It feels like a matter of time before the NBA is forced to shut down, but in the meantime, the Lakers struggle, Giddey is good and Curry is king.
Austin Reaves has arrived!
Most NBA fans won’t have heard of Austin Reaves before last week. Plenty that just learned about the Los Angeles Lakers rookie after he hit a game-winner in overtime will have already forgotten his name. Still, Reaves’ clutch shot to beat the Dallas Mavericks 107-104 made waves around the league as social media lit up with video after video of the winner. But only until another game-winner took over the timeline.
AUSTIN. TYLER. REAVES.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 16, 2021
It looked as though Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had sent the Oklahoma City Thunder to overtime with a 31-foot three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left. However, with one last heave from 61 feet, Devonte Graham pinched at 113-110 for the New Orleans Pelicans.
As bad news – and bad games – sweep the NBA with players being put into Healthy and Safety protocols every day, Thursday offered up some excitement just when it was needed.
Lakers Losing It
Reaves’ winner is a highlight but it was another bad week for the Los Angeles, who despite winning a few games, still ended in disappointment. As if their horrendous 110-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves wasn’t bad enough, the defeat also cost them Anthony Davis who has been ruled out for at least a month.
Lakers star Anthony Davis has MCL sprain in left knee and will miss at least four weeks, team says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2021
The “should we be worried about the Lakers?” question has been ignored largely due to the absence of LeBron James and the expected teething issues of introducing Russell Westbrook to the team. However, as their $11 odds to win the NBA championship suggests, we should be somewhat worried about this squad.
It’s not that they’ve had a few bad games. It’s that they’ve played very, very few good ones, and when they do, it is often down to James putting the team on his back. The Westbrook experiment is going as expected – poorly. So poorly that he’s already finding his name in trade rumours.
Davis going down for a month puts him out until January. The Lakers will then be running short on time to figure things out before the playoffs.
It was only a matter of time before he went to the top of the list, but Steph Curry has now connected on the most three-point shots in NBA history. With his first two makes against the New York Knicks at Maddison Square Garden Curry notched up his 2,973rd and 2,974th made three-point shots of his career.
Congrats to Stephen Curry. Here are his 2,974 Made 3-Pointers pic.twitter.com/Az8YQvl2vk
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 15, 2021
The greatest shooter in NBA history made it official and will now extend his lead at the top to set a record that may never be broken. Sure, players are shooting more three-point shots than ever before and it’s still trending upward. But will a player shoot them as well, as often and for as long as Curry?
Curry already has the individual numbers and his Golden State Warriors are 2nd in the Western Conference. Add an NBA record to his 2021-22 season and it’s no wonder he’s the $1.85 favourite to win the Most Valuable Player award.
Josh Giddey lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-103 win over the LA Clippers with eight points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. He became the first teenage guard to record 18+ rebounds and the youngest player in NBA history with 10+ rebounds and 10+ assists. He didn’t, however, finish up with the record most are now expecting.
This pending triple double record is killing me
— Andrew Schlecht (@AndrewKSchlecht) December 19, 2021
With only eight points on 4-14 shooting, Giddey fell short of becoming the youngest ever player to drop a triple-double. The Australian (19-070d) has 70 days to achieve the feat and beat current record holder, LaMelo Ball.
Despite the record numbers, Giddey is still fighting for Rookie of the Year respect to be on the fifth line of betting at $21.
It’s Still Getting Worse
Those with Adrian Wojnarowski’s Twitter notifications on are on the verge of muting the bomb dropper with players entering Health and Safety protocols every 20 minutes.
The numbers continue to grow, but, as of this writing:
There have been 70 NBA players who’ve entered health and safety protocols this month (out of 86 all season), and 50 of them have entered in the past week (12/12-12/18) alone.
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) December 18, 2021
Christmas Day is surely a consideration for Adam Silver and the NBA. They might not get there if players continue to be unavailable, though.