The young blokes filled NBA headlines with 50-point games and position-switches this week as Kevin Durant continued doing Kevin Durant things.
Two players dropped the first 50-point games of their NBA careers this week.
Jayson Tatum became the youngest ever player to score 50 points for the Boston Celtics. He connected on 16 of his 25 attempts as the Celtics hung 145 points on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jayson Tatum tonight:
He is the first Celtic with a 50/10 game since Larry Bird in 1989. pic.twitter.com/ikewxKg5Qj
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 10, 2021
On the same night, Zach LaVine continued his stellar season with a 50-point night for the Chicago Bulls. Still, and it highlights Chicago’s recent struggles better than anything else, the Bulls couldn’t get the job done with LaVine’s 39 first-half points and 50 for the night not enough to take the chocolates. They’re 6-11 since the All-Star break and slipping out of playoff contention in the East.
KD Doing KD Things
Kevin Durant made his latest return from injury this week.
Nets say Kevin Durant is coming off bench tonight vs. New Orleans in his return from two-month absence.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 7, 2021
He hadn’t played for two months, but man, he didn’t miss a beat. He quite literally didn’t miss a bucket either.
Field Goal Percentage: 100% (5-5)
Three-point Percentage: 100% (2-2)
The Brooklyn Nets trio of superstars has still barely played together. However, whoever does play continues to pile up W’s with the Nets now in possession of the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re $1.60 favourites to get out of the East and $3.30 favourites to go one better and win the NBA championship.
Lakers Still Healing
Much of Brooklyn’s hype is helped by the fact the Los Angeles Lakers look nothing like defending NBA champions right now. Sure, they beat the Nets during the week to pick up an unexpected win. But the Lakers are struggling. They are 12-13 since Anthony Davis went down with a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg. LeBron James did what he could, but his high ankle sprain three weeks ago has kept him off the court and he isn’t expected to return for another three weeks.
In better news, Davis will be re-evaluated by the Lakers medical staff this week in the hopes of returning inside the next fortnight. He needs to return soon. While a healthy Lakers can beat any team in the league in a seven-game series, things start to get difficult the further they fall down the standings. They’re currently 33-20 for 5th in the West.
Enes Kanter Feasting On Boards
Enes Kanter has broken the Blazers single-game record for rebounds.
That’s also the most rebounds by any player since 2018. pic.twitter.com/YMoc8NzkQe
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 11, 2021
He’s one of the strongest and most powerful players in the NBA. However, Zion Williamson looks at his most dominant in the more subtle point guard position. With Lonzo Ball out of action, Williamson ran the New Orleans Pelicans offence against the Philadelphia 76ers. Boy, it looked good.
Ben Simmons spent a lot of time guarding Williamson. At least, trying to guard him. Even with Simmons ($3.40 to win Defensive Player of the Year) opposite him, Williamson finished up with 37 points along with a career-high 15 rebounds and another career-high eight assists.
Ball is playing great basketball. He appears to finally have found his place in the NBA. Williamson may already start eating into his minutes at the point, though.
NBA Against The Spread Standings
Cover. No cover. Cover. No cover. The Phoenix Suns up and down run of covering the spread has extended to 12 games but they remain at the top of the NBA ATS ladder.
Remarkably, after road dogs covered the spread at an outrageous rate to start the season, road favourites are now the winning flavour. They’ve rebounded to have covered at 52.7% throughout the season.
After Week 16
|Top 10||Bottom 10|
|Suns (34-18)||Pelicans (24-28)|
|Jazz (33-20)||Warriors (24-29)|
|Clippers (32-22)||Timberwolves (23-29-1)|
|Knicks (31-21-1)||Kings (23-30)|
|Grizzlies (30-19-1)||Heat (22-29-1)|
|76ers (29-21-3)||Bucks (22-30)|
|Hornets (29-21-1)||Raptors (22-31)|
|Bulls (28-22-1)||Cavaliers (21-31)|
|Pistons (28-23-1)||Pacers (20-31)|
|Hawks (28-24-1)||Rockets (17-36)|