New Orleans is no longer winless, Sacramento is unsurprisingly dysfunctional, and L.A. is alive.
- Anthony Davis makes accruing 30 points, 10 rebounds, and a handful of blocks look unbelievably easy. So incredibly effortless. I would still like to see him develop a psychotic intensity on defense that mirrors what we witnessed from Kevin Garnett.
- E’Twaun Moore is a man on a mission. He has scored in double figures during four straight games, posted a season-high 20 points in Wednesday’s win, and should be a fixture in the starting lineup for the remainder of 2016-17 if he can avoid the injury bug.
- Buddy Hield hit a few 3-pointers, but he is still struggling in most areas. Milwaukee’s second round pick Malcolm Brogdon, for instance, is probably better at everything besides shooting right now. Brogdon is a heady playmaker, intense defender, and just a well-rounded contributor overall.
- Tim Frazier is fun. He’s almost assuredly set to see fewer minutes when Jrue Holiday returns to action next week, but Tiny Tim (I can say that since I’m 5-7) will likely still have a solid role on this team.
- Jabari Parker is a known scoring machine. If he can develop an above-the-break three, this Bucks team is going to be so scary that people might actually start to #FeartheDeer. With Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton on the roster going forward, it’s only a matter of years before these guys are savvy vets competing for the Eastern Conference crown. Given their 4-4 record, I think it’s reasonable to argue that they’d have been shoe-ins for a playoff spot if not for Middleton’s unfortunate injury.
- Ty Lawson has not rediscovered what made him a potent guard in Denver for all those years, and the Kings looked much better with Darren Collison on the court. Similarly, Arron Afflalo has been abysmal in New York and Sacramento after appearing to be a respectable starter at the 2 for the Nuggets and Magic. After a lot of pretty passing in a decent first half, there was very little that went well for Sacramento after halftime. In my opinion, the big-heavy Kings should explore trading Kosta Koufos and Dave Joerger should consider rolling out a starting five of Collison, Rudy Gay, Matt Barnes, Anthony Tolliver, and DeMarcus Cousins.
- It won’t show in the box score, but Timofey Mozgov did an amazing job defensively on Cousins, who needed 25 shots to get his 28 points and committed as many turnovers as assists (four). Having played no more than 24 minutes in a contest for the Lakers prior to last night, Mozgov showed exactly why he was worth the big payday in free agency. On a team filled with below average defenders, Timofey deserves a lot of credit for the impact he’s making.
- With Luke Walton at the helm, Swaggy P and Sweet Lou are the Sauce Brothers.
- Julius Randle looks more and more like a point guard version of Zach Randolph. Randle was extremely impressive on Thursday, and he has taken some serious steps toward improvement.
- Besides Randle and Young, it was basically L.A.’s bench that won them this contest. The Lakers got much more effort and energy from Larry Nance, Jr., Brandon Ingram, Tarik Black and Lou Will than D’Angelo Russell and Luol Deng. However, Russell did salvage a subpar showing overall by scoring 17 points on seven-of-12 from the field.