On today’s show, we are dishing out the NBA Quarter Awards, along with the Jordan’s Secret Stuff winner! We got a new “NBA What-If” and end with some NBA quick hits.
Man the Grizz did Fizdale wrong. How’s that for data?
10.) Portland Trail Blazers (12-8). PPG: 103.2(20h) ORtg: 106.1 (18th) DRtg: 101.9 (3rd). This Week: @NYK Vs MIL Vs NOP
What a shootout Friday afternoon between the Trail Blazers and the Nets. It was nice to see them scrape away that victory, 3-1 on their current road trip which ends tonight in New York. Portland remains to be one the best defensive teams in the league, and when they score 120 plus points should be really hard to beat. Big game against New Orleans who they are battling with for a playoff spot.
9.) Minnesota Timberwolves (12-8) PPG: 108.1 (6th) ORtg: 110.4 (5th) DRtg: 110.5 (28th) This Week: Vs. WAS @NOP @OKC Vs.LAC
So a couple things about the Wolves. First of all, they can’t shoot threes. The perimeter game for the Wolves is getting torched by other teams. Jimmy Butler is finally coming into his own, and being ranked 6th in PPG and 5th in offensive rating, really makes you wonder, considering how bad they are from the outside. Ranked pretty much at the bottom of the league in defence is again startling, this being a coach Thibs team. KAT and Wiggins really need to start playing better two way basketball.
8.) Philadelphia Sixers (11-7). PPG: 109.6 (6th) ORtg: 106.6 (15th) DRtg: 104.5 (9th). This Week: Vs CLE Vs WAS @BOS Vs DET
Joel Embiid thinks he’s the best defensive player in the NBA right now. They rank in the top ten in defence. Maybe theres something here, it’s impressive because of how young this team is. What a tough week for the Sixers, I guess we will see how good they really are come Sunday night. A 2-2 split would be ideal for them.
7.) Toronto Raptors (12-7) PPG: 109.6 (5th) ORtg: 112.4 (3rd) DRtg: 105.2 (11th) This Week: Vs CHA Vs IND
I’m dipping the Raptors a little more than I maybe should. But with a 28-0 run against the Knicks last week, and followed up with a terrible outting in Indiana, I felt this was necessary. The Raptors currently have the leagues best bench aggregate NetRtg at 12.1 The bench is a mob, and when they come in they continue to out work the other team. Van Fleet has been filling in well for Delon Wright in his absences. Maybe he should be getting a few more minutes a game, they need to rebound this week and walk away 2-0 on the week.
6.) San Antonio Spurs (12-7) PPG: 100.9 (25th) ORtg: 106.0 (20th) DRtg: 103.0 (4th) This Week: Vs Dal Vs MEM @MEM @OKC
Good news Spurs fans. Tony Parker is making his season debut against the Mavs this week. Bad news, it’s not Kawhi Leonard. Parker should at least help some of their offensive woes, before Kawhi comes back fully healthy. Still boosting an impressive defensive rating, the Spurs are sitting pretty in the West. Brandon Paul looks to be like a diamond in the rough for Pop. Still on pace for another 50 win season!
5.) Detroit Pistons (12-6) PPG: 103.7 (18th) ORtg: 107.9 (10th) DRtg: 105.9 (13th) This Week: @BOS Vs PHX @WAS @PHI
The Positive Pistons! That’s what I’m dubbing them. Drummond is new and improved, tweeting the most positive things known to mankind. It’s almost 20 games into the season, and they haven’t collapsed yet. I think these Pistons could be for real. Had a really great win in OKC last week. And that improved them to 6-1 against the West this season, this Pistons team is full of energy and really fun to watch.
4.) Cleveland Cavaliers (12-7) PPG 110.8 (3rd) ORtg: 111.9 (4th) DRtg: 111.2 (29th) This Week: @PHI Vs MIA @ATL Vs MEM
Winners of 7 in a row. LeBron James is on a mission. Boy he had some impressive games last week, and the Cavaliers are rolling. Their defence still stinks, and Derick Rose could be done with basketball. Now more than ever do the Cavs need IT back. The defence has been getting better, obviously with winning 7 straight it has to be. Can’t wait for IT to come back and see what this team can truly be.
3.) Houston Rockets (15-4) PPG: 113.5 (2nd) ORtg: 114.3 (2nd) DRtg: 104.1 (8th) This Week: Vs BKN Vs IND @LAL
Chris Paul is back and the Rockets are still rolling. Putting up monster numbers on the offensive end. James Harden is battling LeBron for MVP right now, getting to another level this year. He is taking over the “Steph Curry” Award which is pretty much who hits the most threes in a season. If Paul stays healthy and Harden keeps this pace up, Golden State will have a tough foe come May.
2.) Golden State Warriors (15-5) PPG: 117.4 (1st) ORtg: 114.8 (1st) DRtg: 103.9 (6th) This Week vs Sac @LAL @ORL @MIA
Oh boy. Like lambs to the slaughter. What a schedule for the leagues best offence this week. Here’s the crazy thing. During the month of November, the Warriors have had the leagues best defence……Let that sink in for a second, because they are already the odds on favourite to win the title. The season started and people were questioning their defence, and look at them now. Warriors are just too good.
1.) Boston Celtics (18-3) PPG: 103.9 (19th) ORtg: 107.0 (13th) DRtg: (98.9 (1st) This Week: vs DET vs PHI vs PHX
They finally lost. Didn’t see that coming, especially against the Heat. Kyrie’s play down the stretch in close games is truly something special. He was at one point +40 in games within 5 points with under 5 minutes left. Boston’s bench continues to improve and the two Jayson’s just keep getting better. Brad Stevens has a real winner on his hands.
Check ya later.
Joel Embiid is really good at basketball, that is all
10.) Cleveland Cavaliers (9-7). PPG: 110.6 (3rd) ORtg: 110.8 (4th). Drug: 112.4 (30th). This Week: @DET, vs. BKN, vs. CHA
Don’t look now, but the Cavs have won four straight games, and seem to be finding their groove. Yes they still rank dead last in defensive rating in the league, well which is not great, but if they keep winning, really that’s all that matters for now. They have a couple of revenge game this week against Brooklyn who beat them early on in the year. LeBron is quietly putting up monster numbers, with 28.9PPG, 7.8RPG and 8.6APG, he has logged the most minutes in the league so far, and I don’t know if that is sustainable, but it’s LeBron, I think he will be the first guy to defeat Father Time.
9.) Portland Trail Blazers (9-7). PPG: 103.0 (19th) ORtg: 106.6 (15th). DRtg: 100.9 (2nd) This Week: @MEM @PHI @BKN @WAS
Who knew going into this season Portland would be sporting the 2nd best defensive rating almost 20 games into the year. Well they do, and Lillard and McCollum are both still studs, and Terry Stots has done a great job figuring out his rotations. The bottom seeds in the West playoff picture will be up for grabs, so if Portland can keep up their defensive ways, I’m sure they will find themselves sitting pretty in a playoff spot come April.
8.) Washington Wizards (9-7). PPG: 108.1 (12th) ORtg: 109.3 (8th). DRtg: 105.0 (9th). This Week: @MIL, @CHA, vs. POR
Like usual John Wall has gotten off to a less than stellar start. And right now he is battling injuries, so the most important thing for the Wizards to do is get him healthy. Luckily, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal have been taking on the load, and doing so in spectacular fashion. Beal is probably the MVP for the Wizards so far, who face a tough road ahead, with a bunch of games on the road in the next two weeks.
7.) Minnesota Timberwolves (10-6) PPG: 107.5 (13th) ORtg: 109.5 (7th) DRtg: 109.0 (21st) This Week: @CHA vs ORL vs MIA vs PHX
Every week I’m still in disbelief that a coach Thibs team is ranked 21st in defence. Is it the players? Was Thibs just kind of an overrated defensive coach? I don’t think that is the case. A guy who needs to start stepping up for the Wolves on the defensive side of the ball is Townes. I needs to become a rim protector. They just don’t get stops, which is so vital for a long playoff run and team success. They are playing ,much better as of late winning 8 of their last 10 games, but it’s the defensive stuff that scares me with this team.
6.) San Antonio Spurs (10-6) PPG: 101.6 (21st) ORtg: 106.7 (14th) DRtg: 104.0 (5th) This Week: vs. ATL @NOP @CHA
Almost a quarter of the way through the season, and still no Kawhi Leonard. I don’t want to say this is going to be like an Andrew Luck scenario, but they are being awfully coy about his injury and when he is set to come back. I get it, Houston and Golden State have locked up 1st and 2nd in the West. So why rush him back right now, when they want a 100 percent healthy Kawhi. Still really impressive feat, that the Spurs have managed to win 10 games already without a top 5 player in the league.
5.) Toronto Raptors (11-5) PPG: 110.4 (8th) ORtg: 112.9 (3rd) DRtg: 105.8 (12th) This Week: @NYK @IND @ATL
Holy moly, what a difference a week can make. Seriously, what a week. Back to back wins against Houston and New Orleans (on the road) and then finishing up the week with wins against the Knicks and Wizards at the ACC. Lowry has seriously found his groove and played his best four games of the season last week. The turn around could point to OG Anouby, who started last week and provided a huge spark for the Raptors. They are ranked 8th in assists per game, which is such a turn around from last year, when they ranked dead last in the association.
4.) Detroit Pistons (11-5). PPG: 105.0 (16th) ORtg: 109.0 (9th) DRtg: 105 (9th) This Week vs CLE @OKC
One of the few teams to rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive rating. The Pistons continue to impress the NBA community and more importantly keep winning games. Drummond is a beast, leading the league in rebounds, and is having his best season of his career. Credit to Stan Van Gundy who might of had one foot out the door, I thought this was going to be a write off season for Detroit, and they have proved myself, and many others wrong so far. Keep it up.
3.) Houston Rockets (13-4) PPG: 112.6 (2nd) ORtg: 113.6 (2nd) DRtg: 104.9 (7th) This Week: vs DEN vs NYK
Chris Paul is back, he’s healthy and Houston is still really good at basketball. The defence is still there, even James Harden has turned a new leaf. They had an awful game against the Raptors last week, but almost clawed back. So CP3 played one game with the Rockets and then has been sitting ever since. These next few weeks, I believe we will finally see the real Rockets. This is the CP3 send off tour, he certainly is far form retiring, but this Rockets team could have found some magic this season and this could be his chance to finally you know, do something in the playoffs….
2.) Golden State Warriors (13-4) PPG: 117.9 (1st) ORtg: 115.2 (1st) DRtg: 105.0 (10th) This Week: @OKC vs. CHI vs NOP
A showdown with the Thunder should be really fun to watch, but what is there to say about the Warriors, other than the loss to the all might Celtics last week. Look it’s the Warriors, I can only say so much. They have an unstoppable offence and are actually turning it around on the defensive side of the ball. There only weakness? The inside paint presence, that could potentially hurt them down the line if they get cold from the outside.
1.) Boston Celtics (15-2) PPG 102.5 (22nd) ORtg: 106.0 (18th) DRtg: 97.7 (1st) This Week: @DAL @MIA vs ORL @IND
They haven’t lost a game since October 20th, need I say more? Probably going to get to at least 19 wins…..
Check ya later.
The start of our weekly top ten teams in the association!
Things can change in a hurry in the NBA, one week you’re on top, the next, well, lets just say it doesn’t look so good. We are about 10 games into the NBA season, and it’s been a really fun ride so far. A ton of great games, more than a few surprise teams, and well the Mavs and the Kings are officially the worst teams in the NBA! (sorry Dirk) Are the Cavaliers in trouble? Are the Celtics going 80-2? I’m breaking down the top ten teams, so here we go!
10.) Washington Wizards (5-4). PPG: 112.8 (3rd) ORtg: 111.3 (2nd) DRtg 107.8 (19th)
It was a tough week for Washington going 2-1 with losses against the Suns and Cavaliers. Thanks to a monster game from LeBron he had 57 against the Wiz, they had a much needed victory Sunday night against the Raptors, without all-star John Wall. No Wall no problem as Bradley Beal stepped up and dropped 38 big ones on the Dino’s. Have the Wizards never watched Goodfellas? Number one rule, “always keep your month shut, and never rat on your friends.” Advice next time you play a big game and insult the best player in the world.
9.) Portland Trail Blazers (6-4). PPG: 107.2 (12th) ORtg: 108.6 (10th) DRtg: 102.2 (4th)
One thing that is impressing me with the Trail-Blazers this season in their defence. Ranking 4th in defensive rating is pretty impressive. They can score the ball with the best of them, and Dame Dollar is coming off a MONSTER week, where he averaged 34-PPG, 7-APG and 5-RPG, including a game winner against the Lakers. They ran into some trouble with the Raptors last Monday night, but all around Portland is solid basketball team, and if their defence can keep improving, they could be a really sneaky team to face in the first round of the playoffs this year.
8.) New York Knicks (5-4). PPG: 104.7 (18th) ORtg: 107.4 (13th) DRtg: 107.6 (18th)
Okay I know, what you’re thinking, the Knicks? Well hear me out, they started off the season 0-3 and since then have gone a 5-1 stretch. Porzingis is playing out of his mind right now he dropped a career high 40 last night, and the Knicks team is really fun to watch. They are super young, full on energy and are playing hard on both ends of the court, so I thought they deserved a shoutout and some recognition in the power rankings. If Porzingis can keep playing this way, the Knicks will not be a complete dumpster fire, and that’s what we all wanted, an enjoyable Knicks season! They came back from 19 down with 10 minutes to go yesterday against a pretty good Indiana team, give the Knicks some credit.
7.) Memphis Grizzlies (6-4). PPG: 101.8 (25th) ORtg: 106.4 (18th) DRtg: 102.5 (5th)
Grit and grind might not be dead after all! Just like the good old days, Memphis is a grind it out basketball team, averaging some of the fewest points per game in the entire league, Yet are one of the 5 best defensive teams. They had a really tough loss to the Lakers last night. The LA life night must have gotten to the boys. Conley and Gasol remain a solid foundation for Memphis to work with and they are just an all around really good basketball team. They started off the season really hot with an impressive win against Golden State, you knew they would cool down eventually and lose a game or two.
6.) Orlando Magic (6-4) PPG: 109 (7th) ORtg: 106.7 (17th) DRtg: 104 (10th)
One of the surprise teams of the season thus far. Listen I know Orlando had a bad week, and their offence really struggled, but with a banged up back court. Both Payton and Augustine are out with injuries, their offence which took a tumble so far in the month of November. I still believe this team is pretty good, and when your entire back court is out, well I believe that will reflect on your offensive efficiency. Or maybe the Magic just got off to a magical start and are coming back down to Earth, only time will tell I guess.
5.) Detroit Pistons (7-3) PPG: 104.8 (17th) ORtgt: 108.8 (9th) DRtg: 105 (14th)
Going into this season, I thought the Pistons would have a really hard time scoring the basketball, but ranked in the top ten in offensive rating is really impressive. Guys like Avery Bradley have really brought a culture change to this roster, and that was something that was much needed. Again they had a terrible loss at the hands of the Lakers (again LA night life). The big thing for the Pistons right now is Andre Drummond and his free throw shooting, which is up to 75 percent this year. Considering he was shooting a mere 38% last season, well that’s a huge step up and something that is really nice to see. He’s ranked second only behind DeAndre Jordan in rebounds per game, and is just putting together a really nice season. Happy for the Pistons and Stan Van Gundy.
4.) Golden State Warriors (7-3) PPG 120.7 (1st) ORtg: 119 (1st) DRtg: 109.7 (22nd)
Yeah that’s right, I’m not putting the Warriors in the top spot. They are shaky on the defensive side of the ball right now but I guess when you can simply outscore your opponents every night, that makes it a whole lot easier. They are also leading the league in assists per game with 31.5 which is five more than the second best team, which is Philly. They love sharing the rock and spreading the floor to make the defence work. I just didn’t want to make them the top dogs because well, they don’t deserve that spot right now.
3.) Minnesota Timberwolves (7-3) PPG 109.4 (6th) ORtg: 110.3 (5th) DRtg: 110.7 (25th)
I simply don’t understand this. How is a Thibs coached team so bad on defence? Are guys just not buying in? It’s bugging me, because well the Wolves are an impressive 5-1 against the West right now. It’s a tough conference and they are playing with the best of them. They have a great showdown with the Warriors Wednesday night and that will be much watch television. It’s time for Wiggins and KAT to buy in to playing defence because if that happens, look out!
2.) Houston Rockets (8-3) PPG: 109.9 (5th) ORtg: 110.8 (4th) DRtg: 104.1 (12th)
Harden did his thing on Sunday night, scoring 56 points in just 20 minutes of play! I add in the fact that he dished out 13 assists as well. What a performance. Is it weird that they could be a better team without CP3? I know that’s not possible, but they are playing okay defence so far, and I know that will improve once he gets back from injury, or at least one would think it would. I’m really excited about this team, because I think Harden really is on another level, and watching what he did on Sunday was so marvellous, it made me realize that this team could really give the Warriors a go in the playoffs.
1.) Boston Celtics (8-2) PPG: 102.9 (23rd) ORtg: 107 (16th) DRtg: 96.9 (1st)
The only team with a defensive rating lower than 100, the Celtics are the best defensive team in basketball. They have won 8 straight, since dropping the first two games of the season, and are doing this without their second best player. The young guns, like Brown and Tatum are coming up big for them. I believe Jaylon Brown is a really special player, and this is his coming out party. He’s my pick right now for most improved player. I’m shocked that they are doing so well on the defensive side of the ball, considering they have Kyrie on the team, who has been known to be a poor defender. I’m happy for the Celtics so far, they needed this and I think they are by far the best team in the East.
On today’s episode Kenny and I are breaking down the latest week in the NBA season. We talk about the impressive Raptors bench play. Are the Orlando Magic legit? We discuss Victor Oladipo’s streaky start, and if he can sustain this improved play. We hand out the very first “Jordan’s Secret Stuff” award, handed out to the basketball guy of the week, and a lot more! We are then joined by our buddy Jack to make some bold 2018 sports predictions.
NBA Talk (0:00-32:30)
2018 Sports Predictions (32:30-1:12:26)
For the first time in a long time, the Raptors have some really good young prospects.
As per usual the Toronto Raptors somehow found a way to lose a close game on the road against a Western Conference foe, a game in which they had no business losing. Last night the Raptors blew a late 4th quarter lead to the defending champs – The Golden State Warriors. Now don’t get me wrong, the Raptors didn’t play a great game for 48 minutes, that’s tough to do against the leagues best team. However they had an unbelieveable 4th quarter and down the stretch decided to go against everything they had been doing right in the 4th and blew it.
It’s only 4 games into the season, and the Raps are sitting at .500 with a record of 2-2. I’m not hitting the panic button because well it’s only 4 games into the season and as much as I wanted them to get that win last night (they haven’t won in GS since 2003) there were a ton of positives to take away from this game and to be honest their game against San Antonio on Monday night. For the life of me I can’t recall the last time the Raptors had this much young talent, that can play. Going all the way back to when VC and T-Mac were on the same roster, last night it was Raptors young guns that brought them back, and to be honest their leaders and go-to-guys that were ultimately our downfall.
Going into this season, Dwayne Casey was preaching a new offence and a new style of play for the Raps. More passing, less isolation plays for Lowry and Demar, and more 3 point shooting. Right now the Raptors are averaging 36 three point show attempts a game, and have 144 total attempts on the season. They have only made 44 of those attempts, as a team they are shooting .306 percent, which isn’t ideal. Last season they were shooting roughly 24 threes a game, and finished the season shooting .363 from behind the arc. So now they are shooting more and making less, way, way less. They brought in CJ Miles in the off-season because he is a great perimeter shooter, and so far he’s shooing .400 from distance. Not bad, but when three of your guards (Powell, Lowry and Van Fleet) are all hovering around 27 percent, something might need to change. I’ll admit its nice to see the new much improved passing, and looking for the open shot, but when they aren’t falling, you need to simply go to plan B. As a team, they are averaging close to 6 more assists a game than last season. Something the team really lacked last season was a a trust in one another to make a shot down the stretch or just trust one another to make the right play. They really are sharing the rock more, except when it matters the most. Up 5 last night with a minute remaining, the last two Raptor possessions feature iso plays from DeMar followed by Lowry. Neither play feature a single pass from the player. NOT ONE PASS. This is why the Raptors are easy to defend and stop down the stretch of big games or in the playoffs. DeMar and Kyle you two are allowed to shoot the ball at the end of games, but move the ball around, make the defence work a little bit before shooting. They become so predictable and I wonder if its Casey and him not drawing anything up, or do our two best players just want to do it all themselves when the game is on the line. The reason the Raptors were winning last night was because they were playing team basketball and trusting one another. So why go ahead from that when all you needed was one more bucket to seal the deal?
The thing I took away from last night, wasn’t the bad, it was actually the good. Poeltl last night remember me of a young Pau Gasol, and that is such a compliment. He has come a long way in just under the year, and looks comfortable on the floor this year. He is just a phenomenal rebounder and works his butt off on the offensive glass. We haven’t really had a great offensive rebounder since the AD and Oakley days. He also has quick feet and didn’t have that difficult of a time guarding guys like Steph or KD when switched onto them, and that really impressed me. I think if he continues to grow, not only will it be harder to play JV, but maybe it’s time really try to get something good for JV, while they still can. It’s early I know, but Poeltl can play smaller, simply because of his quick footwork, something JV has always had a difficult time doing. I often criticize Ujiri on his drafting abilities but Poeltl and Delon and now OG look to fuel the second unit. Delon’s career didn’t start off the way he wanted bogged down by injuries and getting off to a slow start. With trading Corey Joseph in the off-season, they looked at Delon and told him, you’re the guy off the bench now and I think he is relishing in this role. He’s a great two way point guard, and we need a great defender like him coming off the bench. He knows he isn’t the best shooter, and has a great ability getting into the lane and creating his own shot that way. OG is another guy, the Raptors haven’t had on their roster in a while. A long versatile guy who comes off the bench and brings a ton of energy. Watching that game last night OG did not look out of place or even look like a rookie. He is fitting in nicely with his role with the team, and seems very mature for a NBA rookie. Those three guys got the Raptors back into the game, with CJ, Norm on the bench looking on. Those three and DeMar and Lowry is a fun line up, that can defend and score, and when they were playing together, it was actually a lot to handle for the Warriors. Siakam also dropped a career high last night and was a massive boost in the second half for the Raps. He started and decided that he needed to prove that he might be worth some minutes and was just overall fantastic.
I’m all for this new style of play, tons of passing and shooting a ton of threes, but when the game is close, the Raptors can revert back to what is ultimately their weakness, which is trying to do everything one-on-one. Going into the season, I thought the biggest weakness would be the bench, so I couldn’t be happier and I think the front office deserves a lot of credit for believing in these young guys, because they are proving their worth right now. Lowry and DeMar just need to stick to whats working at the end of games, and trust in these guys. They want a chance at the big moment, and they can’t work their tails off all game, to only have it taken away like that. Get excited Raptor fans because I haven’t seen a young bench core of guys for us in a long time, so come the end of the season, when these guys have gotten a ton of run and reps in. And we have finally found our true identity, maybe we could see LeBron the ECF like Drake said!
We The North.
On today’s episode Kenny and I break down the first week of the NBA season. The stuff we liked and the stuff we didn’t. Just how bad can the Suns be? Is Giannis the next great NBA player? Kenny talks about his fantasy basketball woes and much more.