[caption id="attachment_273433" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Good afternoon, folks. Unfortunately, Hamidou Diallo
's hot start to the 2019-20 season is being put on pause. Let's talk NBA.
Hamidou Diallo expected to miss 4-6 weeks with elbow injury
- You might remember a couple of days ago when we discussed Hamidou Diallo leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder's recent game against the Los Angeles Lakers with what appeared to be an elbow injury. Diallo was defending LeBron James from driving to the basket and did something to tweak his elbow in the process. The former Kentucky guard immediately grabbed his right elbow (the same elbow he had surgery on back in April that caused him to miss four weeks) and sprinted to the locker room. Heading into the Thunder's matchup with the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, the OKC front office finally announced that Diallo had suffered a hyperextension sprain to his right elbow and that he'll be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.
- The timing for the injury couldn't be worse for Diallo, who was thriving in his role off the bench in OKC. He had just returned from a minor ankle injury that sidelined him for three games and was posting averages of 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game through 12 outings. He was shooting 50 percent from the field and playing over 21 minutes per game as a key rotational figure for the Thunder. Diallo was becoming a must-watch player on League Pass every single night with his tendency to create highlight plays out of nothing thanks to quick hands and explosive leaping ability. For the first time in his short NBA career, Diallo looked like he was on the brink of taking a leap. Now he's experiencing a significant setback.
- The good news is Thunder head coach Billy Donovan has already stated that Diallo will have the exact same role he's had once he finally returns to form. "We need Hami and I told him that when he comes back we’re going to put him right back into the rotation," Donovan said, according to AP. "And try to get him back to where he had been playing before the injury."
- Injuries have plagued Diallo through the first season and a half of his NBA career, let's hope he can overcome this one just like he has in the past.
- As for the game between the Thunder and Warriors on Tuesday, OKC rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to come back and steal a win on the road. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Nerlens Noel made his return after missing the previous game with an illness, adding nine points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.
- On the Warriors end of the court, Willie Cauley-Stein went for just four points, six rebounds, and two steals in 29 minutes for Golden State. Chalk it up to a new situation and the Warriors stars on the mend, but Cauley-Stein has simply looked nothing like the player that had so many great stretches during his tenure with Sacramento.
Seriously, can anyone stop Karl-Anthony Towns?
- The MVP whispers are growing into screams as Karl-Anthony Towns continues to tear opposing defenses apart on a nightly basis. On Tuesday night, KAT unloaded on the Atlanta Hawks, ending with a final stat line of a BBNBA-high 28 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks on 8-19 shooting. His Minnesota Timberwolves earned a 125-113 win in the process as the team moves to 9-8 on the year and into the early-season playoff picture out West.
- Probably my hottest take before the season began was insisting that KAT would become one of a handful of players throughout NBA history to average shooting splits of 50/40/90 during the entire season (field goal %/ three-point %/free throw %). Through 15 games, Towns is averaging 51/44.4/78.4. Had he not clanked six of his 13 attempts from the charity stripe in the second game of the season, he'd be right there. But there is plenty of season left to recover and his outside jumper shows no signs of regression.
- I still like my take.
Miami makes light work of Charlotte
- The game I was most excited for on Tuesday night ended up being the first one I clicked away from. The Miami Heat used a terrific final three quarters to dominate the Charlotte Hornets by a final score of 117-100. Bam Adebayo went for his ninth double-double of the season, registering 21 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists on 8-14 shooting. The former Kentucky big man has quietly been one of the two or three most improved players of the season thus far. Miami is 9-0 this season when Adebayo records a double-double. Tyler Herro poured in 18 points on 6-13 shooting for Miami in 29 minutes.
- As for the Hornets, Malik Monk shot just 4-12 from the field for 13 points while P.J. Washington went for eight points, four rebounds, and two steals on 4-8 shooting. Eight points for Washington marked the fifth straight game that he's failed to reach double-figures in scoring. It was also the Hornets' fifth straight loss. In fact, the Hornets are 0-8 when Washington fails to score at least 10 points but are 6-4 when he hits that mark.
- This also happened, and now I might be crying a little bit.
- Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers secured a 114-104 victory over the San Antonio Spurs behind Davis' 19 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks on 7-19 shooting from the field. Davis's six assists mean that three former Wildcat big men (Davis, Towns, Adebayo) combined for 19 assists on Tuesday night. Rajon Rondo added 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists for the Lakers while making all three of his shots from deep.
- Enes Kanter posted 13 points and nine rebounds for the Boston Celtics in a 103-102 win over the Sacramento Kings. Kanter shot 5-6 from the field.
- The Milwaukee Bucks took down the Utah Jazz, 122-118, behind 50 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and another 13 points and five assists from Eric Bledsoe.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
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TONIGHT IN THE NBA
8:30 (NBATV): Clippers (Patterson)
9:00: Wizards (Wall-out)
@ Nuggets (Murray, Vanderbilt)