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NBA Wildcat Watch (Feb. 21-28)

No ‘Cats in action on Thursday, so it’s the perfect time to catch up!

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

From Tuesday through Friday, each time a former Wildcat hits the court, we will recap how they did and include a few highlights (if available). On Tuesdays, we’ll also recap what happened over the weekend, so you don’t miss the action. This will also serve as a discussion board. We will try to keep it updated as soon as the games are over, so check back often!

We’ve now had a full week of the NBA since the All-Star Break, there are no games on this Thursday night, so we’ll get you all caught up on post-All Star weekend hoops. Also,

we’re going to be back on schedule from here on out. Updates on all the ‘Cats—Ryan Arcidiacono (Chicago Bulls), Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns), Jalen Brunson (Dallas Mavericks), Dante Cunningham (San Antonio Spurs), Josh Hart (Los Angeles Lakers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Omari Spellman (Atlanta Hawks)—as well as some injury updates on Donte DiVincenzo (Milwaukee Bucks).


Ryan Arcidiacono

The Bulls won three of their first games since the All-Star break, taking down the Orlando Magic (110-109), Boston Celtics (126-116), and Memphis Grizzlies (109-107). Their only loss during this stretch was to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Against Orlando, Arcidiacono had four points (2-of-3 shooting), one rebound, and one assist.

The next day, against the Celtics, Arcidiacono had eight points (2-of-4 shooting), three rebounds, four assists, and a steal.

On Wednesday, Arcidiacono had a great showing. Through 17 minutes of action, he logged 12 points (5-of-6 shooting, including two threes on two attempts from deep), two rebounds, and two assists.

In the loss against the Bucks, he had seven points, three rebounds, and six assists.

Up Next: @ Atlanta on Friday, Mar. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Mikal Bridges

It was a cold post-All Star Break start for Bridges and Suns, as they lost their first two games back. They lost to Cleveland on Feb. 21 (111-98) and again to Atlanta on Saturday (120-112).

Bridges had three points, two boards, and five assists against the Cavaliers. In the game with Atlanta, he was cold from deep—going 2-of-8 from long range en route to a six-point game. He also had a pair of rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Phoenix picked things up with a 124-121 win over the Miami Heat on Monday. Bridges had seven points, two rebounds, eight assists, and a pair of steals.

Up Next: vs. New Orleans on Friday, Mar. 1, at 9 p.m. ET

Jalen Brunson

It was quite the busy return for Brunson and the Dallas Mavericks, as they had four games in six days.

Dallas lost its first three games back against the Denver Nuggets (114-104), Utah Jazz (125-109), and Los Angeles Clippers (121-112). However, the Mavericks won their most recent game, on Wednesday night, beating the Indiana Pacers, 110-101.

In the Feb. 22 matchup against Denver, Brunson had a great first game back after the All-Star Break, finishing with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, with two rebounds, five assists, one steal, and a block to go along with them.

The following day, versus Utah, he had 13 points (5-of-14 shooting), five rebounds, and two assists.

On Monday, through 21 minutes of action he logged eight points, one rebound, and three assists in a quieter game against the Clippers.

Brunson managed to save his best for last and pick it back up with a huge 24 point game. 16 of his points came in the first half alone. He was locked in, going 9-of-14 overall and 3-of-6 from deep. He added three boards, five assists, and three steals.

Up Next: vs. Memphis on Saturday, Mar. 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET

Dante Cunningham

It hasn’t been a great start to the “unofficial second half” of the season, as the Spurs lost three of their four games to begin.

Cunningham didn’t play in the Spurs’ first game back against the Toronto Raptors, which San Antonio lost, 120-117.

The Spurs then headed to New York, where they lost to the Knicks on Sunday (130-118) and the Nets on Monday (105-93). Cunningham logged 15 minutes against the Knicks, finishing with four points (2-of-3 shooting), two rebounds, and a steal.

Against Brooklyn, he logged three minutes, scoring 2 points.

San Antonio bounced back against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, winning 105-93. Cunningham logged five minutes of action and had only a rebound.

Up Next: vs. Oklahoma City on Saturday, Mar. 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET

Josh Hart

Hart was shut down just before the All-Star break for a nagging knee issue, and the Lakers planned on letting him rest and relax, before re-evaluating his status once play resumed after the break.

Hart played in Lakers’ first game back—a 111-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Feb. 21. He logged 19 minutes, scoring four points, grabbing two rebounds, and dishing out one assist.

The Lakers proceeded to lose their next two games on the road at New Orleans on Feb. 23 (128-115) and a Feb. 25 contest against the Memphis Grizzlies (110-105). Hart played an extended 29 minutes against the Pelicans, scoring just two points on 1-of-4 shooting. He did have six rebounds and a steal.

A couple of days later against the Grizzlies, he played for only six minutes and had a rebound.

Most recently, on Wednesday night, the Lakers avenged their loss to the Pelicans in a 125-119 win. Hart had just 10 minutes of action, finishing with a rebound and an assist.

Up Next: vs. Milwaukee on Friday, Mar. 1, at 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Kyle Lowry

After reppin’ Team Giannis at the All-Star Game, Lowry returned to action on Feb. 22 with a game against the San Antonio Spurs. He finished with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, with three boards, five assists, two steals and a block to aid the 120-117 winning effort.

On Sunday, the Raptors lost to the Magic, 113-98. Lowry recorded a double-double, finishing with 19 points and 10 assists. He also had four rebounds and four steals.

A couple of days later, on Tuesday, the Raptors beat the Boston Celtics. It was a quiet night for Lowry, who had just seven points. However, he contributed six boards and 11 assists in the 118-95 win.

Up Next: vs. Portland on Friday, Mar. 1, at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Omari Spellman

Spellman has received a steady serving of minutes since returning from the break. He’s hovered around the 20-minute mark over the last four games. Like Brunson, he and his Hawks have also been busy.

They beat the Phoenix Suns on Saturday (120-112) and Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night (131-123). However, they lost to the Rockets on Monday (119-111) and the Pistons on Feb. 2 (125-122).

Spellman had nine points and three rebounds in the win over the Suns. In the victory over Minnesota, he accounted for six points (3-of-4 shooting), seven rebounds, three assists, and a block.

In the loss to Detroit, he had three points and five boards. Against Houston, he finished with four points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Up Next: vs. Chicago on Friday, Mar. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET


Donte DiVincenzo Update

The last we heard of DiVincenzo, he was sent down to the G-League and played in a couple of games for the Wisconsin Herd when he was assigned there on Jan. 16. He hasn’t played in an NBA game since Jan. 1. A lot of it has been due to a bout of heel bursitis that he’s been dealing with.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, DiVincenzo is free of the walking boot and is coming closer to returning to the court. He’s been practicing with the Bucks. We’ll keep an eye out for his progress and a potential return to the NBA.


Friday’s Slate

It’s a pretty loaded Friday schedule, with five Wildcats in action and two of them will be on national TV on primetime (all times in ET):

  • Ryan Arcidiacono: Chicago at Atlanta, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Omari Spellman: Chicago at Atlanta, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Kyle Lowry: Portland at Toronto, at 8 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Mikal Bridges: New Orleans at Phoenix, at 9 p.m.
  • Josh Hart: Milwaukee at Lakers, at 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)