There were only three games in the NBA on Sunday night, but the league was far from quiet. Earl Watson made history, but not in a good way.
Here’s what you missed:
Earl Watson was fired three games into the season
The Suns fired their head coach after a 42-point loss to the Clippers on Saturday night. The Suns are obviously tanking, but it appears that management didn’t want the team to tank this hard:
Phoenix coach Earl Watson has been fired, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 22, 2017
Watson finished his tenure with the Suns with a 33-85 record and no significant successes to show for it. The Suns are going with Jay Triano as their interim coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, until they find the right hire for the job.
Eric Bledsoe wants out
Everything is falling apart in Phoenix. Just before news broke that Watson was out as the Suns head coach, Eric Bledsoe vented his frustration:
I Dont wanna be here— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
It’s unclear whether this tweet was sent as a reaction to learning Watson was fired or if it was a ploy to actually get Watson fired. Watson was reportedly fired an hour after Bledsoe sent this tweet.
Bledsoe has voiced his frustration in Phoenix before — specifically after he was shut down last winter despite being healthy and having a career season.
Monday against Sacramento should be fun!
Andrew Wiggins hit an incredible game-winner against the Thunder
No timeouts. Down by two. Andrew Wiggins delivers.
Thanks to a Karl-Anthony Towns halfcourt screen, Wiggins got this heave up as time expires to win the game for the Timberwolves. See for yourself:
a lot can happen in 8.9 seconds pic.twitter.com/BxGOGctJ7F— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) October 23, 2017
It hit the backboard, but did he call bank?
Reporter to Wiggins: "Did you call glass?"— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) October 23, 2017
Wiggins: "Nah, I didn't."
Karl: "He called game."
Very well put, Towns.
Andrew Wiggins looks good!
Yup! Not only did he hit the game-winner, but he dropped 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He’s got it going right now:
Through three games, Wiggins has earned every penny of the max extension he signed over the summer. He’s been the Wolves’ brightest scorer so far this season and has hit 40 percent of his threes.
He’s shooting the ball better and has been a more efficient player, but a lot of that shift has to be attributed to his shot selection. Less midrange and more free throws will do that for you.
It’s only three games, but if Wiggins keeps this up, Wolves fans are in for a treat this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns caught Patrick Patterson slippin’
WATCH OUT NOW.
NO BASKET IS SAFE! #AllEyesNorth pic.twitter.com/fQR3LMO8mE— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 22, 2017
Andre Roberson air balled a free throw
Woof, that’s not a good look.
Roberson air balled a free thr....WAIT TWO IN A ROW?
It wasn’t even close, Roberson. Man. Poor guy.
POP THE CHAMPAGNE, THE NETS ARE OVER .500
Seriously, the Nets are 2-1 after a 116-104 win over the Hawks. I know what you’re saying. “Mike, it’s only been three games. Chill out. They’re the Nets. #NetsPick.”
But here’s the thing: This is the first time the Nets have been over .500 since 2014. That’s a huge milestone, no matter how small a sample we have.
D’Angelo Russell is looking like a potential star, too. He finished the game with 16 points and 10 assists with some absolute dimes mixed in.
D’Angelo Russell (16 PTS, 10 ASTS) posts a double-double in the @brooklynnets home W! #WeGoHard pic.twitter.com/mD0yzwyYVZ— NBA (@NBA) October 22, 2017
This team is playing with confidence right now. They’re moving the ball, shooting threes, and pushing the break every chance they get and are doing it with a smile on their faces. This team is hella watchable.
The Pelicans got their first win of the season
It wasn’t without struggle though. They blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead to the Lakers behind a strong push from Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. But the Pelicans managed to get out with the win after Jameer Nelson iced the game with a late three.
The Pels were dominant early and hovered around 60 percent shooting for most of the game. Their fast first-quarter start made the difference in this one. The Lakers struggled to do pretty much everything early on offensively.
SO MUCH YES. #DoItBig pic.twitter.com/ffFN7oRMN1— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 23, 2017
They eventually picked it up on offense and even took a lead of as much as six in the fourth quarter. Lonzo Ball finished with 13 assists, and Kyle Kuzma had 20 points off the bench.
But the Pelicans won, so that means we get this back:
You know what this means...#DoItBig pic.twitter.com/3pd3QDThbl— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 23, 2017
I am so glad that this is back.
Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins finally got some help
The two big men have managed to put up big numbers in every game they’ve played this season, but their supporting cast has fallen short behind them.
But tonight, they shot the ball well from deep and got a combined 49 points from Ian Clark, E’twaun Moore and Jrue Holiday. When the Pelicans’ guards step up, they’re a tough team to beat. That just hasn’t happened very often.
Sunday night’s scores
Nets 116, Hawks 104
Timberwolves 115, Thunder 113
Pelicans 119, Lakers 112