Wednesday’s Five Biggest NBA Talking Points

By Daniel Oriyasin

Blazers in red hot form

The Portland Trail Blazers overcame the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks 118-103 at the Moda center last night.

The Bucks were Portland’s biggest test to date and they passed it with ease. They won all four quarters to resoundingly hand the Eastern conference juggernaut their second defeat of the campaign.

The Blazers were widely tipped to miss the playoffs this season despite getting the third seed last time out. They were humiliated in the first round by Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, losing in four games.

After a disappointing playoff campaign both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were in trade rumours for most of the summer, but the Blazers have run it back. Consistency has proven to be key in Portland before and Rip City will be hoping to continue this early season hot streak.

CJ McCollum is back to his best

CJ McCollum dropped a season high of 40 points against the Bucks.

McCollum struggled at the start of the season but has looked more like himself in the past few games, including almost single-handedly bringing the Blazers back against the Lakers on Sunday.

The highlight play of the night for the combo guard was when he made Donte DiVincenzo hit the floor to end the third quarter. The veteran had the rookie on skates and a hesitation dribble while driving to the rim was too much for DiVincenzo to handle. McCollum rose up and drained the mid-range jumper.

Kemba kills the Hawks

Kemba Walker has continued his incredible start to the season when the Hornets overcame division rivals Atlanta Hawks 113-102 at Spectrum Center.

Walker was a thorn in the Hawks’ side all game. He was relentless at getting to the rim and finishing some very difficult attempts over Alex Len. The highlight of the night was when he sent Trae Young the wrong way with a crossover and finished acrobatically around Vince Carter at the basket to tie the game up in the second quarter.

The point guard’s contract is up at the end of the year and he was heavily rumoured to be traded before last season’s trade deadline but is keen to see out his career with the Hornets.

Doncic living up to expectations

Luka Doncic is the youngest winner of the EuroLeague MVP and was selected third in the 2018 NBA draft.

The Slovenian continued to show out for the Mavericks as their best player already with a 23 point performance in a win against the Washington Wizards. Doncic managed to score in a multitude of ways, showcasing his immense skill level. He dunked at the basket, from mid-range, with floaters, three pointers, everything you could want in a lead ball-handler.

Doncic is leading all rookies in scoring with just shy of 20ppg, is third in rebounds despite being a wing and is second in assists. His fantastic start to the year in all aspects has seen him emerge as the front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award.

LeVert’s Most-Improved Player bid continued

Caris LeVert put in an all action display as the Nets blew out the Suns 104-82 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The swingman scored 26 points, grabbed five rebounds, a steal and an assist. He was only credited for one block despite swatting a Booker attempt and blocking Isaiah Canaan within a minute in the third quarter.

LeVert nailed 50% of his three pointers, finished well at the rim and showed a touch of class with two sweet up-and-under moves that left rookie duo DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges totally lost.

The 24-year-old has taken huge steps offensively, boosting his point production from 12.1ppg to 20.5ppg and has really polished his ball-handling and shooting form over the off season. He has only failed to hit double figures scoring once thus far.

He faces stiff competition from Zach LaVine in what promises to be a really interesting Most Improved Player race.

Edited by Harry Trend

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