The best football weekend of the year concluded with the CFB National Championship where Heisman winner Devonta Smith shined again, while many fans subsequently missed two exciting NBA games coming down to the wire as the night capped off. The Blazers came back from a 17–point first-half deficit and needed a CJ McCollum game-winner to take down the reeling Raptors. The Pacers and Kings battled it out in Sac-town as the Kings held on for a narrow victory thanks to some clutch plays from Buddy Hield.
The remaining five games weren’t as exhilarating, but Washington’s (+207) upset over Phoenix in Westbrook’s absence served as the biggest surprise of the night. Trae Young and Gordon Hayward each had solid performances while the Bucks broke away from Orlando in the fourth quarter. Zion vs. Luka in the Pelicans-Mavericks game became the third NBA game of the year to be postponed due to Covid-19.
Enjoy PSO’s Game Reviews for NBA Monday on January 11th, 2021:
Toronto Raptors (111) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (112) [GW-FG]
[Highlights] @BLAZERS (-169; $11.17) d. RAPTORS (+169; $7.68) 112-111 [TOR +4.5 | u231]
[Highlights] @KINGS (+153; $9.40) d. PACERS (-153; $10.37) 127-122 [SAC +4 | o229]
[Highlights] GRIZZLIES (-124; $9.25) d. @CAVALIERS (+124; $12.33) 101-91 [MEM -2.5 | u206.5]
[Highlights] @HAWKS (-225; $10.55) d. 76ERS (+225; $10.13) 112-94 [ATL -6.5 | u221]
[Highlights] @WIZARDS (+207; $8.33) d. SUNS (-207; $13.19) 128-107 [WAS +5.5 | o231]
[Highlights] @HORNETS (-178; $13.91) d. KNICKS (+178; $13.28) 109-88 [CHA -5 | u212]
[Highlights] BUCKS (-413; $9.79) d. @MAGIC (+413; $10.48) 121-99 [MIL -10 | u226]
CJ McCollum facts:
What a finish, CJ! 😧 pic.twitter.com/GRy2YDCBC3— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 12, 2021
HERE. COMES. DE'AARON. FOX.— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
SAC leads by 4 with 28.4 left pic.twitter.com/HSifuChw1K
Bradley Beal is just ridiculous 🤯 pic.twitter.com/VoUbRHisN6— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 12, 2021
AARON GORDON PUT EM ON A POSTER! 😱 pic.twitter.com/hlSxaStXIT— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 12, 2021
PSkills with the dime 🔥 pic.twitter.com/tNe7DDadbu— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 12, 2021
All-angles of LaMelo Ball's fullcourt dime to Gordon Hayward! pic.twitter.com/lrtUC42uKP— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
0.7 on the shot clock, Richaun Holmes catches and fires!— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
SAC leads IND in the 4th on NBA LP pic.twitter.com/LEQnlnWJfJ
Okoro throwing it DOWN! 😳 pic.twitter.com/NaafjxYaU5— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 12, 2021
🚫 Rim protector JaVale! 🚫 pic.twitter.com/hwZUWPscZp— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
1. CJ McCollum’s All-Star play makes this the most talented Blazers team of the Dame-CJ era
CJ McCollum is having a career-year for the Blazers this season. McCollum is averaging career-highs in points (28.1), assists (5.0), and three-point percentage (44.5%), while being an elite scorer alongside All-Star Damian Lillard. McCollum’s ability to knock down shots has been crucial to the Blazers’ success, as Lillard has seen double and triple teams on numerous occasions.
On Monday, McCollum was the hero for Portland, as he knocked down a pull-up 17-footer with 10 seconds left to give the Blazers the lead, and ultimately the win. On a team where fourth quarters are known as “Dame Time,” McCollum had the ball in his hands when the game mattered most — and he delivered. If McCollum is able to sustain these numbers, he could finally be looking at his first career All-Star appearance during his eighth NBA season. But more importantly for the Blazers, if this play is sustainable from CJ, they have a real shot at beating ANYONE in the West, including the champs.
2. De’Aaron Fox is the most underrated ATHLETE in the league
De’Aaron Fox isn’t just quick… He has world-class quickness. His ability to grab a rebound and get down the court is similar to that of John Wall and Russell Westbrook, two of the fastest players to ever step inside an NBA arena. The way Fox can drive to the hoop for explosive slams is unmatched, especially for someone of his size. Speed and athleticism is not a requirement to be a great Point Guard in the NBA, but it sure does help, and the Kentucky product is proving that in his fourth season.
In a close game against the Pacers, De’Aaron Fox received a pass at the top of the key and didn’t hesitate to explode down the lane for a vicious dunk that turned out to be the dagger in the Kings’ win over Indy. Fox is not only explosive for a point guard, but he’s as athletic as anyone in the league. Though his game compares to the likes of Wall and Westbrook, Fox doesn’t earn the same recognition when it comes to being the league’s greatest athletes, even though Fox has dunk-contest level athleticism and the speed to outrun anyone in the open court. With a few more highlight dunks like the one he had on Monday, he may finally get that respect.