This NBA season is still new, but the storylines are already formulating. Pundits believe seeing the Philadelphia 76ers play this season means the future is bright and playoffs could loom. Likewise, the young stars from the Los Angeles Lakers have been up and down so far this season. From the new look Timberwolves adding multiple new pieces to the Bucks who have been revamped with Giannis Antetokounmpo blossoming into a superstar, the NBA is exciting as ever.
Golden State is in cruise control
Only four games into the season, but the Golden State Warriors are already at a .500 record. No, this doesn’t mean that Golden State isn’t still the best team in the league. And no, this doesn’t mean they won’t play hard and try to win every night. But what it really means is they are no longer worried about regular season accolades. What’s most important to them is getting newest acquisition Nick Young and young prospects Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell used to their place in the rotation. This will ensure by playoff time that everyone is accustomed to the role they will play and comfortable when it’s time to produce.
Cavaliers are still a work-in-progress
Head coach Tyronn Lue has made it known that Dwyane Wade would like to come off the bench. This is a great idea by the Wade and the team to fix the chemistry problems in the starting lineup. Now, JR Smith can move back to his coveted starting shooting guard spot and brings that key spacing on the floor. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose has an ankle injury and Isaiah Thomas can’t play until at least December recovering from his hip injury. Time will be needed to see any consistency in this team with all new pieces. We won’t see what a complete Cleveland Cavaliers team will look like until after All-Star break.
Boston Celtics season is over
You might be scared to say it but I’m not… the Boston Celtics season is over. Of course, they can still make the playoffs or even make the Eastern Conference Finals. But since the goal of every season is to win the championship, the injury to Gordon Hayward ends that dream for them. Without the former All-Star forward in full health, the Celtics just don’t have the talent left to go all the way. What’s worse is that Kyrie Irving and Hayward can’t even build chemistry so the next season will be just as tough.
OKC needs time to gel
Watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play, you easily see that at times their play is inconsistent. That comes from Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George needing more reps together. Sometimes George tends takes bad threes due to his lack of attempts in spurts of a quarter. Anthony tends to only help with scoring load, but lacks in the intangibles. Westbrook is having a difficult time figuring out when to defer and when to attack which leads to turnovers. The role players/bench need to step up and do the little things so the stars can be stars.
The Spurs continue to “Spur”
With Kawhi Leonard not playing a minute so far this season, the San Antonio Spurs are still undefeated through three games. LaMarcus Aldridge has also been back to form after struggling in his first season. But Aldridge said he used head coach Gregg Popovich’s “open door policy” and they discussed why he hasn’t been the same. This in-turn led to a 3yr-$72.3M contract extension and much improved play from Aldridge. Also, Dejounte Murray has impressed stepping in for four-time champion Tony Parker due to consistent injuries. If this continues after Leonard comes back from injury, be sure the Spurs will win 50-plus games and be a contender for a NBA championship.
Houston was a bad choice for CP3
Chris Paul has only registered one game so far for the Rockets, but it told a lot about their future. Even though Paul still totaled 11 assists in that game, he looked out of place. On the other hand, James Harden has still been the same player, dominating the ball while also scoring and setting up teammates. This makes it difficult for Paul’s game to flourish just standing in the corner waiting for a pass. If Houston want to make it work, they need to find a way to play Harden off-ball and Paul on-ball way more effectively.