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The Tip Off – December 28, 2019 Recap

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: 12/28/2019 as reported by Sam Shin, video by Jerin Varghese

Honor Roll

  • The highest scoring performance across Saturday’s slate of games belonged to James Harden, who dominated the Brooklyn Nets for 44 PTS (17/27 FG, 6/10 3PT), 10 REBS, 6 ASTS, and 3 BLKS. If you’re the Brooklyn Nets, I’m sure this wasn’t how you drew up your Saturday night #CookedByTheChef
  • How about a 2-day streak being featured on The Tip Off for D’Angelo Russell? Russell torched the visiting Dallas Mavericks for 35 points on 13/21 shooting overall and 9/14 (!) from deep despite momentarily leaving the game due to a scary collision.
  • The best big man on the floor in the game between the Sixers and the Heat was certainly Joel Embiid, who played like he knew wholeheartedly that he was the best big man (and maybe even best player) out on the floor. Embiid finished with 35 points on 11/16 shooting from the floor and 11/12 from the line, grabbing 11 rebounds to round out the statsheet.
  • John Collins continues his #ImBackAndBetter campaign since his return from a 25-game suspension, as he posted a season-high 34 PTS (14/26 FG), 8 REBS, and 3 BLKS in what turned out to be the only bright spot during the Hawks’ 116-81 blowout to the Chicago Bulls.
  • One of our regular stars here on The Tip Off, Nikola Jokic aka “The Minivan” threw in another spectacular triple-double, recording 31PTS (12/19 FG), 10 REBS, 10 ASTS, and even fouling out for good measure.
  • How about leading your team in points, assists, AND minutes played and still bringing your team a big W? Well that’s what Devin Booker did on Saturday night against the Kings, dropping 32 PTS (14/23 FG), 10 ASTS, and 2 STLS in 41 MINS as the Suns squeaked out of Sacramento with a 112-110 win over the Kings.
  • Here a few others who deserve to receive a bit of spotlight:
    • Donovan Mitchell: 30 PTS (13/23 FG), 7 REBS, 9 ASTS
    • Kyle Lowry: 30 PTS (10/17 FG, 5/10 3PT), 4 REBS, 7 ASTS, 2 STLS
    • Kemba Walker: 30 PTS (11/23 FG), 2 STLS
    • Julius Randle: 30 PTS (11/21 FG, 6/7 FT), 16 REBS, 6 ASTS
    • Damian Lillard: 31 PTS (7/17 FG, 13/14 FT), 9 ASTS

Quirks of the Night

  • Happy Holiday’s! The first time in NBA history that three brothers were in the game at the same time occurred in the match between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Indiana Pacers. Beating out the Antetokounmpo brothers (and even the Ball brothers) was Jrue Holiday, Aaron Holiday, and Justin Holiday. You know LaVar was sick watching this game.
  • If you were wondering why I left out Luka Doncic from the “Honor Roll” mentions, this is why: By posting a mesmerizing triple-double of 31 PTS (8/16 FG, 5/8 3PT, 10/10 FT), 12 REBS, and 15 ASTS in only 30 MINS, Doncic became the first player in NBA history to log 30+ points, 12+ rebounds, and 15+ assists in a game with 30-or-fewer minutes played. If you don’t believe in Luka magic yet, you will soon.
  • The only place in which stealing is “legal” is in basketball, and even then, you might have to make it illegal whenever Jonathan Isaac is on the floor. Isaac recorded 7 steals on Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the first player in the 2019-2020 NBA season to record 6+ blocks in one game and 6+ steals in another.

Needs Improvement

  • Usually Kawhi Leonard has no business being in this category, but he could definitely use a bounce-back game after the poor showing against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Leonard finished with 19 points, albeit on 6/24 shooting from the floor, and was a team-worst -23 during his time on the court.
  • Blake Griffin could certainly be renamed “Flake Griffin” for not showing up against the San Antonio Spurs, who destroyed the visiting Pistons pretty easily by a score of 136-109. Griffin didn’t do much to prevent the blowout, as he finished with a measly 12 points on a putrid 3/16 shooting overall and an equally unimpressive 3/10 from downtown.
  • Despite missing two of their best players in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the Timberwolves proved that there was even more room for improvement as they lost 94-88 to the lowly Cavs in what proved to be a worthy clash between two of the worst teams in the league. Adding icing on top was the fact that the Timberwolves were led in scoring by Shabazz Napier, who, in only 23 minutes (and the Wolves were lucky to have capped his minutes at 23), managed to shoot a destructive 3/17 from the floor for a total of 9 points, while also managing to rack up more combined turnovers (4) and fouls (2) than he did combined assists (3) and rebounds (2).

NBA Twitter Table Talk

  • We may start calling this the “Nikola Jokic pass” rather than the “no-look pass”:
  • Josh Richardson has a late Christmas poster arriving courtesy of Bam Adebayo:
  • The second night in a row where the Miami Heat find themselves in a crazy end-of-game situation, this time, however, on the wrong end of the stick: Josh Richardson intentionally misses a free throw down two points, only to have Ben Simmons sprinting in from the 3-point line to lay it back up. You can’t make this stuff up…
  • If all spiders jump as high as this “Spida” aka Donovan Mitchell, I will avoid spiders for the rest of my life.
  • Poster To: Tyus Jones / Poster From: Jamal Murray
  • C’mon LeBron James…he’s only 20 years old…

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