Rise and shine, hoop heads! It’s time for your midweek basketball roundup with The Morning Dunk!
Warriors and Timberwolves Throw Down
One does not simply wait five minutes into an NBA game before throwing haymakers. The Dubs and T-Wolves wasted no time getting into it Tuesday, sparking a full-court brawl just 1:43 into the first quarter. It began with a dust-up between Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels before spilling into all-out bedlam.
Things are getting HEATED and out of control early 👀 pic.twitter.com/q9tNRPUGIQ— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 15, 2023
McDaniels boxed out Thompson then ripped his jersey. Thompson took exception, so the "Stifle Tower" himself Rudy Gobert hopped in to break it up, but even Gobert found trouble when Draymond Green put him in a chokehold. Green, the human mosquito he is, couldn't resist a chance to be the center of attention, though his rear-naked choke technique leaves much to be desired.
Thompson and McDaniels got chucked for fighting. No suspensions have been announced yet, but there's a strong chance Green gets slapped with a fine or a short ban. The longtime Dubs power forward has over 160 technical fouls, 18 ejections, and four suspensions in his career, which doesn't exactly make him a model NBA citizen.
Chet vs Wemby: Round 1
The NBA witnessed the dawn of what promises to be an epic rivalry as rookie sensations Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama faced off for the first time. The anticipation for this matchup was sky-high and it delivered!
Wemby with the TOUGH behind-the-back and sidestep jam 😳— NBA (@NBA) November 15, 2023
🏆 NBA In-Season Tournament
🏀 West Group C action on TNT pic.twitter.com/5xvcsfdumr
Wemby displayed his alien-like prowess while scoring all eight of his points in the first half and adding 14 rebounds. Chet Holmgren didn't have much more of an impact, dropping nine points and grabbing seven boards.
These paranormally gifted unicorns are set to enthrall fans and dominate the NBA for years to come. Despite his team’s win, Holmgren is a heavy +400 underdog to take home the Rookie of the Year trophy.
Clippers Harden Failure
Over in Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers are grappling with a stark reality - Ty Lue’s team is an unsettling 0-5 in the James Harden era following their loss to the Nuggets. Harden’s integration into the Clippers’ system is proving to be more difficult than anticipated.
It’s still early, but changes could be on the horizon if the Clippers' star-laden, veteran team fails to gel. Steve Ballmer’s not clapping anymore. The Clippers owner understandably wants star power to buoy the opening of Los Angeles state-of-the-art Intuit Dome next year. However, a losing basketball team simply won’t cut it in LA. Clippers to miss the playoffs at +144 is one of the best futures bets on the NBA board.
Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic and the defending NBA champions have now won 7 straight home contests. The Nuggets are building on their impressive 34-7 home record from last season, and are quickly turning Ball Arena into a fortress.
Denver has shown few signs of weakness in the early parts of this season and remains at +440 odds to repeat as NBA champions.