The NBA has been busy these days and so have I, which means I haven’t been able to write any articles. From injuries to players getting back in game form. Man I love league pass!
The Rooks: Well what can I say? The rookie guards look like rookies trying to do too much – the big men on the other hand, look like big men. Jahlil Okafor has surprised me with his defense, he seems comfortable guarding the center position also showing some help defense (I know its preseason let me live). Although he’s struggling with his shot we know he’s a pure post scorer and once he figures out how to use the strength of the NBA defenders against them he should be able to counter the defenses with some post moves. Karl-Anthony Towns has shown flashes of greatness as well, but the one rookie who’s really surprised me is the Bulls Bobby Portis. The young man loves to tangle down low with the trees and has an extremely promising shooting stroke.
The guards (and by guards I mean D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay) have played a little bit wild at times. Mudiay started off the preseason turning the ball over at a high rate, and although that is not to be expected for the regular season – Nuggets fans should get used to seeing mistakes happen on the offensive end with this young man. He’s raw, he has talent – but he’s raw. Russell can undeniably shoot the ball and sees the court almost as good as Mudiay but his athleticism will be a cause of concern. There aren’t that many Stephen Curry‘s in the NBA so its hard to believe Russell is the second coming of the reigning MVP. That being said, I believe both of these players will become great players in the league one quicker than the other but both very slowly.
Another player who has really caught my eye is Stanley Johnson. Its a little early to tell but he’s looking like the real deal. From claiming he is the best player in the draft, Johnson has sort of played like the best player of the draft – at least for the short term. His biggest weakness was his shooting and he’s shot better than most of the veterans in the preseason. He also dominated the summer league as if he was a veteran playing with kids.
The Vets: NBA basketball is back folks. That means we get to see LeBron James dunking on a weekly basis, Stephen Curry crossing someone over and shooting his beautiful jumper, oh and Kobe Bryant shooting his Michael Jordan-esque fade away. YES Kobe Bryant is back and while Mr. Casas is busy saying farewell to my generations best player, I’m busy waiting for him to explode for 65 points this year. This is one player I will never count out – I don’t care if he’s getting old, he’s to smart not to score. His footwork his release, his savvy, everything he does on the court indicates him destroying opposing defenders. I was watching the Lakers play Haifa Maccabi Haifa yesterday and one of the announcers (female announcer) claimed that Kobe will have his best three point shooting year. Guess what? I agree! With Randle down low and more offensive weapons around him Kobe should be able to free himself up for some open threes which he will more likely than not nail.
Joakim Noah is looking really good on both ends of the court. The Bulls leader seems to be ready to lead the Bulls in the regular season after having his season hampered by injuries last year. Derrick Rose is still out with hopes of making it back by the Bulls season opener. Roy Hibbert has looked comfortable in the Lakers offense and will most likely be able to help the young team on the defensive end.
The Injured: Injuries are always hard to deal with and are always something you hope to avoid. Here are a list of some of the injured big names.