Weekly NBA Wrap: 26 August 2020
Only 13 teams remain in the championship hunt! The brooms came out and Philadelphia, Indiana and Brooklyn were swept in the first round of the playoffs. This week has been jam-packed with news stories from inside and outside the bubble including a buzzer-beater, another coach getting the sack and the NBA Draft Lottery.
Here’s your Weekly NBA Wrap.
More Luka Magic
The series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers looks like it could potentially go to seven games. After appearing to injure his ankle in game three, Luka Doncic came out in the following game and absolutely dominated. While his partner in crime Kristaps Porzingas was out injured, Luka put up 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists. Oh yeah, he also hit one of the best playoff buzzer-beaters you will ever see.
Luka Doncic and Michael Jordan are the only players in NBA playoff history to score over 40 points and hit a buzzer-beater in the same game. It is crazy to think how much time Luka has to break even more records, given he is only 21 years of age. The NBA community jumped on social media to share their thoughts on the Mavs superstar.
Minnesota Secures The Number One Pick
Given the playoffs are making headlines, most would be excused for not even realising we had the NBA draft lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves landed the number one pick in a draft set to feature future stars like Anthony Edwards and Lamelo Ball. The Golden State Warriors landed the number two pick and it was the same old story for the New York Knicks. The Knicks had a 37.2% chance of landing a pick in the top four and ended up with pick number…...eight!
To add salt to the wound for suffering Knicks fans, the last time New York actually improved on their pre-draft positioning was 35 years ago.
Happy Birthday, Kobe
Although it has been seven months since the passing of Kobe Bryant, his legacy still lives on. This week marked what would have been Kobe’s 42nd birthday and Nike celebrated by releasing a tribute video narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar. The Lakers paid tribute to the Lakers superstar by playing a near faultless game against the Portland Trailblazers. Amazingly, the Lakers had a 24-8 lead in the first quarter of the game. 24 and 8 are the two numbers that Kobe famously wore for the Lakers.
"When I looked up and saw we were up 24-8, I was like, okay, he's here in the building," James said. "It’s a beautiful, beautiful night for our franchise and something we will always remember - this moment.”
And the winner is….Giannis Antetokounmpo
The results are in and Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY). He beat out fellow contenders Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert for the title. It is a fantastic achievement for Giannis, given he also won the MVP last year. He now joins rare company including Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, to have won both an MVP and DPOY award.
Based on the voting, he was a clear winner.
However, there is always some interesting voting when it comes to DPOY. Surprising many (including the players), Andre Drummond received a 1st place vote, Hassan Whiteside got a 2nd place vote and Jarrett Allen landed a vote.
Alright Lebron, It’s Your Ball
One of the light-hearted moments of the last week came when Lebron made a scene on the sidelines during a game against Portland. The video shows Lebron on the bench go from calm to super hyped up when he realised it was his team's ball after a play by Damian Lillard. It escalates pretty quickly!
Lebron posted the clip on twitter soon after the video surfaced.
Good to see superstars also have a sense of humour.