Welcome to the Rundown! Today we talk about the top stories from around The Association and pick our Player of the Night.
How long can the Spurs “fake it” without Kawhi Leonard?
Nick Billion: It seems even with LaMarcus Aldridge getting more looks and being effective this team is still in desperate need of Kawhi Leonard. Take for example last night’s game against the Warriors; the Spurs opened up an 18 point lead just to watch it turn into a 20 point loss. This team needs their star back if they hope to contend with the better teams in the league.
Craig Brallier: As we can all tell from last night, the Spurs definitely miss Leonard on the defensive end. He’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, so when he’s missing it tends to show your weaknesses. He’s also the team’s best offensive player, and if he had been on the floor last night, I feel like he would’ve led them to victory. Hopefully they can get it figured out until Leonard comes back.
Can Lonzo make it in the league without being a scorer?
NB: Lonzo Ball is easily the most talked about rookie in the league this year. Some of it isn’t all good talk though. Ball has been inconsistent so far and it brings up the question, can he succeed in the league? Shooting is something that will come with experience, so with just a few games into the season there shouldn’t be any worries.
CB: Coming into the league we all knew Lonzo’s biggest asset was his passing ability and court vision. But if he’s supposed to be the future of the historic Lakers franchise, racking up five or six assists and no points isn’t going to put you in the rafters next to Kobe and Magic. He’s been most compared to Jason Kidd, but Kidd was a really efficient shooter. Ball’s mechanics aren’t pretty, and he’s shown no intention of changing his form. I definitely question how well he’ll do in this league without being able to score 10 points per game.
How awesome of a surprise is Kyle Kuzma?
NB: Kyle Kuzma has been shooting the ball very well for the Lakers so far this season. He’s definitely been a steal for them so far, as he has been effective for the team to start, and the Lakers should be thrilled to have another young talent to build around toward the future.
CB: Kuzma was awesome in the summer league, but obviously that doesn’t always translate to the regular season. I look at Kuzma like another Jordan Clarkson. Kind of like a mid-level Russell Westbrook. Can do a lot of things well and will be an awesome role player for the Lakers.
Who do you want taking the final shot? Dame or someone else?
NB: Lillard does it again as he hit what would be the game winning three with.7 seconds left in last night’s game against the Lakers. I think if you had the choice for the final shot in any game, Lillard would be a solid choice. Not too many other players would that I would hand the ball in that situation.
CB: Every season it seems like Damian Lillard is hitting big time shots. Last night he proved once again that he is one of the most clutch players in the league. Given the choice, I’d probably still take Steph Curry, but I wouldn’t be the slightest bit angry if you made me give the ball to Dame.
Player of the Night:
Unanimous decision: Damian Lillard- 32 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 5/8 from 3 including game winner.
That’ll do it for this week! Come back on Monday, when we review the top stories of the weekend.