After this weekend’s games, most teams are getting done with game 13 of the season. There are telling signs around the league on how everyone looks barring injury or an unexpected big winning streak. You have questions, and I am here to answer some of these questions. Let’s dive into some important storylines going on around the league.
Lakers crawling out of the West cellar
What a surprise the Lakers are. Head coach Luke Walton has this team playing a C+ version of the Warriors, and it still looks very good. Former head coach Byron Scott was a taskmaster that had a short leash on the important young players that the Lakers needed to thrive. Scott had no concept of running a modern day NBA offense. It was abysmal to watch them last season.
Kobe Bryant retiring was the best thing that has happened to the Lakers since they won their last title in 2010 by letting these talented young core spread their wings. Watching Walton implement an offense similar to Golden State is a welcome sight for Laker fans who can finally cheer for something that doesn’t look like rec league ball. Julius Randle looks like Draymond Green. Lou Williams is the sharp shooter off the bench that is just what the doctor ordered.
Most importantly, D Angelo Russell is playing excellent basketball. Russell has the deadly combination of passing, shooting & mix in rebounding. This can put him in the discussion of being a future all-star selection sooner than later.
John Wall and the Washington Generals (really the Wizards but they are playing like the Generals)
Another year where point guard John Wall looks like he is trying to get off a deserted island with no assistance around him. How much can a player take until Wall pulls a Carmelo Anthony and force a trade out of town? Currently, Wall is surrounded with massively overpaid Bradley Beal, still developing Otto Porter Jr. and a good player in Marcin Gortat. After promising youngster Kelly Oubre Washington has nothing.
Wall might as well say “eff it I will get through this season and get the heck out of town.” With Wall racking up the technical fouls as never before. It would make sense if any star were on this roster he would pull a Tracy Mcgrady and drop kick a basketball in the stands at the end of a game just to keep his sanity.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kemba Walker for the All-Star team
With the way these two players are playing this season, if they are not selected to the all-star teams. Expect fans to riot via social media over this. Walker has the Hornets buzzing to an 8-3 start and looks like a bonafide star. Walker is lighting up opponents with terrific three-point shooting and his ability to get to the line. Charlotte is playing excellent team basketball and the defensive intensity that they have the luxury to start each game up 4-0.
Let’s turn the attention to the “Greek Freak” who has Milwaukie playing well despite missing their backbone on both sides of the floor in Kris Middleton who is out with a torn hamstring until at least early March. Antetokounmpo is carrying this team on his back with help from emerging star Jabari Parker. At this pace as long as Milwaukie’s record is good enough expect to see Giannis barely get in. If his assist average gets to 7 per game, the fans voting and coaches would have to turn into Tyrone BIggums to leave him off the All-Star roster.
Dallas is now the most injured team in the league
You have to feel for Head Coach in Rick Carlisle who has to watch this every night. Carlisle has to consider that closing his eyes and riding a bike down a hill at full speed and see what happens has to be better than watching Dallas play offense. After scoring 64 points against Memphis during the return of Chandler Parsons coming back to town, Dallas is showing they don’t have much talent outside of Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes.
The absence of key bench player JJ Barea doesn’t help the cause. This is what happens when you have repeating horrific draft classes and have to overpay in free agency for players other teams didn’t want. You get a 2-8 record with no end in sight and Carlisle might as well park a seat on the bench and never get up to make it go away.
Hey, Mark Cuban I am sure you don’t regret trading your first round pick in 2013 to select Giannis Antetokounmpo two choices before Milwaukie like your most trusted front office person Don Nelson told you to do.
Oh wait, (Cut to Mark Cuban taking his anger out on a couple during a taping of Shark Tank who deserved an investment) I think he does.