We are in full NBA Preview mode over here at Ringer HQ. Last week was Warriors Week, when we kicked the tires on the latest model superteam in the NBA, with pieces on Klay, Steph, KD, Harry Barnes, Ayesha, and more. This is Banana Boat Week. But we don’t want to lose sight of the other stories percolating in this embryonic NBA season. So for the sake of basketball and blogging, let’s do the news and notes thing, shall we?
It’s lunchtime in America (somewhere). Here’s some NBA news and notes.
How to Beat the Warriors
[EXTREMELY COWARD ROBERT FORD VOICE] LOL.
Remember that scene toward the end of Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, where Edward Norton begs Barry Pepper to beat the crap out of him to make him ugly before he goes off to serve a prison sentence? That is the only rational explanation I have for why Doc Rivers would start off the Clippers’ preseason by saying, “I think we can play with anybody, and we don’t feel like there’s a gap … I know history very well in this league, and there’s been a lot of superteams put together, quote-unquote, superteams, and I know the history. I feel comfortable where we’re at.”
That was last week. Tuesday night, the Warriors made the Clippers ugly.
To be fair, Golden State didn’t need the extra motivation. Something about the Clippers just brings out the bully in the Warriors. The Clippers have lost seven of their past eight regular-season games to the Warriors, and got completely throttled by them on Tuesday night, 120–75. Kevin Durant had a line of 21, 7, and 7 in just 24 minutes; Klay Thompson had 30 points in just 21 minutes, and Steph Curry looked like the summer off from basketball may have had some restorative effects:
Golden State shot 51.7 percent from behind the arc, and outrebounded the Clippers, 47–35. Sing it with me from the back pew: it’s just the preseason. But man, this was ugly.
At least Doc Rivers’s son had a good game …
And garnered the respect of his opponents …
How Does Dame Lillard Feel About Superteams?
This is a nonstory, but Dame Lillard went on Sirius XM and was asked about superteams, and gave the most Dame Lillard answer possible:
Here’s the thing. Dame is already on a superteam.
Welcome to the NBA, Here’s Your Double-Team
The Sixers beat the Celtics on Tuesday, and the greatest basketball player of our generation scored six points, grabbed four boards, and blocked two shots in 13 minutes. This block was dissected around the Ringer offices like it was the Zapruder film:
Was it the rim? Was it Embiid? We’ll never know (we could probably find out pretty easily). It is a testament to Embiid’s immediate impact on the Sixers, and basketball in general, that the Celtics double-teamed him at one point during the second quarter. Said Embiid, after the game: “I was like, ‘That’s my first game. Second quarter. Y’all really going to double-team, first game, second quarter?’” Welcome to the big leagues, JoJo.
And Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson has it, and it’s flaring up, and it sounds like he could miss up to two months. This means … Ish Smith? Anecdotally, Detroit has been sort of Utah East: the sexy “team that will make real noise” pick from basketball pundits, but this news really puts a damper on that enthusiasm.
Late Pass on This Dunk
Is there a better in-game dunker alive than D.J. Stephens?
Late Pass on Frank Kaminsky Being Corny
Frank Kaminsky was never cool, but I had no idea he was THIS corny. I feel like this happened on my watch, and I’m sorry. Michael Jordan wept.