Well everyone, we made it! Wait, no I don’t mean to the end of the semester, but through one month of the topsyturvy NBA season.
So much has happened so far that no one could predict, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest storylines from the Association one month in.
I almost feel bad for writing about the (at the time of this writing) 190 Golden State Warriors.
Not only is this the best start for a team in NBA history, but since they won the last three games of last season’s NBA Finals, the warriors are on a 23 game win streak.
This ranks as the third longest win streak in NBA history.
So, they are pretty much setting all kinds of records.
This is probably due to the fact that their roster has stayed healthy, which is especially important for their interior defense through Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. Add in the ever-present defensive punch of Draymond Green and the athleticism of Andre Iguodala and the Warriors make for an incredibly well-rounded team.
Oh yeah, there is also Stephen Curry (averaging 5 three pointers a game, and 34 points) but I will refrain from gushing over his highlight-heavy year for a third straight week.
The Opposite of Perfection
Just as the sun has the moon, yin has yang, and the POD’s chicken sandwich has the weird Mabee equivalent, the Warriors have the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers are currently 118 but even that does not tell the whole story. Before Dec. 1, 2015 the 76ers actually had not won since Mar. 25, 2015, which was a little under a month before the last NBA season ended.
What could make this worse?
How about the 1st pick in the NBA draft, Jahlil Okafor reportedly getting into fights outside clubs, going over 100 mph on a Philadelphia bridge and attempting to use a fake ID at a bar (he is 19).
Yes, you read that right.
If any of you see him at Bay’s this Thursday, just know something is not quite right.
I am going to give the award of biggest disappointment (narrowly beating out Anthony Davis and the Pelicans) to the chemistry experiment gone-wrong Houston Rockets.
I am actually baffled by the start the Rockets have had. They have only amassed 7 wins and have tallied 11 losses so far this season.
What is even more unimpressive is their losses, who have come against basketball powerhouses (sarcasm) like the Denver Nuggets (twice), the New York Knickerbockers and the Detroit Pistons.
Now I am not saying any of these teams are 76ers-level bad, but last season, all of these games would have been looked at as relatively easy wins.
This can be partially attributed to the firing of former head coach Kevin McHale, the horrible numbers put up by Ty Lawson (averaging a career low 7 points per game and a measly 4 assists), and the comic-relief of James Harden’s defense.
Yes, the New York Draftee Kristaps Porzingis appears to be the real McCoy. Through the storm of draft day booing from Knicks fans, Porzingis has given us some of the best highlights of the year so far.
In fact, some even began to use his name as a verb to indicate a ferocious putback dunk (“Porzingising”) because of the smattering he served up against the Knicks early competition.
The rookie is averaging 13 points and 9.3 assists (almost a doubledouble) through the first quarter of the NBA season and has given the Knicks’ “booers” their own foot to eat on most of his outings.
With his versatile size, solid footwork, and three point range, the 20-year-old Latvian is drawing comparisons to the likes of Dirk Nowitzki.
Look for Porzingis to be a surpriserookie of the year contender if his good fortune on the court continues.
Wave Goodbye to the Bean
The last major story this year was just legitimized as Kobe Bryant announced that this is his last year playing in the NBA. With enough champion rings to fill out one, very shiny hand, Kobe will play out the end of his NBA days as a true champion of basketball.
Did he have bumps along the way? Yes. Was he accused of breaking the law in a fairly heinous fashion in the middle of his career? Yes. There is no doubt that he became a controversial character in the basketball landscape.
What is not controversial is the fact that Kobe was, and is the epitome of passion, and dedication for my generation of athletes and spectators.
From the behindtheback reverse jam against Denver, to the Michael Jordanesque game winner in Phoenix, watching Kobe was guaranteed to bring out the “Did you see that?” and “Is he even human?” questions.
Anyone interested in watching the Black Mamba on campus should note his final appearances against the Spurs next friday, the 11, Jan. 22, and Feb. 6 and 19.