NBA Fast Break: Jeff Green Humbles Miami, Kyrie’s Game Winner & Anthony Davis’ Big Night

LeBron James said after Miami’s 111-110 loss to Boston, “We messed with the game tonight and it got us back.” That’s about as accurate a statement as one is going to find. Dwyane Wade’s two missed free throws – the second of which he missed intentionally and never hit the rim – was Miami’s last straw screwing with karma. The very next play Uncle Jeff Green pulled his best Ray Allen impression hoisting a three over Bron that dropped Miami to 4-3; two of its losses coming to perceived doormats Philly and Boston. Quite the impressive night for Green, too, considering he put Shane Battier on a poster earlier that same game.

I said it before. I’ll say it again. Complacency – especially with games this early in the schedule – will be Miami’s toughest opponent.

— Meanwhile, the Pacers improved to 7-0 following a 96-91 road win over Brooklyn. Paul George led all scorers with 24 while David West added 18 and Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert dropped 15. It doesn’t take a Stanford law degree to conclude the Pacers are obviously playing the best basketball in the infant stages of the season. Now I’m beginning to wonder if parallels to the 1992-93 Knicks are more valid than previously expected. Both are defensive minded teams capable of putting anyone in the NBA in straitjacket, lost hard fought seven game series against the eventual champs the previous postseason and led by animated coaches whom their players would run through a brick wall for. I’ll revisit this topic later in the season.

— Here’s the beautiful, hilarious and annoying thing in today’s world, especially on the instant analysis cesspit known as Twitter. If a player misses one clutch shot in a game, it’s perfectly okay to attack his character to reinforce your point he’s not good. So when Kyrie missed two, allowing the Cavs’ game versus the Sixers to matriculate into double overtime, Kryie was suddenly becoming the second coming of Randy Brown before our eyes. An over-exaggeration, perhaps, but what wasn’t was the battle he and Michael Carter-Williams had. MCW finished with 21 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds while Uncle Drew logged a massive 39 points, 12 assists and five rebounds. And the game-winning bucket for good measure.

— All of Memphis’ starters were in double digits as the familiar duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for 41 points, 18 rebounds and six assists. In the wildest stat of the day, the 108-90 victory makes the Grizzlies tenth in a row over Golden State who fell to 4-3 after the loss. Aside from Andre Iguodala (8-10), no Warrior shot particularly well as Curry’s first game back from a bruised ankle saw him miss 11 of his 18 shots and Klay Thompson 5-13. On a semi-related note, it’s still weird seeing Mike Miller in another uniform. Miss you, Mike. **dramatic wall slide**

— Well, the Kings still suck. After starting the season with a win versus Denver, Sacramento has dropped five straight including last night’s 96-85 L to Portland. Damian Lillard had one of the worst games of his young career going 1-15 from the field, but LaMarcus Aldridge’s 22 points and 14 rebounds paced the Blazers pretty much all night. On the other side, Boogie Cousins finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds while the rest of the Kings starting line up only mustered 14 points…combined.

— Believe it or not, Atlanta vs. Orlando was actually a pretty good game until the Hawks ran away with it at the end. A balanced attack helped Atlanta improve to 3-3 on the season headlined by Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap’s 19 points and 13 assists and 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks, respectively. Orlando has a nice stable of talent, likely only missing a superstar caliber wing player from being one of the better young squads in the league. It’s great that you’re competitive Orlando, but don’t forget the end goal here – a lottery pick. The worst thing that could happen is screwing around and winning 30 games on accident.

— This happened Friday night, but deserves recognition nonetheless. Not only is Anthony Davis playing at an All-Star level through the first six games, he’s playing MVP-caliber basketball. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, no, this isn’t saying he’s going to be the MVP. But check his averages thus far: 23 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 2.0 steals, 47.1% FG, 87.5% FT. On Friday, the 20-year-old second year man out of Kentucky had a career night versus the Lakers posting 32-12-6 blocks. A.D.’s playing so well I’ll Men In Black-memory zap myself after seeing a rather peculiar Vine of him that made its rounds on Twitter yesterday. At least I hope I can.