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The Starting 5 | Davis carrying team that needs him more than ever

Kelly Scaletta

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NBA - Jan 28, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts to a foul not called during the first quarter against the LA Clippers at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best NBA content around the internet

1. Anthony Davis is carrying a team that needs him more than ever – Mark Deeks, Give Me Sport

Anthony Davis’ stats on the season are impressive enough, but if you look at what he has been doing on both ends of the court since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, it’s just insane. While he’s terrific off the ball, he has also increased his shot-creating production in Cousins’ absence and restored his reputation as an elite player in the NBA.

2. You’ve got to see the highlights of this NBA record-breaking triple-double performance from Nikola Jokic – Adam Mares, Denver Stiffs

It took just 14 minutes and 33 seconds for Nikola Jokic to post a triple-double the other night. It was the fastest anyone in NBA history has ever gotten there. He broke a 50-year-old record. By the time it was all said and done, he had 30 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists. The Nuggets are returning to last year’s style of play that had the offense running so smoothly by going through Jokic, and it’s why the Joker has posted four triple-doubles since then.

3. Boston Celtics analysis: What happened to the Celtics defense? Clippers loss exposes issues – Tom Westerholm, Mass Live

It has gone a bit below the radar, but the Celtics’ defense is struggling, and the C’s are starting to lose because of it.

Per Westerholm, “Over the last seven games, Boston’s defensive rating has been a putrid 109.3. That’s a small sample size, obviously, but it goes a long way toward explaining why Boston is losing despite maintaining the same mediocre offensive numbers.”

That’s over nine points worse than they are on the season, and 19th in NBA over that span. The article presents a look at what is causing that. Screens and poor communication off them are causing the problems.

4. Jonathan Isaac knows patience is the key to long-term success – John Denton, Magic.com

Johnathan Isaac was the No. 6 pick in last year’s draft, and he got off to a decent start before spraining his ankle in November. He has been out since, but is adding strength and is expected to return soon–perhaps with a stint in the G-League. Denton talks with him about his hopes for the season and the difficulties of having it curtailed by injury.

5. Kevin McHale on Larry Bird and all things NBA – Justin Terranova, N.Y. Post

Kevin McHale talks about the interview with Larry Bird while commenting on the Houston Rockets and the Cavaliers after their trades. He also talks about what it was like to play on those original “Big Three” Celtics:

That team was full of guys that had very good basketball IQs. I thought the whole league was like that when I first got there. I didn’t realize we were a pretty unique group. We had a bunch of guys who could think the game and all fit. It was just a nice blend.”

— Thanks as always to Basketball Intelligence, which has been an invaluable resource in this article. Follow and subscribe, and you’ll be glad you did.

Kelly Scaletta is an assistant editor for Today's Fastbreak and Today's Pigskin. He has also written for Bleacher Report, BBallBreakdown, Vantage Sports, SportsNet, the Cauldron and others. You might not always agree with him, but he does.

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