January 11th, 2021
Game of the Day:
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 114-108. The crazy part? This was an away game, meaning Kyrie Irving could play for the Nets (he can’t play at home due to his vaccination status). Kevin Durant was also available, and even though James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge weren’t playing, the Nets were clear favorites. Without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers still scrapped together a six-point win against one of the best teams in the entire NBA.
If you look at the picture above, you can see from a statistical standpoint why Morant and Rose are being compared. In addition, they are both top two picks in their respective draft classes, have incredible athleticism, and are leading (in Rose’s case, led) young teams to the top seeds in their respective conferences. I don’t think Morant will win MVP this year given that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all playing their best basketball; but winning the award doesn’t sound unreasonable a year or two from now.
Stat of the Day:
In a 111-91 win against the Houston Rockets, Joel Embiid finished the game with 31 points (who was going to stop him; Daniel Theis and Christian Wood? Even collectively Embiid is too dominant). Embiid joined elite 76ers company, becoming the third player on the 76ers to ever have seven 30-point games in a row. The other two players? Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain, both of whom have won MVPs and are Hall-of-Famers. That’s great company to be in.