WRITTEN BY: PROFESSOR X
Oh yes. My favorite time of the year. X-mas holidays where we take a break from ball and re-evaluate. But let's finish up Week 6 which was a Duzzy (that's for my Pacer fans). We got a Power Rankings this week which I have to help with so Imma keep this short n sweet. Let's get down to it.
HAWKS: This was a decent bounceback game for the Lakers even if it was against the lowly Hawks. Shavaughn was too much for the birds as he did it on both ends of the floor once again. Nic, Shawn, Jo, and Tristan all chipped in but none of them were spectacular. We are still waiting for everyone to click at the right time and we shall see if they can get it going in 2023. Hawks couldn't get anything going from the outside but pretty much everyone did chip in with a bucket at least. They are going to have to scrape together a win soon and hopefully the new year will bring some new energy.
Final Score: Lakers 52 - 35 Hawks Player of the Game: SHAVAUGHN REID 19pts/8rebs/1ast/2stls/1blk/0to - 80% Shooting
KINGS: Things got intense and chippy. A lot of trash talking which the refs did a great job of limiting. Never want the refs to kick you out of a game and so it is best to stay composed and focused. Understanding there are a lot of rivalries and previous relationships involved...but we do want a clean game with good sportmanship. Both teams needed to make a statement of course. We were also asking for Duzan to be great and not just good...and he certainly did that in this one! Just MVP type play after play late in the game. The dive on the floor to steal the ball from the foot of Damion Davis was incredible as the Kings guard was letting the ball roll up past halfcourt to conserve time. Duzzy played it like he was uninterested and just allowing it to happen...but then he made his move and stole the ball plus made a sweet pass to Ahash from the floor for the layup to seal it. Jeeeeesus. Pacers added Shawn Joseph to the squad and it looks like he is rusty/recovering but he will add another great defensive presence on this team. Kings also added David Reid and we shall see how much he helps them going into the new year.
Final Score: Pacers 50 - 44 Kings Player of the Game: DUZAN INDRASITHU 27pts/3rebs/4asts/5stls - 2 Triples
RAPTORS: The Nets win! Finally they get the much needed victory over a solid Raptors squad. The addition of Neil Powley was a good one as he showed off his athleticism in this one and helped his team in all facets. He had a great attitude and kept his team in it the whole time. Although, the star for the Nets in this one was actually Shabir who hit an incredible 4 triples which was super impressive. He hit more triples by himself than the Bucks, Raptors, Lakers, Hawks, Warriors, Pacers and Sixers did as a team on Sunday. Him and Neil played well off each other and gave the Raptors a lot of trouble. Big time performance and let's see if they can keep the momentum going. Raptors had chances to win and although they did not have Tyrell...it was still a winnable game. They will have to regroup and get focused in 2023.
Final Score: Nets 45 - 44 Raptors Player of the Game: SHABIR ABDALI 18pts/7rebs/3asts - 54% Shooting - 4 Triples
BOBCATS: Don't know what my fellow colleague (Stephen A.) was thinking when he predicted Cats by 2. This Thunder team is not like anything we have seen before. The talent, size, IQ, endurance, shooting and the most important factor...motivated. Janath has them focused and paying attention to all the little details. Knowing matchups and having a scouting report and getting his guys committed. He even has 2 coaches essentially and so there is very little that can deter them from the path they put themselves on. As for the Bobcats...if you don't show up with your full squad...you deserve to get beat easily. The league has gotten so much better and there is no more coasting. I still believe this team is a juggernaut when all the pieces are there but right now they got to figure things out on the fly.
Final Score: Thunder 63 - 40 Bobcats Player of the Game: JANATH KUMAR 19pts/11rebs/3asts/2stls - 70% Shooting - 2 Triples
MAGIC: Warriors grind this one out and move to 2-2 on the season while the Magic remain winless and in big trouble. Jordan played well and hit 4 bombs but the rest of the team could not get too much going and they find themselves last in the league. They can dig themselves out but it will have to happen asap. Warriors added Walshak who give them a big presence and he will help them defensively. They still need to up their level of play if they want to be taken seriously and we shall see if they can do that in the new year.
Final Score: Warriors 41 - 39 Magic Player of the Game: SHAKEIL PINDER 13pts/5rebs/1asts/1stl - 50% Shooting
SIXERS: Incredible comeback win for the Bucks. No Jerome Brown and they showed that they have plenty of depth and talent to compete every night. Jaylen set the tone right away as he is just doing a marvelous job getting to his spot in the lane and pulling up or getting to the freethrow line (9 of 10 ft's). Just the pace and knowing where he can exploit the defence has been brilliant. Then Harrson and Arish turn it up and drop 22 points each to shock the Sixers and remain undefeated. Arish already had a career high 20 points earlier this season and now he sets a new mark against the Sixers. Just looking more confident and in better shape this season which has taken this Bucks team to the next level. The Sixers have noone to blame but themselves. I watched this game on youtube but the scorer's table mentioned Mayo had checked himself out of the game and yelled that this game was over when they were up double digits. Mayo was incredible in this one but he spoke too soon and the Bucks mounted a great comeback...although the Sixers definitely helped them out by taking dumb ill advised shots and just showed no IQ whatsoever down the stretch. This is why they cannot be taken serious. All style and no substance.
Final Score: Bucks 63 - 62 Sixers Player of the Game: ARISH BRADLEY 22pts/6rebs/4asts - 52.5% Shooting