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Rundown v02.21.20 – $69M for 20 Games, Reggie Bandwagon Heads to L.A., Kings Upset Grizz

Last night, Trae Young dropped 50 on the Heat in an Atlanta win, the Bucks and Rockets had easy wins, while the Kings beat Memphis, and Joel Embiid and #VFL Tobias Harris went next level on the Nets, winning in overtime.

A lot of bodies have moved in and out of (and will move in and out of) the NBA’s clubhouses this past week, and going forward, as buyouts, injuries, 10-day contracts, and season-ending surgeries claim people off of and add to teams’ rosters.

  • Kyrie Irving will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder after consulting with a specialist during the All Star break. He hasn’t played in over two weeks. He has never played all 82 games in any season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and now the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets lose 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists, as well as paying $69 million this season for what amounted to 20 games.
  • The groin strain that Damian Lillard suffered right before the All Star Weekend will keep him out another 3-4 games. 
  • It’s been ruled that there will be no late season comeback for Klay Thompson, who will be out the remainder of the season. Seems the Golden State Warriors learned their lesson with Kevin Durant last year, at the expense of Kevin Durant’s health, and possible career.
  • Reggie Bandwagon (sic) Jackson bought out his contract with the Detroit Pistons and has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, after playing just 14 games for the Pistons this season. 
  • DeMarre Carroll is moving addresses in Texas, taking a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs, so he can relocate east in Houston with the Rockets. 
  • Jeff Green will also be humming a different tune, heading to Houston after 30 games with the Utah Jazz this season. The move gives Houston three former Oklahoma City Thunder players in Green, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
  • The jury is still out on how well Andre Iguodala will integrate with Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat, while Clint Capela may be a few more weeks away from making his Atlanta Hawks debut.
  • Marvin Bagley III is likely out 3-4 more weeks with his ankle sprain. This, his second season, is mirroring his rookie campaign from the injury/playing time perspective.
  • Kemba Walker will be out for Boston tomorrow versus the Minnesota Timberwolves with a sore left knee. Speaking of Minnesota, Karl-Anthony Towns is out indefinitely with a left wrist injury that has had some see him keeping the blood flowing by shooting one handed shots.
  • Dragan Bender has been inked to a 10-day deal by the Golden State Warriors. Derrick Walton, Jr. also signed a 10-day contract with the Detroit Pistons.
  • In coaching news, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach made a beeline for an early exit; after 54 games, John Beilein had enough of the transition from a successful NCAA career to trying to turn around a trash team. 
  • The Cavs will go from one J.B. to another J.B. as John Blair Bickerstaff takes the reins, and is reportedly the guy – not the interim. J.B.’s father, legendary head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, is a consultant with the franchise. Should be some great insight – love to be a fly on the wall for some of those father-son dinners.
  • And it’s be a warm and fuzzy story if the Boston Celtics brought recently waived Isaiah Thomas back into the fold on the parquet.


Milwaukee Bucks  126
Detroit Pistons  106

The Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a 23-9 lead in the first quarter that ended up a 32-18 advantage, which resulted in a 70-41 first half. Enough to withstand a 65-56 run by the Detroit Pistons in the second half with 20 points to spare. Milwaukee, in fact, led by as many as 34 in the second half. The Pistons have lost five consecutive games since trading away Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reggie Jackson also left over the All Star Break, buying out his contract and signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. The roster vacancies have afforded Christian Wood the opportunity he has long sought and was starting to get with the New Orleans Pelicans last year. Wood led the Pistons as top scorer, with 18 and 11, but was bested by the Bucks’ top three scorers in Giannis Antetokuonmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe.

BUCKS (47-8) 1st in the EastPISTONS (19-39) 12th in the East
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
33 points – 16 rebounds – four assists – three steals – one block
Christian Wood
18 points – 11 rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Khris Middleton
28 points – eight rebounds – three assists – one steal
Bruce Brown
16 points – 10 rebounds – seven assists
Eric Bledsoe
19 points – four rebounds – six assists – two steals – one block
Langston Galloway
12 points – one rebound – one assist

Philadelphia at Milwaukee – Saturday
Detroit at Portland – Sunday


Miami Heat  124
Atlanta Hawks  129

Bouyed by his Skills Challenge win and a solid weekend at NBA All Star, Bam Adebayo seemed poised to go into Atlanta and steal an easy win for the Miami Heat. But a 39-27 fourth quarter surge in front of the home crowd at State Farm Arena last night helped the Hawks soar past the Heat for a confidence building win instead. Trae Young dropped 50 on the fourth place Heat, De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter combined for another 34, Cam Reddish added 16, and it was a dozen each from John Collins and Jeff Teague as Atlanta held serve in front of 17,356 faithful.

HEAT (35-20) 4th in the EastHAWKS (16-41) 14th in the East
Bam Adebayo
28 points – 19 rebounds – seven assists – three steals – one block
Trae Young
50 points – two rebounds – eight assists – two steals – one block
Goran Dragic
19 points – three rebounds – three assists
Kevin Huerter
17 points – seven rebounds – four assists
Jimmy Butler
17 points – eight rebounds – nine assists – two steals – one block
De’Andre Hunter
17 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal

Dallas at Atlanta – Saturday
Cleveland at Miami – Saturday


Charlotte Hornets  103
Chicago Bulls  93

Charlotte swarmed the Chicago Bulls from Jump Street with a 33-20 first quarter and then held on to notch a 10 point win over the hapless Bulls. The win helped the Hornets move a half game ahead of Chicago, knocking the Bulls down to 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Malik Monk led Charlotte with 25 points, while Miles Bridges continued his success from the Rising Stars game, in which he outshined everyone from Zion Williamson to Luka Doncic, to drop 22 and eight last night. Thaddeus Young stepped it up for the Bulls, who looked about as uncomfortable as Zach LaVine did answering Charles Barkley’s questions about the state of the Bulls and Lauri Markkanen over All Star.

HORNETS (19-36) 10th in the EastBULLS (19-37) 11th in the East
Malik Monk
25 points – six rebounds – three assists
Thaddeus Young
22 points – 11 rebounds – one assist – four steals – one block
Miles Bridges
22 points – eight rebounds – two assists – two steals
Zach LaVine
19 points – seven rebounds – seven assists – three steals – one block
P.J. Washington
17 points – five rebounds – four assists – two steals – one block
Shaquille Harrison
13 points – two rebounds – two assists

Brooklyn at Charlotte – Saturday
Phoenix at Chicago – Saturday


Brooklyn Nets  104
Philadelphia 76ers  112 (OT)

The Brooklyn Nets are faced with having to go without Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season, as he is facing shoulder surgery, while the Nets have to evolve once again with role players stepping up. Last night, they could have used a little of Uncle Drew’s magic in the overtime period, where they mustered only one point and fell to the Philadelphia 76ers’ nine. One of the newest 76ers on the team, Alec Burks showed his worth in the overtime period, hitting two critical layups in the extra period to help Philadelphia to the win. With Jarrett ‘Goose Egg’ Allen in the middle, Joel Embiid dominated the paint, leading all scorers with 39 and 16, while the Sixers got to the free throw line 35 times (91 percent) to Brooklyn’s 28 (78 percent).

NETS (25-29) 7th in the EastSIXERS (35-21) 5th in the East
Caris LeVert
25 points – six rebounds – five assists – one steal
Joel Embiid
39 points – 16 rebounds – two assists – two steals – two blocks
Spencer Dinwiddie
22 points – five rebounds – eight assists – one block
#VFL Tobias Harris
22 points – 12 rebounds – six assists – two steals 
DeAndre Jordan
14 points – 15 rebounds – four assists
Alec Burks
19 points – four rebounds – one assist

Brooklyn at Charlotte – Saturday
Philadelphia at Milwaukee – Saturday


Memphis Grizzlies  125
Sacramento Kings  129

In a hard fought battle to gain traction in the Western Conference playoff race, the Sacramento Kings edged out the surging Memphis Grizzlies at home last night, led by Harrison Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, and new Three Point champion Buddy Hield, who only hit two of six from downtown versus his 26 three pointers last Saturday night in Chicago. Last night, it was Barnes’ seven three pointers and 32 points that carried the Kings to their 22nd win. Hield made his presence felt at the free throw line, hitting a perfect eight of eight. De’Anthony Melton led the way for Memphis, which fell to its 27th loss of the season through 55 games.

GRIZZLIES (28-27) 8th in the WestKINGS (22-33) 12th in the West
De’Anthony Melton
24 points – six rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Harrison Barnes
32 points – one rebound – one assist – one steal
Ja Morant
19 points – one rebound – two assists
De’Aaron Fox
26 points – two rebounds – four assists – one steal
Tyus Jones
16 points – three rebounds – six assists
Buddy Hield
20 points – three rebounds – four assists – three steals

Memphis at Los Angeles – Tonight
Sacramento at Los Angeles – Saturday


Houston Rockets  135
Golden State Warriors  105

The Houston Rockets lifted off to a 16-4 boost, and an eventual 38-17 lead, in the first quarter in San Francisco last night, and continued to build throughout the game against the league’s worst team to record a 30 point win over the Golden State Warriors. Two former Minnesota Timberwolves on two different trajectories reunited last night with Andrew Wiggins leading the Warriors with 22 points in a loss, while Robert Covington was part of a three-way 70 point drop, contributing 20 points in a Houston win, its 35th of the season through 55 games. It was Golden State’s fifth consecutive loss and fifth loss in a row in the Chase Center, where they’d beaten the Rockets on Christmas Day. 

ROCKETS (35-20) 5th in the WestWARRIORS (12-44) 15th in the West
James Harden
29 points – three rebounds – 10 assists – three steals – two blocks
Andrew Wiggins
22 points – three rebounds – one steal – one block
Russell Westbrook
21 points – five rebounds – 10 assists – one steal (ejected)
Jordan Poole
19 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
Robert Covington
20 points – five rebounds – one assist – four blocks
Damion Lee
13 points – three rebounds – three assists – two blocks

Houston at Utah – Saturday
New Orleans at Golden State – Sunday


(All Times Eastern)

7 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks
Orlando Magic
Fox Sports Southwest
7 p.m.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Washington Wizards
NBC Sports Washington
7:30 p.m.
Indiana Pacers
New York Knicks
Fox Sports Indiana
7:30 p.m.
Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors
Fox Sports Arizona
8 p.m.
Boston Celtics
Minnesota Timberwolves
NBC Sports Boston
8 p.m.
Denver Nuggets
Oklahoma City Thunder
9 p.m.
San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
10:30 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Lakers
Fox Sports Southeast
10:30 p.m.
New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trailblazers


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
  • Denver
  • Oklahoma City
  • Atlanta 

A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in SEC Country near Knoxville, Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at

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