A Night to Remember in the NBA: Jokic and Haliburton Shatter Records! Daily NBA 12/28/2023

A Night to Remember in the NBA: Jokic and Haliburton Shatter Records! Daily NBA 12/28/2023

It was a historic night in the NBA, with Nikola Jokic and Tyrese Haliburton posting some insane stats, reinforcing their status as the league's top player and the most stable commander of the new generation, respectively.

Ja Morant made a strong return, averaging 28.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in four games, leading the Grizzlies to four consecutive victories. This silenced any doubts about the team's performance without Morant. His explosive play tore through defenses, bringing much-needed offense to the Grizzlies, who were previously struggling in that area. Interestingly, the Grizzlies' defense also improved with Morant's return, jumping to third in the league in defensive efficiency during this winning streak.

- - - Ja Morant's Jersey Collection Link by Hoop Jesey - - - 

Initially, the Grizzlies' season seemed hopeless, but Morant's comeback has sparked new possibilities. Though challenging, if they can climb to 10th in the Western Conference (currently 13th), anything can happen. This is the excitement and meaning brought by the play-in tournament. The Western Conference is fiercely competitive this year, with teams like the Suns at a 50% win rate ranking 10th, and teams led by the big three of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry are on the edge, indicating a shift in the era.

On the night of the game, with Morant out due to a cold, the Nuggets seized the opportunity to dominate the Grizzlies. Jokic, in particular, was outstanding, scoring 26 points on 11-of-11 shooting. This performance, including a triple-double with 14 rebounds and 10 assists, made him the first in NBA history to score over 20 points with a 100% shooting rate, including three-pointers and free throws, while recording a triple-double. Such feats were previously unheard of, even with legends like Wilt Chamberlain who scored 42 points with 30 rebounds and 10 assists, but with a lower free-throw percentage and no three-pointers.

Recently, players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Westbrook, Draymond Green, and Robert Williams have achieved triple-doubles with 100% field goal shooting but didn't meet the threshold of perfect shooting across all categories. Jokic had previously achieved a triple-double with perfect shooting but scored only 14 points. Evan Turner is another player who achieved this, but with only 13 points. Jokic has taken this challenge to a new level.

Despite the Nuggets not being the top team in the league, they are my pick for the most likely to win the championship. Their roster is complete, with depth in all positions, and their young players like Peyton Watson and Christian Braun are proving reliable. Jokic's strength and synergy with Jamal Murray make the Nuggets a formidable opponent in a best-of-seven series.

- - - Nikola Jokić's Jersey Collection Link by Hoop Jesey - - - 

Moving on to Tyrese Haliburton, who also made history that night. After the championship, Haliburton and the Pacers went through a rough patch. Before this game, the Pacers were 3-6 post-tournament, and Haliburton hadn't had a game with fewer than 3 turnovers. However, against the Bulls, he injected a dose of adrenaline into his performance, scoring 21 points and dishing out 20 assists with zero turnovers. This perfect display of point guard play made him the second player after Chris Paul to achieve 20+ points and 20+ assists with zero turnovers. CP3 had a similar performance against the Pelicans in 2016. This places Haliburton alongside CP3 as a top-tier playmaker of the new generation.

In NBA history, several players have come close to achieving double 20s with zero turnovers, like Doncic in 2021 with 31 points and 20 assists but only 1 turnover. Point guard legends like John Stockton also had similar performances. Since 2010, players who have reached the 20 points and 20 assists mark in a single game include Brandon Jennings, Reggie Jackson, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook (7 times), Luka Doncic, James Harden, Fred VanVleet, Trae Young, and Tyrese Haliburton. Only CP3 and Haliburton have done this with zero turnovers, making them stand out even more.

Fans who appreciate stable leaders like Stockton and CP3 should definitely keep an eye on Tyrese Haliburton. He's proving to be a reliable and exciting player to watch.

- - - Tyrese Haliburton's Jersey Collection Link by Hoop Jesey - - - 

Lastly, on a more somber note, the Detroit Pistons are enduring a challenging streak with 28 consecutive losses. In their latest game, they showed promise in the first half but ultimately succumbed to the Celtics' might in overtime. Despite the loss, the Pistons played well. The return of Jalen Duren has been a boost, and while Monty Williams' coaching decisions are somewhat puzzling, it's heartening to see the players not giving up. The combination of Duren, Bogdanovic, and Cade playing together significantly strengthens the Pistons, and it's only a matter of time before they encounter a team that brings them a win. For instance, the Lakers recently broke the Spurs' streak of losses. Nevertheless, the Pistons' management's decisions over the years have left fans in dismay. The hope is that these young players can soon turn things around, as their efforts are truly heartening to see.

In conclusion, while the Pistons are facing a tough streak, their recent performance shows signs of potential. Players like Duren and Bogdanovic, along with Cade, are proving to be valuable assets, and their health and presence on the court could significantly improve the team's competitiveness. Fans and the team alike are eagerly awaiting the moment when the Pistons can break their losing streak and start moving towards more victories.

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