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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 09 November 2019 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Siakam is off to a great start.  VanVleet and Anunoby too.  Unfortunately, Gasol is slowing and Toronto has little margin without Lowry (fractured thumb) and/or Ibaka ("bad" ankle sprain). 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 November 2019 at 2:01am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

After having a great resurgence to start the season and perhaps his best night as a pro (39 points on 17 of 20 shooting with 7 rebs, 8 assists) Gordon Hayward fractures his left wrist and his return timeline is up in the air.  Shades of Steph Curry but hopefully with a quicker recovery. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 November 2019 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The new normal:  future HOFer Melo to Portland on a non-guaranteed contract that locks into roughly the vet's min. if he hangs on through Jan. 7th.  With Nukic and Zach Collins out for extended time, Gasol old and injured and Portland frontcourt-poor and offense-starved, this is a sensible Hail Mary.  Best case (hopefully) it's a win-win:  Melo gets his chance at redemption on a team that won 53 last year and if he can still ball and not be a distraction, Portland gets a reliable 14-16 PPG scorer for 20 cents on the dollar.  The only question is... has 35-y.o. Anthony stayed in shape in the year-plus since he last saw live NBA action.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 08 December 2019 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

A quarter into the season:

The East has a better record than the West.  Some of that is thanks to GS' collapse but still... surprising.  Three teams in the East have vastly exceeded expectations. Miami was said to want Chris Paul this summer but there's no way they shake up their line-up and take on his bloated contract if their unexpected 16-6 turns into 61-21.  Despite Toronto losing Kawhi this summer, having two of their top players injured (Ibaka and Lowry) and Gasol continuing to fade, the Raptors are 15-6 with Siakam and VanVleet killing it.  Indiana is 15-8 with no Victor Oladipo thanks to new signee Malcolm Brogdon leading team in both scoring and assists and an easier early schedule.   Boston is in second and hopes to compete with the 20-3 Bucks once Hayward returns. Philly has been quiet but should be there when Embiid gets into form.

The West looks to belong to the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets though the Mavs (lead by MVP-ish Doncic) have streaked to second place early.  The Lakers' 20-3 start is helped by a favorable sched. but they look dominant thanks to Davis and LeBron clicking early and Dwight Howard's unlikely success as the defensive-minded rebounding machine he should have been the past five years. The Clippers are still figuring out how to best integrate Kawhi and Paul George now that he's back but that's a good problem.  Houston is second in scoring but 22nd in FG percentage; Westbrook isn't helping at 40.9% FG and 21.9% 3P but they're still winning.  Despite Porzingis'numbers generally being down (39% FG, 16.6 PPG) Doncic is willing the Mavs to wins with 30.1 PPG, 10 Rebs, 9.2 assists, 1.4 steals.
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