This season has been absolutely crazy, especially in the Western Conference. Let’s run some of the ridiculous storylines, using the bullet points, the Lazy Man’s Best Friend (h/t Xiane):
- The Warriors went down to only two All-Stars (gasp!) and struggled. They would have to win out to get to 73 wins.
- The Los Angeles Lakers lost quite a few early, but are suddenly sitting in the fifth spot in the West. But they lost to Orlando twice.
- The Denver Nuggets have looked mediocre at times and positively unbeatable during others.
- J.B. Bickerstaff might be a good coach now?
- The Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans opened the season as two of the top teams. One week in, we were saying that Anthony Davis had finally taken The Leap and that Portland’s team continuity was taking them places. They’re a combined 8-12 over their last 20.
- DeAndre Jordan is making free throws. 77%. Yes, seriously.
- The Kings are doing really well with their youth and are one of the funnest teams to watch, yet the organization is upset with Dave Joerger for playing the kids instead of the proven vets, like...Iman Shumpert, I guess?
- The San Antonio Spurs are below .500. I don’t care that Kawhi is gone or that they’re injured. For years I was sure that Pop could take the group of age 40+ guys I play with on Tuesdays to the playoffs. That the Spurs are struggling is news.
- The Houston Rockets offered four first round picks in a trade.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves turned down four first round picks.
- The Utah Jazz are not good. They were supposed to be a top 4 team this year. They still might be, but it’s not looking likely.
- Phoenix has a total of four wins; they are against the Spurs, Mavs, Grizzlies, and Bucks. Since that makes sense.
But the nuttiest, craziest fact so far this year?
Derrick Rose is shooting 49.4% from deep. Yes, 49.4%. I checked five times on three different sites. It’s real. And he’s shooting better than any guard in the West. Better than all those guys in Oakland.
Rose is one of the feel-good stories of the year. He dropped 50 in a game earlier this year and with Jimmy Butler gone to the Sixers, he’s getting more of the ball in Minnesota.
Karl-Anthony Towns can still put up monster stat lines, but the Rockets have used a combination of Clint Capela and attacking him at the rim to frustrate the star big man. Andrew Wiggins is still an average talent in an elite body. Dario Saric and Robert Covington are now Wolves via the Butler trade, and Covington is now playing 38+ minutes every other night, as is Thibs’s custom.
But the only guy I really have beef with in Minnesota is Tyus Jones. Because this is unacceptable.
For this transgression, I hope Houston wins by 50. But I expect Minnesota to come out ready to go in this first round rematch from April.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT