Welcome to The Rundown! Today, we discuss the top stories from around The Association and make our predictions for tonight’s action.
Jimmy Butler’s big 4th quarter
Nick Billion: Last night, Jimmy Butler had his best scoring game as a member of the Timberwolves, as he dropped 33 points, 20 of which came in the final quarter of the game. This can be a key factor for the Wolves as they could use a leader to take over a game if needed. Whether it be scoring or creating plays, he is always doing something to help this team out. Great game for Butler, and good team win as the Wolves look to stay in the top five in the West.
Craig Brallier: We know very well that Butler is capable of big time scoring outbursts. Does anyone remember a few years ago, when Jimmy G. Buckets dropped 40 in the second half against the Raptors? Coming into the league as a defensive specialist, his offensive game as steadily improved every year, as he can now be a go-to scorer, which he proved in Chicago. I still think Andrew Wiggins should be the go-to guy, but as a Bulls fan, I know all to well what Butler is capable of, so I’m not worried about the Timberwolves being able to win games. Now the fact that it took that kind of outburst to beat the Clippers, LED BY AUSTIN RIVERS, that makes me feel insecure about these guys. That said, they got it done, and that’s all that really matters.
Donovan Mitchell’s big night
NB: While we may be behind on this one, I think it’s important to talk about Donovan Mitchell’s big game on Friday against the Pelicans. Mitchell dropped 41 points, including six 3’s. This is the most points from a rookie since 2011. Mitchell is having a great season for the Jazz, averaging just over 16 points, 3 rebounds and a steal per game. Personally, I haven’t gotten the chance to watch him play yet, but he is doing some great things, and we can only assume more is to come.
CB: Jazz fans will be quick to remind you that Gordon Hayward’s career high is 40 points, which he notched in the playoffs last year. I think it’s a little early to jump on the “Donovan Mitchell is our center piece” train, but he has been very impressive. He’s athletic, a solid scoring guard and he has a pretty good shooting stroke. After losing Hayward, I’m glad to see the Jazz doing well, and to see the fans excited.
Westbrook’s triple double lead them over Spurs
NB: Mr. Triple Double is back with another one, as he dropped 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, as the Thunder hold on to beat the Spurs. It may have come at a cost though as both Melo and PG had under 10 points, but don’t let me get too carried away. Props to Westbrook on another big night.
CB: Russell Westbrook has been the only consistent factor for the Thunder this season, which I suppose you should expect from the reigning MVP of the league. I’m worried about this team. I really don’t know if the chemistry is there, or if there is even enough talent after the big 3 to succeed. Sure, the won last night, but against a banged up Spurs squad who lost Kyle Anderson last night. There is still plenty of time to turn in around, but December is here, and it’s about time to make a run, or get left behind.
Warriors electric second half propels them over Miami
NB: It may be safe to say that this team is back to top form as they have been dominate of late. They outscored the Heat by 26 in the second half en route to a big time win last night. As a team, they collected 41 rebounds and 32 assists. The game before the recorded a league high 46 assists. This team is playing great team basketball.
CB: When the Warriors are running and playing team basketball, they’re almost impossible to beat. This team has had the greatest three year stretch in basketball and they’re not looking to cool down anytime soon. Even though they’ve been banged up a lot this season, I still don’t see a single team that isn’t located in Houston being able to stop them from reach the Finals for a fourth straight season.
That’ll do it for today’s Rundown! Come back tomorrow, where we’ll discuss the top stories from around the NBA.