We had some great games on Sunday and some big time individual performances! Trade deadline is December 17th at midnight and our latest trade just went down less than 24 hours ago as the Warriors send Ganen to the Jazz in return for Sen. We will talk more about how this impacts them below in their recap. We got 2 more Sundays before the holiday break and some teams need it more than others. Let's get right to it.
MAGIC: The Pacers had a full squad for the first time this season and they were facing a red hot Magic team who had won 3 straight to even their record at 3-3. This game had lots of offence and we were treated to a showdown between Ali and Matheos who went at each other the whole day. In the end it was Ali who was in vintage form as he drilled 7 of 12 triples and most of them were the 30 foot variety as he kept pulling up from a different area code and hitting nothing but net. He is the Steph Curry of the league so it is no suprise that he has unlimited range and when he is aggressive...this Pacer squad is dangerous. He even talked a little trash stating his opponent (Matheos) was not as big as him and shouldn't be reffed the same way lol. I love the competitiveness of Matheos to try and guard him every single play but it may have been wiser to throw different looks and bigger bodies at Ali to try and contain him. Jamal Piracha also showed up for the Pacers in his debut as he was dominant on the glass with 14 and had some solid drives to the basket as he finished with 10 points. The whole season we were looking for that third person to step up for the yellow squad and Jamal might be the perfect complement to Kevin and Ali. As for the Magic, Waqar was awesome moving the ball as he had 6 dimes and Matheos did the heavy lifting on offence as he tried to match whatever Ali did on the other end. Close contest and a key turnover by GM Manish in the late stages sealed their fate. Big win for GM Vimal and company.
Final Score: Pacers 58 - 61 Magic Player of the Game - ALI NIZAM 32pts/7rebs/1asts/1stl - 53% Shooting - 7 Triples
JAZZ: The Jazz had no Suman as he was on vacation and they were already very undersized so this one was going to be a challenge. The Nets have had an up and down season but they definitely got a team that could be dangerous in the playoffs when they are all fully engaged. The key to them will be the play of Mike Daemi who finally had his breakout game of the season as he dropped 20 points on 9 of 10 shooting and 17 rebounds!! He turned back the clock as he used to do this type of stuff on the regular looking at previous career stats from other leagues. He looked like a giant compared to the Jazz players and he definitely played like one as GM Sayon had no answers for him. Davy had 22 for the Nets as he continues his stellar season and that was enough to get this victory. The Jazz subsequently made a move to trade for Ganen and swapped out Sen which is a big move for them. It will get a player with some size and skill to add to their young core (Suman, Mithun, Nitharsan). He will help immensely with rebounding and guarding taller players and immediately their starting rotation becomes scary good. Only problem is they have 5 games left and are 0-6 currently so they have very little room for error going forward. They have the Lakers this Sunday which will essentially be a must win game if they want to keep things interesting for the rest of the season.
Final Score: Nets 66 - 56 Jazz Player of the Game - MIKE DAEMI 20pts/17rebs/1ast - 90% Shooting
KINGS: The Kings were without Duzan once again and so the Pistons took full advantage early on building a 35 to 19 lead after a triple by Gohulan. Looked like it was going to be a long day for Senthu and company but with a combination of Kings hitting triples and Pistons missing shots...it turned out to be a close game and almost a crazy comeback by GM Pras' team. Big triple by Aswath to cut the lead to one in the dying moments...Gohulan sent to the line to extend the lead to three but he makes only 1 of 2 and this opened the door for the Kings to steal this game with less than 4 seconds left. They inbound the ball from halfcourt and give it to Senthu who had dropped 27 points in this one already and was doing all he could to keep them in it...he took one dribble after the screen and launched a 30plus footer and it hit backboard and rimmed out! It was that close to the Pistons choking this one away but in the end the W is all that matters as they now get back to .500 at 3-3 and are positioned in 10th in the standings. The Kings are hopeful to have Duzan back soon as he is an MVP candidate and it's impossible to replace that. They got the Pacers this Sunday in what should be a great battle.
Final Score: Pistons 46 - 44 Kings Player of the Game - GOHULAN SIVA 19pts/12rebs/3asts/4stls
WARRIORS: I should just copy and paste the recap from last weeks Warriors game against the Heat because this was eerily similar. They built up a big lead and played great defensively for the most part and then...yes...just choked it away again. This was a different type of choke as they only played with 5 guys and it was understandable that they would gas out against a solid squad like the Spurs...but they put themselves in this position as 3 guys should not be missing for a big game like this. Dubs were up 27 to 11 near the end of the first half and it was an impressive first half with no subs. The comeback was just as impressive as the Spurs once again flipped the switch and went all out on defence...pressured the ball...doubled at times...switched and communicated...just the entire intensity went up a few notches. Looked like the game was in hand for the Warriors when Suren hits a basket to make it 48-42 with approximately 90 seconds left. But Javed had other ideas as he came up with 2 huge triples back to back on the next 2 possessions...just calm cool and relaxed while he is sinking big time clutch shots with less than a minute to go. Ganen hits a freethrow to put them back up by one...but Bahee finds Jenison in the corner for a go ahead triple to make the comeback complete. Bahee also comes up with a strip on Jamshed on the last drive of the game and although it probably was a foul...it was a tough angle for the Refs to get a look at...plus tough to get a foul call in those moments no matter what level of ball you are playing. While the Spurs were celebrating, the Warriors were livid and blamed the refs (not just that one play but overall lack of respect for their team)...the refs did not blow a 16 point lead...also the Warriors actually shot 20 freethrows in this one compared to 9 for the Spurs...but I digress. Donald was amazing in this one as he was a beast inside and made the comeback possible plus he had the game tieing assist on the three by Javed! He has apparently been renamed to Donnie and if he keeps playing like this...I will call him that too.
Final Score: Spurs 52 - 49 Warriors Player of the Game - DONALD ANTON-PHILIP 22pts/5rebs/2asts/1stl - 66.6% Shooting
SONICS: The Heat wanted the Sonics...the Sonics wanted the Heat...both teams wanted the test but the looks like the Sonics did not study enough for it. They got literally beat down in the first half and almost tied the ETBL record for lowest points in a half as they had 6 at halftime in this one. The Sonics are known as a skill team...good chemistry...passing...finesse squad and basically the Heat are the opposite as they play a grind it out, tough, physical, bruising type of basketball. The Heat beat them up early and often and the Sonics weren't accustomed to it as of yet...by no means am I saying the Sonics are soft...they just didn't need to change their playing style too much against the lesser teams but for the Heat they needed to match their physicality to have a chance in this one. They did a much better job in the second half and outscored them by one but the first half hole was too much for them. They just gotta file this in their memory bank and come back stronger as they have now lost 3 in a row. The skeptics who didn't believe in the green squad might be saying 'I told you so' but I still feel like they are a contender and not a team you would want to necessarily face in the playoffs. Vasko did a tremendous job on Zaid using his length, size and quickness while Glenn was hounding Zoobee all game. This is the first time all season that Zaid and Zoobee have been held to single digits! Big time win for the Heat as they keep rolling.
Final Score: Heat 44 - 31 Sonics Player of the Game - VASKO STOJKOSKI 10pts/5rebs/1ast/3stls - 57% Shooting
TIMBERWOLVES: There was not that much high level defence played in this one but the Blazers survived this shootout with the Wolves. The difference came at the freethrow line as the Wolves could not keep anyone in front of them and kept repeatedly fouling. The first line of defence usually got beat and the other players/bigs ended up having to overhelp and foul. D'souza and Krishna combined for 52! NJ was relentless attacking the basket and got to the line 15 times making 11 of em. The biggest storyline was the constant bickering and shit talking amongst teammates on the Wolves and it was painful to watch...such a talented squad with zero chemistry. They will need to go out and have a drink with each other after every game until they all find that comradery...or worst case at least they will have some fun for once...or maybe have a drink before the game ...they just gotta play as a team and share the rock. I will say they played pretty well after getting into it with each other and made a great run to make this game close. Blazers get the Hornets next while the Twolves get the Pistons.
Final Score: Blazers 71 - 65 Twolves Player of the Game - NJ KRISHNA 25pts/3rebs/1asts - 66.6% Shooting - 2 Triples
PELICANS: The Clips were without Kris as he was on vacation but Archu who has been the co-star was ready to take on the extra load against the Pelicans. He dropped a season high 24 points and did a bunch of distributing as well in a phenomenal performance. His personal preseason ranking varied depending on who you spoke to but he is clearly proving that he is an integral cog in this machine. Anson, Jason, Randy, Shahriar all helped out with at least 6 points but unfortunately Shahriar left the game with a separated shoulder and will miss a chunk of time as it is the same shoulder he hurt previously. We wish him a speedy recovery! The Pelicans battled throughout the whole game and Harrison went off for a season high 23 points on 50% shooting but it just was not enough to get the victory. They are currently sitting outside the playoff picture with a 1-4 record and GM Harrison has been frustrated with their start to the season. They have a huge game against the Grizzlies on Sunday who sit directly above them in the standings in 18th spot. Still got 6 games left to make a push and we shall see if they can rally as a team and get a big win soon. Clips are cruising and will be off until the new year.
Final Score: Clippers 60 - 55 Pelicans Player of the Game - ARCHU MYLVANNAN 24pts/4rebs/5asts/1stl/1to - 63.6% Shooting - 2 Triples
HORNETS: The last game of the night was suppose to be pretty good but the Knicks once again have just been getting better with each game and they took this easily against the Hornets. Jay almost had a triple double while 3 others had 9 pts each (Ayam, Markus, Nash)...Shaggy and Santhosh combined for 15 and it was a complete team effort for the Orangemen. Shaggy made his season debut after recovering from injury and this team looks even more dangerous now. Night and day difference from the beginning of the season to now as they look composed and in control which GM Lemo must be thrilled with. The Jesudasan brothers (Jelton n Jeffrey) combined for 30 points 8rebs and 6 steals! The Hornets are still waiting for Bavi to return who would immediately help them with rebounding, scoring and defence. They get the Blazers this Sunday while the Knicks get the Bullets.
Final Score: Knicks 57 - 48 Hornets Player of the Game - JAY KUM 15pts/12rebs/8asts/2stls - 50% Shooting - 3 Triples