Don't count out the Warriors just yet. Plus, more Beef Court with Draymond Green + buyout activity
This is the digital version of The Bounce.
If you want it earlier, start every day with The Bounce delivered to your inbox. Sign up here.
Patrick Mahomes ripped out my heart. He’s the 🐐.
Let’s check the post-weekend market trends!
After last night, some of us hate the NFL because we’re sore losers and knew a guillotine blade would fall upon us. But there’s no reason to be bitter! Let’s check the NBA Stock Market as we open up another week with some good news about another Bay Area squad.
📈: The Warriors. Don’t look now, but Golden State looked a little better this week. The Warriors have won four straight and six of their last seven overall. With this stretch, they’ve worked their way back into the No. 10 spot for the Play-In — as of right now. Their last two wins over Indiana (30-24, sixth in East) and Phoenix (31-22, fifth in West) were impressive in very different ways. In fact, speaking of that win over the Suns …
📈: Stephen Curry’s game-winner on Saturday came with 3.3 seconds left and the Warriors down two. Rookie Brandin Podziemski threw a risky pass to Steph about 35 feet from the basket. Bradley Beal went for the steal before Steph gave the pass a bounce to gather his rhythm, turned and fired up the eventual game-winner. This is absurd awareness and execution by Steph.
📉: The Kings had a dominant win over the Nuggets (36-17, fourth in West) this past week, but that was their lone bright spot. They understandably lost to the red-hot Cavs (35-16, second in East) and very dangerous Thunder (36-17, third in West). What wasn’t acceptable was losing at home to the Pistons (8-44, last in East). Sacramento (30-22, seventh in West) has a tough schedule the rest of the month but many home games in March.
📉: The 76ers. Obviously, there’s no Joel Embiid, so there’s only so much a team built around the MVP big man can do without said big man. After winning six in a row, the Sixers (31-21, fifth in East) have now lost eight of their last 10, but one of those wins was against the Wizards (9-43, 14th in East), so that doesn’t really count.
📈: The Mavs. Not only was Dallas (30-23, eighth in West) one of the top deal-makers at the trade deadline, but it has won four straight games. Luka Dončić is playing out of his mind. The Mavericks just absolutely housed the Thunder with their new additions in tow. Dallas is a game back of getting into the top six in the West.
📉: The Rockets started 18-16 but have fallen on hard times (5-13 since, 12th in West). Jalen Green is playing really well, but Jabari Smith Jr. and Dillon Brooks have recently struggled with their shots. Houston has lost four straight.
📈: The Cavs keep winning — nine straight to be exact! Nobody can explain why other than they’re really good! Also, I’m wondering how many people are buying them as playoff threats yet. For now, at least, let’s just enjoy the ride.
📈: Tyrese Haliburton assists. The play is crazy! It’s just your casual, in-transition pump fake before firing the ball off the backboard to yourself to catch in the air and kick it to the corner for a three. Watch closely.
The Latest From Shams
Lakers, Thunder spark buyout activity
The buyout market has already seen activity as two teams signed veteran names.
Spencer Dinwiddie plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers after he clears waivers. The Lakers were among several playoff teams — including Mavericks — who seriously pursued Dinwiddie with an opportunity for a significant role on the roster. Dinwiddie averaged 12.6 points and six assists in 48 games for the Nets this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder improved their frontcourt depth by signing veteran center Bismack Biyombo to a minimum deal, sources tell The Athletic. The 31-year-old Biyombo averaged 5.2 points and 6.4 rebounds over 30 games for Grizzlies this season.
We’ll keep you updated with more buyout activity as things take shape.
About the Buyout Activity
How veterans can help new teams
Now signed for the rest of the season, Dinwiddie will likely back up D’Angelo Russell, his former teammate in Brooklyn. Despite really struggling with his shot this season, Dinwiddie is a solid offensive weapon. The Lakers’ offense falls off a cliff when LeBron James isn’t on the floor (121.1 offensive rating with him on, 112.1 with him off). Dinwiddie might be able to make up for some of that. The Lakers are trying to ensure they make the postseason.
By signing the recently waived Kyle Lowry, the Sixers are making sure they don’t slide down into the Play-In Tournament while hoping for Embiid’s return. The 37-year-old Lowry was waived by the Hornets after Charlotte traded Terry Rozier to Miami in prior weeks. Lowry returns home to Philadelphia, where he’s from and where he played college ball at Villanova.
Now, he will be with the Sixers for the rest of the season, backing up Tyrese Maxey. The Sixers did just trade Patrick Beverley for Cameron Payne, but Lowry should provide much more reliable backup point guard production.
Draymond Green vs. Jusuf Nurkić
Two months ago, Adam Silver and the NBA finally had the proverbial last straw with Draymond Green, when the Warriors’ four-time champion struck Suns center Jusuf Nurkić with a spinning, flailing backhand. It came just weeks after Green choked Rudy Gobert in a game, so Silver rightly hit Green with an indefinite suspension. At the time, Green needed to undergo counseling and prove he was fit to return to play.
Saturday night, the Suns and Warriors matched up again. Once again, things got kerfuffle-y between Nurkić and Green. Both players hit each other with a “too small” celebration after respective buckets. It led to an in-game war of words, which spilled over after the Warriors’ 113-112 victory. You know what that means. It’s time for some Beef Court!
Case for Green: He said after the game about Nurk’s celebration, “You can’t get bullied a couple plays later if you’re going to do that. You can’t be a nothing defender if you’re going to do that.” Green said that Nurkić outweighs him by 70 pounds but still got put in the rim on Green’s score in the lane.
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) February 12, 2024
Steph Curry called the Jusuf Nurkic postgame comments on Draymond Green “idiotic”
“Draymond was in his head. Plain and simple.” pic.twitter.com/O6tV6EOFBa
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 11, 2024
Upon hearing Nurkić’s comments after the game (more on those in a second), Green also he’ll never be the quiet guy on the court because quiet guys don’t win. Green was asked what he learned since his suspension. His reply? When he’s in the game, the Warriors are very good.
Case for Nurkić: Remember when this incident first happened, Nurkić delivered the much-memed quote of, “That brother needs help.”? When asked about Green after the recent contest, Nurkić said it’s sad and Green didn’t learn anything from his time away. Nurkić also believes it’s a matter of time before Green hits somebody else again:
“I take back everything that I said. He don’t deserve a chance.”
Unfortunately, the Suns and Warriors don’t play again this regular season, but Nurkić has put the spotlight right back on Green’s “antics.”
Verdict: We rule in the case of Nurkić because 1) it indeed seems like Green truly hasn’t learned his lesson, and 2) Nurk’s comments have just been funnier. 🧑⚖️
It’s time for Andrew Wiggins to prove keeping him was the right move for the Warriors.
Rob Pelinka gave Spencer Dinwiddie a great view of his new team.
Which teams helped or hurt themselves most at the trade deadline?
Screen Game (All times Eastern)
Main Screen: Wolves-Clippers (10:30 p.m. NBA TV). First place in the West is on the line. The 35-16 Clippers trail the Timberwolves (36-16) by a half game.
Second Screen: Nuggets-Bucks (8 p.m. NBA TV). Two of the last three champs square off. Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo have won four of the last five regular-season MVPs.
League Pass Game of the Night: Warriors-Jazz (9 p.m.). This one has major Play-In Tournament implications! Full schedule here.
(Top photo: Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images)