What We Learned: Week of November 8

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Here’s what the Paroxysm crew learned from this week.

Matt: The Pacers are f*cking badasses.

Chicago needs offensive welfare.

The Clippers have enough guns to hang in the regular season but Doc Rivers hasn’t magically made the defense awesome. They’re somehow worse, early on.

The Warriors may be the best team in the West.

Noam: Brandon Jennings took a lot of shots in Milwaukee because he had to. Brandon Jennings will take a lot of shots in Detroit because he wants to.

Jared: The Rockets somehow still don’t have a better end-of-game play than “James Harden dribbles a lot and then takes a jumper.”

Miami’s defense still has a ridiculous on/off switch and can smother even the best offensive teams.

JJ Redick can’t guard Dwyane Wade in the post.

Chandler Parsons’ “sneaky athleticism” is only sneaky because he is white.

Miami looks like it’s going to use the Cole-Chalmers tandem more often this year, which is something to watch.

Jordan: Iggy+Bogut+Lee+Curry= SO MUCH FUN BALL MOVEMENT. Back door cuts, lobs, mid-air-behind-the-back-passes-to-the-post…I need a smoke.

Kevin Love back.

There’s nothing quite so frustrating as to watch a team as talented as Oklahoma CIty operate in such a bland offense.

The Orlando Magic are fun. From Oladipo’s spin move to Andrew Nicholson’s mid-range jumper (I DON’T CARE HOW INEFFICIENT OF A SHOT IT IS) to Nikola Vucevic’s maniacal rebounding…they’re young, they’re going to make mistakes, and they probably won’t maintain the 94.8 defensive rating (good for third overall) but dammit if they aren’t a League Pass treasure.

Jack: Paul George has made the leap everyone thought he did in last year’s playoffs. Related: Roy Hibbert’s defending like it’s the Eastern Conference Finals.

This might have been the best week of MKG’s career.

The Warriors are suddenly Miami West – no team is moving the ball better than Golden State this season.

The Thunder are fine. Color me shocked.

Scott R: Russell Westbrook looks like the same old Russell Westbrook, which makes Serge Ibaka happy.

Eric Bledsoe aka Mini-LeBron may be as good as we all expected.

Victor Oladipo needs an invite to the dunk contest.

Rudy Gay will never change. (Yes, I’m frustrated).

Conrad: I feel bad for Andrew Bynum. He sounds miserable/


Derek: I remember people talking about possibly overrating Klay Thompson in the offseason but that hasn’t been the case at all so far.

Piggy backing on Jordan’s Wolves note, I really have loved the Kevin Martin signing so far since he’s given them a solution at a much-needed position of need.

The Lakers won’t die, and on a semi-related note, Metta World Peace has shot the ball pretty well for the Knicks up to now.

Ghost Writer: JJ Hickson is still terrible

Ian: Paul George appears to have all the Monta Balls. (not sure if that’s publishable) (Ed note: it definitely is)

Anthony Davis cares not for your conservative growth curves.

Enes Kanter may be the reincarnation of Tom Gugliotta and that’s just fine with me.

Scott R: Chris Paul and JJ Redick are a match made in heaven

Amin: Nene hates playing center

Andrew: Brook Lopez is a leviathan and looks pretty, pretty good on defense, too.

Robby: Remember when this was supposed to be a “bad” draft class? There are

some really good, really fun rookies, especially Michael

Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo. Dirk is healthy and that is

fantastic news so long as your team isn’t playing Dallas. While we’re

on the subject of Dallas, Monta Ball now, Monta Ball forever, long

live Monta Ball.

Andrew: You could hit Steven Adams in the face with a tree trunk, and he’d pass the ball to his point guard and look at you with a vacant expression that hides his general bemusement with the world.

Jordan: But if you snapped his ping pong paddle, he’d snap your neck.

Amin: Pinkeye feels like a horrible punishment. Pinkeye in two eyes *is* a horrible punishment for creating so many terrifying photoshops of Pierre the Pelican.

Caleb: Expectations created by the preseason are stupid and only lead to pain and suffering.

The Lakers are undeniably fun and I can’t enjoy them because they’re the Lakers.

The Heat are still good.

Jared: The Shump-Prigs pairing has a defensive efficiency 67.9 <3

Seerat: The Knicks are as always, the Knicks.

As a result of their joint passing, intelligence and defensive presence Iggy and Bogut have somehow made the Warriors even more fun than they were last year.

The Lakers are like, definitely my favorite team in the league right now.

Noam: Vitor Faverani is what people who overrated Kelly Olynyk thought Kelly Olynyk would be. Kelly Olynyk is what people who properly rated Kelly Olynyk thought Kelly Olynynk would be.

Miles Plumlee looks competent enough to make me reconsider my entire “Suns get the worst brother” method of life.

Lance Stephenson might be playing himself out of Indiana’s price range, unless they dump Mahinmi before next summer.

Nate Wolters is this year’s “random second rounder who gets minutes and is an actual rotation player”.

Gal Mekel looks good and that makes me happy. The adjustment to a faster game isn’t hurting his decision making, which was my biggest concern going in.

I miss Ryan Anderson. Can he play basketball again please?

Jared: A lot of teams are copying the Spurs’ strategy from last season’s Grizz series of just completely ignoring non-shooting threats to overload on the scorers.

Lance Stephenson has a lot more ball-handling responsibility this year.

The Pellies are barely playing the Holiday-Gordon-Reke trio together and when they do, it’s not working yet.

The Celtics are TWTIB (h/t Matt)

Orlando has a bunch of really nice pieces for a tanking team.

Scott R: Kemba Walker is the real deal and his step-back jumper is butter

Caleb: Victor Oladipo is awesome

Jared: Kevin Love is still dope

Amin: The Wizards have defied preseason expectations once again by being predictably similar to who they’ve always been.

Victor Oladipo sounds like a mix between Fergie and Jesus.

There have been a lot of suspensions this week.

Noam: I thought I’d be really mad watching Zaza on the Bucks because that signing was so pointless, but instead I’m having lots of fun with it.

The Tim Hardaway Jr. Experience is exactly what I wanted it to be.

Isaiah Thomas is really good, yet the Kings bring in a new starting point guard to replace him every single year. I don’t get it. #FreeIsaiah

Jack: Orlando’s doing all of this without Tobias Harris.

John Wall is hardly the cause of Washington’s struggles. He’s hit eight three-pointers – on 42.1%! – thus far after making just 12 all of last season.




Jordan White

Jordan White loves basketball, loves writing and loves writing about basketball. He marvels at every Ricky Rubio pass and cries after every Brandon Roy highlight. He grew up in Kansas, where, contrary to popular belief, there is running water, electricity, and no singing munchkins. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanSWhite