Philadelphia 76ers – No home, no problem?
One of the biggest concerns for the Philadelphia 76ers was their home and away splits. At home they play like championship contenders with a 29-2 record. Only the Bucks play comparable.
On the other hand, they play like a rebuilding team on the road, going 10-24. Another team who plays similar is the New York Knicks, who have one less loss away from home.
Obviously Orlando is not in Philadelphia, but maybe being on a neutral court will help the Sixers. The game against the Memphis Grizzlies was a good look for them rotations-wise.
Ben Simmons stuffed the stat sheet, Tobais Harris looked aggressive, Joel Embiid might have looked sluggish but went 2-4 from three, and Brett Brown gave a couple of guys a run at the backup wing position.
Memphis Grizzlies – Can Josh Jackson step up for the bench?
When the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Josh Jackson and De’Anthony Melton from the Phoenix Suns last offseason, it was a sad state of affairs for the former lottery pick. But the thing about stable organizations is that they are able to develop players and give them opportunities.
From the beginning of the season, Memphis assigned him to their G-League affiliate where he played tremendously, putting up 20 points per game, seven and a half rebounds, four assists, and a steal and a block in 26 games.
With the Grizzlies trading away two wings who played rotational minutes in Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill, and Justise Winslow out for the rest of the season with a hip injury, this is a great chance for Josh Jackson to contribute to the team.
Boston Celtics – Need Kemba to be healthy
Today against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics started Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Daniel Theis with Kemba Walker out with a left knee injury.
It was clear that the Celtics were missing Kemba’s ability to draw in a defence and create open shots for others as well as for himself. Marcus Smart did a good job standing in for him and that starting lineup is a monster defensively.
When Kemba comes back, he and Marcus Smart will probably close in the backcourt for the Celtics, they’ll just need both along with their two young wings to be healthy to make a deep playoff run.
Oklahoma City Thunder – What does Andre Roberson’s return mean?
It’s been 30 months since Andre Roberson last stepped foot on a basketball court after suffering setbacks on an injury in his left knee.
In his first game back, he played almost 12 minutes and had five points and two rebounds. It also looked like he didn’t miss a step defensively with a steal and a block.
What isn’t clear is if you can play Roberson the same way Billy Donovan did. Probably not, but he’s an interesting wrinkle that can be played at both of the forward positions given his defensive chops.
Toronto Raptors – What will be the go to bench lineup?
In the last game of the night, the Raptors decided not to use Marc Gasol and Patrick McCaw against the Houston Rockets, leaving more minutes for Chris Boucher and Terence Davis.
They both played with tremendous energy on defence, causing some turnovers and getting the Raptors back in the game in the second and fourth quarters. Time and time again the Raptors have shown they have a deep bench that can throw out multiple different lineups.
Given how the Raptors played, it’s expected that the bench, and potentially some of the starting spots, will be fluid with different guys stepping into those roles.
Houston Rockets – What happens if Robert Covington gets in foul trouble?
On the other hand the Rockets played the standard D’Antoni way, keeping the rotation short with eight guys.
Unfortunately one of those players fouled out in just over 18 minutes. Robert Covington fouled out with just under a minute left in the third quarter after getting five of them in the first half.
Being their big acquisition and important to how they play, maybe they should consider opening up the rotation to an extra guy? That would decrease the chance of someone fouling out. They were missing backup guard Austin Rivers, so maybe when he’s back the rotation will extend to nine guys.