Let's do some quick notes from around the league while we have our morning cup, shall we?
The biggest story of the week is that the Golden State Warriors finally lost after 24 straight wins to start the season. It was in Milwaukee in what was the platonic ideal of a schedule loss. Seventh game of a seven game road trip, and the second night of a back to back after they played a double overtime game in Boston the night before. Still, good job Milwaukee taking care of business. Now the Warriors can just continue to work on having a phenomenal season.
Who is Hot?
In the East, Toronto has won four in a row to move into second place in the conference behind the Cavaliers. They have the 4th rated offense in the NBA led by their back court of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, both of whom are going for 20+ a night, and they have made the most free throws in the NBA.
(Speaking of the Cavs, Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut returning from knee surgery sometime soon, but it apparently won't be in their next game against Boston on Tuesday).
Also worth mentioning are the Charlotte Hornets, who had won four in a row before losing their last game, and are in the top seven in both offensive and defensive rating. I can't say I saw that coming. Kemba Walker is having by far his best season, they take a lot of threes, don't turn the ball over, don't foul, and rebound the hell out of it on the defensive end. They also don't play any truly poor players. That combination works, at least for now.
The West is a jumbled mess, with the Warriors ahead of everyone and the Spurs behind them, but then it's a free for all. The Thunder have established themselves in the 3rd spot for the moment with five straight wins behind the 2nd best offense in the league. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are really good at basketball.
The Sixers aren't even worth mentioning, but of course they are not hot. 1-24. The Knicks had lost four in a row before eking out a win in Portland on Saturday. Even with that win, they sit 12th in the East. In the West, other than the Wolves who have lost 6 of 7, the Lakers continue to struggle with a six game losing streak.
Karl-Anthony Towns is the clear front runner for rookie of the year, with Kristaps Porzingis a reasonably close 2nd, and nobody else belongs in the conversation. That said, D'Angelo Russell, who got off to a horrific start, is starting to play better which is great to see. Jahlil Okafor, who was suspended for two games recently due to some drunken shenanigans, continues to score fairly inefficiently, and that's about it. He looks good in the post though.
Elsewhere, Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow are hanging in there for Detroit and Miami respectively, though Johnson is having terrible trouble shooting and neither of them can make threes right now. Emmanuel Mudiay continues to verge on the unplayable for Denver.
Is There a Draft in Here?
Something I usually don't bother with, especially at this time of year, but I noticed LSU lost again. Which raises the question I asked in comments yesterday (I think): When was the last time a college player went #1 overall in draft but whose team did not play in the NCAA tournament his draft year?
That's it for now. Too tired for History.
Today's musical birthday is Spider Stacy, founding member of the Pogues.
Have a decent Monday.