The Warriors making history! Coaches shouldn’t be slapping the basketball, or touching refs! Tim Duncan recording a career first! Kristaps Porzingis is now officially a golden God! Let’s recap the week that was in the NBA, and have a little fun, shall we?
Sweet Sixteen And 0
In the end, all Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors had to do was beat the lowly Los Angeles Lakers to go 16-0 and make NBA history for the best start to a season. It feels a little anti-climactic, to be honest, like a video game with a final boss that takes just three easy hits to defeat. That’s not to diminish the Warriors’ achievement, but it was basically a foregone conclusion that they’d go 16-0. We long for drama in sports, and there’s no drama or suspense in a Warriors-Lakers matchup. Had a more formidable team like the Spurs or Thunder been the final obstacle to history, that would have been compelling.
Regardless, the Warriors are 16-0, blasting their way through the league without seeming the least bit tired or bored. Can they go 33-0, matching the 1971-72 Lakers for longest winning streak in league history? It certainly looks that way, as they’re about to hit a fairly easy part of their schedule that features the Nets, Pacers, Kings and Bucks (twice). The Suns, Jazz and Raptors could be trap opponents, but the Warriors are clicking at such an unfathomable level that it’s hard to think any of those teams will disturb their otherworldly rhythm.
Slaptastic Jason Kidd
It’s been a weird and probably stressful week for the NBA’s referees. Last Saturday, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was tossed from the game after he bumped into a referee while arguing a foul call. Though Budenholzer was fined for his ejection, he wasn’t suspended, much to the ire of the referees union.
Except, whereas Budenholzer’s bump could be misconstrued, there was no mistaking Jason Kidd’s intentions when he slapped the ball out of Zach Zarba’s hands Wednesday night. Zarba ejected Kidd from the game, and the NBA suspended Kidd one game for his actions. Of course, this isn’t the first time Kidd’s employed unorthodox antics to try and get his way, but slapping the ball out of an official’s hands is much less innocent than having your own player run into you and spill your drink on the court.
If there were any lingering doubts as to whether Kristaps Porzingis can play in this league, they are now firmly buried so deep that they’re burning because they’re touching the Earth’s core. 24/17/7 isn’t just good for a rookie, it’s astounding for any player. He’s changed the entire course of the Knicks franchise, making it so that the team doesn’t have to trade Carmelo Anthony and doesn’t have to go through an arduous, Sixers-style rebuild.
Board In The USA
Against the Pelicans last Friday, Tim Duncan did something he’s never done before in over 1,300 career games: he failed to grab a single rebound. Think about that for a second. Presidents have come and gone, regimes have fallen, economies have plummeted and recovered; all of these things happened before Tim Duncan failed to snag a rebound in a professional basketball game.
On Saturday in a 108-88 win over the Hawks, Duncan had 18 boards, 10 points, four assists, two blocks and a steal in under 30 minutes. Crazy sh*t just happens sometimes.
“I Would Walk 500 Miles”
Seriously, Carmelo Anthony could have walked 500 miles before the ref was going to whistle him for traveling.