Welcome to the Rundown! Today, we talk about the top stories from the weekend and make our predictions for tonight’s action.
Timberwolves win five straight:
Nick Billion: After winning both games over the weekend the Timberwolves have their first five game win streak since 2009, and fans should celebrate this little streak. While it’s still early in the season, this team is showing that they can compete and are aiming for the playoffs. Wiggins, Butler and Towns make for a core that is super athletic, with excellent scoring abilities. However, if you want this run to continue I think you have to continue to let Wiggins shoot the ball.
Craig Brallier: It’s a small milestone, but it shows the strides this organization has made. They survived the Kevin Love/Ricky Rubio years, and they’re on to winning basketball. I have to agree with Nick in saying that getting Andrew Wiggins his shots is the key. He’s the best pure scorer they have and it’s the key to future success.
Boston wins eighth straight:
NB: Anyone that watched Boston’s first game knows what happened. The gruesome injury to All-Star Gordon Hayward left everyone speechless. Due to his injury, many people (including myself), were not sure how this team would compete against the rest of the league. However, here we are telling a completely different story. The Celtics are now on an eight game win streak, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With Kyrie Irving leading this team, some of the younger players have stepped up. This team is one to watch out for as early in the season, it’s been nothing short of dominant.
CB: I definitely didn’t see this coming after the Hayward injury. But we see the difference Kyrie makes to any team. On this end of the spectrum, Irving creates an excellent position for Boston, being an elite scorer and still raking up assists. On the opposite end, Cleveland looks miserable without him, missing his scoring and defense. Initially the Celtics were my pick to come out of the East and face off with Golden State in the Finals, but after Hayward’s injury, I wrote them off. Now, ten games in, they look like they haven’t missed a beat and they have Kyrie Irving and Head Coach Brad Stevens to thank for it.
How can you fix the Cavs?
NB: It may have only been a two point loss, but it was still a bad one for the Cavs who continue to struggle. Now Cleveland did get a win over the weekend, but LeBron had to GO OFF, and it was still only enough to beat Washington by eight. This team clearly needs help. You cannot rely on one player to carry you to the playoffs. I think the answer is defense. You need to find someone who can help you get stops. You cannot have a shootout every game. Again, the Cavs will likely bounce back, but for now, something needs to change.
CB: It seems like we’re talking about this every day. They’ve been awful. They’re defense has been atrocious for the last two seasons. Sure they have Jae Crowder, but after him, they don’t have any elite on ball defenders. I’m still assuming that they will trade for Eric Bledsoe, but that won’t be enough to save them, it’ll only be a quick fix. They will get eaten alive if they don’t fix their defense. They need to step up before they fall into a deeper hole.
Biggest surprise of the season so far:
NB: My answer to this may be a bit broad, but my I’d have to say how the Eastern Conference is shaping up. With a struggling Cavs team, it has blown this conference wide open. Take a minute to let this sink in, if the season ended today the Cavs wouldn’t make the playoffs. That’s crazy to think about.
CB: Mine is the overall balance of the league right now. It seems like almost everyone is neck and neck, from the Warriors to the Pistons. It’s absolutely maddening. Going into the year, I assumed Cleveland, Golden State, Boston and Houston were going to run the league, but it has been awesome to watch.
That’ll do it for today’s Rundown! Come back tomorrow, where we’ll be discussing the top stories from around The Association.