In a day that was filled with big wins, two games provided fans some nail-biting finishes. Pascal Siakam missed the game-winner at the buzzer, as the Raptors comeback attempt fell just short in Golden State. Kawhi Leonard and Zach LaVine battled it out in LA, combining for 80 points and 17 three-pointers between the two stars. Kevin Durant was unable to beat his former team in his return from quarantine as the Thunder upset the Nets, while the healthy Lakers blew out the Rockets in Houston. The biggest news of the night was the postponement of the Heat-Celtics game due to Covid, just the second postponement of the season.
Enjoy PSO’s Game Reviews for NBA Sunday on January 10th, 2021:
Toronto Raptors (105) vs. Golden State Warriors (106) [GW-FTs]
[Highlights] @WARRIORS (+133; $8.70) d. RAPTORS (-133; $7.85) 106-105 (GW-FTs) [GSW +3 | u233.5]
[Highlights] @CLIPPERS (-638; $10.10) d. BULLS (+638; $9.81) 130-127 [CHI +12 | o221]
[Highlights] @TIMBERWOLVES (+165; $8.42) d. SPURS (-165; $12.72) 96-88 [MIN +4.5 | u229.5]
[Highlights] JAZZ (-334; $9.99) d. @PISTONS (+334; $8.00) 96-86 [UTA -8.5 | u217]
[Highlights] THUNDER (+285; $7.98) d. @NETS (-285; $9.63) 129-116 [OKC +7.5 | o224]
[Highlights] LAKERS (-175; $10.18) d. @ROCKETS (+175; $8.40) 120-102 [LAL -4.5 | u224]
[Highlights] NUGGETS (-196; $8.88) d. @KNICKS (+196; $13.85) 114-89 [DEN -5.5 | u213.5]
Bron steal & slam 😤 pic.twitter.com/qUsQ0S6x1x— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 11, 2021
THIS PASS FROM LEBRON. 😳pic.twitter.com/1b2Nx0k5Ts— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 11, 2021
BLOCK AND SLAM. 💪 pic.twitter.com/2uGCxcgMtE— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) January 10, 2021
Make that 10 threes for LaVine 🥶 pic.twitter.com/0fhfsQF8hD— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 10, 2021
SGA putting the moves on ‘em 😯 pic.twitter.com/EqBBO7Go5w— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 10, 2021
Jae'Sean Tate post moves on display! pic.twitter.com/MV9dBeKnjA— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2021
1. Expect Zach LaVine to be the next superstar to request a trade
Zach LaVine has taken the superstar leap this year. He’s averaging career-highs in points (27.7), assists (4.6), rebounds (5.1), field goal percentage (49.1%), and free throw percentage (88.7%), cementing himself as a top player and premier scorer in this league. He had recent scoring performances of 39, 38, 33, and 32 going into Sunday’s tilt with the Clippers, and drained clutch shots down the stretch in wins against the Wizards and Trail Blazers.
On Sunday, it was more of the same for LaVine, who scored 45 points, including 10 3PM, and added seven rebounds along with seven assists. LaVine did everything he could for the Bulls, yet they came up just short in a tough three-point loss to the Clippers, two days after their two-point loss to the Lakers, also at the Staples Center.
LaVine is playing like a superstar, and it may be time he wants to be treated like one. If the Bulls continue to lose, especially in the fashion they’ve lost their last couple games, LaVine may become even more frustrated with the losing franchise. It would not be surprising to see LaVine request to be traded to a contender, and to have a shot at playing playoff basketball for the first time in his seven-year career.
2. Draymond Green’s health is the real catalyst for the Warriors team status
Draymond Green missed the first four games of the Warriors’ season due to a foot injury he suffered during training camp. The Warriors went 2-2 in those games, starting out with two blowout losses to the Nets and Bucks, and needed a last-second three to take down the Bulls. In Green’s first game back, he played just 17 minutes in a loss. Since then, Green has played at least 20 minutes in every game. The Warriors are 4-1 in those games.
Green is the defensive anchor for the Warriors on one side of the ball, and a gifted passer and playmaker on the other. On Sunday in Toronto, Green had a near triple-double, accumulating season-highs in points (10), rebounds (9), and assists (10). In a game where Steph Curry went just 2-16 from the field, Green was able to make the right plays for this team, help everyone around him play better, and they collectively held off the Raptors in a hard-fought victory. As long as Green stays healthy, the Warriors are a threat in the West and will continue outperforming their overall talent.