Miss your NBA fix last night? In three minutes or less, TDC’s The Tip Off gives you the brief rundown of the standout stat lines, exciting finishes and some rarities that went down on the hardwood last night. On a busy evening where you miss the live action and/or the scintillating thrill of NBA Twitter scrolling, we have done the work for you and compiled notable lines and events.
Spend three minutes reading this every day to keep up with the Association and have enough knowledge and nuggets to be in the loop with casual fans as well as the ability to toss out a few specific stats and oddities an avid fan may have missed.
B-ball Date: 11/23/2019 as reported by Sam Shin, video by Jerin Varghese
- If there was ever a perfect response from a player in regards to a benching from his own head coach, this would be it. One day after being benched and singled out for “egregious defense,” Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 49 points, hitting 17/28 from the field and a ridiculous 13/17 from deep in a 116-115 comeback victory over the Hornets. Either 1) Jim Boylen needs to bench LaVine at some point in every game or 2) this was all part of Boylen’s plan.
- There was certainly a showdown between Donovan Mitchell and Brandon Ingram on Saturday night, the former finishing with 37 PTS (12/26 FG, 6/13 3PT, 7/7 FT), 7 REBS, and 5 ASTS and the latter with 33 PTS (12/24 FG, 4/7 3PT, 5/5 FT), 4 REBS, and 5 ASTS in a 128-120 win for the Jazz over the Pelicans. Spida: 1, Slenderman: 0.
- We had another duel out north in Toronto, as Pascal Siakam and Trae Young went head-to-head in a matchup that certainly didn’t disappoint, a 119-116 win over the Hawks for the Raptors. Siakam posted 34 PTS (11/18 FG, 4/6 3PT, 8/9 FT), 1 STL, and 2 BLKS, while Trae had 30 PTS (11/23 FG, 4/11 3PT, 4/4 FT), 10 REBS, and 10 ASTS for a triple-double. “Spicy P” or “Ice Trae,” who you got? We’re asking about both their nicknames and their actual games, by the way.
- How about a Kentucky battle in Minnesota? Two good friends off the court, Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker, certainly didn’t look like friends on the court Saturday. Towns had 31 PTS (11/19 FG, 6/12 3PT), 17 REBS, and 4 ASTS, while Booker put up a game-high 35 PTS (12/26 FG, 11/11 FT), 12 REBS, and 9 ASTS in the Suns’ narrow 100-98 win over the Timberwolves. #FriendlyFire
- What if I told you that in a 113-86 blowout win for the 76ers over the Heat, the Sixers’ leading scorer (with their fully healthy lineup) wouldn’t be Embiid, Simmons, Horford, or Harris…but Josh Richardson? Well, believe it or not, Richardson dropped 32 points, hitting 11/15 from the field and a scorching 6/7 from behind the arc. Where are the “The Sixers will miss Jimmy Butler” scholars now?
Quirks of the Night
- According to ESPN Stats & Information, LeBron James’ 27 field goal attempts without attempting a single free throw was the most shots he’s ever taken without earning a trip to the line. I think there are two possible scenarios here: 1) The defenders guarding LeBron from game to game are absolutely elite and play perfectly touch-free defense against a guy that barrels to the rim more than 2495382 times a game, or 2) LeBron just doesn’t get the same calls because everyone bounces off of him even when THEY foul HIM. I’d settle for the latter choice.
- “Defense is overrated” – Said No One Ever: The Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks definitely didn’t seem to bring any defense with them onto the court, as both teams scored AT LEAST 26 points in every quarter of the game. For comparison, there were NINE other games Saturday night, yet this one was the only one with the above-mentioned “quirk.”
- In a 111-104 loss to the Spurs, New York Knicks’ guard Frank Ntilikina registered 9 ASTS, 6 STLS, and 0 TO. The last player to put up 9 ASTS and 6 STLS without turning the ball over a single time? Andrei Kirilenko in 2007 (per Basketball Reference).
- For all the Melo hype that surrounded his re-entry into the league, Carmelo Anthony himself has been an immense disappointment so far. He finished the Trail Blazers’ 110-104 loss to the Cavs with 11 points on 5/15 from the field and a sickening 0/8 from downtown; through his first three games with the Blazers, Melo is shooting 34% from the field overall, and has looked like a statue on the defensive end. #FreeMelo
- The City of Brotherly Love showed no love at all in Jimmy Butler’s return to Philly Saturday evening. Much to the delight of the fans in attendance, Butler only had 11 points on 4/13 from the floor and 0/2 from behind the arc with a team-worst +/- of -31. I guess you could still call this a “revenge game,” but one for the fans.
- In 79 combined minutes, the Suns’ bench consisting of Cheick Diallo (13 MIN), Cam Johnson (21 MIN), Mikal Bridges (23 MIN), and Elie Okobo (22 MIN) combined for a weak 17 points on 6/23 shooting, good for a fiery 26%. Essentially, these are guys playing significant minutes but insignificant contributions. For comparison’s sake, the entire Suns’ bench was outscored by Minnesota’s Keita Bates-Diop, who had 22 points on 9/18 shooting, which equates to a solid 50%. PSA to the Suns: Jamal Crawford is out there…
NBA Twitter Table Talk
- If anyone thought we would be missing logo 3’s while Steph was gone, tune in to any Hawks game and you would have a pretty high chance of catching one, because that’s what Trae Young did Saturday night against the Raptors. A stepback, logo 3-pointer is good enough to place Trae in The Tip Off for the second time today #IceColdTrae #IceInHisVeinsTrae #IceThatBurnFromTrae
- Speaking of second appearances on The Tip Off, Donovan Mitchell aka “Spida” deserves another nod here because of his ferocious alley-oop dunk on Nicolo Melli, who obviously wasn’t alerted of Mitchell’s nickname. To Melli, from all of us at The Draft Class: We hope you recover well, your new poster will be arriving in 2 business days courtesy of Prime shipping. Oh and next time…please just get out of the way. #KodakMoment
- Did we already mention something about second appearances on The Tip Off? Because as much as the previous two deserve it, Zach LaVine definitely deserves another shout out here for his game-winning fadeaway 3-point shot to give him 49 points and his 13th 3-pointer of the game. What. An. Ending. (Also, what a call from the Charlotte broadcast team)