7 NBA things to know for Nov. 6
Jeff Case, NBA.com
Get up to speed on the latest NBA news, plus a quick look at stories we’ll be following closely today:
1. An East vs. West showdown: The Clippers and Bucks have lived up to the hype thus far, with each entrenched among the contenders in the West and East. While Kawhi Leonard (load management) is out tonight (10 ET, ESPN), this game will still feature two of the top three teams in Offensive Rating this season. The Clippers have proved at times to have more than enough firepower to keep pace with elite squads like the Bucks.
2. Embiid back in the mix tonight: Philadelphia was dealt its first loss of the season on Monday with a 114-109 loss to Phoenix. That defeat came as center Joel Embiid, who was serving the second of his two-game suspension, was sidelined. He’ll return tonight in Utah (9 ET, League Pass) in what should be a good matchup with Jazz center and the reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert.
3. Towns makes his return, too: Like Embiid, Towns was serving a two-game suspension after he and Embiid tussled last week. Like the Sixers, the Wolves went 1-1 with their star big man out. As the Wolves visit the Grizzlies (8 ET, League Pass), keep an eye on Gorgui Dieng. The veteran big man filled in nicely during Towns’ absence and could wreak some havoc against a youthful Memphis frontline.
4. Keeping up with the Jameses: Luka Doncic is tied with LeBron James for the league lead in triple-doubles (three apiece). Doncic is going for his third straight triple-double … a feat LeBron accomplished last night in Chicago. Orlando visits Dallas (8:30 ET, League Pass) and has one of the better Defensive Ratings (100.1, 5th in NBA) this season, which might challenge Doncic’s hopes of keeping pace with James.
5. Not your father’s Rockets-Warriors tilt: Rewind the calendar a year ago and the latest edition of Rockets-Warriors would be a must-see affair. These days, that’s hardly the case as injuries have ransacked Golden State. However, given Houston’s up-and-down nature of late (and the play of unsung Warriors heroes like Eric Paschall), this one could get interesting in Houston (7:30 ET, ESPN).
6. Don’t sleep on the Brogdon Experience: When discussion turns to which 2019 free agent fits in best with his new team, it may be hard to argue against Malcolm Brogdon and the Pacers. He’s already set a career-high for 30-point games (two), he’s in the top 20 in scoring and he’s No. 3 in assists. (He’s also a big advocate for clean water in Africa.) A matchup with All-Star Bradley Beal is a low-key League Pass game you should definitely catch (7 ET).
7. Happy anniversary, Shaq, Mully & Reggie!: Between them, Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller and Chris Mullin have combined for an NBA MVP, three Finals MVPs, 25 All-Star appearances, multiple Olympic gold medals and a myriad of highlights throughout their NBA career. Today, oddly enough, marks the anniversary of the NBA debut of all three players: O’Neal (1992), Miller (1987) and Mullin (1985). That’s a lot of star power to reflect on in one day …