Breakfast Special: Dray, Durant, Dubs Destroyed

Well, if the Golden State Warriors were hoping for anything resembling relief with Draymond Green back in the lineup for a big national-TV game against the Houston Rockets Thursday night, the giant turd they left out on the court at Toyota Center would seem to suggest that the squad’s got bigger problems.

Dray was 0-of-5 from the field, had no points, five rebounds, five assists, and five turnovers, whatever he contributed defensively got swamped under a minus-10 that was second-worst (behind only Kevin Durant) among the starters, and Golden State lost to Houston 107-86.

Durant had a team-high 20 points, Klay Thompson had 10, and if all this doesn’t speak to just how critical it is that the Warriors get Stephen Curry back in the lineup ASAP then who knows what will?

Making matters worse, we have to wonder if…yes, Thompson included…the Warriors have anyone who can shoot this year. Klay had that one game in which he made 14 shots from long range, but on the season he’s on a below-league-average 33.9 percent from out there including 0-of-5 last night.

The Warriors shot 4-of-18 from three in the game. We know Steve Kerr can coach a modern offense; that’s not the point at issue here. The point is the Warriors aren’t executing.

Meanwhile, for the Rockets, they didn’t even play well. They just played better than their garbage-for-a-day opponent.

Houston shot 40.2 percent from the field and 34 percent from long range, getting a Dark Ages 27 from James Harden (on 8-of-23 shooting) and a mediocre performance from Chris Paul (10 points, five rebounds, seven assists, 4-of-10 from the field.)

The biggest difference? Houston had five turnovers; Golden State had 16. That, combined with the three-point mismatch, proved decisive.

Well, that and the 21-0 run the Rockets put on in the fourth quarter to seal precisely that margin of victory.

Welcome to Harden Highlight Heaven:

Sweet Relief for Denver

The Nuggets were in bad need of a bit of sweet relief after losing four in a row. So far this season, good teams’ salvation from bad runs has been the Atlanta Hawks, who have wins over the Heat, Mavs, and Cavaliers and 12 losses to everyone else, including the Warriors, Lakers, Pistons, Kings, and Sixers just when each of those squads needed to go out and wreck someone to get themselves right.

Even Cleveland smoked Atlanta when they got them at the Q.

Well, the Nuggets…how’s 138-93 sound? Is that sweet enough relief?

Juan Hernangomez led the way for Denver, scoring 25 points. He was also plus-46; the Nuggets actually lost the 17 minutes Juancho didn’t play!

Nikola Jokic had 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, four steals, just a Joker game that was a total wild card.

And Gary Harris was 7-of-9 on his way to 18 points.

But did we mention Hernangomez is shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from three on the season? Because he is.

Denver shot 56.4 percent as a team in this one, and that’s gonna put some points on the board.

You Juancho highlights? WE GOT’CHO HIGHLIGHTS!

Spurs Clipped

The Clippers just keep winning, and as Bill Simmons pointed out, they’re one of the most likable teams in the league…

Although I simply cannot endorse the DNP-CD for HERO OF SERBIA!

Los Angeles beat the Spurs 116-111, and a good chunk of why had to do with DeMar DeRozan‘s 14-of-30 night; he hit no three-pointers in three tries, and 6-of-8 from the line is just way too low a FT rate to have any chance of being effective.

34 points on 30 shots doesn’t make you an All-Star. In 2018, it means you suck.

And LaMarcus Aldridge, the other Scott-Hollins Superman on San Antonio’s triple-averse roster?

Oh, he was just 3-of-15 for 10 points, although he did have 16 rebounds.

The Spurs are 7-7, and their roster might be better if you stuck them in a time machine and dumped them in 1985.

Meanwhile, Lou Williams had 23 off the bench (on 9-of-20…sigh…), and Danilo Gallinari might’ve been the only player on the court who played efficiently, scoring 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting but 9-of-10 from the line.

The game was a disjointed mess, but credit to San Antonio; they did only commit five turnovers, and ball control (the Clips coughed up 12) almost stole this one.

LouWill is one of those guys who, as Simmons correctly pointed out, is like a closer in baseball, and they should just engrave the Sixth Man award for him this year. Case in point:

It’s Friday, but don’t think I’m done for the week. I’m taking a look at the new 14-second shot clock on offensive rebounds and seeing if it’s had any meaningful effect on pace beyond the league overall playing breakneck fast this year. Stay tuned for that later today, and thanks for reading!