A.D. BACKTRACKS: On Monday evening, Anthony Davis, speaking at an event for kids in his hometown of Chicago, raised some eyebrows when he said that there was nothing like playing at home, and that, because he’s a free agent next summer, someday playing at home could be a possibility. Well, on Tuesday, Davis walked those comments back.
Davis told collected media prior to L.A.’s game with the Bulls that his main focus right now is on winning a championship with the Lakers and, as far as his free agency, “we’ll see where it goes.” He also stated that he never said he considered going to Chicago next summer. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst further threw water on the smoke, reporting that no one in the NBA thinks Davis is going anywhere next summer, and that Davis is where he wants to be and is happy.
Unfortunate news for Chicago and for the rest of the league at large, as the Lakers just won their sixth game in a row (their longest win streak since 2010-11), and look to be building something special behind Davis and superstar teammate LeBron James.
WAITERS ISLAND STILL CLOSED: The strange situation between Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat continues, as Waiters, no longer suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, remained inactive on Tuesday night for Miami’s game against the Nuggets. Head coach Erik Spoelstra called things between the mercurial 2-guard and the team “fluid,” and said that he and Waiters talked prior to the game. Let’s not forget that prior to the suspension, Waiters went on Instagram and pretty much insinuated the only reason Spoelstra has ever won a title was thanks to coaching a team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on it, so it makes sense why the team wasn’t happy with him.
Regardless, Miami dropped Tuesday night’s contest to Denver 109-89 and shot under 37 percent for the game, so Waiters might get his shot to contribute soon enough anyway. The Heat better hope Waiters can contribute, at least, considering he’s owed $24.8 million over the next two years and won’t have any market whatsoever for a trade.
VOOCH IN A FUNK: It was another rough night for 2018-19 All-Star Nikola Vucevic, who scored 10 points but went 4-of-15 from the floor and 0-for-3 from three. The Magic, now 2-5, desperately need Vucevic to break out of his funk, because they don’t have enough offense to make the playoffs without him.
😬 Vucevic is now shooting 40.7 percent from the floor for the season, and a paltry 19.2 percent from three. Oh, and this is the season immediately after the Magic made him the 24th-highest paid player in the league, so… that’s not great. To his credit, Vucevic is putting a lot of pressure on himself to snap out of it, as he talked about after the game.
HAYWARD GOES OFF: Last night, Gordon Hayward had arguably his best performance since the unfortunate injury two years ago, tying a regular-season career-high 39 points on 17-for-20 shooting while chipping in seven rebounds and eight assists, as well. According to StateMuse’s Justin Kubatko, Hayward went 16-for-16 on two-point baskets, making him the first player with that many two-point makes without a miss since Wilt Chamberlain, who did it back in 1967. That’s a crazy stat.
GM PREACHES PATIENCE: The usually-outspoken Daryl Morey has been quiet this season (for obvious reasons), but he recently granted Sports Illustrated an interview where he preached patience for the Rockets’ struggling super-duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
BIG SIGNING STRUGGLING: Julius Randle hasn’t held up his end of the bargain with the Knicks this season, averaging 13.4 points nightly (down from 21.4 last season) and shooting 41.8 percent from the floor, the worst mark of his career. Randle is recently talked about needing to figure it out.
HOT START CREDITED TO FORMER COACH: Brandon Ingram is off to the best start of his career, and it’s not even close. On Tuesday, he gave some of the credit to his former coach, Luke Walton, for his emergence.
BIG MAN WANTS THE BALL: The Jazz are off to a disappointing start this season, particularly on the offensive end, where they rank 25th in efficiency after finishing 2018-19 at 14th. Rudy Gobert thinks part of the problem is that he’s not getting the ball enough.
EARLY MVP RANKINGS: Most teams have played at least seven games thus far in 2019-20, meaning, naturally, it’s time to start sorting out early MVP rankings. We voted and broke down our Top 10 rankings for the prestigious award here.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL BEGINS: College basketball kicked off on Tuesday. From an NBA perspective, the most pertinent news of the night was that consensus No. 2 overall prospect for the 2020 draft, Memphis big man James Wiseman, went off for 28 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks against South Carolina State.
RUBIO OPENS UP: For the Players’ Tribune, Ricky Rubio penned a beautiful-but-heartbreaking piece about his mother, who passed away from cancer a few summers ago.
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