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Lillard Guns Down Jazz, Same Old Russ, Welcome Back Jabari

lillard celebrates

Shot of the Night

Bradley Beal Deals the Spurs a bad hand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRAaZHpfdg4

The Former Florida Gator finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assist and 3 steals

What’s Wrong With This Picture??

A New OKC Thunder?? With new coach Billy Donovan?? Perhaps NOT., not yet anyway.  Here’s very recent proof! 4th quarter Wednesday night, Thunder leading unbeaten Toronto by 10 but the Raptors rally to win it in the OKC. Key Stat? Russell Westbrook (you know where I’m going, don’t you!?) lit up Toronto, most of the night. “TheWicked West” scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, also dished out 16 assists but apparently very few in the 4th quarter when the electric point guard did what Russ does. Try to take the game over and basically ignore the second best player on earth Kevin Durant. Westbrook went 1 for 8 in the 4th, KD 1 for 2!  Wow, “The Wicked West” takes 4 times the number of shots Durant takes in a decisive 4th quarter.  If that stuff continues into the Donovan regime, THAT could be KD’s exit strategy to Washington or LA.  Stay tuned, watch the Thunder 4th quarter trends! AND while Westbrook dimed out 16 assists he also had 8 of OKC’s 19 turnovers.  That’s unacceptable for one of the league’s best PG’s.

Here’s the visual proof that happened, from the Raptors point of view.  Toronto scores 90 points over the  games’ final 3 quarters.

OKC’s “Under (the radar) Kanter. Averaging only 20 minutes a game, Enes averaging nearly 12 points and 10 rebounds, PER over 22! Backstory? Jazz reportedly offered Kanter 4 years and right around the 4 years/$49 Mill they offered Derek Favors, Kanter’s camp laughed at that, turned down the Jazz extension offer, got himself traded to OKC.  A perfect landing spot for Kanter and his offensive talents (plays less than NO D) this past summer, as a free agent Kanter got a 4 year $70 million deal with the Thunder, 4th year is Kanter’s option at $18.6 mill.  Hmmm let me see, Jazz offer Kanter 4-$49-ish, but he signs with (far better team with superstar players and new coach is Billy Donovan!) Oklahoma City for 4-$70!  I’d say Kanter and company won that.  Not that the Jazz didn’t rid themselves of an obvious cancer but part of Kanter’s cancer was about the Jazz vastly undervaluing him in today’s NBA world!

WELCOME BACK JABARI!

Less than a year after tearing his ACL, costing him maybe the NBA Rookie of the Year honor, Jabari Parker’s back.  His work with Australian attorney and exercise/rehab guru Suki Hobson is the stuff of legends and the proof’s in his performance going forward.

So far, so good!  Last night in Milwaukee the Bucks got better when they got Jabari back.

Parker started, played 16 minutes, missed 5 of his 6 shots, finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds but Parker’s back, the Bucks WILL be better.  We’ll all watch and appreciate Parker’s recovery and return to his status as one of the NBA’s best young players!

SIGNS OF TROUBLE? Probably not

Jazz lost their home opener at the newly re-named Vivint Smart Home Arena.  Quin Snyder’s team came out surprisingly flat for a season home opener.  Then they watched local hero, former Weber State star Damian Lillard go OFF. 35 points.

Lillard’s backcourt mate C.J. McCollum was awesome too. 10-13 shooting. Jazz couldn’t guard him either, he finished with 27. Bucks 3-2, Jazz 2-2 now.

Here’s what it looked like.