WRITTEN BY: PROFESSOR X
Week 8 came and went. We had a couple thrillers and one rediculous performance in the Raps game. Standings are getting tight and the pressure is going to mount for certain teams. The 4k footage on ETBL2k youtube page looks incredible and yes I watched a ton of footage from Sunday. The Abilities Centre is closed on Feb 5th for an event and so we got 2 more weeks of games before then. Commish gave me the baton and Imma run with it.
HEAT: The Bucks were without the services of Harrson and Jerome while the Heat were missing Zaid. So it is always tough to say what would have happened if both teams were at full strength but being available is also just as much a skill as anything else. So the Heat have done a great job just taking care of business regarldess of who stands in front of them. They are knocking on the door of the elite teams and we shall see if they will be invited to the table. Kailash continues to impress as this was his 3rd double digit scoring game of the year. Kid is super young but has a ton of talent and he keeps showcasing it a little by little. Future is bright for Kai. Rest of the Heat squad played pesky on defence including Aakgash who seemed to get his hand on every steal or loose ball. He is settling into his role and helping the team make winning plays. Bucks were out of rhythm from the start and they will get a week off to get back on track.
Final Score: Bucks 50 - 40 Heat Player of the Game: KAILASH SUBRAMANIAN 14pts/4rebs - 54% shooting
HAWKS: Man, the Hawks had a great chance at upsetting the Pistons as Shaun Lawson and company showed up with 5 guys. They were missing their top 2 guns in Big Mike and Kendell but still managed to hang on to beat the lowly Hawks. No matter the situation...the Pistons always play with a lot of IQ and just flat out played smarter than their opponent. Chris took care of the defence in the middle while Phil Cousins took care of the offensive responsibilites (14 points). They now get the Rockets and if they show up shorthanded again...it won't matter how smart they play against one of the best teams in the league. The Hawks get the Sixers which is a nightmare matchup for them but maybe they can somehow keep themselves in it like they did in this one.
Final Score: Pistons 41 - 33 Hawks Player of the Game: CHRIS GEORGE 8pts/13rebs/1asts/1stl/1blk/1to - 5% Shooting
KINGS: Big win for the Lakers and a tough loss for the Kings. These are the games that are critical in a season when two teams are roughly battling for the same spots in the standings. Lakers were able to move up while punishing the Kings and that has been the story lately for Nishan and company. Frustration seems to be at an all time high for them and they gotta buckle down right now. They got capable players but maybe just get back to basics and not overthink it. Take advantage of mismatches and maybe not really on plays so much. Grind on defence and play with a free flow on offence. Guys seem like they are tense and don't wanna mess up instead of just having fun and playing loose. Clock is ticking for the Kings. Lakers meanwhile got a huge performance from GM Tristan and he was a big reason why they secured the W in this one. They were missing Shavaughn but other guys stepped up in his absence. They get the Grizz next and we shall see if they can keep it going.
Final Score: Lakers 50 - 42 Kings Player of the Game: TRISTAN QUARRY 21pts/9rebs/1blk - 53% Shooting - 3 Triples
MAGIC: Magic fought hard and kept this game within reach after a tough start. Commish informed me that Kingsley was tasked the difficult job of handling Dinjiyl Walker and boy did he do a hell of a job. Moved his feet extremely well and played physical all game long holding Dinjiyl to 3 of 15 shooting! They ultimately came up short in this one but the Magic showed up and played with heart. The Rockets meanwhile seemed to be not as focused and almost looked like they were just going through the motions. Might be fine for now but it could cost them in the playoffs if they try and play down to their competition. They get the Pistons next and we shall see if they can turn up for that one.
Final Score: Rockets 52 - 45 Magic Player of the Game: ANAND MISTRY 12pts/5rebs/1ast/1stl/1to - 50% Shooting
SIXERS: What a game between these 2. Bobcats flexed their muscle in the first half dropping 50 points and held a 15 point lead but the Sixers battled all the way back and were down only 1 in the late stages. Mayo with 26 as he was a problem all game. Kareem Jackson with 20 and 17 and apparently wasn't even playing in ball shoes...sheesh. It looked like he subbed himself out the game however in crunch time and wasn't happy with the squad. They better patch things up and get back to playing like a true contender. Delly was dropping dimes (11) and Ryan dropped 17 as he has been great all season (another 5 long range bombs in this one). Bobcats played with poise down the stretch and CJ and company just made the big plays when it mattered most. Kareem Williams was great on the boards while Allan was sensational once again. He has 'Lightwork' on the back of his jersey and boy did he make it look easy. They needed a win like this and they are officially back in the playoff picture. They get the Clippers this week which should be another great game.
Final Score: Bobcats 83 - 78 Sixers Player of the Game: ALLAN MACINTOSH 22pts/3rebs/5asts/1stl - 63.5% Shooting - 3 Triples
RAPTORS: Back to back wins for the Cavs and they have started 2023 off nicely. The 'Big 3' of Rose, Abeku and Michael have been putting in work and they hang on in this one. Mr. Mines was clutch down the stretch and went 10 for 10 from the freethrow line. Just always calm and collected in big moments. Rose has been the unsung hero of this team by playing the undersized centre role and now they are firmly entrenched the playoff picture. Raptors were shorthanded again to begin the game and then Tyrell showed up near the end of the first half and went into god-mode. Dude went 10 for 10...from the field and dropped a 25 piece in basically one half of basketball. Stats table was yelling 'pass it to Will' (fresh prince reference for all you youngins)...but unfortunately the Raptors had stretches where he did not touch the ball. Did he need to take every shot? no of course not but man when you are this hot and pretty much erasing a big double digit lead all by yourself...he definitely has a case for it. Questionable shot taking...questionable committment issues...questionable coaching/leadership...something needs to change. This team is way too talented to be this low in the standings. Hire a coach...get drunk together...practice...do something quick before time runs out.
Final Score: Cavaliers 64 - 60 Raptors Player of the Game: MICHAEL MINES 27pts/4rebs/4asts/2stls/1to - 53% Shooting
WARRIORS: This was a grind out battle for both teams and Shak Pinder did all he could to try and steal this game away from Clip City. 25/5/2 and a steal and a block for Shakeil who is just so shifty and quick that the Clippers could not contain him. The problem however was that noone else on his team could muster more than 5 points. They all battled hard on defence and almost pulled it out but Javed hit a dagger three with 2 mins left to put them up by 5. Their 2-3 zone was active and gave the Clippers some trouble. Ajahmo and Aaron played together for the first time this season and they did just enough to get the job done. Kris struggled mightily and he hasn't been the same Kris we have been accustomed to. He will need to be a lot better if the Clips want to get to the promise land. Still time to figure it out for everyone on the squad.
Final Score: Clippers 48 - 43 Warriors Player of the Game: AJAHMO CLARKE 18pts/5rebs/6asts/2stls/3blks - 2 Triples