The NBA is simply the best professional sports league in the world (yes, I checked), and unsurprisingly there’s quite a lot to cover. Although we’re mostly obsessed with the Detroit Pistons here at Detroit Bad Boys, it never hurts to take a closer look at the competition. Here are some notes from around the NBA.
I’m just going to lead with Luka Doncic highlights
This happened ten or so days ago to our most “favorite” former Piston thanks to Luka:
SIKE pic.twitter.com/aT9WA6SYQT— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) December 21, 2018
Then the next game Luka did another former Piston real dirty:
LUKA GOING (via @dallasmavs) pic.twitter.com/NsIqRnk2d1— SLAM (@SLAMonline) December 23, 2018
Sunday night, Luka did a bunch of nasty things to the Thunder defense in a Mavericks win, but I need to move on so here’s just one of those nasty things:
The Luka Doncic step-back 3, patent pending— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) December 31, 2018
Watch OKC vs. Dallas NOW on #BRLive: https://t.co/IwUWmMWavs
( @dallasmavs )
The Grizzlies just kind of exist, but are still a professional group
After a New Year’s Day game in Milwaukee, the Pistons will be in Memphis the next day to take on — as of this writing — the 18-17 Grizzlies. Basketball fans in Michigan (not named Tom Izzo last March) certainly have heard of fantastic 19-year-old Memphis Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., who is currently averaging 13.2 points (34 percent from three) and nearly two blocks per game. JJJ has scored in double figures five straight games (on very good efficiency) and has six 20-plus point games this season. The Grizzlies, who are second to last in scoring (101.8) in the entire league this season, need players who can help aging mainstays Mike Conley (20.5 ppg) and Marc Gasol (16.2 ppg) put the ball in the hoop, and Jaren is their clear third guy.
The Grizzlies began the season 12-5, but have had an extra difficult time scoring in December (maybe Chandler Parsons can help in 2019?). In fact, for eight straight games in mid-December, the Grizzlies did not reach 100 points. The Grizzlies went 1-7 during that stretch. However, overall this season, the Grizzlies are smack-dab in the middle of the league in three-point percentage at 35.2 percent. For reference, the Pistons are the worst in the league at 32.6 percent currently.
But back to the rookie big man:
Jaren Jackson Jr. is looking like the NBA’s next great son of a former player. Bigs who can defend and hit dribble jumpers are rare. Jackson has shown plenty of impressive flashes this year. Tonight’s shot over LeBron to ice the game is his best one yet. pic.twitter.com/kwXWL72LUN— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 24, 2018
Landry Shamet: ‘I’m fortunate to have teammates who beg me to shoot’
Philadelphia 76ers 21-year-old rookie, Landry Shamet, is a first round pick (No. 26) who is more than holding his own in 20.3 minutes per game in 36 games this season, shooting 40.3-percent from deep (1.8-of-4.4 per game).
Via an interview from HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy:
You mentioned that your teammates have been telling you to shoot the ball more. You have been shooting more over the course of the season and your three-point percentage has improved too. It was 35.5 percent in October and it’s been between 45 percent and 48 percent in November and December. Is that just a matter of getting more comfortable and listening to your teammates?
Landry Shamet: I’m not sure; I didn’t realize that. My approach never changes. My job, my whole approach, has just been to buy into my role as quickly as possible, and [my role] is to knock down open looks, be a threat to space the floor and be solid defensively. I’m just trying to make my open looks. If I come off the floor and my teammates think I was open or I had a window, that’s when they will tell me to shoot. If I don’t shoot it, they’ll get on me and say, “Hey, you were open. You need to shoot the ball.” It’s not like they’re telling me to shoot and I’m like, “Okay, I need to go shoot 10 threes.” It’s more about taking the looks that come to me and being aggressive in those situations. It’s nothing too crazy, but [it’s nice] that they empower me to shoot and that I have the freedom to let it fly as a young player. I hear it every day, not only from them but also from the coaching staff. It just makes life a little bit easier.
“Luke Kennard, please shoot!” — all of DBB
Boban’s big soup interview
OK, so most of us here at DBB love Boban Marjanovic (and miss him very much). Quick update: Boban is having a career season with the Los Angeles Clippers so far in 28 games played, shooting 61.9 percent, scoring 7.4 points a game along with 4.4 rebounds in 11.1 minutes. Plus Boban’s best basketball buddy, Tobias Harris, is having himself a career season as well: how about 42.5 percent from downtown (career- best) and 50.4 percent from the field (career best), not to mention a tidy 21 points per game (also a career best) for Tobias. His rebounding numbers are way up from recent seasons, too. The Clippers are currently 4th in the Western conference at 21-15.
Earlier in December, GQ did an interview with Boban — “The Real-Life Diet of Boban Marjanovic, the NBA’s Ripped, Soup-Loving Giant“. It’s worth the read. I’ll give a few of my favorites parts below:
GQ: You say grew up eating a ton of soup. How much soup are we talking about here?
Boban Marjanovic: Everyday I eat some soup. This is part of our culture—our mommies and grammies make it, and at any restaurant in Serbia, you can go in and find some soup. There might be minestrone, butternut squash, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, mushroom soup, lamb soup. Whatever you can find, you can make a soup with that. I’m a big soup guy. Every meal I want to start with soup. I just finished my soup five minutes ago! It’s funny how everybody is surprised by that, but this is how most Serbians eat.
GQ: When you sit down to eat a bowl of pasta, for instance, and you’re with a friend who isn’t as tall as you, do you end up eating a lot more than them? Or do you eat smaller portions than one might imagine?
Boban: It depends on the day. If I’m very hungry, I’ll order, like, four meals. I’ll give you example. We go to a restaurant here in Los Angeles that isn’t Serbian, but it has Serbian food. I take soup—tomato soup, maybe chicken noodle soup, mushroom soup—and a nice portion of goat cheese salad. I get pasta with prosciutto and grilled chicken on the side. This is one of my favorite meals. And if I’m still hungry, I’ll take crepes.
GQ: What’s the nicest compliment anybody has given you during a game?
Boban: “Man, you’re tall as shit.”
Clippers fans love themselves some Boban
And I’m here to share it with you all:
Boban shirt already made by Boban fanatic family for yet-to-be-birthed baby. Yes. pic.twitter.com/rrVdfKwfWU— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 27, 2018
Here’s former Piston Luigi Datome being Jordan...
The 31-year-old could probably be contributing to an NBA bench unit that values shooting and high IQ play. For Datome, however, the EuroLeague likely suits him better. In 2018-19, Datome is currently shooting 21-of-42 from downtown. Datome in 35 EuroLeague games last season shot 44 percent (52-of-117).
THE ARTIST! @GigiDatome drives to the basket and gets the AND ONE to win the game!#7DAYSMagicMoment pic.twitter.com/flWSkA3q41— EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) December 28, 2018
Happy 2019 to all the readers out there!