NBA Hot Take — Halloween
This week featured various NBA teams scaring the hell out of their fans for Halloween.
And then they dressed up in costumes.
Best costume: JaVale McGee in a 7-foot tall Grinch costume
Worst costume: Klay Thompson enters the area dressed as a basketball player.
Biggest poser: Victor Oladipo dressed up as a smallish Black Panther. (Wendell Carter Jr is the real thing!)
Featured Game #1 — Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more mustard off the hot dog than Lance Stephenson’s flight of fancy. It seemed like every time the Lakers got up by 18–19 points, they decided it would be better to show off than get up by 20+ and blow the game open. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also received and then regifted two turnovers that turned into baskets going the other way; first, a showy no-look pass that went to a Mav standing directly in front of him; and secondly, turning a dribble up court into a point blank bounce pass to Doncic right next to the L.A. basket.
Featured Game #2 — the Mega Million Lottery
Remember when people were trying to figure out the odds of Houston missing 27 straight 3-pointers in last year’s Western Conference Finals? The odds were 1 in 72,000.
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How about the reverse? What are the chances of winning a game when your team gets outscored 62–22 in points in the paint, so you decide to jack up 55 3-pointers in a regulation NBA game?
What are the odds that you hit 24, one short of the NBA record and still barely win the game?
Outside of the Rockets, only Boston and the New York Knicks have ever attempted 50 3-pointers in a game. In NBA history.
That’s 77,162 regular season games (not counting this year), plus anywhere from 1,976 to 2,394 playoff games.
Now, think about those odds if you don’t have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant on your team.
Here are Boston’s six best shooters, who made 22 of the 43 3-pointers taken, with their career averages, because everyone except Hayward and Morris has been shooting worse than their career averages this season.
Ojeleye 2 for 4 (career .318 3P%)
Hayward 3 for 5 (career .368 3P%)
Tatum 2 for 3 (career .421 3P%)
Horford 2 for 2 (career .367 3P%)
Irving 2 for 4 (career .387 3P%)
Morris 2 for 4 (career .360 3P%)
Featured Game #3 — The Easter Special
Aside from Lazarus and the usual star featured in every show about the Resurrection, has any NBA player ever come back from the dead like Derrick Rose? Not only has Rose been slowed down over the years by multiple knee injuries, he has played most of his career under Tom Thibodeau, a coach who makes these guys look like wellness counselors:
Rose should also be credited for resurrecting a 3-point shot that may never have been alive to begin with (career .298 3P%). He’s so bad, he makes Marcus Smart look like Ol’ Faithful. Check that. Smart (career .291 3P%) makes Rose look like Ol’ Faithful. And Lonzo Ball looks like Stephen Curry.
Featured Game #4 — The Grand Illusion
Detroit vs Anybody
Detroit jumped off to a mighty 6–5 lead and then fought with their lives to keep the deficit under 30. They’ve matched that effort by losing to Celtics, the lowly Nets and the full-strength 76ers.
Has there ever been a 4–0 team that got as much early season hype as the Pistons, only to come crashing back to earth just as quickly?
Oh, wait, I forgot about these guys.
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The Pistons were also victims of another type of grand illusion the week before, as Joel Embiid flopped in a game and got Andre the not so giant Drummond ejected.
Featured Game #5 — The Walking Dead
Run! run for your lives!
Well, uh, you can actually walk quickly, because these creatures are not going to run that much.
The Memphis Grizzlies have uncovered the corpses of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley and have out-grit and ground defensive standout Utah twice, allowing an average of 92 points per game. In a season marked by the fastest pace in history, Memphis has held opponents to 100 points or less in their last five games.
I can hardly wait to see them play the Celtics.
Featured Game #6 — The Black Panther
Even though the Bulls lost this game in overtime, my favorite player from the 2018 NBA Draft, Wendell Carter Jr., came out of stealth mode to announce his presence as one of the next great big men.
In only his eighth professional game, the 19-year-old Carter Jr. more than held his own against media darling Nikola Jokic (4th season, 23 years old).
Carter’s line: 25 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 2 for 3 on 3 pointers and 83.3% on free throws. This cat won’t be 20 until NEXT APRIL!!
Jokic had a great game as well, but he still moves and looks a little like the Pillsbury Dough Boy: 22 PTS, 12 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 3 BLK, 6 TO, and 3 for 6 on 3 pointers.
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