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:
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:
Oh, still just this current Steph season. Fine, let’s really open it up. How about 3 made threes?
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:
Oh, pretty solid win for Duquesne. They beat Seton Hall! No wait, what? What is a Seton Hill?
This sounds like two individual human beings played basketball.
NERD BATTLE! Weep into your calculators, MIT!
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.
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.
- Golden State Warriors
- (a vast area of time and space)
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- San Antonio Spurs
- St. Patrick’s Day
- 4th of July
- Memorial Day
- Labor Day
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
NCAA: #6 Virginia at GW (7:30/ESPN2), #22 Baylor at Oregon (11:30/ESPN2)
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.
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.
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).
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)
NCAA: #1 UNC AT (TRUE ROAD GAME!?) Northern Iowa (2PM/ESPN3), Florida vs St. Joe’s (2:30 PM/ESPN3)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.