Dr. Moore & Mr. Wob: Lakers Panic, Buying the Raptors, Contract-Year Kemba, More
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard
- Matt Moore and Rob Perez discuss the biggest topics in the NBA.
- Are the Toronto Raptors for real with Kawhi Leonard at the helm?
- Should we be concerned by sluggish starts for the Lakers and Thunder?
Well hello there. Week 1 of the NBA regular season is complete, and it honestly feels like it should be the playoffs already with how much has transpired.
Doing an “overreaction” column is too easy. Let’s change it up a little bit.
Wob is going to use the eye test only to deliver five in-the-moment hypotheses after consuming an adult beverage, and Matt will either support or rebut them with facts.
This week’s topics: The crazy amount of points being scored, whether it’s time to panic on LA and OKC, Kemba Walker’s hot start, and the Nuggets and Raptors looking like world-beaters.
Let us begin.
1. POINTS ON POINTS IN POINTS
WOB: I am genuinely curious at this point what the record of over/unders is for NBA full games this year. Every time I look up there’s a Kings-Pelicans or Bulls-Mavericks score that looks like two teenagers are playing NBA2K on Rookie with actual 12-minute quarters.
It is out of control. The ’90s are rolling in their graves watching the defense and micro-managed officiating that’s being played out in today’s game.
MOORE: Here’s the thing, I don’t think it’s a defensive problem. Everything isn’t a two-way dynamic where if the offense is good, the defense has to be terrible, or vice-versa.
Teams are playing insanely fast.
WOB: That has to be the result of the shot clock resetting to 14 instead of 24 after offensive rebounds, right?
It’s been very funny watching teams that retrieve the offensive rebound kick it out to their point guard standing a step inside the half-court line and stand around waiting for a play call not realizing that there are now only eight seconds left and they have to improv scramble around the court like it’s a YMCA game.
As soon as that ball comes off the rim it is going RIGHT back up and causing all sorts of fast breaks leading to more rim warfare, which means more fouls and more free throws and more points.
There, I solved it.
MOORE: The 14-second reset is contributing, but as we looked on Monday, pace and the free throw rate are driving a lot of this. And the key here is that the freedom of movement calls are probably going to chill.
It’s an annual rite where the league makes a big deal about a call early, and by December we don’t remember it. I’m getting ready to hop on board the unders in the month of December, but for now, get while the getting is good.
WOB: Will we see a team score 200 points this season? Honestly, all it might take is a three-overtime game.
MOORE: Hell no, because you have to have a coach who’s at least marginally interested in doing that.
If the Warriors had 170, Steve Kerr is pulling the plug on the starters and demanding they grind. Alvin Gentry wouldn’t push for it, either.
You’d need a team that was so blistering hot, and fast, and wanted to pursue it, and I don’t think we have that combo. You also need sustained shooting and fouling to get there, and eventually, the other team will either buck up enough or stop trying enough to slow its opponent down.
No team wants to say it gave up the most points in NBA history. A triple-overtime game would require guys to keep slinging and splashing constantly throughout those overtimes, and when games get tight, that gets tougher.