Lonzo Ball After Walking Away From Fight: “I Ain’t Trying to Get No Tech”

The Big Lead Kyle Koster

Lyft
LendingTree

The Los Angeles Lakersand Phoenix Suns got into a small skirmish at the end of last night’s game. Three players were assessed technical fouls.Lonzo Ball was not one of them because he completely removed himself from the situation, walking away as the rest of his teammates got involved.

“It’s the NBA,” Ball said afterward. “People ain’t really going to fight, so I ain’t trying to get no tech.”

The 20-year-old rookie has struggled so far and there have been rumors he may lose his starting job. He is a lightning rod for criticism partly due to his father’s antics. And he’s taking plenty for not standing up for his teammates.

My question: is Ball walking away from a dust-up a big deal? The optics clearly aren’t great for a player the franchise is banking on to be a leader of men. On the other hand, he has a point in saying that NBA fights never really get out of hand and rushing to join the fracas is largely an exercise in wasted energy.



Advertisements

James Harden on Chris Paul’s Return: “I’m happy to have the little midget back”

The Big Lead Stephen Douglas

LendingTree
Lyft

Chris Paul returned to the Houston Rockets’ lineup on Thursday night and it was a huge success. Paul had 11 points and 10 assists. James Harden scored 48. The Rockets beat the Suns, 142 – 116, and scored 90 points in the first half. After the game Harden said he was “happy to have the little midget back.”

The Rockets went 10-4 with Paul out. They are now 2-0 with Paul, but before anyone gets too excited, this game was against the Phoenix Suns. This team gave up 29 points to Lonzo Ball.

The Rockets (12-4) have the second best record in the NBA and are the current #1 seed in the Western Conference.



Advertisements

Lonzo Ball Benched Again to Protect Him From Being the Victim of Too Many 76ers Highlights

The Big Lead Stephen Douglas

Lyft
LendingTree

Lonzo Ball was benched again on Wednesday night in the Lakers loss to the 76ers. Ball left the game with 4:04 remaining in the 3rd and did not return. It was the second consecutive game where Ball sat for the entirety of the 4th quarter. He played a career-low 21-minutes. The only highlights he appeared in were his opponents’.

Instagram Photo

Note the location.

Ball finished with 2 points on 1-of-9 shooting to go along with 2 turnovers, 2 assists and 5 rebounds. He missed all 6 of his 3-point attempts and is now shooting just 23% from 3 this season. Most impressive is the fact that he’s shooting 11% from 3 at home.



Advertisements

Joel Embiid + Ben Simmons + LeBron James Seems Like a Thing That Could Happen in Philadelphia

The Big Lead Jason McIntyre

Lyft
LendingTree

I still believe LeBron will end up with the Lakers this summer – others think next summer is a possibility – but after watching Joel Embiid put up a historic performance Wednesday night in LA, it’s time to revisit an unpopular opinion from a few months ago: The 76ers make perfect sense for LeBron.

SALARY CAP: Because they’ve been Trusting the Process, there’s no bad contracts on the books. They just extended Robert Covington (he’s earned it), and if you look at this, there’s nothing toxic. Jerryd Bayless making $8.5 million ain’t the end of the world. You package him with a future draft pick or Dario Saric and you’ve got the room you need for two stars.

TALENT: As we wrote last summer, the talent is fairly absurd, but injuries are a major concern. It’s undeniable how ridiculously talented Embiid is. His 46-15-7-7 line might be the best of the young season. Only 23, he’s in his fourth season, but he missed the first two because of injuries. If he can stay healthy, there’s potential for a Hall of Fame career. But can he stay healthy? Ben Simmons, the heavy favorite for Rookie of the Year, missed last season with an injury. He’s averaging a Magic-like 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 7.7 assists. This doesn’t even factor in the #1 pick in the 2017 draft Markelle Fultz, who is currently out injured. Then again, LeBron hasn’t wished him Happy Birthday on social media yet.

EAST > WEST: What may scare the Lakers most is that by staying in the East, LeBron has a much easier path to the Finals for years to come, even with Boston loaded. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate. The West is more challenging, but if you want to project 2-3 years ahead, do we know Chris Paul is staying in Houston? Are we 100% sure Jimmy Butler will stay in Minnesota when his deal is up? Will DeMarcus Cousins stay long-term alongside Anthony Davis?

It’s early, but LeBron’s 2018 free agency – assuming he’s teamming up with Paul George, as everyone speculates, will be a story all year. Other teams may emerge. The 76ers are only 8-6, but after an 0-3 start they’re on fire with quality road wins in Detroit, vs both LA teams, and over Houston.



Advertisements

Joel Embiid Says He’s Just “69 Percent,” But He Scored 46 and Looks 100

The Big Lead Stephen Douglas

Lyft
LendingTree

Joel Embiid scored a career-high 46 points in a 115-109 Philadelphia 76ers win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. He connected on14-of-20 field goal attempts, made 2-of-3 three-pointers and 16-of-19 free throws. And had 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 blocks. It was historic.

After the game Embiid assessed his where he was so far this season. Spoiler alert: it was a nice assessment.

He’s got a sense of humor. And it was visible when he nearly got destroyed by a Kyle Kuzma dunk attempt in the 2nd quarter. Being able to smile about something like that is what makes Embiid, Embiid.

 



Advertisements