I want to open today’s notes by talking about Eric Bledsoe. In case you didn’t know, Bledsoe tweeted “I Dont wanna be here” without any context, and was then sent home by the team after a meeting. He tried to explain that he tweeted that while at a hair salon. Bledsoe. Buddy. People aren’t stupid. You want out of Phoenix. We get it. At least he didn’t say he got hacked.
Philadelphia 76ers (97) vs Detroit Pistons (86)
- We tried to tell you. We said that Rookie of the Year was Ben Simmons’ award to lose. Last night, he put up 21 points on 73% shooting, 12 rebounds, and ten assists. That puts him at 4 straight double-doubles and his first triple-double. And he can’t shoot yet. What happens then?
- Detroit shot 20% from three as a team. Stan Van Gundy’s offense relies on players that can shoot surrounding a terrific rebounder in the center. So, why is he starting Stanley Johnson and Reggie Jackson? I know you don’t like analytics, Stan, but figure this out.
- I was really high on Markelle Fultz coming out of college; he was considerably the highest rated player on my board. The flashes of that guy are still there. The shot will come around with time since he’s only played four career NBA games. But, his complete reluctance to shoot at all is really worrisome.
Atlanta Hawks (93) vs Miami Heat (104)
- Another game minus Whiteside for Miami, but the two guys that stepped up this time were Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington, particularly Ellington’s 20 points and six threes in 24 minutes.
- Instead of starting Ersan Ilyasova over John Collins last night, the Hawks started Mike Muscala over John Collins. Muscala had five points and four rebounds in 22 minutes. Just play your young guys. Please.
- I really like Taurean Prince. I don’t think he’ll ever be a star player, but he’ll be an effective role player for a long time, particularly if he shoots threes like he did last night.
Memphis Grizzlies (98) vs Houston Rockets (90)
- I begged the Grizzlies to blow up the team on our last podcast. Hell, they’re starting James Ennis, Jarell Martin, and Andrew Harrison. And they’re 3-0 with wins over Golden State and Houston. Credit where credit is due.
- Without Chris Paul, Houston needs efficient nights from James Harden and Eric Gordon. While they both played well (combined for 49 points and 15 assists), they both shot under 33% from three and combined for nine turnovers. Efficiency matters.
- The scoring numbers for other Rockets’ starters: Capela with 14, Anderson with 5, Ariza with 2. That’s 21 points. You can’t win games with two players producing. They really miss Chris Paul.
Charlotte Hornets (94) vs Milwaukee Bucks (103)
- Giannis with 32 points on 62% shooting, 14 rebounds, six assists, and three stocks. He’s averaging nearly 37 points, nearly 11 rebounds, and five assists through four games. Is he even from this Earth?
- Malik Monk has been struggling to open his rookie campaign. 4 points tonight on 17% shooting and 0-3 from three. He’s shot 18% FROM THE FIELD so far this year. I like Monk, but for all the talk he had about making the Knicks pay for passing on him, he hasn’t backed it up.
- Dwight Howard had 22 rebounds and four blocks. Say what you want about Dwight’s ability to mesh with teammates or his mentality towards the sport, but he’s still an effective player when he wants to be.
Golden State Warriors (133) vs Dallas Mavericks (103)
- Steph Curry had 29 points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 31 minutes. And he only shot 20% from three to do it. This is just your reminder that Steph Curry is very good at basketball. Just in case you forgot.
- Nerlens Noel played 11 minutes last night. I’m going to keep harping on this until the end of time and you’re all going to get super tired of it. He’s so good on defense. Please give him minutes!
- No Golden State starter played more than 33 minutes. The depth and sheer talent on this team is just unbelievable. They won a game by 30 points and barely even played their starters.
Toronto Raptors (97) vs San Antonio Spurs (101)
- The Spurs are 3-0 and Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played a game yet. If this isn’t a testament to how good of a coach Greg Popovic is, I don’t know what it would be.
- Kyle Lowry only had eight points on 27% shooting. He’s getting older and the numerous injuries he’s suffered over the years might be starting to take their toll. He’ll still be good this year, but his new contract is starting to look very sketchy.
- Dejounte Murray had 16 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists as the starting point guard. How does Pop find all this young talent so late in the draft? Every year, it feels like one late round guy I really like always ends up in San Antonio.
Washington Wizards (109) vs Denver Nuggets (104)
- The Wizards won a game where John Wall only scored 19 points on 23% shooting and Bradley Beal only score 20. Everyone always thinks the Wizards live or die on Wall and Beal, and while that’s true to some extent, the Wizards have a solid supporting this year.
- Even though they lost, Jokic scoring 29 points and shooting 14 times is a good sign for Denver. As I put in my thoughts for their last game, he’s their best player and he needs to put up the shots so the team lives or dies on him.
- Garry Harris and Jamal Murray were a combined 0-8 from three. Those two guys need to shoot well so Denver can effectively utilize Jokic’s amazing passing ability, so it’s not a surprise that Denver lost that game.
Sacramento Kings (115) vs Phoenix Suns (117)
- Phoenix swapped out Eric Bledsoe for a 27-year-old undrafted rookie named Mike James, who proceeded to score 18 points on 80% shooting with seven assists. Maybe the Suns don’t want Bledsoe here either.
- It’s time for the “Why is Justin Jackson starting over De’Aaron Fox” update of the day. Jackson: ten points, one rebound, -20 for the game. Fox: 19 points, five rebounds, four assists, +16 for the game. This is the most Kingsy thing that’s happening in an otherwise very non-Kingsy season.
- 19 points in 29 minutes for Marquese Chriss, the lower drafted big for Phoenix last year. The guy picked fourth overall? Dragan Bender had five points and two rebounds in 13 minutes.
(feature image from Getty Images)