NBA in Threes: Nikola Jokic and too much eating; LeBron rolling early

NBA Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NBA Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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NBA Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
NBA Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Welcome to NBA in Threes where we rundown some notable happenings in the league and recent games three days at a time

NBA in Threes has been designed to be flexible in its delivery of NBA news.

  •  NBA Box Scores
    • Think of the box scores like free throws. They’re quick, easy and they give you a little sumpin’ sumpin’.
  • NBA Tidbits
    • Tidbits are your field goals inside the arc. You’re going to get a little more info and some Tweets relevant to the day. It’ll have a little more substance than the box scores.
  • NBA Game Analyses
    • Game analyses are like shots from range. It’s still a quick read individually but it will be a better value.

*October 31 NBA Box Scores

NBA Game Analyses

Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat

New Orleans Pelicans vs Denver Nuggets

NBA Tidbits

The NBA handed down the expected suspensions following the kerfuffle between the Philadelphia 76ersJoel Embiid and the Minnesota TimberwolvesKarl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday. Each was suspended for two games without pay. I was also expecting Ben Simmons to face some disciplinary action for his apparent role in the mess.

According to a article though, those interviewed during the NBA’s investigation identified Ben Simmons as a peacemaker rather than an antagonistic participant.  That just goes to show, even when there’s video footage there are always details that you can’t know without the right access.

That being said, I still think the NBA got something wrong.

I can roll with the two-game suspension on Towns. But for Embiid to have received the same number of games after all of the celebrating he did afterward leaves a bad taste in my mouth for two different reasons

  • First of all, this was a missed teaching opportunity. The NBA expects professionalism from its payers and so they should. Embiid’s antics were anything but professional. This was an opportunity for the NBA to emphasize their expectations of players.
  • Secondly, in the NBA, a player gets slapped with a technical foul for a celebration directed toward another player. And sure, Embiid directed his celebrations toward his teammates and the crowd. But I think what was being celebrated warranted at least an extra game or two.

•I just looked out my window positive I’d see pigs flying because I just saw this on Twitter:

•While we’re on the subject of Kawhi Leonard, it seems like he went into the Los Angeles Clippers‘ game against the San Antonio Spurs with a mission. We’ve already discussed the slow start Kawhi Leonard has had early in the season. His start was anything but slow against his old team. He put up 16 shots in the first half alone. In the first four games that Leonard has played this season, he’s averaging just over 19 field goal attempts per game.

Coincidence? I think not.

*November 1 NBA Box Scores

NBA Game Analyses

Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Tidbits

•Aren’t the Houston Rockets supposed to be on a different level than the Brooklyn Nets this season since the Nets are without Kevin Durant? Yet, the Nets handled business at home against the Rockets winning 123-116.

The plus/minus numbers in this game for Houston are absolutely ridiculous. The Rockets’ starters combined to score 97 points in this game. Not one of those players had a plus/minus rating above -10. In total, the five were -87.

Meanwhile, the four guys that played off the Rockets’ bench combined to score only 19 points but had a combined plus/minus of +52. I never took the Rockets as serious contenders for a finals appearance this season. Even so, numbers like this should never happen.

If you’re not familiar with the way plus/minus is calculated in the NBA, you can follow this link to where I source all of my plus/minus stats. But I think this interaction sums it up pretty succinctly.

The Golden State Warriors announced that Steph Curry will be evaluated in three months after having surgery on his broken left hand. Even this early in the season, I’m going to go ahead and file Golden State’s season under; No one could have seen this coming.

Unsurprisingly, the idea of tanking has been floated around since Curry’s injury. Personally, I don’t see it. When I think of the best organizations in the NBA, the Warriors land at the very top of that list. I just don’t think this is a team that would ever adopt an intentional tanking strategy. But don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I think they won’t be a lottery team.

There are a lot of games to be played in the next three and probably more months. By the time Curry gets back, (which considering the situation absolutely should not be rushed) I think the Warriors will simply be in a hole too deep to climb out of. I mean, who needs to tank on purpose when you’re already going to be organically terrible?

*November 2 NBA Box Scores

NBA Game Analyses

Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors

NBA Tidbits

•The Philadelphia 76ers are the last team in the NBA who have not lost a game. I know it’s early in the season but so far their record bodes as my pick to come out of the Eastern Conference this season.

I was expecting them to get their first tick in the loss column against the Portland Trail Blazers with Joel Embiid missing the first two games after his tussle with Karl-Anthony Towns.  Every time it seemed like the Blazers had created some space the ‘6ers went on a run to get back into the game.

With 0:02 left in the game, Philly was down 126-128 when this happened:

•My question of the day: Will James Harden‘s game every cease to produce insane stats like this…?

•The Minnesota Timberwolves put a beatdown on the Washington Wizards with a dominant 131-109 win. PS, this is the same Washington Wizards who scored 158 points against the Houston Rockets only a few nights ago. Things that make you go, “Hmmmmm.”

•While I do feel genuinely bad for the rough time the Golden State Warriors are having, it’s hard not to enjoy Twitter’s reaction to Saturday night’s starting five of Dwayne Bacon, Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, Miles Bridges and Cody Zeller.