In the news on major happenings in NBA week 4.
NBA Week 4 News
- Eric Bledsoe’s disgruntled time at Phoenix is at an end. The athletic point guard went to Milwaukee in exchange for Greg Monroe and protected first and second round draft picks. He has averaged over 20 points a game in his last two complete seasons.
- Lonzo Ball at least put some part of his credentials on the table. The Lakers point guard broke LeBron James’ record of becoming the youngest player to record a triple double with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists in a 98-90 loss to Milwaukee. Ball is 20 years 15 days, beating LeBron’s record of 20 years 20 days.
- Gregg Popovich has admitted that Leonard’s rehab has been difficult. The 2x Defensive Player of the Year tore his right quadriceps and missed pre-season and the first few weeks of the season. The veteran coach has admitted it has been slow recovery, but they will not rush him back in. The Spurs are still a competitive team in the Western Conference, with LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the team stepping up.
- Ben Simmons has proven to Philadelphia that he was worth the wait. The 2016 first round pick spent the year on the side-lines but has been a key member of the 76ers. He is the first player to record 170 points, 100 rebounds and 80 assists in his first 10 games. He also has 2 triple doubles to his name.
- The biggest off-season move saw Paul go to the Rockets. However, the 9x all-star has been injured, but Coach D’Antoni expects him to be back soon. Many wonder how he will fit in and if it would compromise James Harden MVP Calibre season.
- Utah Jazz centre, Rudy Gobert will be out of action for 4-6 weeks. The defensive behemoth, who became the leader of the Jazz had been averaging 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game. This came after what the Jazz and Gobert called a ‘dirty’ foul on him by Miami Heat guard, Dion Waiters.
Selected Matches Review for NBA Week 4
Milwaukee Bucks (6-6) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7)
Bucks 119 – 124 Cavaliers
After a shock loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Cavaliers bounced back against the Bucks. LeBron James had a strong night with 30p-8r-9a. Kevin Love had 32p-16r and JR Smith finally shot well, scoring 20 points on 7-12 shooting. The Bucks were once again led by the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokoumpo, who had 40p-9r. Khris Middleton had 20p-7r-11a and Malcom Brogdon had 22p-5r-6a. The bucks had foul trouble, recording 31 personal fouls in the game.
Los Angeles Clippers (5-7) vs San Antonio Spurs (8-5)
Clippers 107 – 120 Spurs
A tightly contested first half and a simple second half from the Spurs saw the Texas based franchise take a simple victory. LaMarcus Aldridge (25p-6r), Pau Gasol (19p-8r-6a), Danny Green (24p), Rudy Gay (22p-7r) all had big contributions for the game, as the Spurs await the return of Kawhi Leonard. Austin Rivers had a team high 24 points with 4 other Clipper players scoring in double digits.
Los Angeles Lakers (5-8) vs Boston Celtics (12-2)
Lakers 96 – 107 Celtics
In a matchup between the two most successful franchises in NBA history, Boston recorded their 10th consecutive win of the season, in a game that they controlled throughout. This was in spite of sloppy shooting by the Celtics, who were led by Aaron Baynes with 21p-8r, and strong contributions from Marcus Morris and Kyrie Irving. Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson had team high 18 points each for the Lakers, with 4 others scoring more than 10. The team were disastrous from long range with 20% of their 3-pointers made.
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-5) – Golden State Warriors (10-3)
Timberwolves 101 – 125 Warriors
The resurgent Timberwolves had a 5 game winning streak snapped by the defending champions. Playing without an injured Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 28 points, Curry having a strong 22p-8r-8a game. 4 other Warrior players had double digit scoring. All 5 starters for the Timberwolves had double digit scoring, but could not match the champions’ firepower. The Timberwolves shot 20% from 3-point range.
Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7) vs Houston Rockets (11-3)
Cavaliers 113 – 117 Rockets
Trying to shake of their start, the Cavaliers came up short against the Rockets, despite a massive second quarter, where they outscored the Rockets 42-29. The Rockets held command over the game. James led the Cavs with 33p-7a but committed 9 of the 19 Cavalier turnovers. Jeff Green had 27 points off the bench. The Cavaliers were abysmal at rebounding, recording just 26 boards. James Harden led the Rockets, the beard notching up a triple double of 35p-11r-13a-5s. 5 other Rocket players had double digit scoring.
Los Angeles Clippers (5-7) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (6-7)
Clippers 111 – 120 Thunder
A tightly contested game saw the Thunder take a win against the struggling Clippers. Lou Williams was explosive off the bench for LA, scoring 35p-7r, on 13-22 shooting. Four others had double digit point scoring, but Blake Griffin did shoot 5-19. The Clippers had 30 fouls and 18 turnovers. Paul George led the Thunder with 42p-9r-7a-3s, with Westbrook contributing a 22p-8a-3s. George is the first person not named Durant, Westbrook or Harden to have a 40+ point game for the Thunder.
Memphis Grizzlies (7-5) vs Houston Rockets (11-3)
Grizzlies 96 – 111 Rockets
Explosive 1st and 3rd quarters saw the Rockets outscore the Grizzlies and cruise to a comfortable victory, never relinquishing the lead. James Harden once again led with 38p-8a with Eric Gordon having 26p outing. Ryan Anderson, Client Capela and PJ Tucker all contributed. The Grizzlies were led by Tyreke Evans’ 22p-5r-6a-3s. Only 3 others had double digit scoring, with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley having quiet nights with 15 and 12 points respectively.
Philadelphia 76ers (6-6) vs Golden State Warriors (10-3)
76ers 114 – 135 Warriors
The young 76ers tried their best but they just did not have the firepower to match the Warriors who pulled away in the second half. Kevin Durant’s 29p-5r-4a-2s-2b on 11-18 shooting led the team. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, JaVale McGee and Nick Young all scored more than 10 each, with the Splash Brothers contributing 45 points. The Warriors were efficient shooting 58.5% vs 46.8% of the 76ers. All 5 starters of the 76ers had double digit, with 2 off the bench as well. JJ Reddick had a team high 17 points
Los Angeles Clippers ( ) vs New Orleans Pelicans ( )
Clippers 103 – 111 Pelicans
A strong performance from the Pelicans front court added pressure on the Clippers. The Pelicans frontcourt all-stars led the way. Cousins had 35p-15r-5a on 14-23 shooting, while Davis had 25p-10r-5a-2s-2b on 9-15 shooting. Cousins unfortunately did have 8 of the teams 23 turnovers. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 26p-6a but shot a miserable 9-27 from the field. DeAndre Jordan had a 12p-14r performance, while Austin Rivers, Lou Williams and Jawun Evans had 19, 14 and 11 points respectively. The defeat marks 5 consecutive defeats for the Clippers.
Orlando Magic (8-5) vs Denver Nuggets (8-5)
Magic 107 – 125 Nuggets
The two surprise packages of the season so far. Denver and Orlando are doing far better than expected in their conferences. The Nuggets still possess a strong attack, indicated by their dominance in the game. Orlando had a 3 point lead at its biggest, compared to 30 for Denver. Marreese Speights had a team high 19 points, with 4 others scoring 10 or better. Jamal Murray had 32 points, with Will Barton having 26p-9r-5a. Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic nearly recorded triple doubles with strong all-round performances. Millsap had 16p-8r-8a-1s-2b, with Jokic proving himself to be one of the best centres in the league with 12p-17r-9a-4s-1b.
Toronto Raptors (7-5) vs Boston Celtics (12-2)
Raptors 94 – 95 Celtics
A tough battle between divisional rivals saw Celtics win the first of their four encounters with the Raptors. Playing without Irving, Al Horford led the Celtics with 21 points. Marcus Smart had a near double-double with 14p-9a. Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown all contributed. The Raptors all-star back-court duo of DeRozan and Lowry had 24points and 19p-7a respectively. The Celtics have now won 12 straight.
Upset of NBA Week 4
Dallas Mavericks (2-12) vs Washington Wizards (7-5)
Mavericks 113 – 99 Wizards
In a surprise, a rebuilding Mavs team dominated a strong Washington team, never once relinquishing the lead. This snapped a 6 game losing streak for the Mavericks. Harrison Barnes (31p-9r) and Dennis Smith Jr. (22p-8r-8a) led the team. John Wall and Bradley Beal had 23points each but it was not enough. The Mavericks outrebounded the Wizards 53-39. It was the only upset of NBA Week 4
Player of NBA Week 4
The Bucks Star led the team to a 2-1 week including a win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Greek Freak averaged 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks a night on a combined 40-64 (62.5% accuracy). It would be a shock if he is not one of the top 5 vote-getters for the Eastern Conference All-Star ballots.
Week 3 Review can be seen here