Biggest Takeaways from Wednesday Night's NBA Action
Wednesday night was an action-packed 13-game slate in the NBA, one that featured a nationally televised double-overtime game (Note: This wasn't even the most exciting game of the evening). Two of the elite teams fell apart at the end due to literal last-second heroics, and L.A.'s other team (Read: better team) built that winning streak up to eight games.
This was a League Pass treat, among the better ones this season.
5. Toronto: Down Goes Bargs, Up Goes Ed Davis
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Filed under "This probably appeals to you more as fantasy basketball advice," a ligament tear in Andrea Bargnani's right elbow (via Toronto Star) has sidelined the defensively deficient big man. It sounds cruel, but this might actually help the woeful Raps, given how poorly he's been playing.
Enter Ed Davis, who's been really good off the bench in Canadian obscurity. The Raptors lost to Brooklyn, but Davis scored 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting, with 12 rebounds added.
Keep an eye on Davis, as he's only 23 years old and boasting plenty of athletic potential. He disappointed last season, but the kid just might be turning into a foundational piece.
4. Dallas vs. Boston Overtime Was No Country for Old Men
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Boston-Dallas went two overtimes and really ran out of steam in the second stanza. I wish I could bill this game as a thriller, but it deteriorated into an eyesore of unsuccessful Rajon Rondo hero ball and Dallas Mavericks turnovers.
Then it got worse. With the Celtics up three, Boston began the (wise) process of fouling the Mavericks, so as to prevent them from getting a three-point shot off. The game effectively ended when the Mavs threw the ball out of bounds, which was fitting.
Though both teams have played in recent NBA Finals, it was hard to come away from this impressed by either. The Mavericks are average without Dirk Nowitzki, and the Celtics are near average, even with almost all of their roster. We'll see what happens with Boston when Avery Bradley returns, but right now, it's hard to envision either team going deep in the playoffs.
3. The Clippers Keep Rolling
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The Clippers have won eight in a row, a fact that's been obscured by the hilarious failures of the team that shares their city and arena. Of course, everybody expected them to beat the talent-poor Charlotte Bobcats, but credit to the Clips for keeping it consistent.
Also, more importantly, Eric Bledsoe blocked a shot with his face:
The Lakers will always been L.A.'s team, but the Clips are providing quite the credible alternative with all this "winning games" and "blocking shots with your face" business.
2. Jazz-Spurs: Whoa Williams
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The San Antonio Spurs looked like they had this game in hand. Instead, down the stretch, they curiously ignored their best playmaker:
Love Pop Love the spurs, but you have Randy Foye guarding Ginobili and he didn't touch the ball at all down the stretch. Puzzling— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) December 13, 2012
I can't speak to why Pop's team avoided Ginobili, but they were brilliant apart from the shaky end of that fourth quarter. As for the winning shot, this was a horrible process that led to a wonderful result. Credit to Mo Williams for hitting a game-winning three, but who drew up this play with the game tied? Shooting a contested distance shot off the dribble is usually a recipe for "overtime" in that situation.
1. The Warriors Are Legit
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If it weren't for the Mo Williams miracle shot, Draymond Green's layup would have been the play of the night. The Heat focused on Golden State's shooters all night long, blanketing Stephen Curry and hoping that Klay Thompson would miss. The latter responded with an 11-of-21 night, and suddenly, Miami had to account for him as well.
With the defense stretched thin, the Warriors took advantage of a Shane Battier lapse and hit Green down low for the game-winner:
Jarrett Jack showed fantastic patience and vision on the find, and it's another signal that this team shouldn't be regarded lightly. When and if they get Andrew Bogut back, they'll have the foundation of a balanced offense, with deadly shooting and a lot of ball movement.
The Warriors, for once, could be better than good.