Let’s jump right into today’s The Morning Dunk!
Highlights from Around the Association
Jalen Brunson led the Knicks to an early lead over the Cavs in a playoff rematch. Brunson averaged a career-high 24 points and 6.2 assists and was an all-star snub last season. Can he lead the Mecca to new heights in 2023? We’ll soon find out, but early indications are the Knicks are headed straight back to the playoffs.
Slick fake.— NBA (@NBA) October 31, 2023
Jalen Brunson looking smooth early 😎
📺 Knicks/Cavs - LIVE NOW on TNT pic.twitter.com/RyQc8zSa8k
While the “Spida” was filling the hoop on All Hallows’ Eve.
Spida doing work inside... he's got 18 in the 1H 🔥— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2023
📺 Knicks/Cavs - LIVE NOW on TNT pic.twitter.com/8Pevjcx4Ab
Despite Mitchell’s brilliance, the Cavs fell to the Knicks Tuesday 109-91.
Wemby Meets KD
We may see that Spider-Man meme come into full effect as Victor Wembanyama continues to hone his offensive game.
For now, it was certainly fun to see Wemby defend the man to whom many compare his skill set. The 7-foot-4 French international shares many of the same redeeming qualities Kevin Durant did when he first hit the NBA as a skinny teenager.
OH MY GOODNESS VICTOR WEMBANYAMA ‼️— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2023
📺 Spurs/Suns- WATCH NOW on TNT pic.twitter.com/UafAUQULUk
“Streaky shooter” and “needs to add strength” can be found on both men’s scouting reports. Right alongside “versatile scorer with unicorn potential.” Both KD and Wembanyama displayed their incredibly unique prowess on the hardwood on Tuesday night. There are only so many people in the world who can move like these men do at that size. Ultimately, the Spurs got the last laugh, winning 115-114.
Hopefully, hoops fans can enjoy many more “Slim Reaper” versus the “Extraterrestrial” matchups in the future. For those wondering, you can still bet Wembanyama at -135 to win NBA Rookie of the Year, and +1900 to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Clippers Destroy Magic
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers took the court for the first time since trading for James Harden. The results were positive as LA walked away with a 118-102 victory over the Orlando Magic who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Undoubtedly one of the most polarizing figures of recent NBA history, Harden figures to raise the Clippers ceiling as the season progresses. However, are the aging wonders really at the same level as contenders like the Nuggets and Celtics?
Russell Westbrook is 35 years old, Harden is 34, Paul George is 33, and Kawhi Leonard, whose last really outstanding season was in 2019, is 32. At their peak, the Clippers could be outstanding, but it’s hard to find a recent NBA champion that compares favorably. Perhaps the closest thing is the 2011 Mavericks, but Dirk Nowitzki ain’t walking through that door.
If only we could hear what Clippers’ consultant Jerry West thinks of the trade.