Three things to Know: Denver drops third straight. How concerning is that? NBA Deputy Commissioner Tatum says All-Star Game needs ‘tweaks’ not overhaul New CBA reportedly may feature games played minimum to qualify for MVP, other awards Powerade pulls Ja Morant ad in wake of gun incident Watch Trey Murphy III drain 9 3s, score 41, lead Pelicans past Blazers

“Three Things You Need to Know” is NBC’s five-day coverage of last night in the NBA. Check Every weekday morning for what you missed the night before, plus the gossip, drama, and dunks that make the NBA a must-watch.

1) Denver drops to third in a row. How important is it?

Did the Denver Nuggets, with their comfortable five-game lead in the West, take off the gas pedal?

They looked passive for much of their Sunday game against the Nets, especially early in the second half, and ended up down 15 midway through the fourth. The Nuggets flipped the switch—and Nikola Jokic played his part with 35 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists—but his attempt to win the game failed, and the Nets went on to win 122–120.

Give credit to the Nets Spencer Dinwiddie with 16 assists, it’s a quality away win for a team trying to stay in the top six. Brooklyn may not be the same threat it was before the trade deadline, but they’re not trivial.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone reacts to a series of three defeats? “It happens … We probably spoiled many.”

The Nuggets seem to be more passive lately, apart from this three-game losing streak, as evidenced by Jokic. He was rumored to be shooting less a few games ago after going 5-of-8 in a win over the Raptors (he scored more during that losing streak, including 14 of 23 attempts on Sunday). And as Matt Moore of Action Network notedJokic has been covering more defensively lately, which is not his forte and could see a team like the Spurs score 68 in the paint and win (Jokic defends much better at his peak). i-tumbles in the active state and up at the level of the ball – when it is occupied, and not passive).

The question is, should we read something in it? Is this, as Malone suggested, a resurgence in what has otherwise been the most stable high-level job in the West? It’s just a small slump in a good team – Boston recently also had a three-game losing streak. Probably. But Boston reached the final a year ago, and we trusted him. It’s the same with the Bucks, if they lose a few in a row, they have the ring and the continuity. Denver has yet to earn that level of credibility.

The Nuggets have to prove they’re competitive during these playoffs. No team enters the postseason with more pressure, and no player is under more pressure than Jokic. But for now, we’ll go with Malone and say, “It happens.”

(Don’t think that these games have a special weight in the MVP race. The debate around this award – and the debate around the debate – is getting more poisonous and stupid. It’s all about statistics, no three games change it. Each voter will decide for himself what is more important just what stats what about player play separates the guys in a tight race.There is no wrong choice between Jokic, Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo there is a legitimate case in my book for any of them. Having to humiliate another guy to protect your boyfriend has become one of the worst tendencies in the MVP debate.)

2) Julius RandleNyx wins duels D’Angelo RussellLakers to earn the win

What a duel. Julius Runkle finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Knicks. D’Angelo Russell finished with 33 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Lakers.

The difference was in the supporting cast. R. J. Barrett came alive and scored 20 of his 30 points in the second half, and the Knicks’ size as the Lakers played less led to New York getting an offensive rebound at 30% misses. add in fact Anthony Davis wasn’t as elite as he should be for the Lakers without LeBron – 17 points on 8-of-18 shooting, a few key missed free throws, but with 16 boards – and Spike Lee saw his Knicks hold on and beat the Lakers 112-108.

What’s really important for these teams is the return of their stars, the guys who light up the attack. LeBron James was no longer in a walking boot and trainer Darwin Ham said his recovery was “going according to plan” but it would be a couple more weeks before he would be re-examined. Jalen Brunson His leg continues to heal, and Tom Thibodeau hasn’t had a comeback schedule, having missed four of the Knicks’ last five games.

3) Trey Murphy III hits nine three-pointers, hits 41

The Pelicans need big performances in the future. Especially with Zion Williamson from (but possibly return during the regular season) as well Brandon Ingram (He still has a sprained right ankle in pain.) And especially against the Trail Blazers trying to get back to the bottom in the play-in race.

Enter Trey Murphy III, who hit nine three-pointers and hit 41 against Portland on Sunday.

CJ McCollum added 22 for New Orleans.

The Pelicans are in a four-way 9-12 tie in the West with the Jazz, Thunder, and Lakers. That makes the Pelicans game that hosts the Lakers on Tuesday important. It doesn’t matter how many stars miss it.

In a world of sharply divided debate – both in our national discourse and around the NBA when it comes to things like the MVP race – there is one thing we can all agree on:

The All-Star Game sucks.

Just don’t wait for a major overhaul, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum told ESPN. in an interview at the opening of the African Basketball League in Dakar, Senegal.

“There is no doubt that we need to look at the All-Star Game, make some changes and still make sure it is an entertainment product for the fans.

“At the same time, we must be careful. This is an exhibition game, so we don’t want players to get hurt during this game.

“Understand: there is a balance here. That’s something we’re looking at – and by the way, talking to the players about things we could do differently next year.”

As the NFL has also discovered, there is no easy way to add real stakes to the game — something that would draw players in and make them do things like play defense or just play harder — and keep everyone healthy and safe. Tatum did not discuss what those settings might be, but there are no easy answers.

“I think they did a good job changing the ending of the game,” said the Celtics. Jason Tatum said after winning the All-Star Game this season, referring to the end of the target score. “But, you know, safety comes first, right? It should be fun. You don’t want anyone to get hurt or hurt.”

An All-Star weekend is still a draw for the league, with the NBA’s Tatum pointing to record fan activity on social media (1.75 billion fans). But that’s what NBA All-Star Weekend has become, a factory of highlights for the world’s best players that plays brilliantly in short clips on Twitter or TikTok, but if you’re watching the whole game – or expect some intense competition – it’s a disappointment. .

Most likely, there are no settings that fix this.

To qualify for the league leader in scoring per game, a player must play at least 58 games. However, to be eligible to play in any NBA…


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