Armchair GM is a new regular series on Ballers.PH that will focus on some of the top action that’s happened in the NBA. We hope you enjoy our inaugural edition!
Victor Wembanyama finally got his welcome to the NBA moment
Every rookie has a ‘welcome to the NBA’ moment that they never forget. That moment likely just came for number one pick, French phenom Victor Wembanyama. The game in question was between the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers, which saw the Spurs lose 152-111.
Things went wrong from almost from the very beginning, as the Spurs never held a lead and watched the Pacers take the advantage for good with 9:50 left in the first quarter.
It was a humbling lesson for Wembanyama, who struggled to get his 13 points, 10 rebounds, one steal and two blocks through a 3 of 12 performance from the field. Wembanyama even saw a dunk attempt blocked by Pacers backup center Isaiah Jackson in what will probably be one of the year’s top defensive highlights.
That’s going to sting for the Frenchman and his teammates, who have now dropped two in a row and fallen to 3-4 for the season. I’m pretty sure Wembanyama will bounce back well, though, as he’s shown some remarkable poise in his young NBA career so far.
Tyrese Haliburton looked good for the Pacers in the victory with 23 points and eight assists, while Myles Turner also had a nice double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Cam Thomas gave the Bucks the business
The Milwaukee Bucks may have walked away with a 129-125 victory against the Brooklyn Nets, but respect has to be shown to Cam Thomas, who showed that his three-straight games of 40+ points last season wasn’t a fluke.
Thomas dropped 45 points on the Bucks, and was not fucking around. He even hit a logo jumper over Damian Lillard, someone who’s a little familiar with hitting from that range.
Mikal Bridges had a solid game as well, with 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and a block.
Giannis Antetokounmpo would not be denied either, though. He had 36 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in the narrow victory. That was enough to help overcome a rough shooting night from Lillard, who went 5 of 15 while finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, seven assists and a steal.
Anthony Davis is hurt… again
In what seems to be the yearly edition of ‘What happened to Anthony Davis this time?!’, the Lakers had to watch Davis leave the game for good with 10:01 left in the third quarter due to hip spasms.
It was bitter news for the Lakers, whose hopes for contention rely on Davis and LeBron James both staying healthy. Fans will undoubtedly be upset again.
To double the pain, the Lakers also lost the game against Miami by just a single point with a final scoreline of 108-107.
Do the Kings suck again?
The Sacramento Kings became the darlings of the NBA last season with their special run to their first playoff berth in 17 years and then their epic seven-game series with the then-defending champion Golden State Warriors.
However, with a little bit of success comes more expectations, which is why some Kings fans are now worried after seeing their front office stand pat with their roster even as the rest of the Western Conference loaded up on talent.
The Kings have lost three in a row now, with one of them being acceptable due to a Klay Thompson jumper with 0.2 seconds left sinking them at Chase Center. What’s inexcusable, though, are two beatdowns against the Houston Rockets. They lost that pair of contests by 28 and 35 points respectively. While they may be missing star De’Aaron Fox, who hurt his ankle in an overtime win against the Lakers last week, they looked completely lost against the Rockets in both games. Their vaunted offense grinded to a halt, with too many forced shots and very little of the ball movement that made them so hard to stop last season.
Good lord, the Nuggets can still turn it on when needed
I first tuned into the game between the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans at the start of the second half. Things looked a little grim for the defending champions then, with the Pelicans grabbing a 13-point lead early in the first half.
To their credit, the Nuggets then showed why they ran roughshod over their opponents in the playoffs last season. From the point where the score was 74-61 in favor of the Pelicans, the Nuggets turned it up on defense and finished the game outscoring their opponents 73-42.
Nikola Jokic had his customary triple-double with 35 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists, a steal and a block with only two turnovers. He moved to fourth in the all-time list of triple doubles with the performance, trailing only Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. The man is just a goddamn cheat code at this point.
His mere presence elevates his teammates, and they feed off him.
Anthony Edwards is ready to take the next step
While one NBA Anthony can’t seem to stay healthy, as mentioned earlier, another one is quickly making his way to the NBA’s elite. Anthony Edwards helped the Minnesota Timberwolves take a 114-109 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics by outdueling Jayson Tatum.
Edwards had 38 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a steal. It was barely enough to overcome Tatum’s 32 points, five rebounds, two assists and five steals. Edwards also played some pretty good defense on Tatum.
Shoutout goes to Karl-Anthony Towns, the self-proclaimed best shooting big on the planet, who finished with seven points, 10 rebounds, three assists and seven turnovers while shooting 3 of 10 from the field and 1 o 7 from beyond the arc – which honestly should have been enough to lose Minnesota the game, considering that Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 56 points for Boston.