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Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  46 responses

Post Up: Night of the Kevins

Kevin Durant finishes off the Wizards, Kevin Love and Kevin Martin destroy the Lakers

by Jay Wallis@jaywallis11

Spurs 120 (6-1), Knicks 89 (2-4)

Gregg Popovich recently said that he thinks the Warriors are “for real.” Even though he won’t admit it, his team is as well. The Spurs absolutely embarrassed the Knicks in their own building. In the first three minutes of play, the Spurs made 4 of their 5 attempts—making two lay-ups and two threes. As Popovich’s teams always do, they played efficient, unselfish, inside-out basketball. The Knicks, on the other hand, missed their first five shots and looked like a team that had no real desire to compete that day. It only got worse from there as Tony Parker (17 points, 6 assists) and the Spurs built up a 35-17 lead going into the second quarter. This separation continued to grow, eventually ballooning to a 106-69 fourth quarter San Antonio lead. The Spurs starting five (Parker, Green, Belinelli, Duncan, Diaw) were fantastic before the game got out of hand. During their 12 minutes on the floor together, the starters shot 72 percent from the floor and created a quick 23-point lead. Newcomer Marco Belinelli (9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) may not have had gaudy numbers, but he has stepped into the starting lineup, discovered his role and looked like he was born to play for Popovich. For the Knicks to have had any chance in this game, they would have needed J.R. Smith to have a strong season opener. He started by having yet another more-shots-than-points performance—5 points on 1-9 shooting from the field. Danny Green (24 points, 10 rebounds, 6-9 on 3-pointers) had his best game of the season by far as he returned to his home state. When Green has the green light and gets in a rhythm, his quick release makes him one of the most dangerous shooters in the League. The problem for the Knicks is simple: They need Tyson Chandler and they need his defensive leadership. Desperately. Without the former Defensive Player of the Year, most Knicks players assume a teammate will play defense or point and yell for someone else to play defense. Who knows how big of a hole this team can create before Chandler comes back.

Thunder 106 (5-1), Wizards 105 (2-4) OT

Oklahoma City showed Sunday night that you can be young while still being a composed, veteran group. The Wizards seemed to have this one in the bag, being led by Bradley Beal (career-high 34 points, 6-8 on 3-pointers) and five other teammates that ended in double-figures. John Wall (10 points, 8 assists) had a decent game but now has at least 4 turnovers in four of six games so far. He’ll need to work on his ball security if he wants to try and push this team into the playoffs. Washington held a 12-point lead with 8:03 to go and a 10-point lead with 3:01 left in the game. Then the Thunder came crashing down. After a Beal layup, the Thunder were only down 96-93 with 18 second left in the game. Kevin Durant (33 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists) decided to do what he has done so often in his young career—pull up for a game-tying 3-pointer. And make it. Durant now has 12 career game-tying shots in the last 24 seconds of a game—the most since the start of the 2007-08 season. The Thunder played some stout defense to close this one out in overtime. Durant seems to be in “angry mode” to start the season, taking down any and all obstacle that get in his way. His co-star Russell Westbrook (13 points, 5 turnovers, 4-16 shooting from the field) is still trying to shake off the rust and is showing everyone the bad Russ because of it. After his third called charge of the game with 3:19 to go in the fourth quarter, Westbrook took a shove from Nene (14 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) and retaliated with a push of his own, leading to a second double-technical and consequent ejection for these two. Whether or not Westbrook is having a good game, the kid has to learn to control and harness his emotions. He can’t let the frustration build up and eventually negatively impact his play on the court. The other piece to the Thunder Big 3 had one of his best games of the season as Serge Ibaka had a season-high 25 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Suns 101 (5-2), Pelicans 94 (3-4)

This game was an evenly matched game as young stars Anthony Davis (14 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals) and Eric Bledsoe (24 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds) continued their hot starts for their respective teams. Jason Smith also played well, scoring a team-high 22 points to go along with 8 boards. Holding an 80-79 with just under 6:00 minutes left in the game, the Suns called upon Markieff Morris (23 points, 9-12 shooting from the field), who knocked down a mid-range jumper and sparked a 15-6 Suns run that put the game out of reach. Playing both sides of the ball very well and averaging 23.8 points the last four games, Morris might finally be finding his groove in the NBA. During this time period, Bledsoe and Gerald Green (15 points) each hit desperation 3-pointers as the shot clock was expiring. Due to Bledsoe’s expected emergence, Morris’ unexpected consistency and Miles Plumlee’s (8 points, 12 rebounds) regular double-doubles, Phoenix is tied for the fourth best record in the League and hasn’t lost at home yet. Even if this team’s success is short lived, right now, they are buying into Jeff Hornacek’s system and playing solid, team defense.

Timberwolves 113 (5-2), Lakers 90 (3-5)

When asked about being outscored 47-23 in the first quarter, Chris Kaman put it best, saying, “it was like a nightmare.” The rest of the night didn’t go much better as Kevin Love (25 points, 13 rebounds)—who had 18 points and 8 rebounds in this demoralizing first quarter—looked like he should go try out to be the Vikings quarterback with all his full-court outlet passes and Kevin Martin (27 points, 3-5 on 3-pointers) continued to shoot the ball extremely well. Ricky Rubio (12 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds, 5 steals) put it all together with his second career triple-double as this game was over before it even had a chance of starting. Nikola Pekovic (14 points, 10 rebounds) played a major role in helping the Wolves attack a dreadful Lakers defense, as his team ended up with a 50-32 points in the paint advantage. Thanks to Rubio and Corey Brewer (17 points, 4 steals), the Wolves also pushed the tempo, outscoring the Lakers, 19-9, in fast-break points. Out of the many bad Lakers defenders, Chris Kaman (8 points, 5 rebounds) looked the worst, always being out of place on defense. But Minnesota didn’t just beat Los Angeles with their offense, though, as they consistently got back on defense. In fact, the Timberwolves have the best transition defense in the NBA, according to Synergy Sports. To make matters worse for the Lakers, Steve Nash left the game with back spasms and said he doesn’t know when he’ll be back. The only thing for certain about this perplexing Lakers team is that Kobe Bryant wants nothing more than to get back on that basketball court. (And that Mike D’Antoni has increased his Excedrin usage.)

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  • spit hot fiyah

    great screen by bargs on shumpert right there.

  • spit hot fiyah

    atlantic division standings:

    philly
    toronto
    boston
    NY
    brooklyn

    probably the mirror image of what most of us thought. that could off course flip flop in a couple of weeks though

  • Max

    47 1st quarter points, holy sh*t!!!

  • i_ball

    Rubio just filled the box score!

    The Spurs are back, I’d like to see Manu shooting a bit better but I doubt it will happen

    The Suns really surprise me (more than Philly), their best player was a back up last season

  • spit hot fiyah

    if the playoffs started today (i know, i know….but still) the suns would be 3 seed (!)

  • Harvey

    The Spurs just showed New York and the rest of them how to play the game of Basketball.

  • Slick Ric

    Kevin Love looking like a MVP out there.

  • JoeMaMa

    If you don’t like the Spurs, you don’t know basketball.
    No exceptions.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Check out the effort coming from the Knicks defense (Jr Smith)

  • AndyK415

    Love for MVP. Going to the playoffs

  • AndyK415

    They are for REAL.

  • Max

    LMAO

  • spit hot fiyah

    and that still makes james harden look like scottie pippen

  • The Fury

    Great footwork!

  • shockexchange

    Yeah, wait until bout 15-20 games in and teams will start to follow the predetermined script.

  • Dfrance

    Lmao, in his defense there was a shooter in the corner and he probably was hoping if he fainted at the shot, he could cover the subsequent corner pass. But the video looks funny as hell!

  • LakeShow

    I don’t “like” them, but I appreciate them.

  • LakeShow

    You sure Plumee isn’t a hidden gem? 12 boards and 5 blocks in 27mins… pretty nice.

    I think you and I can both admit the Suns are already having a better season in the early going here, than we expected them to ever string together all year. They have some chemistry and are actually trying to win. Two things we certainly didn’t expect.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    like i said about Plumlee, idk enough about him to be sure. But i think it’s clear that he’s better than anyone thought he was. Or he improved more than anyone thought he would. But IDK if he’s a long term option as a starter.
    .
    And the Suns start is surprising definitely, but once the season get’s into the dog days, and teams adjust to Bledsoe, they are going to be atrocious.

  • JoeMaMa

    I checked with myself.
    You’ve passed the test.
    Hate/respect passes muster.

  • LakeShow

    Early season stuff worth noting:

    Ant Davis (22-12-4-2-2)

    MCW (19-8-6-2.6)

    Kevin Love (27-14-5-1)

    The Pacers (7-0)

    Kevin Martin (24ppg on 16FGA)

    Eric Bledsoe (21-7-4-2 on 13FGA)

    The Suns/The Sixers (surprising starts)

    Rick Rubio (2nd triple double of career 7 games into the season is a strong start for a guy averaging nearly 9-9-5-4. Yes he still sucks at shooting. Yes he is imperfect. Yes, he has a long way to go before entering top 5 PG talks, but he is showing the glimpses that we all have been excited for over the last 6 years.)

    Young bigs: Nic Vucevic(16-12-1-1), Steven Adams(6-6-1.5 in 20mpg), Spencer Hawes (16-10-3-2 on 48% 3 pointers), Favarini, Deandre Jordan emerging as a defensive force with 11-14-2 averages thus far.

    The Knicks being the Knicks…

    The Heat having some struggles.

    Brooklyn’s slow start.

    Anthony Bennett showing why this was a lousy draft.

    Steve Nash might die on the court.

    Chris Paul straight beasting.

    Derrick Rose not so beasting.

    Houston’s clash of matador’s and bulls.

    Kyrie Irving sucking donkey d*ck.

    What am I missing?

  • LakeShow

    Yep, yup, yeah…

    Why is Dragic coming off the bench right now?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he has a sprained ankle. that’s really the only reason.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Kyrie is not playing great by any stretch, but he is putting up 20-8-5, it’s not that he “sucks”, just not living up to expectations.

  • spit hot fiyah

    isiah thomas averaging about 20 a game and zaza pachulia shooting 95% from the line

  • LakeShow

    Yeah, good point.

    It’s just any time someone puts up the same amount of points as shots per game you gotta throw some sh*t their direction though.

  • LakeShow

    Good call, IT is my guy reppin the 206.

    24-6 over 36 mpg to start the season… nice.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    hahah no i totally feel you. i just don’t want the people who aren’t really paying attention to take what you said and run with it. THe Kyrie hate from those who haven’t watched is already something that grinds my gears.

  • LakeShow

    Figured as much, just figured i’d ask you instead of google lol.

    Seems as though that back court is going to do just fine. Wonder if they keep them together…

    Gerald Green showing out mean while though.

  • LakeShow

    Mmh, got ya. Donkey d*ck was a bit strong lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i think Dragic will be traded next summer unless this team somehow does make the playoffs. The writing is on the wall, Dragic is our new Jeff Hornacek. In every sense of the word (except he isn’t an All star, and Jeff was before he got traded).

  • spit hot fiyah

    z-pac is my guy, reppin georgia and i ain’t alking bout atlanta

  • JML-G

    Markief Morris be ballin cray so far this season

  • Max

    I wast just about to post the same thing lol, Kief can ball!

  • Max

    LOL
    Steve Nash might die on the court haha.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Anybody else noticed Woodson’s extra glassy eyed gaze?

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Sunday night observations

    1. Bradley Beal is the Wizards best player not John Wall

    2. JR Bricks was at it again going 1-9 shooting playing no defense he is the biggest coon in the NBA

    3. Everyone knows at this point that Derrick Willams is a huge BUST but what about Shabazz Muhammad this guy the past 2 years was being touted as being the best high school player in the nation vastly overhyped he was being deemed as the next Kobe F’N Bryant and now he is buried on Minnesota bench getting no playing time

    4.Russell Westbrook can’t keep up with Durant

  • guest

    Yeah that would be hilarious…oh wait no it wouldn’t.

  • guest

    Coon? Really?

  • Above_You

    I thought I was the only one who saw that ignorant sh!t. Didn’t even read past it, and will never respect anything the guy posts ever again.

  • Above_You

    This season will be Rubio’s break out season for real. What he can do when he’s healthy a thing of beauty.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    yeah he is

  • davidR

    IT is a straight hooper. love watching that dude when he catches fire

  • Max

    Well if it’d really happen ofcourse it wouldn’t be hilarious..

  • Above_You

    My response comment got deleted for whatever reason but I caught that ignorant nonsense too. Won’t be reading any other comment from him.

  • Mike From Spain

    The Wolves sorta look legit… But their bench sucks very badly. One can only hope that Budinger and Turiaff return ASAP, and if Shved does not put his act together, he should be moved or cut or something. Derrick Williams is still not too good even as a bench player, he is not even a 3 and D guy.

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