Nov 4, 2019

Luka vs. LeBron: When basketball's past, present and future collide


Through 76 career games, Luka Dončić and LeBron James put up remarkably similar numbers. Dončić picked up 21.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 6.0 apg, while James had 21.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.8 apg.

Fast-forward to Friday: In his 77th career game, the 20-year-old Dončić faced off against his childhood idol for the third time — and it was glorious (Lakers won in OT).

By the numbers:

  • Dončić: 31 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists
  • James: 39 points, 12 rebounds, 16 assists

The bottom line: Entering Friday, we knew we were watching the past, present and future of basketball collide (to me, James is the past and the present, while Dončić is the present and the future).

Go deeper: Undrafted Kendrick Nunn off to historic start in NBA

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NBA ratings are down, but fans are still engaged

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Entering December, one of the most alarming NBA storylines is the league's declining TV ratings.

By the numbers: Through Nov. 22, games were averaging 1.45 million viewers across ESPN and TNT, down 18% from the same point last year (1.75 million).

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

The NBA's tough choice in the "Big Two" era

Cute pic, you guys!!! Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the league's top teams move away from a "Big Three" structure to one defined by "Big Twos," they're faced with a decision.

The choice: Stagger the two stars' minutes to maximize the amount of time at least one of them is on the floor — or play them together as much as possible to maximize the amount of time they're both on the floor.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

A look at this season's college basketball storylines

College basketball's ultimate focus on March Madness provides a calming escape from the life-and-death nature of college football — so it's a good thing that beginning Tuesday we have both to choose from.

The big picture: With Michigan State heading up the men's poll and Oregon on top of the women's, there are a slew of storylines to follow as the season kicks off.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019