This Week In Hoops: November 16

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to basketball season. If you were around these parts last year, you remember our weekly feature: This Week in Hoops. It’s changed a bit, but the essence is the same. If you’re new to Palestra Back, TWIH is a helpful guide to the recent goings on in the world of basketball. If something happens on the hardwood, you’ll hear about it here. 

The Biggest Story in Basketball

It would would be irresponsible to highlight any story in basketball except for the brilliance of one Stephen Curry. Through 11 games, he’s averaged 33.4 points, 5.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per contest. He has made 57 three pointers in those 11 games. Here now is a list of players who have averaged more than 5 made threes per game for a season:

just steph

OK, just Steph from this year.  Let’s open it up a bit and search for anyone who’d averaged 4 made threes per game:

still just steph

Oh, still just this current Steph season. Fine, let’s really open it up. How about 3 made threes?

some others and steph

You’re reading correctly. Steph would be destroying his own record. The most threes per game by someone not named Wardell Stephen Curry is the first ten games of Damian Lillard this season, or for a full season, Ray Allen’s mark was 3.4 per game. Shooting this successfully at this volume is not just historic, it is at another level.

Steph Curry is such a good shooter (and ball handler and passer) that even though LeBron James is a 6’9 muscular, athletic freak with guard skills, the best player in the world conversation is open for discussion once again.

Basketball is Fun!

With all of the hot takes and super serious basketball related opinions out there, it’s important to remember that this is a game being played and watched for fun. Every week we’ll highlight something on the lighter side of the hoops world. 

One of my favorite things about early season college basketball is when little, tiny, seemingly made-up schools get a chance to play with the big boys. For example:

seton hill

Oh, pretty solid win for Duquesne. They beat Seton Hall! No wait, what? What is a Seton Hill?

millsaps

A valiant effort for LA Tech grad Paul Millsap and his brother Elijah to put up 33 points in a 2 on 5 game.

austin lamar

This sounds like two individual human beings played basketball.

harvard mit

NERD BATTLE! Weep into your calculators, MIT!

Essential Reading

All the pieces and posts you need to read to be on the ball. 

Okafor Bounces Back, But Sixers Lose 10th Straight: The always great Derek Bodner looks at the state of the Sixers, specifically the impact Jahlil Okafor has had, other than scoring the ball.

Behind the bracket: It’s OK to trust Villanova: Mr. Brackets himself, Joe Lunardi, breaks down the first edition of his ever important Bracketology feature over at ESPN.com.

Rank Shots

May the Tuesday Top Tens rest in pieces. Long live Rank Shots! If you’re not familiar, this is where we rank the best teams in the NBA, college basketball, and rank another totally irrelevant something.

NBA:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. (a vast area of time and space)
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. San Antonio Spurs

College Basketball

  1. Maryland
  2. Kentucky
  3. Duke
  4. Virginia
  5. Kansas
  6. UNC

Holidays

  1. Thanksgiving
  2. Christmas
  3. St. Patrick’s Day
  4. 4th of July
  5. Memorial Day
  6. Labor Day
  7. Halloween

Something Vaguely Basketball Related You Should Have Seen By Now

“Not a joke about domestic violence…A joke about processing the passing of time.”

Games To Watch This Week

Monday

NCAA: #6 Virginia at GW (7:30/ESPN2), #22 Baylor at Oregon (11:30/ESPN2)

Tuesday

NBA: Raptors at Warriors (10:30/NBATV)

NCAA: MARATHON DAY! Games run all day on ESPN, starting with a 6 AM Green Bay-East Tennessee State game. It all leads up to…

#2 Kentucky vs #5 Duke (7:30/ESPN), #4 Kansas vs #13 Michigan State (10 PM/ESPN)

Hello, and welcome back to the Champions Classic. Anyone complaining about college basketball not opening with a bang (looking at you Tony “It should start in January and go til May” Kornheiser), can promptly zip it and enjoy these games with the rest of us. KU and Sparty is no slouch, but there’s so many new faces and excitement in the Duke-UK game.

Wednesday

NBA: Pelicans at Thunder (8 PM/ESPN)

I’ll be in attendance for Sixers-Pacers (jealous???) and glad I’m not missing any college games worth watching.

Thursday

NBA: The Warriors and Clippers will “play a basketball game” (but will probably just have a street brawl) at  10:30 PM on TNT

NCAA: TOURNAMENT TIME! Early season tournaments begin, so there’s games on all day, beginning with Temple-Minnesota in Puerto Rico (11:30 AM/ESPNU) and finishing with possibly the best game of the day: SMU at Stanford (11:30 PM/ESPN2).

Friday

NBA: Bulls at Warriors (10:30/ESPN)

Yeah, I picked a lot of Warriors games this week. Fact is, most of the other national games are either odd stinkers or involve the 1-9 Pelicans. Stick to Curry and the Dubs.

NCAA: #17 Wisconsin vs Georgetown (5 PM/ESPN2), #5 Duke vs. VCU (7:30 PM, ESPN2), Xavier at #25 Michigan (9 PM, BTN)

Saturday

NCAA: #1 UNC AT (TRUE ROAD GAME!?) Northern Iowa (2PM/ESPN3), Florida vs St. Joe’s (2:30 PM/ESPN3)

Sunday

NCAA: Harvard at BC (12:30 PM/ESPNU)

A weirdly calm weekend for hoops.  I guess we’re stuck with football for now.

Enjoy the Games, Everyone.

(Note: Every edition of This Week in Hoops will end with a song. I’ve compiled all of these songs into a playlist that you can find here.)

*

Header Image via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY

Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. He has also contributed to SALTMoney.org and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain. If you have any suggestions, tips, ideas, or questions, email them to palestraback@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “This Week In Hoops: November 16

  1. Hey Shane,

    Exciting to see “This Week in Hoops” back in action for this season. I do have an issue with the holiday rankings, however. I’m going to assume you’re confused about when Memorial Day is and just provided a list of the upcoming holidays in chronological order, which isn’t particularly helpful since you didn’t include any of my family member’s birthdays. Would you mind actually ranking them?

    Also, the Wesley College Wolverines, also known as the pride of Dover, upset D3 #2 Virginia Wesleyan in their season opener. A little love for D3 ball going forward would be great.

    Keep up good work.

    Best,

    John “Sweet Baby J” Jeeves

    Like

    1. Hey Sweet Baby J,

      Thanks for reading. I’ll see what I can do on the D3 front, as the PB does not discriminate against any form of basketball.

      As for Memorial Day, I stand by that ranking! Always exciting to kick off the summer with a little BBQ action. Not quite the excitement of July 4, though better than the sadness of summer ending on Labor Day.

      Thanks,
      Shane

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s