Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Atlanta’s Trae Young drops 48 on Knicks, Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic drains buzzer-beating three, both help their teams rack up wins. It’s time to talk on-the-court basketball again. For much of the past few weeks, the eyes of the NBA world were on the transaction wire in the run-up to the NBA Trade Deadline — and we got a real show.
Now we can turn our focus back to the games… for like four days, then we get the All-Star break.
The best shot on Sunday looked like it was going to belong to P.J. Tucker draining a corner three with 1.6 seconds left to give Houston a two-point lead over the Jazz. Except then Quin Snyder drew up a play to free up Bojan Bogdanovic, a gutsy move considering he was 1-of-6 shooting on the night prior to that. Bogdanovic rewarded his coach’s faith with this shot over Tucker and James Harden.
Utah gets a needed win (its second straight after dropping five in a row). Jazz fans can thank (or Rockets fans can blame) Jordan Clarkson, who scored 30 points, and Donovan Mitchell who added 24 points, six assists and five rebounds. If the basketball gods want to give us a Utah/Houston series these playoffs, we’re good with that.
• Next, an overlooked game of East bottom feeders ended up being the most entertaining game of the day — not a well-played game, just entertaining — when it took double overtime for the Hawks to knock off the Knicks. Trae Young looked every bit the All-Star starter with 48 points — including six 3-pointers — and 13 assists.
Also of note, Dewayne Dedmon made his return to the Hawks and came off the bench for 10 points (4-of-12 shooing), eight rebounds, and five blocks in 33 minutes, before he fouled out. Also, John Collins had 32 points and 16 rebounds on the game.
• Finally, if you need a laugh, we bring you Marcus Smart‘s epic flop.
— Shaqtin' a Fool (@shaqtin) February 9, 2020
2) Spike Lee pays tribute to Kobe Bryant at the Oscars. Los Angeles is an industry town and Kobe Bryant was its best entertainer for nearly two decades. The rich and powerful of the entertainment industry that filled the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the Oscars Sunday night are the same people that can be seen in the lower bowl and luxury suites of Lakers’ games, checking their phones.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot of Kobe love at the Oscars.
Then there was Matthew Cherry, an Oscar winner for the animated short “Hair Love,” dedicating his win to Kobe with the words, “May we all have a second act as great as his was.”
However, what you’re really going to remember is Spike Lee’s tux.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 9, 2020
3) Why did Joel Embiid “shush” home crowd after draining a big three? “Just being a good a** h***.” It wasn’t exactly a “the Sixers are breaking out of their slump” performance, but Philly did get a home win over Chicago on Sunday — and Joel Embiid was key.
The All-Star big man had 28 points (on 17 shots), 12 rebounds, four blocks, and he stepped it up with 12 points in the fourth quarter. That included this late three — which was followed by a strange reaction.
JOEL HANS EMBIID pic.twitter.com/WMtw6UnsTb
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 10, 2020
Why exactly did Embiid “shush” the home Philly crowd? Boston’s Al Horford had done the same thing to Sixers fans a few days before, but the fans had booed him. Why did Embiid do it? Here’s answer, via Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philly:
“Just talking to myself. I have not been playing up to my standards. Even tonight, you look at the night, I didn’t shoot the ball well and I didn’t play well. Just mad at myself. Just frustrated. Just got to keep trying to get better every single day.”
Um… what? You “shushed” the supportive home crowd to fire yourself up? Want to try that explanation again?
“I mean, I don’t care how it looks. I’m just playing basketball. Just getting back to myself, just being a good a–hole. Just playing basketball and just trying to dominate.”