There's a lot more reasons to watch the NBA than the Warriors. Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis reminded us last week.
Maybe you enjoyed your All-Star break a little too much, perhaps you’re still neck-deep in Kanye hysteria, or possibly, the sleepy trade deadline lulled you into a spellbound slumber from which you just awoke. Either way, welcome to a world where Lance Stephenson, Matt Barnes, Tony Allen and Chris “Birdman” Andersen are teammates. If you have been paying attention to the NBA this past week, two things probably stuck out.
1) Damian Lillard completely eviscerated Golden State in what became a 32-point blowout, dropping an I-can’t-believe-it’s-that-buttery line of 51 points, seven assists, six steals and no turnovers. The full list of players ever to score more than 51 points with seven or more assists, six or more steals and no turnovers: Damian Lillard.
2) Anthony Davis defiled the Pistons for 59 points and 20 rebounds Sunday, with an unstoppable run of tip-ins, tip-dunks, step-backs, fadeaways, side-fadeaways and unblockable floaters. I actually had to refresh the box score to make sure it was right. The full list of players ever to score at least 59 points and grab 20 rebounds in the modern era? Anthony Davis, and Shaq.
There’s a school of thought that this season’s best teams are so good that the rest of the league gets boring and the regular season is just not worth watching. Here’s the counter-argument: young superstars racking up insane career highs just days apart. Wild stuff happens all around the league when you aren’t looking. I bet nobody outside the state of Louisiana, the Detroit metro area and the basketball-loving Internet actually saw Anthony Davis score 59 as it happened. Somebody you know who did not see the game will probably lie to you today about how unreal it was. It may have already happened. Trust no one.
Anyway, don’t limit yourselves to the Warriors (but still watch the Warriors). Enjoy all of the basketball. Enjoy this week’s Power Rankings.