Only Built 4 NBA Linx
“Basketball Never Sleeps.” - Me
With the 2016-2017 season rolling to the 10 game mark, we can stop chalking up oddities to randomness, and start paying attention to shit like the Bucks Giannis Alphabet doing his best Bron impersonation to the tune of 21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals every damn time he steps on the court. Like James Harden and Russell Westbrook and a cruise control LeBron within whiskers of averaging a triple double.
There's so much to see and read around the Internet, it's impossible to catch it all. Basketball never sleeps, but you do.
I'm here to help. I'll be dropping some of the best around (or the ones I can find quickly because lazy) here for your perusal and viewing pleasure.
- *SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT* Listen to me hop on Chris Axmann’s “Almighty Ballin” podcast and almost lose it. Did I cuss him out? Listen to find out!
- It's good to be The King. On Saturday, at 31, LeBron James became the youngest player to score 27,000 points, just one more block in his rock solid bid to take the title of G.O.A.T. from His Airness. Bron also passed the The Dream Olajuwon for 10th all time in scoring, one hell of a feat for the a player known for his all around game and passing. Fun fact: Allen Iverson. Karl Malone. Dirk Nowitzki. George Gervin. Great scorers. LeBron Raymone James has a higher career scoring average than them all.
Another fun fact, from Moke Hamilton's dive into what could be Bron's historical ceiling: quietly, with little fanfare, King James is poised to usurp The Captain. Can LeBron take on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all time scoring record? It's not as crazy as it sounds.
- When Kareem ruled the land, big men roamed in droves. Through the ‘90s, Hall Of Famers like David Robinson and Hakeem went to war in the paint, Patrick Ewing lorded over the East. Even with Jordan dominating, tomany, the NBA was always, and will always be, a big man's league. Fast forward to now. Where have all the big men gone? They never left, they've just evolved. Kevin O'Connor looks at four of the “modern day” centers and what they bring to both sides of the ball.
- “Okafor looks like a gargoyle who just turned to stone as the sun came up”
At the other end of the evolutionary spectrum, maybe call it the primordial swill, is the tale of Jahlil Okafor, the Center that Time Forgot. You can almost feel the frustration seeping outta Shamus Clancy's pores as he breaks down how maddening it is to see Jahlil “Olé” Okafor mosey around all chill on defense.
- Incidentally, on defense is where this year's Clippers’ team is shining. Who's the key to LAC’s stifling ways? Duncan Smith breaks down how Lob City became Lock City (my bad, couldn't resist)
- And while the Clippers defense did Lillard dirty in Los Angeles’ 31 point curb stomp of the Blazers, Dame is back to being flames. He's averaging 34 a night and has drained 8 of 17 threes in his last 2 games. Lillard is off to the best start of his career, and Ian Levy says it's not that wet jumper that's making life hell for defenses - Dame has become elite at getting to and finishing at the rim.
Seriously, look. It may be time to elevate Dame out of that “2nd Tier” if he can keep scoring like this.
- Throwback Monday: this piece from Zach Lowe on the value of the volume shooter never was more true than now. I get it, man. The NBA is a multi-billion dollar industry, and to win a ring, every advantage can be the difference maker, no matter how small. But this modern obsession with reaching peak efficiency is forgetting something: the human element, the swagger a team like Toronto gets when DeMar DeRozan just goes into Murder Mode. Chuckers have value, he talks about it here. Listen to Zach.
Bottom line, we want max efficiency, but barring max efficiency, you can't always just “reallocate resource” to other players. When we say “Let Westbrook be Westbrook”, we understand that we're embracing chaos. Join us.
[Note: no clue how Byron Mullens and Bargs made it on that Lowe list.]