1. I can’t help but feel a sickening kind of glee over the fact that Kyrie Irving put up 50 points in a home loss to the Timberwolves last night. I know he’s a tremendous offensive basketball player, but would you look at this fucking picture? I mean really get a load of it.
I mean, what the fuck is this? I’m sorry, my dude, but you are not Atlas eternally hoisting the heavens. You just lost to the T-Wolves on your home floor on opening night in a game in which Andrew Wiggins played 36 minutes and was -26. On the final possession, with your team down one, you dribbled out the clock, fell over, somehow got up, and then missed a wide-open 15-footer. Congratulations on your 50 points, though.
2. Nikola Jokić is so awesome. After getting ruthlessly exposed for the first few minutes of the game by Hassan Whiteside of all people (& picking up three fouls in four minutes), Jokić sat the the rest of the first half. His teammates picked him up and staked the Nuggets to a small lead at the half, but when the going got tough down the stretch, the big guy showed up. He scored all 20 of his points in the 2nd half, including back-to-back 3s that pretty much sealed the deal. He picked the Blazers apart.
One underrated part of Jokić’s game: his relentlessness. He reminds me a little of Steve Nash in the way he probes and picks at a defense. He’s willing to shoot, but not too early in the shot clock—not when there might be something better out there. Last night, his relentlessness was on full display; he could have packed it in early after a rough start, but instead he owned the second half against a good team on the road. After struggling a ton against Whiteside early, Jokić figured him out and got him back late. Not a bad start for an MVP campaign.