“NBA-Mid Season Report”
They are half way home in this pandemic shortened NBA season, and now they head to Atlanta for the All Star Game.
Candid thoughts on the teams, the standings, the storylines:
LAKERS…Anthony Davis always seems to be hurt, whether it was in New Orleans or in LA. So gifted but somewhat brittle. If he cannot stay healthy come playoff time, there won’t be any repeat.
LE BRON…King James has heart, toughness, leadership and lots of skill, but asking him to play 38-minutes a game and carry the team is far fetched, especially when you play every other night.
WHERE’S KUZ…Anybody agree with me, Kyle Kuzma’s career seems to be regressing? An odd big night and then next to nothing in followup games. It’s as if no one knows what his true role should be.
TREZ…Montrzl Harrell has been everything and more for the Lakers, just like he was for the Clippers. He may be a most valuable piece when the playoffs roll around.
CLIPPERS…Tell me it’s more than a 2-man team, but that’s what it looks like, Kawhi Leonard-Paul George against the world. That’s enough playing the bottom feeders in the league, but come playoff time, they need more.
BENCH BUNCH…They have been invaluable over the last group of years, Lou Williams-Patrick Beverley. Firepower, grit, a little personality off the bench, but they don’t seem to be as explosive night to night for the Clippers.
BROOKLYN…Wonder how good they could be if they could get Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving and James Harden on the floor for an extended period of time. They are sharing the ball now, though defense seems optional some nights.
MILWAUKEE…Just not the same team as a year ago..not dominant. Defenses have slowed down Giannis Antetkoumpo and Kris Middleton, but there’s still lots of time to get it together. Maybe there is a trade coming for another guard
PHILADELPHIA….Doc Rivers is driving them and they seem to be more than just Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons.
BOSTON…For years and years GM-Danny Ainge stockpiled draft picks, signed free agents, but they have never scaled the mountain. It’s like the Tatum-Brown combo have stalled and there is not enough around them. So much for stockpiling assets, if it does not come together.
MINNESOTA…Fallen upon hard times with what appears to be real bad chemistry, that’s what (7-28) means to me.
GOLDEN STATE…What a run, and then age-injury took it apart. Maybe a healthy James Wiseman means better days ahead a year from now, but Steph Curry-Draymond Green are the last men standing from the great years.
DETROIT…It is a disaster at (9-25) and Blake Griffin not playing and on the trade block.
HOUSTON…Life after James Harden-Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul sure looks awful, as witnessed by that 12-game losing streak they were dragging with them heading towards the break.
SACRAMENTO…Forever a loser. The era of Phil Jackson and ‘Cow Bell Hell’ seems like a lifetime ago doesn’t it?
NEW ORLEANS….The Pelicans pieces seem to be there…Brandon Ingram is a star, Zion Williamson is as advertised and if Lonzo Ball, no longer a kid, can become consistent, then this might be something to watch.
SAN ANTONIO…Yes look at your standings. Greg Popovich has a young team, rebuilding on the run, in first place. It’s pretty impressive.
NY KNICKS….If you can find a star name on the roster, you are better than I, but Tom Thibodeau and his defense have have made this a better than .500-team without any stud players at the Garden.
PHOENIX….They fly, they shoot, they scrap. The Suns have been down forever but Devin Booker-D’Andre Ayton and Chris Paul are changing things. Could be a playoff matchup nightmare.
UTAH…Yes it is Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but this looks like a consummate team, not any individual star. Best record in the West.
We will see what the second half of the season brings.