Welcome to another issue of A Farewell to Takes, our quick trip around the NBA. This week, we had on OM3 correspondent Mikal Bridges on the show. It was great to catch up and get his perspective after the trade deadline and All-Star break. Also, on today's episode of The Old Man and the Three Things (our Amazon Music exclusive weekly podcast), we're talking about Dame, Jokic, and Jrue Holiday. Listen here.
In this week’s A Farewell to Takes we are giving you:
Our Stat of the Week
Tommy explores how good Knicks guard Quentin Grimes has been
The Best Thing Tommy Ate This Week
Why Kevin Durant to Suns is unlike any trade we've ever seen
Thanks for reading and for being a part of our OM3 community. —JJ
The Stat of the Week is 420
Damian Lillard erupted for 71 points on Sunday against the Rockets. He has been on an incredible hot streak, averaging 39.4 points per game over his last 19 games. During that stretch, Lillard has six 40-point games, one 50-point game, one 60-point game, and one 70-point game. INCREDIBLE. In Sunday’s 71-point masterpiece, Lillard made 420 feet worth of shots! That distance is the most by any player in a game since play-by-play tracking began in 1996-1997. —JJ
In this episode, we welcome in OM3 correspondent and brand new Brooklyn Net, Mikal Bridges. Topics include why he's going to miss Phoenix, why he thinks it actually makes sense that the Suns traded for Kevin Durant, what he's hoping to bring to The Brooklyn Nets, and more.
Also in this episode, JJ and Tommy talk through Coach of the Year Year and give flowers to Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla. JJ also addresses the comments from Dominique Wilkins and clears up any confusion on his thoughts about players from past generations.
Featured Player of the Week: Quentin Grimes
There are a number of reasons why the Knicks are currently sitting at 35-27, 6th in the East and comfortably removed from the play-in game (Jalen Brunson's dominance, Julius Randle's resurgence, Josh Hart, etc.). It's no secret that Tom Thibodeau's insertion of young guards Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride into the rotation in the fall has had a dramatic impact on the team's defensive intensity and overall success, but it's interesting to explore just how good Grimes in particular has been.
Our friends over at NBA University compiled some numbers last week of the Knicks guard's defensive versatility, and the numbers are crazy. Grimes is currently in the 99th percentile of defensive matchup difficulty, yet allows .68 points per game when guarding ISOs. As of Feb 18th, his opponents were shooting 27.8% against him in ISO. And Grimes while primarily defending guards, has guarded both forward positions for more than 30% of his possessions.
Bball Index put together a scatter plot about defending in isolation, and Grimes ranks with the likes of Jaden McDaniels, Jrue Holiday and Dillion Brooks at the top of the league. Watching the Knicks/Pelicans game the other night, Grimes switched back and forth between CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram possession by possession, taking turns forcing them into tough shots. Since Grimes and McBride's insertion into the lineup in November, the Knicks are 33-22.
What makes Thibodeau's life interesting now though, is with the trade deadline addition of Josh Hart. Hart has been phenomenal on both ends since arriving at the Garden, so there's a lot less room for Grimes in the rotation. Though still starting, Grimes has played just 22 minutes per game over the last 5, a jump from the 34.4 he averaged in January. With playoff rotations likely to tighten even more, it will be interesting to see how Thibs manages this somewhat good problem to have. While Grimes shooting is a tad down this year from last, he still has a 58.4 true shooting percentage and has hit a number of clutch shots for the Knicks this year. The kind of playoff series you can imagine Grimes having a real impact in is against a team like Boston with their big wings and plethora of shooters.
While the Knicks may be a tier below the Milwaukee/Philly/Boston's of the world, with Grimes emergence and the addition of Hart, they become an interesting team to watch heading into the spring. You win in the playoffs with wings who can defend and they now have a bunch. —Tommy
Best Thing Tommy Ate This Week: Tandoori Spaghetti at Pijja Palace
Pijja Palace, Eater LA's Restaurant of the Year in 2022, is a tough place to describe. It's a sports bar, located in the parking lot of a motel, that serves a fusion of Italian and Indian food. Think like Green Chutney Pizza, Malai Rigatoni, Dosa Onion Rings, etc. Everything on the menu is a marvel. Shockingly light for what you're eating, I would venture to say Pijja has the best sports bar food in America.
The standout to me was the Tandoori Spaghetti. With smoked chili, lime, and garlic sauce, the pasta combines the best flavors of a Tandoori experience with freshly cooked homemade pasta. I would just say if you are in the Silver Lake area, want to eat while watching a game, go here and you cannot go wrong. —Tommy
Why Kevin Durant to Suns Is Unlike Any Trade We've Ever Seen
On Episode 2 of Islands in the League, our monthly series with Draft Kings, JJ dives into the history of midseason trades and why Kevin Durant being traded from Nets to the Suns is the craziest trade in NBA history. Plus, we present a short film called SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. Enjoy.
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS (2023)
Directed by @jga41agher
— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree)
Feb 23, 2023
Sorry, no Wine of the Week this week, but thank you for reading! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet?