Week 7 had some great games and now heading into week 8 we still have 3 undefeated teams and one winless team (sorry Jazz fans). The holiday break starts on Dec 16th and so we have 3 more Sundays left of action. Shoutout to Ray and Yaga for their help on Sunday and now let's get right to it!
JAZZ: The heartbreak continues for the Jazz as they lose their 3rd straight game within 4 points. Last week it was Suman who had a chance to win it with a three and now it was Nitharsan who had his shot to hit a clutch shot but it was not meant to be. He looks like he is still favoring that left shoulder which he has been dealing with since the start of the season and alot of his shots were really short in this game as he went 1 for 11. Would have liked to have seen him drive the ball on the last possession but I also understand why they did not want to go to overtime and instead just try and win it right there with that shot. Nirsan did a very good job of defending that step back jumper and the comeback effort fell just a bit short for the Jazz as they trailed in the first half 19 to 28. They played a zone the whole game to try and combat the size of the Nuggets which worked pretty well as the rebounding battle was even. Mithun was solid again as he has been the one constant brightspot for this squad as he is now averaging 19pts a game on 54% shooting for the season!! He has been balling and they need him to keep this up if they want to have a shot at the postseason. Nuggets got a bounce back game from Nirsan who was a force on both ends and this is exactly what GM Ray envisioned when he recruited the big man over. Great effort by the undersized Jazz against a tough squad but we do not have any more room for moral victories as they are now 0-5 and have 6 games left. Nuggets stay undefeated at 5-0.
Final Score: Nuggets 43 - 39 Jazz Player of the Game - NIRSAN KUNARATNAM 19pts/10rebs/2asts/2stls/1blk - 60% Shooting
SONICS: I will admit that I did not see this game first hand as I had to step out but knowing Zaid was not there for the Sonics and they were up against a tough opponent in the Sixers...I was very suprised to hear that it went down to the wire. Seems like these two went at it which is not suprising as both teams are talented and hungry to do make some noise this season. Looks like it came down to a putback finish by Matty Brice with a few seconds left to give the Sixers a 2 point victory!! He is probably one of the 3 most underrated players in the league (Baki is one and the other I will talk about in a second)...as he shows great awareness at all times on the court which usually results in difference making plays such as this one in the late stages. His midrange is killer, ball handling is solid, and his passing is great...season high 24 points to lead his team to a big win! The Sonics had 3 players in double figures as GM VJ had 12 while Zoobee and Justin had 22 and 20 respectively. Zoobee has been great all season and we know what he can do on the court but the other underrated guy in this league is Justin Sammy who showed what he can do in this one with more usage as he went 9/13 from the field and had 7 rebounds, 6 assists and chipped in with a steal and a block as well! Dude does a bit of everything like I said before and is one of the x-factors of this team. I jokingly told him he wasn't good the week prior and he definitely bounced back huge in this one. It is easy to say if Zaid was here that the Sonics would have won but Justin probably doesn't score that much and other dynamics would have changed so let's just hope that we get to see a rematch in the playoffs with both team at full strength.
Final Score: Sixers 67 - 65 Sonics Player of the Game - MATTY BRICE 24pts/3rebs/3asts/2stls/1to - 55.5% Shooting - 4 Triples
NETS: Team Thanos once again took another soul as they snapped their fingers and everyone disappeared on the Nets including Davy who was nowhere to be seen from the getgo (okay he had a basketball tourney at the same time but whatever it fit in with the Infinity War reference). The first half was...yes...soul-crushing...as the Nets managed to score a total of 2 points...yes an ETBL record held for a just a minute before Paolo shot a couple freethrows at halftime for Kris not having his shorts (2 freethrow penalty)...so they ended up tieing the ETBL record for lowest points in a half with the Pacers at 4 points...just a nightmare start to the game for GM Chris Cruz. Second half they kept it respectable dropping 24 but they still end up losing by 27 points and were definitely outclassed in this one. Archu was the main guy for Clip City as he is slowly showing that he can be a co-star with Kris instead of just a sidekick which is going to be a problem for the rest of the league. He has made a rediculous 15 straight baskets inside the arc dating back to last game and has been a force on defence. Plus he just landed the same day back from Miami along with Kris so that made this performance even more impressive. If this was the Avengers then Kris is Captain America as he showed alot of leadership skills in this game and Anson is Hulk as he kept getting angry at Mike and they were physical all game with each other lol. Clips roll while Nets fold.
Final Score: Clippers 55 - 28 Nets Player of the Game - ARCHU MYLVANNAN 19pts/7rebs/6asts/4stls/1blk - 73% Shooting - 2 Triples
WARRIORS: This game had lots of drama and it needed overtime to declare a winner. Mr. Amit Sieukumar who has worn the Warriors jersey for 2 seasons in ETBL while at the same time collecting 2 Finals MVP trophies but is now facing his former team for the first time after a dramatic split in the offseason. Now talk about a revenge game...geez...Amit dropped a season high 25 points as he was big time in this one and his team needed every last bit of it. The Warriors had control of this game for most of the second half and led by 3 with less than 5 seconds left. The Heat inbound at halfcourt to who else but Amit as he takes one step and launches a deep deep triple that hits nothing but net and boom...game is tied at 43 a piece and we are heading to overtime. It does not get any more clutch than that as the Heat grind it out in OT and steal this victory! The Warriors played solid all game and great on defensive especially Suren who had to defend Milton for most of the game. He had 2 steals and 2 blocks and did a solid job using his body on the big man. Just some careless turnovers and missed freethrows really hurt the Dubs in this one...managing the clock situation was also terrible along with not fully committing to a 'no 3 ball' defence on the last possession of regulation. This one hurts if you are a Warriors fan as it was heading towards a big time win but now they will have to regroup against the Spurs on Sunday.
Final Score: Heat 47 - 46 Warriors Player of the Game - AMIT SIEUKUMAR 25pts/3rebs/2asts/2stls - 50% Shooting - 4 Triples
BLAZERS: This was a rivalry game considering how much each team knew about the other and it lived up to the hype as these two battled tough down to the wire. The man of the hour was Javed Ahmad who made some big time clutch shots in the late stages of the game to seal it for the Spurs. He kept energizing his team with every big basket and that translated to more intensity on the defensive end for the grey squad and they come out with a huge win. A person on the Blazers reminded me last week that the Spurs were playing less than stellar competition which led to their 'inflated' record...I guess he gave them even more motivation to come out hard and snag this W. NJ had a game to forget as he did not make a basket in this one and finished with 2 points. He did have his hands full on defence which may have led to an off night on the other end. Chris was solid with 20 points but slowed down in the second half after a solid first half...credit to Bahee for taking on the assignment and playing him physical which is why he gets that Draymond Green comparison. The Spurs move just ahead of the Blazers into 6th on the standings and they have now won 4 in a row!
Final Score: Spurs 44 - 42 Blazers Player of the Game - JAVED AHMAD 16pts/4rebs/3asts/1stl - 55.5% Shooting - 3 Triples
LAKER S: The Lakers versus Shang lol. I mean that is what it felt like as the Bulls were missing Tes, Sutharsan, Sham and the role players on the Bulls struggling thus far into the season. The Lakers were missing their franchise player in Christian so it should have been a close battle. Instead we were treated to the Shang Show as he went off for 35 points and 13 rebounds and the Lakers did not do a damn thing about it for 80% of the game. It finally hit them that maybe they should guard the one guy that was destroying them all game (plus with the help of the fans at logos) they started doubling but it was too late by then. The young kids on the Lakers looked a bit nervous on defence and was not sure what to do most of the time as GM Somi will have to explain their roles and judging by how it has gone so far...he may have to keep explaining it every week. This team will look completely different with Christian back but it is still not going to be enough to do damage unless the young guys play up to their potential. The Bulls will now be off for the rest of 2019 and they will look to make a run in the new year with a full squad.
Final Score: Bulls 49 - 38 Lakers Player of the Game - SHANG SINNATHURAI 35pts/13rebs/3asts/3stls/1blk - 54% Shooting - 4 Triples
PISTONS: The Orange crew crushed the Pistons in this one as they did pretty much whatever they wanted on offence. Adding Jay has meant alot in terms of overall structure and they are all now getting comfortable in their roles. Markus is still able to launch his shots but they are alot more wide open than before...Nash is able to focus on defence and try and take advantage of the second or third best defender on the other team as opposed to the first...and the rest of the crew can just play their game with less pressure on them. This game was so in hand that Jay was attempting dunks off the backboard lol. The Pistons were missing Cameron and Umar who are 2 of their top 6 and this is not a team that can afford to play shorthanded. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts for this Pistons squad and hopefully they can get everyone on board for the remaining games or else it could be a downward spiral as they have already lost 3 in a row and are clinging to a playoff spot. They were not effective at attacking the zone of the Knicks and overdribbled plus not enough movement and passing. They had cut the lead to 4 (32-28) but the Knicks then went on a big run to seal it. Two teams going in opposite directions right now but there is still lots of time left in the season to right the ship.
Final Score: Knicks 67 - 46 Pistons Player of the Game - JAY KUM 27pts/8rebs/6asts/4stls/1to - 60% Shooting - 2 Triples
GRIZZLIES: This game was a battle and in the end the Hornets get another big win to get back to .500 at 2-2. Jelton carried the scoring load and was terrific whenever he drove to the basket as he was able to get a bucket, get fouled, or find an open man for a good look. With him and Nishan in the backcourt...the Hornets are going to be a tough guard for opposing teams and they are still waiting on Bavi to return from injury. The Grizzlies were battling tough until Ben went down with an apparent ankle injury...he tried to tough it out and play a few more possessions but he was not right and he did the right thing by sitting out. Hopefully he is not out for too long as this team needs him on both ends of the floor as he is a big time difference maker. Nishan with a clutch 'And1' in the late stages to solidify the lead as he had a big double double with 17 and 10. This team is definitely interesting as they got the scoring and defence and the only question would be the rebounding as they are very undersized. If they can continue to gang rebound and have Nishan and Jelton play effectively together...this could be the Hornets year. The Grizz have had some tough losses and this one is another but they still have time to figure things out and make a push for the playoffs.
Final Score: Hornets 52 - 47 Grizzlies Player of the Game - JELTON JESUDASAN 24pts/11rebs/5asts/1stl - 50% Shooting - 3 Triples