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The Rundown w/T-Money

Rundown v01.18.20 – Grizz Have NBA’s Longest Win Streak, Raptors Prey on Wiz, and Should There Be a Blazers-Rockets Swap?

Trae Young downs the Spurs in San Antonio, Norman Powell leads Toronto again, Kendrick Nunn leads the Heat in OKC, and Ja Morant and the Grizzlies own the NBA's longest current win streak.

Why the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets should swap centers …

If the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers want to improve their team situations, and make more favorable runs, they need centers that fit their team needs.

Some might argue that they have viable products in place at that position, but Portland truly hasn’t had what they’ve needed since Arvydas Sabonis, and before that, Bill Walton. Houston has been without what they need since Yao Ming, and Hakeem Olajuwon before that.

A swap of Hassan Whiteside and Clint Capela might initially defy what people think fits right now, but a shake up might be what the Rockets need to get into the final stage they need to this year – reaching, and having a strong showing in the Western Conference Finals may be the only thing that keeps this Rockets team together as is, and certainly help erase question marks around Mike D’Antoni’s status.

One can argue that Capela can run with the D’Antoni speedball mentality, but in his numerous years in the league – and he may not openly admit this – D’Antoni is quietly acknowledging that defense might be what wind championships. Whiteside, in the right mindset, is not only a double double machine, but is a shot blocker – something the Rockets might need against Anthony Davis, should the two teams meet in the WCF.

Capela, however, would be fluid in the Blazers’ offensive flow as he is in Houston. But the fit just seems more comfortable in the mind’s eye, and would give the sputtering Blazers a more conducive flow on the court, and likely dislodge them from the turdjam that is the lower Western Conference’s seeds, 9-12.

Clint Capela14.5 ppg14.5 apg1.2 apg63.7 percent
Hassan Whiteside15.6 ppg14.0 apg1.2 apg58.8 percent

Through 39 games, Whiteside leads the NBA in blocks per game at 2.9 per outing. By contrast, Davis is second to Whiteside, and Capela is 10th in the league.

Who would this swap help more?

  • Houston Rockets
  • Portland Trailblazers

Hit me in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter here.


Minnesota Timberwolves  114
Indiana Pacers  116

I’m betting the Minnesota Timberwolves wish that Karl-Anthony Towns would have come back a game earlier, the last time the Wolves played the Indiana Pacers – two days ago at home. Domantas Sabonis might not have had quite the game he did with the Target Center paint as wide open as vacant acreage. Towns returned last night to lead the Timberwolves to their 26th loss of the season, handing Indiana their 27th win, without any dominance by Sabonis. In fact, Sabonis didn’t have to do more than single digits, because T.J. Warren was busy abusing Andrew Wiggins with a game high 28 points. Minnesota has less than three weeks to make some decisions on the current roster. No disrespect, but Allen Crabbe isn’t it.

TIMBERWOLVES (15-26) 13th in the WestPACERS (27-15) 15th in the East
Karl-Anthony Towns
27 points – five rebounds – one assist
T.J. Warren
28 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block
Andrew Wiggins
22 points – two rebounds – four assists
Jeremy Lamb
18 points – six rebounds – two assists – two steals
Josh Okogie
15 points – four rebounds – one steal
Doug McDermott
13 points – eight rebounds

Raptors at Timberwolves – Tonight
Pacers at Nuggets – Sunday


Chicago Bulls  89
Philadelphia 76ers  100

Just when the Chicago Bulls get a glimmer of hope and find themselves within four games of the eighth seed in the East, reality kicks them in the ass and they fall backward. One step forward, two steps back – a mantra that has plagued the Bulls since the days after Michael Jordan retired. Meanwhile, without Joel Embiid, the patchwork 76ers put together another win with a different set of guys, last night led by Furkan Korkmaz and a solid games from both Ben Simmons and Al Horford. Keep trying, Chicago.

BULLS (15-28) 10th in the East76ERS (27-16) 6th in the East
Zach LaVine
23 points – seven rebounds – three assists
Furkan Korkman
24 points – four rebounds – one block
Coby White
14 points – four rebounds – four assists
Ben Simmons
20 points – 11 rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Luke Kornet
13 points – three rebounds – two assists – one steal – two blocks
Al Horford
20 points – five rebounds – six assists – one block

Sixers at Knicks – Tonight
Cavaliers at Bulls – Tonight


Washington Wizards  111
Toronto Raptors  140

For the second straight game, Norman Powell has led the Toronto Raptors in scoring, and also their second straight win, last night over the visiting Washington Wizards. It was also Marc Gasol’s first game back from injury and the center had a nice well-rounded night against the Wizards, despite the fact that Washington started two centers – Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant – against Gasol. Those two combined for eight points, eight rebounds and two steals. Largely ineffective, as the Wizards have been all season.

WIZARDS (13-28) 12th in the EastRAPTORS (27-14) 4th in the East
Troy Brown, Jr.
22 points – eight rebounds – one assist – three steals
Norman Powell
28 points – five rebounds – two assists – three steals – one block
Isaac Bonga
17 points – 10 rebounds – one steal
Terence Davis
23 points – seven rebounds – three assists
Bradley Beal
14 points – two rebounds – three assists – one block
Marc Gasol
20 points – six rebounds – five assists – two steals – one block

Raptors at Timberwolves – Tonight
Pistons at Wizards – Monday


Miami Heat  115
Oklahoma City Thunder  108

Chris Paul said after last night’s game that the Thunder have to figure out how to bust through opponents’ attack zone defenses. Yep, for now, teams have figured out how to defeat the team that has won 23 games on the strength of their three guard assault from Paul, Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Last night it was a 40-26 first quarter that provided the Miami Heat all the margin they needed to steal the Thunder’s thunder in Oklahoma City. Paul finished with 14, three and six in the loss.

HEAT (29-12) 2nd in the EastTHUNDER (23-19) 7th in the West
Kendrick Nunn
22 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
Danilo Gallinari
27 points – six rebounds – four assists – one steal
Bam Adebayo
21 points – eight rebounds – five assists – one block
Dennis Schroder
18 points – seven rebounds – eight assists
Jimmy Butler
14 points – 10 rebounds – seven assists – two steals – one block
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
18 points – five rebounds – eight assists – one steal

Blazers at Thunder – Tonight
Heat at Spurs – Sunday


Cleveland Cavaliers  109
Memphis Grizzlies  113

All Kevin Love was concerned about was not getting posterized by Ja Morant again. He should have been more worried about getting scored on by Morant, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Grayson Allen, and Jaren Jackson Jr. as the Memphis Grizzlies sought – and got – their seventh consecutive win, the NBA’s longest current win streak, despite the Grizzlies failing to score in the game’s final two minutes. The Grizz’s next test comes on Monday, when the New Orleans Pelicans swoop into town.

CAVALIERS (12-30) 13th in the EastGRIZZLIES (20-22) 8th in the West
Collin Sexton
28 points – four rebounds – six assists
Dillon Brooks
26 points – two rebounds – one assist
Kevin Love
19 points – nine rebounds – two assists
Ja Morant
16 points – five rebounds – eight assists – three steals – one block
Larry Nance, Jr.
16 points – six rebounds – two steals
Brandon Clarke
15 points – two rebounds – three assists – two blocks

Cavaliers at Bulls – Tonight
Pelicans at Grizzlies – Monday


Atlanta Hawks  121
San Antonio Spurs  120

It took 42 games, but the Atlanta Hawks got their 10th win of the season last night in San Antonio, Texas of all places. Despite a 41-21 third quarter by the Spurs. The AT&T Center used to be one of the toughest places to win, so I’m wondering what is tougher to swallow – the fact that the Hawks only have 10 wins or the fact that the legendary franchise Spurs have only seven more and are just a game over .500 on their iconic home floor (11-10)? The Spurs have lost two straight while the Hawks have won as many in a row.

HAWKS (10-32) 15th in the EastSPURS (17-23) 9th in the West
Trae Young
31 points – five rebounds – nine assists – one steal – one block
LaMarcus Aldridge
30 points – five rebounds – one steal (fouled out)
Cam Reddish
22 points – five rebounds – four assists – four steals – one block
DeMar DeRozan
25 points – nine rebounds – nine assists – two steals
Kevin Huerter
18 points – two rebounds – one assist – one steal – two blocks
Patty Mills
15 points – two assists – one steal

Pistons at Hawks – Tonight
Heat at Spurs – Sunday


Portland Trailblazers  112
Dallas Mavericks  120

The first half was all that really mattered, as the Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks played to a virtual tie in the second half. Dallas outscored the visiting Blazers, 72-63, to glide to their 27th win of the season and handed Portland its 25th loss in 42 games. When former Trailblazer Seth Curry is outdoing C.J. McCollum and Anfernee Simons combined, and Carmelo Anthony’s stats are limited to points and rebounds (no assists, steals, or blocks), the Blazers are going to struggle. They should be better than a .419 team.

TRAILBLAZERS (18-25) 10th in the WestMAVERICKS (27-15) 6th in the West
Damian Lillard
34 points – one rebound – 10 assists – two steals
Luka Doncic
35 points – eight rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Carmelo Anthony
22 points – five rebounds
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
29 points – four rebounds – one steal
Hassan Whiteside
21 points – 18 rebounds – two assists – five blocks
Seth Curry
16 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal

Blazers at Thunder – Tonight
Clippers at Mavericks – Tuesday


(All Times Eastern)

3:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans
6 p.m.
Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets
7 p.m.
Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics
NBC Sports Boston
7:30 p.m.
Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks
Fox Sports Detroit
7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks
NBC Sports Philadelphia
8 p.m.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls
NBC Sports Chicago
8 p.m.
Toronto Raptors
Minnesota Timberwolves
8:30 p.m.
Orlando Magic
Golden State Warriors
NBC Sports California
8:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets
9 p.m.
Portland Trailblazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Fox SportsNet Oklahoma
9 p.m.
Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain


Tracy Graven is a Senior NBA Analyst for
He has written the NBA, and done NBA radio, for the last two decades for HoopsWorld, Swish Magazine, and HoopsHype, the Coach Scott Fields Show and, and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and will be pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 20 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City.
A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia

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