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Last Night In The NBA: As Expected, 2018 Is Just As Fun

Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors

Welcome everybody to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that happened from the night before in the Association. There is no debate that we are all hating our lives right now, but while most of you were probably watching the exciting college football games, you may not have realized there were also 4 pretty entertaining basketball games yesterday. Now I know you are looking for any excuse to not do a goddamn thing at work today, so let me tell you what happened

Nets (14-23) 98 vs Magic (12-25) 95

Brooklyn Nets, undefeated in 2018 let’s go! Who would think that two dogshit teams would be able to produce an entertaining game, but here we are. This win brought BKN to 8-10 at home, and as of now their pick stands to fall 10th in the lottery, which means that despite their record, they aren’t nearly at the bottom of the league. Definitely something to keep an eye on as we get closer to the deadline.

The Nets won this game mostly because Jarrett Allen was a monster off the bench to lead all scorers with 16/6

which was the best performance the rookie has had yet this season. That second unit made all the difference, outscoring the Magic 42-22. Caris LeVert was also strong for that unit, with 15/5/8 on 6-15 shooting.

LeVert has been sneaky really good over his last 5 or so games, with a 17/4/7 average on 49/53% splits. This was just the third win BKN has had on the second night of back to backs, but hey they’ve now won two of three!

For ORL, tough one for sure. All five starters in double figures led by Gordon who had 20/12 on 8-20, him and Biyombo more than held their own

but look, shooting 36/19% ain’t gonna cut it. Getting practically nothing from your bench also isn’t a wise strategy. The Magic are now 5-16 on the road, and I almost feel bad for the lottery pick that will wind up here. They stink out loud.

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Raptors (25-10) 131 vs Bucks (19-16) 127

Now this was a ballgame. A battle of two competitive teams in the East, the Raptors went with their usual “let Lowryy and DeRozan do whatever and figure it out later” method and boy did it work. 78 points combined from those two, lead by a career best 52/5/8 with 5(!!!!!) threes for DeRozan

there’s being locked in, and then there’s being whatever DeRozan was last night. You could use adjectives like dominant, outstanding, other worldly, they all fit. He was fantastic  and carried this team to a big time OT win. No Raptor in HISTORY has scored more than he did in this game, which is crazy because I would have that Vince Carter broke that number.

Aside from Lowry/DeRozan, no other player had more than 11 points for TOR, but their bench was for the most part solid, with three players with at least 8. TOR is now 14-1 at home, which happens to be the best mark in the NBA, and they sit comfortably in the 2 seed. After a fairly easy December, January is a little tougher for TOR so it will be interesting to see how they look in a month. The way they can score and defend make you want to believe they are for real, especially if this new version of DeRozan where he can shoot threes is real.

For MIL, it’s not often that the Bucks will score 127 points, have 47/48% splits, and still lose. Especially when they have 6 players in double figures and their main guys play great

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I think it’s fair to say that given the talent on this roster, if you look at their record MIL has underachieved a bit. Maybe part of that is Jason Kidd, but their 2-3 over their last 5, and 4-6 over their last 10. This team should be something like a 4 seed, not a 6 which is where they currently are.

Trail Blazers (19-17) 124 vs Bulls (13-24) 120

No Dame, no problem for POR as they were able to hold off the Bulls in OT to secure the MUCH needed win. With three guys notching over 20 the Blazers were much more successful in replacing Lillard’s production. Obviously CJ McCollum led the way with 32/6/8, and was nails for POR down the stretch

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that late running floater at the end of regulation was nasty. But like I said he had help. Aminu chipped in 24 which was probably his best outing since coming back from injury

and Turner got them started early with 10 in the first, and he finished with 22

This was definitely a much needed bounce back win after dropping that game to ATL, especially when you take a look at their upcoming schedule and see SA/OKC/CLE/NO/MIN etc on deck. As it stands now POR is a 5 seed, just 0.5 games behind OKC.

For CHI, a heart breaking loss at home, but it’s obviously not the end of the world. I thought that late Baby Dirk three was going to fall, but you’re still getting great performances from young important pieces, which is all Bulls fans should care about right now. The Bobby Portis/Mirotic second unit pairing is continuing to destroy other benches, and it’s hard to argue how much better Kris Dunn looks this season. Remember they are getting Zach LaVine back as well

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Tankathon has them currently 7th, so it wouldn’t take them much to slide into that top 6, top 5 range in the draft, where they could potentially add a real big time talent. By all accounts it doesn’t appear that CHI will be rebuilding for long. When healthy, this looks like a playoff team.

Timberwolves (24-14) 114 vs Lakers (11-25) 96

Nobody could stop Jimmy Butler. He did what he wanted, finishing with 28/9, 11 FTA and shot 8-14 from the field.

The Lakers came out flat, and it was game over essentially from the first quarter, with MIN scoring in the 30s for three straight.  Wiggins and KAT were solid but nothing crazy, with Wiggins snagging 21/9/4 and KAT 16/13 both on fairly good percentages. I don’t think anyone is shocked how this game turned out.

For LAL, look I commend your tanking. But I think you’re taking things a little too extreme. You guys know you don’t keep this pick if it lands #1 right? You don’t keep it basically anywhere it falls, but that’s besides the point. Losers of 7 in a row, the worst record in the West and second worst record in the East, these are dark times for the once proud franchise. No Lonzo Ball doesn’t help, neither does Kuzma/Ingram combining for 6-17 and 20 points.

At least Jordan Clarkson looked good!

And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We have 5 games today with some good matchups like POR/CLE (Isaiah’s debut), and SA/NYK. As always if you get busy and catch watch it all, just come back tomorrow and I’ll tell ya all about it!