Non-Hornets NBA news dump: Week 5

The Charlotte Hornets are 3-9 going into a game against a dominant Boston Celtics team. Surely you’d like some other basketball to distract you from that.

Kelly Oubre was hit by car and of course the Internet isn’t cool about it

Last weekend, it was reported that former Hornet Kelly Oubre would be out for a few weeks after he sustained broken ribs and other cuts bruises after being hit by a car on the streets of Philadelphia. Of course that can’t just be the end of the story. In the last week, TMZ somehow acquired Ring footage from Oubre’s home and released it, which does little to the story other than make people question how they got the footage. On top of that, police have said there’s no video evidence of the incident, which has led to a corner of the Internet suspecting that Oubre is making the story up. Because…reasons? I don’t know what the motivation would be for Oubre to lie about the situation. It’s all weird. Hopefully Kelly gets better soon.

The Clippers + James Harden era is off to a disastrous start

The Clippers were 3-2 when they acquired James Harden in a blockbuster trade with the 76ers. Upon his arrival, they proceeded to lose five straight games before finally eking out a win over the Houston Rockets. Harden has scored efficiently, but the overall team play hasn’t worked. The Clippers’ net rating is 11.1 points per 100 possessions worse with Harden on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass. They’ve been worse on both sides of the ball with the defense taking the bigger hit as Harden takes minutes from The presumed preferred five of Westbrook/Harden/George/Leonard/Zubac has played 123 minutes together and scored 87.8 points per 100 possessions. The same lineup with Robert Covington in place of Harden was annihilating opponents before the trade. Maybe they’ll figure it out, but right now they don’t know how to play together.

The Bulls might finally blow it up

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that teams are inquiring about Zach LaVine and both the team and player are becoming more open to the idea of him being moved. The current build of the Bulls roster never made much sense, even with a healthy Lonzo Ball. They’re a random assortment of B-level stars that don’t have complementary skill sets nor any way to make a push to develop or improve beyond a fringe playoff team. Frustrations have been boiling over since the start of the season, and it seems it’s about time to collect some assets and reboot. Zach LaVine is on a massive contract, so that’ll make it tougher to move him, but the Bulls look like they might try.

The bad teams have been really, really bad

The Hornets, Wizards, Pistons, Spurs, and Trail Blazers are all on extended losing streaks that combine for a total of 35 games. The Grizzlies are the only team in the bottom three of each conference to not currently be in a losing streak of at least four games. They have three wins this season, but two of them have come against teams in that aforementioned group. You’d expect these teams to catch someone on a bad night every now and then, but that’s not happening right now. They’re just cannon fodder.

Up-and-Coming teams top the west

It’s still very early and some of the would be contenders have been slow playing getting their full core together (looking at you, Phoenix), but there are a couple of surprising names atop the Western Conference. The Timberwolves sit atop the conference at 9-3 with the Thunder behind them by percentage points at 10-4. It hasn’t been fluky either. The Timberwolves have the sixth best net rating in the league while the Thunder have the third. They are the cannons being fed the fodder.

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