Kristaps Porzingis is the real deal
The Knicks aren’t very good, but Kristaps Porzingis is great. It’s way too early to tell how good the team will be, but after six games the Knicks are the eighth seed in the East.
Porzingis led the Knicks to a third straight win after scoring a career- and season-high 38 points on Monday night against the Nuggets. The do-it-all forward is averaging 29.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. It’s a tough task, but if Porzingis keeps that pace up he’d be the first player to average at least 29 points, eight rebounds, and 1.5 blocks since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.
The OG unicorn scored 13 of his 38 points in the first quarter against Denver and dropped 22 in the first half. And he did it by making crazy plays like this one:
Porzingis... from way outside! #Knicks pic.twitter.com/quDrtVNB4J— NBA (@NBA) October 31, 2017
I get it — it’s way, way, way, way too early to talk about MVPs. But Porzingis is entering MVP candidate territory. His numbers this season have been just as impressive as anyone’s across the league, including Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Knicks will have to win, and that’s asking for a lot. But Porzingis can lead them to victories like he did tonight. And if he does, there’s no way you can keep him out of the MVP conversation.
Andrew Wiggins caught someone else slippin’
WATCH. OUT. Y’ALL. I’M NOT GOING TO KEEP SAYING IT:
.@22wiggins with a monster that will haunt your dreams! pic.twitter.com/cxCPZMwYDg— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 31, 2017
On Halloween Eve, too? Wiggins is a monster, and Josh Richardson was his latest victim. He is taking no prisoners. Only jump if you want to get caught in a poster.
And more importantly for the Timberwolves, the team is winning while Wiggins is catching bodies. With a victory over the Heat, the Wolves have won two straight games and are sitting at 4-3 in the Western Conference through seven games.
The young pups are finally maturing and closing out difficult games — they withstood a 14-point fourth quarter from Dion Waiters last night. The Wolves are winning, and Wiggins is making it fun to watch.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ shoe game is on 1,000
Speaking of the Wolves, Towns is winning with these Friday the 13th-inspired 2017 Hyperdunks:
Karl-Anthony Towns is in the Halloween spirit with this 2017 Hyperdunk! pic.twitter.com/ozQnglte3R— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) October 31, 2017
Simply put: Those are fire. The detail in the shoe is crazy. It looks like there are blood stains splattered across the shoe from Jason Voorhees’ weapon. I have no clue what you’d call that colorway, but it’s straight up eerie. These are a 10 out of 10. It’s a custom make, though, so you probably aren’t going to see these in stores anywhere.
The Trail Blazers scored only six points in the second quarter against the Raptors
And their first field goal didn’t come until five seconds left in the quarter! This isn’t a joke — it really happened. See!
Alright, let's check out some scores for the WAIT WHAT!?!?!? pic.twitter.com/uDTFWoygNu— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) October 31, 2017
It’s hard to keep teams from scoring in the NBA, but when you have the combination of a team playing incredible defense plus a team having an off night, this is what you get. The Blazers shot 1-of-17 in the quarter and didn’t hit until Evan Turner made a reverse layup with 5.6 seconds left.
The Raptors should feel great about locking up the Trail Blazers like that, but Blazers fans shouldn’t worry. This probably isn’t going to happen again — think of it as the absolute worst-case scenario. Portland’s guards are way too good for this to be anything but an anomaly.
The 76ers beat the Rockets for the first time since 2013
The last time the Sixers won in Houston, Tony Wroten had a triple-double, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes were on the team, and “the process” was hardly an embryo.
Tonight? They’re a much better team with two legitimate superstars in their midst. The only thing holding them back is their health. Eric Gordon hit a late three pointer to beat the 76ers a few days ago, but nothing was going to stop Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid from getting this win tonight. The duo combined for 46 points, 14 assists, and 17 rebounds in the 115-107 win. Simmons even pulled out his jumper a few times tonight, which means the Rockets really stood no chance:
Probably the most comfortable I've ever seen Ben Simmons look on a jumper. This is real progress. pic.twitter.com/XOnIMim2yZ— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 31, 2017
Ben Simmons made three jumpers (16,' 17') against the Rockets. He'd shot 0-2 in the 16-24' range from the hoop before this game.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) October 31, 2017
Oh, and Embiid? He’s just putting up numbers that no one has seen since Pau Gasol played in his prime:
Joel Embiid is only the third player since '83-84 to score 22pt, 9reb, 5ast, 2stl in 25 min or less. Fat Lever and Pau Gasol did it too.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) October 31, 2017
These two are impossible. Good luck with your future overlords, NBA.
Oh, and don’t look now, but...
The 76ers have the same record as the Cavaliers.
The Warriors are just fine
The Clippers had the highest net rating in the league through six games and the lowest defensive rating in the league of 92.8.
The Warriors made light work of them. They hung up 141 on the Clippers like they normally do despite the talk of maybe a competitive matchup this go-round. Instead, the Clippers lost their 11th straight game to the Warriors, and it just looked like more of the same.
We got the same wild buzzer beaters we’re accustomed to from Stephen Curry:
We got a crazy dunk from Jordan Bell:
And overall, we just got a straight up embarrassing performance from the Clippers again. No matter what they try, they just don’t have an answer for Curry and this super team.
They shouldn’t feel too bad, though. Neither does the rest of the league.
Boston 108, San Antonio 94
Minnesota 125, Miami 122
New York 116, Denver 110
Philadelphia 115, Houston 107
Charlotte 104, Memphis 99
Orlando 115, New Orleans 99
Utah 104, Dallas 89
Toronto 99, Portland 85
Golden State 141, Los Angeles Clippers 113