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Around the NBA in five minutes or less

Analyzing what we’ve seen through the first ten days of NBA action

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ten days of NBA games have come and gone, and every team except the winless New York Knicks has played at least four games.

While we’re mostly obsessed with the Detroit Pistons here, it never hurts to take a closer look at the competition. Here are some notes from around the NBA.

Eastern Conference:

Started from the bottom, now they’re above .500

Break up the 3-1 Orlando Magic, as they’re third in the entire league in scoring and so far are making Mr. Steve Hinson look pretty smart. Aaron Gordon just scored 41 on 18 shots against the Brooklyn Nets (keep in mind that the Brooklyn Nets don’t play any defense - they give up the most points per game in the league). Let’s see what Gordon and company have up their sleeve as the Magic host the undefeated San Antonio Spurs Friday night. If you are looking for a game to catch the last couple quarters of, then get this one on and don’t touch the dial.

The Brooklyn Nets are 3-2 on the season, and Spencer Dinwiddie went all “legit NBA point guard” to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night, going for 22 points on 13 shots, with six assists to two turnovers. D’Angelo Russell was out with a knee sprain, so big minutes became available for Dinwiddie, and he took advantage. Sometimes you just feel it.

I should also note that Nets’ second-year forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is slowly but surely working his way to being a reliable NBA starter. He’s almost doubled his scoring average from last season while greatly improving efficiency. His defensive numbers are up, too.

After seeing this tweet, I’m quite interested in seeing more of him. I’ll add Rondae to my “watch this guy if there were more hours in a day” list.

That’s Giannis ANTETOKOUNMPO to you, sir

The time has probably arrived to commit to memorizing Giannis’ family name. If you don’t, you know it will come back to bite you sometime, somehow.

Relatedly, the Celtics beat the Bucks Thursday night, but more importantly Aron Baynes is still OK from yet another Giannis assault on the rim with Baynes as collateral. In case you missed it:

All Baynes went on to do is lead all players in the game with plus-minus of 12.

Baynes is a legend.

Victor Oladipo can ball

Going into today, Oladipo is seventh in the league in scoring at 26 points per game, and is doing it with increased efficiency. Some saw this Oladipo explosion coming, I’m sure, with a general lack of go-to scoring options in Indiana.

Something I’m not very plugged into, though, is the NBA player music scene. Victor came out with his first album not long ago - and the songs I’ve listened to are excellent. He’s got a lot going for himself right now.

Western Conference:

Blake Loves L.A.

Just what Pistons fans hoped would happen: The Los Angeles Clippers stayed undefeated (4-0) with a win in Portland Thursday night. This means Detroit will go to L.A. Saturday night with an opportunity to knock them off.

Blake Griffin continues to be filthy and he’s loving it without Chris Paul. But is the Clippers’ success sustainable? I don’t know, but just look at that soft Portland defense in the crunchiest of crunch time!

Donovan Mitchell watch

He’s shooting the rock a shade over 10 times a game, but is only connecting on 25 percent. And he’s 3-of-18 (16 percent) from downtown. Lucky for him, he’s playing in Salt Lake City, he’ll never be fed to the sharks there.

I didn’t fact check this tweet, but seems it could be true. #its2017createyourownfacts

(Editor’s Note: Donovan Mitchell is not, and never will be, Russ Westbrook. Carry on.)

Lakers hand Wizards their first loss

John Wall had a sub-par game. Lonzo Ball did too, but at least had a couple of nice steals against John, for what it’s worth. Are any of you as enthralled with the Lakers as the media is? At any rate, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leads the Lakers in scoring at 17 per game, but only has played in two of their four games (he was suspended the first two). Decent start in LA for him anyway, and surprise surprise surprise, he’s playing big minutes too.

Draymond Green is pretty much just like all of us:

This, of course, is referring to DeMarcus Cousins’ 41 points and 23 rebounds in his first return to Sacramento since his trade. Kings fans, though, weren’t surprised - they’re used to Boogie scoring 40+ in a Kings loss.


If one of you writes that Andre Drummond is a better player than Boogie... I’ll find you.