Anthony Davis lays egg, Sixers crumble without Joel Embiid, TJ Warren suspends 53 on day 3 of NBA resumption

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TJ Warren loses 53 points in Pacers wins over 76ers
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    Le jour 3 de la reprise de la NBA à Orlando est dans les livres, et aucune des têtes de série n ° 1 n'a été décrochée.  Les Lakers ont eu une chance de le faire à l'Ouest avec une victoire, mais ils ont perdu les Raptors, ce qui a également empêché les Bucks de décrocher à l'Est.  Toronto continue de ressembler à une réelle menace de revenir en finale alors que presque tout le monde les a comptés comme deuxième Kawhi Leonard à gauche. 

Here are the full results of Saturday’s bubble action, followed by five takeaways:

Heat 125, Nuggets 105 (score de boîte)

Thunder 110, Jazz 94 (partition)

Clippers 126, Pelicans 103 (box score)

Pacers 127, 76ers 121 (box score)

Raptors 107, Lakers 92 (box score)

LeBron, AD lay an egg

LeBron’s numbers against Toronto looked good at the end: 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on a 7-for-15 shot. But he wasn’t on his game. Offensively, that made two tough outings for James, who is now at 13 to 34 (38%) of the ground in the bubble.

Davis, meanwhile, was a ghost on Saturday. After scoring 34 points in the Lakers’ opener, he took just seven shots against Toronto, connecting on two of them. He finished with 14 points because he went 9-for-9 from the free throw line; in reality, the same saved him against the Clippers, when he went 16-for-17 from the line but only 8-for-19 from the field. In other words, the stars of the Lakers have struggled to make shots so far in Orlando.

No Embiid … big problem

The Sixers have a history of going into the tank when Joel Embiid is off the ground, and it happened again on Saturday in Philly’s loss to the Pacers. Embiid was an absolute monster, with 41 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and one steal, and the Sixers were over 21 in his 34 minutes. Problem is, they were minus 27 in the 14 minutes he sat down. And there you have your six-point loss to Philly.

That was the logic behind (over) paying Al Horford $ 109 million over four years. He was supposed to be the guy who eased the Sixers’ struggles when Embiid was out. Horford was minus 26 on Saturday. Despite all the excitement of bringing Ben Simmons to power, he still holds many of the same positions he did as a point guard, he still can’t shoot, and he’s still cramping up the already limited space in the game. ‘Embiid on a Sixers squad that can’t collectively spread the ground with shooters.

The idea was that Shake Milton, the new starting point keeper, would bring more shooting and play to this position. It’s only a game, but he put on a donut on Saturday. Zero points in 19 minutes.

The good news is, the Sixers probably didn’t even want to win this game. In losing, they remain in the No.6 seed, which for the time being would mean a first-round game with Boston, against which the Sixers are 3-1 this season. If they had won they would have jumped to the top five seeds, which would currently pit them against Miami, which they are 1-3 against this season, while also putting them in line to face Milwaukee one round earlier if they also went far. It will be interesting to see how hard Philly tries to win games for the rest of their league table.

Jimmy Butler loves gifts

Butler has almost completely put the lid on his jumper this season, operating almost exclusively in the short midrange, as a rim finisher, and as a distributor (he has a career-high average in assists). His 2.2 attempted points per game is his lowest score since his sophomore year in the league, and he’s only making 24%, which is a career low if you don’t count his rookie season while ‘he only played eight minutes per game. Game.

So how is he still averaging over 20 points per game? This is a solo parade to the free throw line. On Saturday, Butler hit the career-high charity strip 9.1 times per game. He came 11 times in Miami’s win over Denver, making 10. Meanwhile, his six baskets were layups, and he didn’t attempt a single shot outside of the paint.

Miami has a lot of shooters and Bam Adebayo is the hub at the top of the attack, so it prepares well for Butler to move further down the field. But you wonder if the Heat can expect to make a deep playoff series when their best player is having the worst and most limited shooting season of their career.

TJ Warren hangs 53

If you didn’t know, the Phoenix Suns traded TJ Warren to the Pacers for cash. I didn’t even get a player back. The guy averaged just under 19 points per game on Saturday when he put 53 on the Sixers. Warren shot 20-29 from the field, including 9v12 from beyond the arc. They’re both career highs, but again, don’t get me wrong that this was some sort of complete aberration: Warren has always been able to score. The Suns (Shocker) botched this one.

Chris Paul the master

Paul was phenomenal for OKC on Saturday, as he has been all season, finishing with 18 points, seven assists and seven rebounds on 7 of 11 shots as the Thunder blew the Jazz. Paul controlled the tempo, got everyone around him with great shots, and got to his patented elbow jump at will.

And even:

Paul has arguably been one of the top five MVP contenders this season and is expected to be part of an All-NBA team. It continues to be hilarious that people thought he was done when Houston traded him to OKC. He’s having a historic season in clutch situations, but it wasn’t necessary on Saturday as the game was never close in the second half.

        

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