Miss your NBA fix last night? In three minutes or less, TDC’s The Tip Off gives you the brief rundown oMiss 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: 2/6/2020 as reported by Aram Hanessian, video by Jerin Varghese
- There’s been a lot of talk that the Sixers match up well with the Bucks; a Christmas Day stomping by Philly did nothing to dispel that. Last night though, Giannis Antetokounmpo got a little bit of revenge. Despite what seemed like a determination to prove he could make 3’s – he couldn’t – Giannis had 36 points on 13/25 shooting to go with 20 rebounds and 6 assists. It was the first 35/20 game of his career as the Bucks beat the Sixers 112-101.
- Lost amidst all the hand-wringing about whether teams would dare to trap James Harden if Chris Paul was still on the team (and what most people thought was a completely undeserved All-Star game selection) is that Russell Westbrook is nearly back to his MVP heights. Last night in LA, Westbrook had 41 points on 17/28 shooting, 8 rebounds and 5 assists as Houston overcame another poor Harden shooting night to beat the Lakers 121-111. Since the calendar flipped to 2020, Russ is averaging basically 32/8/8 and doing it with above league-average efficiency. His 56.8% true shooting over that period is higher than any season of his career.
- Solid nights from Carmelo Anthony and Hassan Whiteside helped Portland win what we soccer fans call a 6-pointer last night versus San Antonio. Anthony had 20 points and 8 boards on 8/15 shooting while Whiteside went 8/10 from the field on his way to 17 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Blazers overcame what has to be considered just atrocious shooting (considering his recent form) from Damian Lillard (9/20 for only 26 points) to win 125-117.
Quirks of the Night
- Going to have to nickname this one the “Khem Birch”. Birch started, played 12 minutes, and took 0 shots. That is the 13th time since the NBA started recording MPG as an official stat in 1983/84 that that’s happened. 10 players have done it once and Birch has done it 3 times in the last 34 days; that also means Birch has accomplished the feat almost one in every eight games he’s started for his career.
- Somebody named Adam Mokoka is apparently on the Bulls and last night did something that’s never been done before. Mokoka played only 5 minutes, but got his money’s worth. By going 6 for 6 from the field, Mokoka became the first player in NBA history to play 5 minutes or less, take at least 5 shots, and make all of them. I also commend him for having the only stat he recorded other than shots and points be his one foul.
- Joel Embiid was a big reason Philly won the Christmas Day game against Milwaukee and he was a big reason the opposite happened last night. Embiid went 6/26 from the floor and more disturbingly took 10 two-point jumpers, only making one.
NBA Twitter Table Talk
- This LeBron James picture last night might be the NBA photo of the year.
- When Giannis is around, alley-oops work out, even when they don’t.