Jimmy Butler offered baskets to every teammate20 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
The 30-year-old didn't want his teammates to remain rusty... So he gifted them baskets
It was an emotional night at Staples Center yesterday. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George finally took the court together in a much awaited reunion against the surprising Boston Celtics.
In their fourth game of a road trip, the Celtics had everything going against them. Tired legs from their previous encounters with mostly playoff teams, facing for the first time Leonard and George together and the absence of one of their key players in Gordon Hayward. However, as it is known in Brad Stevens teams, they usually never quit and are always prepared for the big time games.
Patrick Beverley was the X-factor in this matchup. His defense is astonishing as everyone knows, but it was the other side of the ball that made a big impact in Boston’s defensive strategy. Having on the court Lou Williams, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the same time is a very hard challenge to the opposing teams, even to the Celtics, who rank in the top 10 in defensive rating on the league. He made them pay from the 3-point line as he was the odd man open every time they wanted to take the ball out of the hands of the Clippers superstars. He finished the game with an impressive statline of 16 points (with 4 three-pointers!) to go along 16 rebounds and 7 assists. It’s safe to say that the Clippers only go as far as Patrick Beverley takes them.
The other notable player of this game was Jayson Tatum. On what was a terrible night shooting-wise for Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, it’s impressive how Brad Stevens’ team was able to stay competitive and actually coming close to win it at Staples. He made the game-tie three-pointer with a nasty crossover on Paul George, finishing with 30 points on 12/24 shooting from the floor. With the 2nd best record in the league, Boston is showing the league that they actually benefited from Kyrie Irving’s departure, with the addition of a more oriented system superstar in Kemba Walker. Last year was a fluke, and the visible step up in level of players like Jaylen Brown and Tatum might bring a smile to all Boston fans in hopes of a deep playoff run.
Luka Doncic is must-watch TV. He just doesn’t fail on delivering performance after performance, night in night out. He was the 2nd player in NBA history along Allen Iverson to have more points, rebounds and assists than the opposing team in a quarter, as he finished with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in the first twelve minutes.
It was expected a very easy game for the home team, but Dallas made it even easier. They already led by 28 points at the end of the 1st quarter, and never looked back. One can argue that this Golden State team is not the same as the past few years, rightfully so, however, you would expect more effort coming from players who are having their first and maybe only chance of making it in the league. They’ll be one of the main contenders for the number one draft position in June if their form continues like this, and the addition of James Wiseman with the likes of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson could very well create another dynasty for years to come, a thought that must be present inside the Warriors organization. Reports coming out suggest that they seem to have no rush of including Curry and Thompson to the squad even when healthy, propelling them to a “tanking season” after reaching 5 consecutive NBA finals.
The Mavericks with a healthy Porzingis are about as dangerous as they can get, collecting win after win, while at the same time giving time for their young prospects to develop. With a strong record at home, it’s very probable that they end up in the playoff mix late in the season, and no team is looking forward to face the pair Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis on a best to seven series. It’s not known yet if Mark Cuban will try to attack the buyout market in January, or if he’ll opt to improve the roster with any kind of trade, however, look out for this young Mavericks team as they can give fits to any other contender this year.
?? Youngest player in @NBAHistory to record back-to-back 35-point triple-doubles— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) November 21, 2019
?? First player in @NBAHistory to record a 35-point triple-double in 25 or less minutes played
Luka Doncic makes history en route to #SAPStatLineOfTheNight. pic.twitter.com/MMKctwLUe7
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