Dancing With Noah

Just messing around, getting triple doubles

Sunday to Monday Thoughts on Basketball

I’ve never had any regular segments on DWN and 2/3 of the way through the NBA season during a week when the crown jewel of NCAA basketball season kicks off is probably the worst time to try something new, but here we are with a weekly look at comings and goings, statistical achievements, half thoughts, observations, and an indication in written form that basketball is likely taking up a wee bit too much of my life.

  • Sunday night against the Celtics of Boston, 21-year-old wunderkind Anthony Davis put on a performance the likes of which hasn’t been seen since before he was born:
    • 40 points, 21 rebounds, 12-12 from the free throw line with three blocks
    • Individual career highs in points and rebounds
    • Youngest player since Shaq in 1993 to go for 40/20
    • Joined Larry Bird and Moses Malone as only players to go for 40/20 while shooting perfect from the free throw line
    • Cautionary note for all the teams striving to rebuild through a lottery pick: New Orleans had the fourth best odds to win the 2012 lottery and Anthony Davis.

anthony davis gamebook

  • Royce White was signed to a 10-day contract with the Kings on March 6th. The contract ended Sunday night which coincided with the end of Sacramento’s seven-game road trip. Over four games with the Kings’ D-League team, the Reno Bighorns, White played 25minutes/game, shot 37% from the field, and went for roughly 9pts, 4rebs and 3asts/game. With the Kings set to be home from March 17th thru March 27th, it’s fair to assume any audition with the big club is going to take place in the next week and a half. At this point, I get the feeling there’s general fatigue with White’s story/saga, but there’s still relevance to his story. ESPN’s Amin Alhassan had some insightful comments on the Kings plans with White.
    • Watching ESPN’s 30 for 30, Requiem for the Big East, I had no idea how good of a player Pearl Washington (Syracuse) was. He was before my time and since he didn’t have an impact as a pro, I never read up on his game. By all accounts here, he was a legend in New York before Syracuse and the game film shows a herky jerky, occasionally unstoppable guard that calls to mind another Pearl, that of Monroe – hence the nickname? Dude looks like he could dribble through a minefield, come out unscathed, then flip a little lay-in between the outstretched, broom wielding arms of Ewing, Mutombo, and Mourning. That he struggled as a pro doesn’t seem to impact how he’s remembered. Maybe it’s because I primarily follow the pro game, but it’d be cool if more players were remembered for their successes at any level than ripped apart for their failures or struggles.

  • Drew Gooden and Chris Andersen: Saturday night I was watching the Brooklyn/Washington game and saw Drew Gooden in a Wizards jersey with his head cleanly shaved, a headband on, no wild facial hair or ducktail. Just Drew, wearing #90, getting shit done. Before Washington signed him in late February, he hadn’t played an NBA game since April of last season with the Bucks and now, on Saturday night, he’s in the nation’s capital pumping mid-range jumpers, getting fourth quarter minutes, and generally contributing positivity to the Wiz. On Sunday, it was Chris Andersen giving Miami the same type of effort and energy that he’s been giving since they signed him to his first 10-day contract last January. The question I keep coming back to: How were these guys available? I get that players need to be able to blend in with existing philosophies and personalities and maybe other teams didn’t see the same opportunity, but it’s difficult to watch Birdman and Gooden thriving in supporting roles and wonder why it took so long for them to find employment. Then I wonder how many other potentially impactful players are out there waiting for a phone call.

 

By Month

GP

MIN

OR

DR

REB

Per36

October

1

37

2

11

13

12.6

November

15

35.8

2

4.3

5.8

5.8

December

16

36.3

1

5.1

6.4

6.3

January

14

35.1

1

5.9

7.3

7.5

February

12

35.8

1

4.9

5.7

5.7

March

8

38.3

3

11

13

12.5

 

But how? His career average is 4.8. His season average is 7.2, yet eight games into March and he’s rebounding like a French Dennis Rodman (sure, that’s excessive and a frightening amalgamation to boot, but you get me). Last he grabbed 14 more against Golden State.

  • The Spurs are on a 10-game win streak which has included wins against Dallas, Miami and Portland at home, and the Bulls on the road. Their next three games are on the road for a California swing against the Lakers, Kings, and Warriors. They were an impressive 38-15 before the break, but with a healthy post-All Star group, they’ve gone 13-1.

 

 

  • Writer Derek Bodner put things into perspective when he tweeted:  “The Seattle Seahawks have won more recently than the Philadelphia 76ers. We’re in mid-March. 20 in a row.” That was after Saturday night’s 26-point loss to Memphis which, as Derek points out, was Philly’s 20th straight loss. The margin of defeat over this terrible streak of failure has stretched from 5 points (Jazz) all the way on up to 45 points (Clips). The games aren’t even close and the schedule is not kind. Upcoming games: @ Indiana, Chicago, New York, @ Chicago, @ San Antonio, @ Houston, Detroit. Oh, it can get worse this deconstructed bunch. But save your pity for someone who’s trying.

 

  • Margin of victory is typically a good indicator of where a team falls in the league’s good-to-bad hierarchy. Unless you’re the Minnesota Timberwolves. Record-wise, the Wolves are the 16th best team in the league with a 33-32 record. Based on margin of victory, they’re 9th overall with a +3.6 which places them ahead of Dallas, Memphis, and Phoenix – three teams that enjoy a significant lead over Minnesota in the standings. You can look back through each year dating back to the 2001-02 season and you won’t find a team with a differential as high as Minnesota’s that missed the playoffs. There were only a handful of teams with a positive differential that managed to miss and none were near +3.6. Their 32 losses are by an average of ~8 points while 33 wins are by ~15 points. And in games decided by 5 points or less, they’re unbearably bad at 3-13.

 

  • Finally … Kyrie Irving may be out for the season with a biceps injury. If that’s the case, he’ll wrap up his 3rd season in the league having played in 174 of a possible 230 games – or roughly 75% of all possible games.
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