NFL POWER RANKINGS AND NBA NEWS: WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE LEAGUES
From suspensions to firings to close wins and gutting losses, there has been a lot of excitement for the NFL week 12 schedule and latest NBA drama. Find out which players are trending for the right and wrong reasons, as well as vital stats and info for you to assimilate.
NBA Standings & News to Focus On
- LeBron and Isaiah Stewart suspended for altercation on Sunday’s NBA game
- Kings lose against empty-handed Sixers, Gentry now Sacramento head coach after Walton’s firing
- Memphis and Charlotte both get nail-biter wins
- Suns continue hot streak with 13 wins in a row
- Jaylen Brown back with Celts, give Rox their 15th straight loss
James and Stewart suspended
Proving that the NBA doesn’t give special treatment to superstar players, both the Lakers’ LeBron James and Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart will be suspended without pay for the on-court tussle during their meeting on Sunday night. Amazingly, it’s the first suspension for James in his illustrious 19-year career. James will lose $284,000, while Stewart forfeits $45,000.
LeBron was given a one-game suspension for “recklessly hitting” Stewart right in the face and drawing blood after the two were grappling for a rebound at the free throw line. Stewart, who’ll get a two-game suspension, didn’t exactly take the hit like a gentleman and had to be forcibly held back several times. The NBA described Stewart’s act as “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing” LeBron after the incident had occurred.
More drama in Sacramento
If you thought that the Kings would put behind recent woes and come out hot for new coach Alvin Gentry, well, you’d be very wrong. With their fourth straight loss taking the Kings to a 6-12 record and 12th in the NBA standings, things aren’t looking great for Sacramento to break a 15-year playoff drought.
The Kings certainly had their chance to get a badly-needed win against a Phili squad without Embiid, Harris, Simmons, Green, and Seth Curry, but it still didn’t happen, losing 102-94. Tyrese Maxey picked up the slack for the Sixers with 24 points and the rest of the bench mob chipped in well enough, especially Shake Milton with 16 points.
For Sacramento? It was a night full of “meh.” De’Aaron Fox isn’t performing up to the standards we all thought he’s capable of in an NBA game, scoring 23 points but hardly making his teammates better with only two assists. The Kings have a couple of bright spots in young guards like Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, yet the former didn’t score a point and the latter just four. Fox is averaging 19.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game this season, but we assumed these figures would be way more exciting after four years in the league.
The head coach carousel continues to spin after Luke Walton’s exit and the roster shrugs its way through the season as usual. The upcoming schedule won’t get much easier, as the Kings next face the Blazers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Lakers again, then two in a row against the Clippers. Trade talks have been swirling around three-point maestro Buddy Hield for a while, but there have even been rumors of swapping Fox for Phili’s disgruntled star, Ben Simmons. Heck, you may as well try at this point.
Two Exciting NBA Games Coming Up
Blazers @ Warriors on Friday 26th November
After a bit of a slow and shaky start, the Blazers (9-8) are starting to get their act together, climbing to 7th in the NBA standings and reeling off three straight wins. Thankfully, Dame Time is proving to be very punctual, as Lillard is getting hot at the right moment. Leading the team in PPG (21.6) and APG (8.1), Dame is back to explosive form and is seemingly complaining less about the new rule changes about non-basketball moves that appeared to hamper him at first.
The 15-2 Warriors are looking unstoppable and Curry is a huge contender for MVP right now. Averaging 28.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, Curry has never looked better and is functioning with Draymond Green as if they are telepathically linked. We’re excited for Lillard vs. Curry, but we think Golden State will have a very close win and there’s a good chance of a Steph buzzer-beater.
Heat @ Bulls on Saturday 27th November
Now we come to the much-anticipated matchup of the East contenders in the 12-6 Bulls vs. the 11-6 Heat. Both teams are playing tight, controlled basketball that is a joy to watch, but what we’re most excited about in this NBA game is the Butler against DeRozan scoring battle. Each player can score at will, we know that, but what will be most decisive is how the Bulls can stop Heat center Adebayo if big man Nikola Vucevic is still out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Bulls are playing at home, but we think Miami will get the victory with too many scoring threats and a strong bench unit.
NFL Power Rankings & News
- Giants fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett
- Rookie QB Zach Wilson back for Jets
- Texans waive RB Phillip Lindsay
- BetMGM takes Brady and Buccaneers for MVP and Super Bowl winners
- Packers’ Elgton Jenkins out for season with ACL injury
Giants move on without Garratt
The New York Giants have made the move to fire their offensive coordinator, Jason Garratt, after barely two seasons on the job. Senior offensive assistant, Freddie Kitchens, will take over the role for the time being.
Garratt, former head coach of the Cowboys, lacked the fierceness and offensive progressiveness to help the Giants take the necessary leaps forward. This was particularly glaring after the Monday night loss to Tampa Bay, in which the offense achieved a total of 215 yards and a conversion rate on third down of 1 of 9. The 3-7 Giants are currently 25th in the NFL in scoring offense at 18.9 PPG.
Garrett, who was even a QB for the Giants from 2000 to 2003, did have some bad luck with player injuries, including RB Sequin Barkley, receiver Darius Slayton, and tight end Evan Engram. The relationship with QB Daniel Jones was strong, but it has been clear for several weeks that the Giants expected much better results, as Garrett himself admitted in a statement:
“One of the things that motivated me to accept this position was the opportunity to help rebuild the Giants into a contending team,” said Garrett. “My expectations for our offense were much greater than what our results have been, and I accept full responsibility for that.”
Lindsay waived by Texans
The Houston Texans have made the move to cut former Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay. Should Lindsay be unclaimed by another team on waivers, then he’ll become a free agent.
Lindsay, who shined during his time in Denver and looked set to do the same with the Texans, just couldn’t find his place in Houston mostly due to a lack of opportunities. Lindsay carried the ball 50 times in 10 games and averaged 2.6 yards per carry, catching three for 37 yards and scoring just one touchdown. The talented RB was also fighting for a spot against Mark Ingram, David Johnson, and Rex Bulkhead in Houston.
The 2-8 Texans made it clear that some changes were necessary for their future, and unfortunately those didn’t include Lindsay, who signed a $3.25 million deal with the Texans, including $1 million guaranteed and $500,000 in incentives.
Two Exciting NFL Week 12 Games Coming Up
Rams @ Packers on Sunday 28th November
The 8-3 Packers take on the 7-3 Rams in arguably the most exciting NFL week 12 matchup. Recent star signing Odell Beckham Jr. might need to turn back time and get back to the form he’s been capable of in the past if the Rams have any chance. The Packers may have dropped to second place in our NFL Power Rankings after the Cardinals took the top spot, but Green Bay is still a force to be reckoned with and Rodgers is playing out of his skin. The season-ending injury to Packers’ Jenkins will sting, however.
The Rams have had some nice rest after a Week 11 bye, yet nevertheless, the Adams-Rodgers combo will be too strong and the Packers perform much better at home. This will be a close win for Green Bay, but they’re going to have a tough time getting it.
Panthers @ Dolphins on Sunday 28th November
The 5-6 Panthers take on the 4-7 Dolphins in a must-win game for two teams battling for a playoff spot. Although Panthers QB Cam Newton is still shaping into form, he’s only going to get better if given the time – something that Carolina sorely needs if they’ll have any shot against Miami’s hard-hitting defense. With Miami at home and slowly gaining in the NFL Power Rankings (we have them around 23rd), the defense will be too much for Carolina, resulting in a solid Dolphins victory.
Author: Joe Garland