All 22 teams taking part in the NBA restart down in the Orlando “bubble” have now officially competed in game action.
The first three days of scrimmages highlighted some of the league’s best talent who finally are able to showcase their skills after over four months.
While the games are missing the same energy and atmosphere that we are accustomed to, the level of play was surprisingly high. We saw sensational plays from All-Stars as well as notable performances from a few of the league’s rising standouts.
After taking our first look at every team in the “bubble” we have compiled some of the best plays from the NBA’s official/unofficial start.
LeBron doing typical LeBron things as he draws two defenders on his drive and wraps a bounce pass around a couple of Dallas Mavericks. McGee, a long way away from his Shaqtin’ A Fool days, caught it, let a defender fly by and threw it down.
Raptors execute a perfect end of the half set that ends in Lowry catching the ball on the run almost near midcourt, taking two hard dribbles to the 3-point line and shooting a leaning three-pointer with a defender draped all over him. The ball finds a way to hit the backboard and drop in before the halftime buzzer sounds.
PG13 is one of the best two-way players in the league and he shows you why in this mid-post possession. George spins off one Magic defender and makes the other look completely silly who tries to come for the help as George finishes smoothly on the other side of the rim.
Harden’s game has been criticized by many for just being annoying to watch. But this move he implemented on Friday night vs. the Raptors was one of the cleanest ball fakes we’ve seen in a while. Don’t be fooled by the first look, he actually didn’t travel.
Simmons has basically been a 6-foot-10 version of Rajon Rondo for nearly all of his career. Which means it’s no surprise when he throws no-look, alley-oops to his teammates. What was surprising though was when Simmons stepped behind the 3-point line and shot up a few 3s. One of them even actually went in!
Sixers rookie and defensive standout Thybulle showed the fans his playmaking ability on Friday when he came from the top rope to throw it down on the Grizzlies. Thybulle took off from just a few steps under the free throw line and gave the Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson a facial.
James shows why he is one of the league’s best playmakers again in this clip. In the open court, he finds Howard, who, in his prime, was one of the best and most athletic bigs in the game. Howard reaches back and throws it down over the Mavericks on Thursday.
Robinson takes a pass from Simmons in the open court and decides to show out with a reverse dunk on top of Grizzlies’ guard De’Anthony Melton’s cranium. The best part about this highlight is that you can actually see the exact moment where Melton knew he had messed up by jumping with Robinson. The young Grizzly tried to duck out of the poster but once Robinson was in the air it was too late.
The reigning league MVP is most known for his strength and ability to completely overpower defenders but his Thursday Giannis tried to sprinkle a little Magic Johnson into his bag. As he drove right and drew basically the entire Spurs organization to him he flipped a no-look pass over his head to Robin Lopez, who buried a 3 in the corner.
No, it wasn’t on Giannis. But that doesn’t mean this poster by Spurs big man Drew Eubanks was any less disrespectful. Eubanks catches the ball near the free-throw line, takes two steps in, and tries to completely obliterate Thanasis Antetokounmpo off the face of the earth. The dunk was so flagrantly aggressive that it almost sent Thanasis through the floorboards, luckily the Bucks big man was OK after his complete annihilation. The crazy part about the whole play was that Eubanks’ dunk was so dehumanizing that the referees actually called an offensive foul to try to restore peace.