Week 6 is done and there were some statement games, some suprises, and some blowouts. The top 16 will make the playoffs but the standings look like it's going to be tight all season as every team has a win (except the Jazz). The midway point for most teams is fast approaching and we will have our mid-season power rankings up this week.
KINGS: The opening game was a letdown for the fans as Duzan and Aswath did not play for the Kings which meant it was going to be a longshot for GM Pras against a contender like the Nuggets. Duzan looks to be recovering from an upper body injury and hopefully he will be back in a couple weeks as this team will only do damage with him leading the charge. Aswath is important as he will defend some of the tougher guards in the league and hit open shots for the Kings. Senthu tried to carry the load and had a very respectable 18pts and 6rebs plus was a monster on defence with 2stls and 3blks! He was the focus of attention for the Nuggets and at times he settled for less low percentage shots resulting in a couple air balls. The rest of the team combined to make 5 baskets in total so...yeah...we will just leave it at that. The Nuggets were led by Junior who was hitting shots, rebounding and playing defence and also swung the ball really well as did the other Nuggets. This game was so in hand that even GM Ray felt confident enough to start launching shots (connected on 1 triple)...I think he even ran a play for himself at one point so it was on cruise control for the 2 time GM of the Year. Kenneth who started off the year slow has really picked up his game and he was great in this one with 6pts/3rebs/4asts and 4 stls!! He can pass and defend and he just fits perfectly into the Nuggets culture. Nuggets are rolling. Kings will have a bye week and hope to have their franchise player back for their next game.
Final Score: Nuggets 47 - 29 Kings Player of the Game - JUNIOR THORKSON 18pts/7rebs/1ast/1stl - 2 Triples
WARRIORS: Do you believe in Magic? Okay, I might have used that before but heck I am gonna keep using it if GM Manish's team keeps pulling out rabbits victories out of his hat. He faced a formidable opponent in the Warriors although they were missing GM Gautham and big man Suren...it was still a talented roster but they haven't clicked yet overall. Which is now the opposite for the Magic as they have definitely clicked and found a tempo and pace to play with which has worked out great in the last few weeks. We gotten used to the heroics of Matheos but the man of the hour this time was Mr. Brian Phan who was hitting clutch shots and playing solid defence. We have been waiting for someone to step up offensively for the Magic and Brian definitely was ready in this one as he and Matheos each had 15 to lead the way. The difference was the 3pt shooting as the Magic hit 7 of em compared to just one for the Warriors. The Dubs will have to regroup quickly as they will face the undefeated Heat squad next. The Magic will get a bye week which hopefully does not mess up their rhythm.
Final Score: Magic 46 - 40 Warriors Player of the Game - BRIAN PHAN 15pts/6rebs/1ast/2stls - 75% Shooting - 3 Triples
LAKERS: The Lakers were missing their franchise guy in Christian while the Spurs were missing their one of their splash brothers in Javed. Early on it was the Lakers that were impressive as they fought hard and hustled to build up a 7pt halftime lead. Suthan was great in this one with 17pts on 7 of 11 shooting as he is slowly building up his confidence and he really balled out in this one. Somi did a bit of everything as he had 10pts, 5rebs, 4asts and 4stls! Now they need to combine a couple of these performances with what Christian was already giving them and then they can become a threat. The young guys are learning quickly and the vets are slowly putting in some work so now they just gotta put it all together and see what happens. 2nd half was a different story as the Spurs ratcheted up their defence and then Donald did all the work on the offensive end. He was a load in the block and had some nice finishes around the rim as he took it to the Lakers. When he is active and a threat on offence that is when this team is super dangerous. Puvi also chipped in as the main point guard without Javed and dropped 5 dimes to go along with 6 boards! Spurs looked shaky early on but got it together at half-time and flipped a switch to take this down. They got a tough one next against familiar foes in the Blazers.
Final Score: Spurs 49 - 42 Lakers Player of the Game - DONALD ANTON-PHILIP 19pts/5rebs/1stl/0to - 56% Shooting
PACERS: Interesting game to say the least as the Pacers were without their star Ali Nizam and played the game with no subs as well. We at the scorer's table were expecting a blowout but Kevin Clerigo had decided to channel his inner super saiyan and just go crazy for the entire 38mins. He pretty much did as he dropped a career high 28 points (bested his previous high of 17pts)!! He had to take alot of shots without Ali there but he did whatever he could to try and steal this game. They were down 30 to 13 near the end of the first half and we were thinking this could get real ugly...but Kev was relentless and was tough to stop when he attacked and also hit some big triples...meanwhile Vimal and Jenush combined for 15 and really helped turn the tide. GM Vimal also had 4 rebs, 5 asts and 4 stls in this one as he was also determined to try and make this a game. In the end however, the Nets made some timely baskets including a clutch 'And1' by Mike Daemi to push the lead to 3 with less than 90 seconds. Mike did miss the freethrow but Paolo comes up with a big offensive rebound and then Chenthu comes up with a huge steal off Paolo! Kevin was yelling for the ball but he was heavily guarded and they ended up not converting on the 3 pointer by Chenthu to try and tie the game. Great effort by the shorthanded Pacers and if this is the type of Kevin we get going forward...it could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Pacers. Nets almost let this one slip away but hold on for dear life and secure the W.
Final Score: Nets 50 - 46 Pacers Player of the Game - DAVY WONG 20pts/4rebs/3asts - 4 Triples
SONICS: This was a highly anticipated matchup as we got to see the undefeated Sonics go up against RipCity. Highly competitive first half with both teams playing defence and hustling...individual matchups are always going to be key and looked like the Blazers chose to put Chris D'Souza on Zaid and NJ on Zoobee. It was going to be a tough matchup for Chris but he kept moving his feet and used his length as best as he could to slow down Zaid. Meanwhile, NJ was all over Zoobee and really limited him offensively as you would expect from a former defensive player of the year. The intensity level was the biggest difference for the Blazers compared to the previous week when they got their doors blown off by the Clippers. They played with a chip on their shoulder and it really showed in this one. It also helps to have a guy like Rogith who is flying all over the place getting boards and playing some exceptional defence. They were comfortable switching the picks on the Sonics best players because Rogith was generally there to man them up. He has a lot of versatility guarding smaller and bigger guys which obviously helps when going up against Zaid and Zoobee. Blazers hit them with a flurry of 3s, grabbed all the board, and played solid defence which got them this victory over the streaking Sonics. Big time response by RipCity after getting their asses beat by ClipCity. Sonics were dissapointed in how things played out in their first real test of the season but this could definitely help them in the long run.
Final Score: Blazers 47 - 36 Sonics Player of the Game - ROGITH VADIVELU 8pts/11rebs/1blk - 80% Shooting
TIMBERWOLVES: GM Randy was off in Cali enjoying the Sun while his team the Clippers were busy sonning the Twolves at Logos lol. For a team that has only played together for a couple games...the Clippers look like they have already mastered the chemistry aspect. The defence is on a string...helps when Archu is blanketing other guards and Anson is getting a hand on everything...and the offence is humming...also helps when everyone is spacing the floor and capable of shooting. Clippers were just too much for an unorganized Twolves squad. Archu and Kris torched him for 22 each as Archu was a perfect 9 for 9 from 2pt range!! He filled the lanes in transition perfectly as Kris found him for a bunch of easy looks. The Clippers have the best run differential in the league and they have only played 3 games...they have the best FG and FT percentage in the league and sit at fourth for 3pt percentage. They are just flat out kicking ass and taking names and the only thing that could slow them down is maybe if their franchise player goes on vacation for a few weeks lol. The Wolves were confident prior to this game but just like the Blazers...they got their souls snatched by Thanos and the Clippers...but the Blazers bounced back and hopefully the Twolves can as well. Anthony had success once again going to the basket but settled for way too many bad 3pt shots (I am talking about the 2 steps after halfcourt shots) which were deflating to say the least. He is shooting 61% on two's and 20% on threes...let's see if he can make an adjustment or else it is going to be a long season for the Wolves. The rest of the squad was not good so the entire team needs to find an identity/chemistry but for now GM Suthan has a lot of work on his hands.
Final Score: Clippers 62 - 35 Twolves Player of the Game - ARCHU MYLVANNAN 22pts/6rebs/6asts/2stls - 82% Shooting
KNICKS: GM Lemo found his replacement for Kirk Facey...we asked him to aim high...and he surely did that by adding Jay to his squad. This team needed a franchise player to compete and he already made a big time difference in this game against a solid Sixers squad. The Knicks looked alot more organized and the offence had some structure as opposed to the freewheeling 3point barrage they were firing up in the prior weeks. Jay made some nice passes to get guys open looks all game and also was a beast on the boards as he finished with 21/15/8 and 4 steals! That is one way to make your debut but not getting the win means it was a wasted effort. The Sixers were patient and played with a lot of composure throughout the game. Abe came up clutch after missing last game and finished with 16 and 6 while Flash and Naren combined for 20pts. Complete team effort especially knowing they did not have Adrian who usually gobbles up all the loose balls. They all pitched in on the glass and Sarwar sealed it with a clutch 'And1' in the late stages. This Sixers squad is tough and versatile and will be a problem for the rest of the league. The Knicks also got a great effort from Nash who had 15 and 11 plus 1 steal and 3 blks!! He can now fit in perfectly as the second option and teams won't be as zoned in on him with Jay on board. This team will make some noise once they are all on the same page.
Final Score: Knicks 48 - 52 Sixers Player of the Game - ABE ROSS 16pts/6rebs/1stl - 50% Shooting - 3 Triples
JAZZ: Battle of the two winless teams who are both a suprising 0-3 to start off the season. Both have had games with missing/injured players and under-performance so I don't read into it too much but it's getting close to 'go time' as the season approaches the midpoint. Both teams were playing with alot of intensity and you can tell they both wanted this game badly. It was a tight game for the most part and the pressure was on but who the heck was going to make the big play? It turned out to be Mr. Vijay Kailainathan who hit a big time triple with less than 8 seconds left on the clock to give the Pelicans a two point victory! He was on the far side letting the clock run a a few seconds with Harrison trying to set a pick but Vijay decided that he was gonna size up the defender (Tharsan) and let it fly for what could be the season saving shot...and yup...C-L-U-T-C-H-!. The Jazz ran it back the other way with no timeouts left and Tharsan found a wide open Suman for the game winning 3 pointer from the top of circle at the buzzer and...it just missed...what a sequence. Game was decided by inches and it coulda gone either way but for now the Jazz are in a hole at 0-4...the Pelicans breathe some life back into their club with a win and are feeling better about themselves today. These two teams have immediately made a trade with each other after this battle lol. Pelicans are sending Sen to the Jazz for Tharsan. Let's see if that sparks something for both clubs.
Final Score: Pelicans 56 - 54 Jazz Player of the Game - VIJAY KAILAINATHAN 22pts/10rebs/2asts/1stl - 5 Triples