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The Tip Off – February 23, 2020 NBA Basketball 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: 2/23/2020 as reported by Aram Hanessian

Honor Roll

  • The marquee game of the day was obviously in Los Angeles where the league’s two most historic franchises battled on national television. The combination of Anthony Davis and LeBron James was too much for the Kemba-less Celtics to overcome. The duo combined for 61 PTS, 21 REBS, and 12 ASTS (LeBron had 29/8/9 while AD put up 32/13/3) as the Lakers beat the Celtics 114-112. 
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t sell at the trade deadline, and after beating the Spurs by 30 last night, are only 1.5 games out of home-court advantage. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way in OKC with 22 PTS, 13 REBS, and 4 ASTS. Steven Adams (21 PTS and 14 REBS) and Lu Dort (15 PTS on 6/6 shooting and +36 in only 24 minutes) also had big nights. 
  • Yawn, 28 PTS on 13/20 shooting and 7 REBS for Zion Williamson. But the Pelicans went small for a decent portion of the game (only 3 minutes for Jaxson Hayes) and that meant Nicolo Melli time. Melli had 20 PTS and went 6/7 from three as he helped open up space for Zion in the Pelicans 115-101 win at Golden State.
  • CJ McCollum had a nice little night with 41 PTS, 9 REBS, and 12 ASTS to pick up the slack for Damian Lillard’s absence, but the real superstar in Portland last night was obviously Carmelo Anthony. Anthony had a season-high 32 points on 11/16 shooting as the Trail Blazers continue to hang around in the fight for the 8th seed with a 107-104 win over the Pistons. 
  • I don’t usually highlight guys when their team loses, but there were a couple huge performances in losing efforts yesterday so I figured I’d just lump them together here. First, obviously Jayson Tatum had a huge game in the loss to the Lakers with 41 PTS on 12/20 from the field and maybe more importantly, 13/15 from the line. Bradley Beal also went off and poured in 53 PTS on 15/27 shooting and 18/20 on FT’s. 

Quirks of the Night

  • The Toronto Raptors set a franchise record yesterday by beating the Indiana Pacers by 46. Victor Oladipo didn’t play, so maybe that accounts for some of the margin, but this is a possible 3/6 playoff matchup and if that happens, I suggest the Pacers play better. 
  • Lots of fun Coby White stats from yesterday. White tied his career-high in points – originally set Saturday – with 33 while coming off the bench. That makes him the first rookie in NBA history to have back-to-back 30 point games off the bench. White, Trae Young, and Allen Iverson are the only rookies since 1992 to have back-to-back 30 point games. Finally, Michael Jordan is the only other Bulls rookie to record that same feat. 

Needs Improvement

  • After the trade deadline, a lot of people noted how the Celtics failure to acquire depth might come back to get them. They really only have 5 reliable non-centers, so when one goes down, the Celtics bench really becomes a problem. That was very evident yesterday in LA. They combined for only 11 points and only even took 11 shots. Just as disturbing as the production was the amount of minutes it forced on the starters. All 4 of Tatum, Hayward, Smart, and Brown played at least 36 minutes. Staying as at least the 3 seed will be important for Boston so they can avoid the Bucks in the second round, so the heavy burden on the starters may continue. 

NBA Twitter Table Talk                                                                                            

  • Insert Klutch/clutch joke here.
  • Taking an early step to cover ground and try to stop Zion from rampaging to the hoop is usually a good idea. Usually.

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