Going into this NBA season only a few things were certain, the Warriors will be good and Lebron will try his hardest to get Cleveland a championship. As a Knicks fan, I was anxious about Kristaps and Jerian Grant, losing Hardaway Jr. for an unproven rookie. In terms of being scary though, Anthony Davis worked on his 3-pt shot, making him even harder to cover, yay! I am here to talk about the realizations and revelations I have had in these opening weeks of the NBA season.
The first thing I realized, as hard as it was to accept, the guys I grew up praising aren’t as good as they used to be. Lebron has been top 3 since entering the league in 2003, and has always had guys close on his tail. It seems like yesterday, people were comparing Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony to the King. It seems that attraction to small forwards is fading. If I went up to someone on the street right now and asked him to name the top 3 now, it would still have Lebron James, but he would be followed by Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis or James Harden give or take. There is a shift in the league. Kevin Durant isn’t the best player on the Thunder, he even said it himself, Westbrook has taken the OKC crown. I am eagerly waiting to see if anyone can claim the throne from King James himself.
Second realization, people need to stop ignoring the Hawks. The Hawks after losing their first game, have won 7 straight. Yeah the Hawks were good last year and were the 1st seed but the East is tarnished that no matter what team is good, people only talk about whatever team Lebron is on. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap are playing better than ever, Kyle Korver is still 100% deadly from behind the arch and the acquisition of Tim Hardaway is bound the pay off quite well.
Finally, I realized that the new wave of players are coming into their own. The “New Wave” as a statement is very broad but when I use it, I am referring to the players who are young and relatively new to the league (2009-Present Day). Andre Drummond, who showed his immense growth last season, is leading the league in rebounds per game, with 19.0 RPG. This new wave does involve Steph Curry who came really early to this party and is hosting this new wave event, already averaging 33.9 PPG, which can be summed it with “wow”. I have been a Duke fan since I was young so I am going to try to say this next statement as unbiased as I really can; Jahlil Okafor is REALLY good. Here is the problem though, the Sixers are REALLY bad. Okafor already leads the team in PPG and FG%; now that could either be that Okafor is that good or the Sixers are that bad. He is still second to Nerlens Noel in RPG and BPG.
I will finish this off with my prediction for the NBA Finals, Warriors vs. Bulls. Derrick Rose is back to the Derrick Rose we used to know and I strongly believe he will get the playoff monkey off his back. I also picked the Bulls because I didn’t want a repeat of last year’s finals. The Warriors are still in there simply because they are best team in the NBA, period, there is no argument against that.