Chris Paul is set to return tonight, so the Rockets may feel a little disrupted from the game they’ve been playing all season while Paul has been out. That said, Paul and Harden are superstars and will likely pull out a win in this one.
That’ll do it for today’s Rundown! Come back tomorrow, where we’ll discuss the top stories from around The Association.