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Last Night In The NBA: Holy Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans v New York Knicks

Happy Monday everybody and welcome 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. Now there weren’t a ton of games yesterday, just 4, so it wouldn’t surprise me if you missed a majority of the action due to the exciting football. If we’re being honest, none of the games were close, but they still had some pretty dominant performances that are worth talking about. So, if you need some time to kill today, keep reading, here’s what happened

Heat (25-17) 97 vs Bucks (22-20) 79

A lot of people talk about the Celtics and their 7 game winning streak, well it’s time to start talking about MIA, because they too have won 7 straight. Currently the 4 seed, but just 1 game back of CLE for a top 3 seed, the Heat have gotten healthy and have started to play some fantastic basketball. This isn’t a streak that has come by solely beating shitty teams either, the Heat have wins over NYK, TOR, IND, and now MIL giving them some great momentum heading into tonight’s game against CHI.

Wer’re finally seeing the Heat roster as it was intended for the most part, and we’re seeing that they can actually be  pretty good. It helps when Dragic and Whiteside have nights like they did last night, as the team’s two best players, their absence was clearly felt the most

I really like the way MIA got these guys involved. They play a selfless style, and finished with 23 assists on 35 baskets. Here’s what we know about this year’s Heat team. When they hit 10+ threes in a game, they become very very hard to beat. This win came even with Ellington struggling, but they still got to that 10+ mark. Between the threes and the good defense, this is starting to look more like the second half team from last year that had one of the better second half records in the league

For MIL, a team that is already 8-12 on the road, it certainly is pretty tough to win when you finished with 31/14% splits. To make matters worse, it’s even harder when no bench player scores more than 3 points. Outside of Giannis who had 22/6 on 6-12 and Malcolm Brogdon who had 15 on 7-12

everybody else struggled. Middleton and Bledsoe combined to go 7-32, and as I said the entire bench went a stellar 3-18. Maybe you can just chalk it up to a poor shooting night for MIL, almost every NBA team has those, but the Bucks have been sliding so I’m not sure you can. They’ve won just 1 of their last 4, and find themselves in the 8 seed in the East. I’m sorry, but there is too much talent on this team for them to be an 8 seed. In my opinion, perhaps no team in the East has underachieved quite like MIL has. Is that on the coach? The front office did their part by brining in talent, but it’s not really working at the moment.

Pelicans (22-20) vs Knicks (19-24) 118

Nothing like a little Sunday overtime thriller, and that’s what this game gave us between two teams fighting to make the playoffs in their respective conferences. If there’s one thing we can say for certain after watching this game, it’s that Anthony Davis owns MSG

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise, he had 40/18 the last time he played in this bulding but last night hit battle against Porzingis was must watch stuff. The Pelicans forced OT through a huge 13-4 run in the closing minutes and nearly won it at the buzzer after a Knicks TO. Once they got to OT, it wasn’t AD that dominated, but Jrue Holiday, who finished with 31 and made some huge plays in that extra 5 minutes

It’s not often that when you’re talking about NO that you don’t immediately mention Boogie, and while those two may have been better, Boogie was still ridiculous with his 15/16/5/7/3, he just shot the ball poorly going 4-16.

The Pelicans are in an interesting spot, probably too far away to catch MIN at the 4 seed, but OKC’s 5 spot is definitely still in play. They are the only current playoff team in the West that does not have a positive point differential, but when you get offensive performances like what AD just gave you, who gives a shit about point differential.

For NYK, you can feel the frustration from here. Did you know this was their 2nd blown 14+ point lelad heading into the fourth quarter? All other NBA teams have done that a combined 2 times. It feels like just yesterday they were blowing an 11 point lead in a double OT loss to CHI, and in this game they actually were up 9 with about 4 minutes left to go. That is NOT how you close out basketball games kids.

And sure, the Knicks may be 3.5 games out of the 8 spot, but there are positives! For example. Porzingis looked good

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as did Tim Hardaway Jr who was playing in his second game since coming back from injury and dropped 25

and then there was Jarrett Jack’s 22 on 9-14

Look when you turn it over 22 times and score just 13 points in the final quarter, what do you expect to happen?After scoring so well through the first three, the Knicks clearly ran out of gas and it cost them. Who knows, maybe the newly signed Trey Burke will solve a lot of issues but probably not.

Pacers (23-20) 120 vs Suns (16-28) 97

Not a huge surprise given who these two teams are, but it was pretty surprising to see IND get such balanced production and win a game like this when no player broke 20 points. As a team they finished with 54/47% splits and turned it over just 6 times which is fantastic for them, and had 7 total players in double figures.

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I know given the opponent you have to take things with a certain grain of salt, but this was really a complete performance from start to finish for the Pacers, who have been playing some good basketball winning 4 of their last 5 after a brutal 5 game skid. With wins over CHI, MIL, CLE they’re taking care of business to stay in that 5-8 seeding range. Credit their second unit too, 56 points is no joke.

For PHX, a little different of a story shooting the ball, finishing with 42/24% splits, but Josh Jackson played well with 21/6 on 7-16

but playing without TJ Warren who has been great for them, things become hard for the Suns when guys like Booker only go 5-16 for 15 points.

Despite the loss, there was still history made on the Suns sideline, and that came by the way of Tyson Chandler

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His 10,003 put him 40th all time in rebounding, with guys like ZBo, Marion, Otis Thorpe, Bill Laimbeer, Dave Cowens, Ben Wallace, and David Robinson within striking distance if he can play for a little while longer. Not too shabby.

Timberwolves (29-16) 120 vs Trail Blazers (22-21) 103

Have yourself a day Minnesota! Riding high after their incredible Vikings win, the Timberwolves tipped off as the last game of the night and the good times just continued to roll. A blowout win that wasn’t really close after the first quarter. three guys with at least 20 points, and the TWolves are now 9-1 against their division which is HUGE

Every starter shot the ball well, with no player finishing under 50% and no starter making fewer than 6 FGM. MIN has most definitely separated themselves from the pack and are rapidly closing in on SA for the 3 spot and if you want to get really crazy, I won’t count them out of catching HOU, depending on how much longer Harden will be out. Their defense is starting to come around with the 3rd best point differential in the West, and while Thibs is still playing his starters wayyyyyy too many minutes, it’s hard to argue with their success.

For POR, not the best showing. As a team they shot it well, they just turned it over way too much (17), and didn’t get enough from guys not named Dame/McCollum. With just three players in double figures and a second quarter in which they scored just 10 points, this isn’t really a shock.

But hey, at least Pat Connaughton showed life!

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POR is among the OKC/NO/DEN group that each loss hurts 10x more because it inches them either to a 5 seed, or out of the playoff picture entirely. They did a good job of staying with MIN outside of that second quarter, but they can’t really afford to have those type of let down quarters moving forward. I really like watching POR play so I hope they snap out of this little funk they’re in. They’ve now lost 3 straight and have some tough games left in January like IND/DEN/MIN/LAC/CHI.

And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back with a full 11 game slate tonight, including some good matchups like TOR/PHI, MIL/WSH, MIA/CHI, GS/CLE, and HOU/LAC. There’s a shit ton so if you can’t catch it all that’s OK, just come back tomorrow and I’ll fill you in on what you missed.