Archive for November 6th, 2017

There is nothing ordinary about the Golden State Warriors. They’re loaded with talent, versatility, and have too many strengths to mention. We don’t usually hear guards talking about their blocks per game average, but Klay Thompson is no ordinary player. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

To stay fresh during the grind of an NBA season, Warriors guard Klay Thompson eyes a series of personal goals. Thompson revealed Monday after shoot-around that membership in the ultra-exclusive 50-40-90 club isn’t his only individual objective this season.

“I’m trying to average one block a game,” Thompson said. “For a shooting guard, that’d be really good.” Arguably one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Thompson’s offensive prowess often overshadows the fact that he is an elite defender. His blend of stamina, size and unyielding will has made him a daunting on-ball matchup for everyone from LeBron James to Russell Westbrook. Now, 10 games into the season, Thompson is on pace to have a career-high 0.9 blocks per game.

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The Lakers have been in a rebuilding state, and both their present and future is built around youth. That leaves little use for veteran forward Luol Deng. For more, here’s

When Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. broke a bone in his left hand last week, there was a brief possibility the team might replace him in the starting lineup with veteran power forward Luol Deng.

Instead the Lakers started rookie Kyle Kuzma, who proceeded to put up double-doubles in both his starts. Kuzma has played so well, he may never come out of the starting lineup — even when Nance is ready to return in 4-6 weeks.

Deng remained right where he has been for most of the season — on the inactive list, while the Lakers prioritize developing their younger players over getting value out of the man they signed to a four-year, $72 million contract in the summer of 2016.

“It definitely hurts,” Deng told ESPN on Monday after the Lakers’ practiced. “But the only answer for me now is to prove myself away from L.A. I’m not asked to play, I’m not in the rotation, so I can’t prove myself here.”

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The Knicks have themselves their best young player in many years. Kristaps Porzingis has been awesome this season. Here’s NY Newsday reporting:

Porzingis scored a career-best 40 points in Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over Indiana, the Knicks’ fifth in six games. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 33.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.25 blocks, and leading the Knicks to a 3-1 mark.

He’s second in the league in scoring (30.2 points), third in blocks (2.2), first in usage rate (35.5) and fifth in Player Efficiency Rating (28.6). That metric measures a player’s effectiveness per minute. To put it in perspective, only Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis have higher PERs.

Porzingis’ 272 points are the most ever by a Knick through the team’s first nine games of a season. He’s making an early case for the three individual honors he craves as well as MVP, and has the upstart Knicks (5-4) playing inspired basketball and believing they can make an unexpected playoff run.

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And here’s the NY Daily News:

He is averaging over 30 points per game and the “M-V-P” chants are increasing in volume. Sunday night was probably the best performance of his career, and not just because of the points.

Porzingis also blocked six shots – including a crowd-rousing rejection on Lance Stephenson’s dunk attempt – and scored 15 consecutive Knick points in the fourth quarter. When the game appeared lost, Porzingis strapped on his cape and led the Knicks on a 34-11 run to close the comeback.

He was subbed out with 3.5 seconds remaining to a rousing ovation and even more “M-V-P” chants. The legend grows at the Garden.

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The Wizards are off to a 5-4 start this season. Which is okay, but the squad should play better. The return from injury of Markieff Morris should help matters. But there’s still improvement needed. Here’s the Washington Post reporting the comments of center Marcin Gortat:

On Sunday night, following a 107-96 road win over the Toronto Raptors, starting center Marcin Gortat advised that the team needs to bind its unfettered confidence.

“Just because we won this game today here, it doesn’t mean that everything is fine and we back on the right track. There’s a lot of things we’ve got to work on,” Gortat said. “First of all, we’ve got to become a more humble team and we just got to work harder.”

Gortat’s message: less talk and more action.

Despite Gortat’s supersized personality — the man once walked a pig on a leash through a shopping mall in Poland — as the graybeard among the Wizards, he tends to be more pragmatic. And when Gortat’s comments were shared with teammates, they agreed with the suggestion.

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Wild recent ride for Jarrett Jack

From possibly retiring to starting at point guard, it’s been an interesting recent ride for Jarrett Jack. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Wild recent ride for Jarrett Jack

There was a time, not too long ago, when Jarrett Jack thought his career was done. He had a torn ACL, a partially torn meniscus and, progressing into his mid-30s, the slow recovery wavered Jack’s confidence.

“The rehab was easy as far as putting in the work and doing the exercises. But the doubt of, ‘When I get back on the court, am I still going to be able to play? Am I doing this all for no reason?’” Jack told the Daily News. “Even when I do the exercises, man, it’s still not feeling the same. Wondering physically if you’ll ever get back and then after you do, mentally not allowing that to stop you.”

From the initial injury with the Brooklyn Nets, it was almost two years before Jack was back playing meaningful minutes. And now he’s doing it against all odds and expectations, emerging as the Knicks starting point guard despite being the only player on the roster without a guaranteed contract.

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