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Last Night In The NBA: Toilet Bowl Matchups Galore

Philadelphia 76ers V Minnesota Timberwolves

Happy Sunday everybody and welcome to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. I’ll tell ya, the NCAA ownes the NBA a nice fat kiss on the lips because once again they scheduled mostly dogshit matchups on the same night as the tournament. Jokes on them though, I still watched all 6. You most likely didn’t, and that’s cool, just keep reading to see what happened

Sixers (42-30) 120 vs Timberwolves (42-32) 108

Heading into this game this was billed as a must watch matchup of Embiid vs KAT. Along with Myles Turner, these two are some of the most promising young big men in the league, and their beef with each other isn’t exactly a secret. In reality, once the game started it wasn’t so much an Embiid vs KAT affair as it was let’s just watch the Sixers completely dominate teams affair.

Another triple double for Simmons, his 10th on the year, the Sixers are absolutely playing their best basketball of the season at the right time. Winners of 6 straight, last night was their 5th straight game of at least 30 assists, and I don’t care what team you root for you can admit that’s impressive. That’s shit the Warriors do. This win was pretty balanced, where the team didn’t just have to rely on their two basketball aliens, they also got great production off the bench from Marco Belinelli who had 15 on 5-6 shooting

It’s looking more and more like this team is going to end up the 3 seed which would be quite the accomplishment for such a young team. Now I should remind PHI that their play right now does not guarantee them playoff success, just like every other team about the enter the playoffs, but they are playing great there’s no taking that away from them.

For MIN, this was a tough, tough loss. They looked like a team playing on a B2B. MIN is now 4-6 over their last 10 and find themselves in the 7 spot with just a 1.5 game lead over UTA. Their problem is clearly the road, where they are now 15-23 this season, which is the second worst among West playoff teams (SA is 14-22). It also doesn’t help when you can’t make a shot, and the 38/26% splits tell that story. When KAT and Wiggins combine to go 10-32, you’re probably in a bit of trouble, and it just goes to show how much trouble they were in considering they outscored the Sixers by 15 points in the fourth quarter and still lost by 12.

And I hate to do it, but Embiid did win that battle against KAT too

But there’s good news! Looking ahead at their schedule they have MEM/ATL/DAL up next, so things can change in an instant for the good people of MIN.

Pistons (33-40) 117 vs Bulls (24-49) 95

Get used to matchups like this because this was the first of the toilet bowl games. On a night where I’m sure neither team wanted to lose, the Pistons who haven’t really gotten anything right this year couldn’t even lose at home to a team ahead of them in the lottery odds standings. Instead they got beastly performances from Drummond

and a random 25 from Anthony Tolliver

I mean it was an impressive offensive performance with 8 guys in double figures and 49% shooting while making 16 threes. Who knew getting Reggie Jackson back in the lineup DOES make all the difference?

For CHI, as we know their process is all about losses and getting flashes from young talent. Check and check

Suns (19-55) 99 vs Magic (22-51) 105

I told you, these matchups were gross. At least this one was fairly close and entertaining, with the Magic once again pulling out a home win. This is now 15 of their 22 wins coming at home, so basically if you’re an opposing team heading into their building, watch out! At least the people of ORL got to see a show from Gordon and Vucevic, they had nearly half their points

but also don’t forget about the reinvented Mario Hezonja and his 14 points!

In case you were curious, ORL now sits in the 5 spot in the lottery odds.

For PHX, kings stay king. This was now their 11th loss in a row, and their 21st in their last 22 games. That’s how you tank kids. Sprinkle in a little Josh Jackson highlights and this was a pretty perfect night for the Suns

Ayton/Booker/Jackson is going to be a nice future for them.

Pelicans (43-31) 91 vs Rockets (59-14) 114

On paper this was probably the second best matchup of the night, but then the Rockets decided to be jerks and blow the Pelicans the hell out. It was a 13 point lead after one and a 27 lead at the half. These dudes from HOU just can’t be stopped right now

No big deal, just another 8 game winning streak for HOU and a 4.5 game lead over GS. They’re also a ridiculous 38-8 against the West this year which is the best of any team in either of their respective conferences. Now with an injured GS, if HOU can’t get it done this year when will they?

For NO, given that MIN lost as well, no real big deal here. They’re still in the 6 spot and are just 0.5 games behind SA and 1.0 games behind OKC for the 4 spot. No time to panic despite being 5-5 over their last night. Don’t forget, they still have this dude

Lakers (32-40) 100 vs Grizzlies (19-54) 93

Look at least the Lakers are still trying despite having no shot at making the playoffs. They haven’t gone the way of tanking, and I guess I can respect that. Because of that approach, their young guys are still putting up great performances, and last night was no different

For me personally this is tough to watch because I hate the Lakers with every fiber of my being, but even I can admit these guys look pretty good. Remember this is all without Brandon Ingram too. They shut Isaiah down for the last fwe games of the trip due to his hip, and clearly guys did not have a problem stepping up. After getting down by 12 after the first quarter, the Lakers won every remaining quarter including a nice 29-22 fourth to help pull out the win.

I say focus on that instead of the fact that Lonzo has 31/26% splits in the month of March and this is how he’s doing from deep recentlyScreen Shot 2018-03-25 at 9.41.01 AM

For MEM, they’ve only lost 4 in a row which isn’t even top 2 in losing streaks in the West. They do still stink, not much has changed and I don’t really want to talk about them. Here watch Andrew Harrison drop 20/9

Hornets (33-41) 102 vs Mavericks (22-51) 98

Finally, the last awful matchup of the night. Much like PHX/ORL at least this one was somewhat entertaining. Dwight continues to be an absolute monster, this time with another 13/23 performance

and it is March, so you know Kemba was great

and the Hornets have won 3 in a row. It’s just too bad it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. A lost season for sure, but at least their stars are still playing hard.

For DAL, my rule is pretty simple. Watch this team for the sole purpose of seeing Dennis Smith Jr

For those curious, DAL is now in the 4th spot in the lottery odds standings. Not tanking though, remember that. This team wants you to know it is NOT tanking.

And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back at it again today with 9 more games including CLE/BKN, SA/MIL, MIA/IND, LAC/TOR, POR/OKC, and UTA/GS so it’s going to be a MUCH better day of basketball. As always if you can’t watch just check back tomorrow morning and I’ll fill you in.