While the Celtics were breaking out of their offensive funk in a big way, there were 18 other NBA teams playing games. Here are the 7 things you should know and my 2 weekend thoughts:
2016 DRAFT PICK WATCH
1. Had you asked me 24 hours ago who the Nets need to beat in order to avoid going 0-82, I would have said the Lakers and 76ers, especially when playing them at home. Well, Brooklyn played their home game versus Los Angeles last night. And they got bad Kobe (is there a good anymore?) too! Bryant scored 18 points on 5-16 shooting and 7 made free throws, with 3 assists and 3 turnovers. But wait, that is not it, as they also got poor performances from both Nick Young and Lou Williams, who went a combined 5-18 from the field.
To sum up: the winless Nets had their second easiest game of the year at home against the Lakers, whose top three scorers went a combined 10 of 34 from the field and still lost 104-98. I have nothing further. The Celtics own the Nets 2016 first-round draft pick.
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS WATCH
2. The Knicks lost a tough home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are now on a three-game winning streak as they head into tonight's home game against the Nets. New York is now 2-4.
3. As referenced above, Brooklyn fell to the previously winless Lakers. They have lost their six games by an average of 13.2 points per game, which is good for worst in the league. The Nets are now 0-6.
4. The 76ers kept pace with Brooklyn last night as they remained winless following a road loss to the Cavaliers. The 76ers are now 0-5.
5. The Raptors are no longer undefeated as they were defeated in Orlando 92-87. Toronto is now 5-1.
6. The Celtics defeated the Wizards 118-98. Boston is now 2-3.
FORMER CELTIC WATCH
7. Rajon Rondo played well last night in the Kings home loss to the Rockets 116-110, but was on the bench in the fourth quarter because he no longer makes the players around him better. Yes, Rondo finished with a line of 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 4 turnovers, but Sacramento was minus-18 with him on the floor and plus-12 with him on the bench.
SATURDAY'S THOUGHTS ON FRIDAY NIGHT
How much more of this can the basketball-proud city of Philadelphia take? What about ownership, who must be bleeding money or at least bleeding potential profits? How long are they going to let Sam Hinkie use asset-building as an excuse for losing nearly every game, every season?
I hope other GMs are watching and considering the strategy as well because what Hinkie is doing, while keeping his job longer than most GMs who produce more wins than losses, is something I am going to tell my future kids about one day.
Name me another GM who has kept their job after not one, not two, but THREE not just losing seasons, BUT seasons in which you are not only the worst team in the NBA, BUT WORST IN NBA HISTORY. And it has been all in the name of asset-building, tanking and high draft picks. What has three years of that produced?
A 2013 draft pick who looks good (Nerlens Noel), two 2014 lottery picks who have yet to play a single minute in the NBA (Joel Embiid, Dario Saric), and a 2015 pick who looks great (Jahlil Okafor). The rest of the roster? It is possible one of them would break the Celtics rotation, which is the most inclusive in all of the NBA! And they have now started year four of this "genius project" worse off than year one and year two and on pace with year three:
76ers record through 5 games during the Sam Hinkie Era:
As Jalen Rose would say: Keep cashin' them checks, Sam Hinkie.
The Orlando Magic are easily the best under .500 team in the NBA (2-4). Just look at how difficult their schedule has been and the closeness of their losses:
Washington L 88-87
Oklahoma City L (2OT) 139-136
@ Chicago L 92-87
@ New Orleans W 103-94
@ Houston L (OT) 119-114
Toronto W 92-87
Early proclamation: they are one of the eight best teams in the Eastern Conference. Hands down.
Is this controversial >>> my NBA Future Power Rankings: 1. Boston.....2. Orlando....?
Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz Max Sandgrund 11/07/2015 12:08:00 PM Tweet Edit