In light of writing a piece about how Damian Lillard was snubbed for the All-Star game 3 years in a row (he got picked. Yay pettiness wins!)
I’ll be spending a few paragraphs on some things that I wanted to get off my chest.
Disclaimer: These are rambling opinions (so basically nothing new, cool.)
1. Paul George not making the All-Star reserves.
George’s season stats: 20.9 PTS 5.6 REB 3.0 AST 2.1 STL 0.6 BLK
Klay Thompson’s season stats: 20.4 PTS 4.0 REB 2.5 AST 0.7 STL 0.3 BLK
I’d make the argument against Draymond too but eh.
So I get rewarding team success over individual performance but the Warriors aren’t fair and OKC is steadily moving up to their rightful place in the standings.
Did I mention that PG is leading the league in steals? Or that he’s a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year? No? Yeah, that stuff too.
It’s a thin margin but Klay has more or less been about his normal self this season whereas George has had to adapt to two ball dominant scorers in Westbrook and Carmelo.
And yes, George is the 2nd option on the Thunder and Klay is the 3rd on the Warriors but George has way more of an impact than Klay on his team overall. Just look at the numbers when each of them aren’t playing. I’m much more impressed with George acclimating to his new situation versus Klay just being Klay.
OKC, at their best can contend for a title, and so could the Warriors without Klay, take George out of that equation and you basically just get the Thunder from last year plus an extra 20 points from Carmelo.
2. Kawhi Leonard wanting out of San Antonio.
No fiber in my being can possibly make sense of how ridiculous and short sighted you’d have to be to want out of San Antonio right now.
Now I get Steven A. Smith is just there to make hot takes and blow smoke but I’ll entertain the idea.
-Budding young talents in Dejounte Murray and David Bertans.
-Good veterans who are being used to their best potential despite being old.
-Winning culture that has lasted almost two decades.
-Your All-Star power forward returned to form this season.
-Best coach in the entire NBA coaching as well as one of the best organizations in terms of talent development, scouting, and salary management.
-You’re the franchise player.
-Can’t attract free agents to come play with you either due to the location or having to adhere to the Spurs system.
-Can’t truly contend for a title. (It’s getting harder to contend for a title in the West, the Spurs always get farther than other teams but aren’t actually good enough to beat the Rockets/Warriors this year).
-Hates the coaching staff/system (this is literally the REASON Kawhi is who he is. Without Pop’s X’s and O’s, the Spurs’ ball movement, or Chip Engelland (Spurs’ legendary shooting coach), Kawhi would have just been Justice Winslow (good defensive all around player who can’t shoot).
-Ego (dude drives a ’97 Chevy Tahoe and makes MILLIONS of dollars. Pretty sure this isn’t an ego issue)
-Money (see point above).
In short, Kawhi should stay put. End of story. If it really is that bad just have a talk with Pop like LaMarcus did and then everything will be just fine.
3. Kemba Walker being thrown in trade talks.
THAT’S DIRTY CHARLOTTE. HE’S YOUR GUY. HE’S THE HEART AND SOUL OF YOUR FRANCHISE. HE’S YOUR BATMAN. MICHAEL JORDAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?
He’s the franchise player and has done nothing but work hard and play hard for a middling, mismanaged franchise. He’s the only reason Charlotte was relevant in recent years and now, just to unload a bunch of bad contracts, y’all gonn go and trade him? Come on man. That being said, if it can be done, I’d wanna see Kemba on the Suns, Spurs, Cavs, Knicks or Pacers. All fun hypotheticals there.
4. The return of Isaiah Thomas
Jose Calderaon did better than IT has since he came back. Have you seen him just move? Doesn’t look good at all. Maybe throw him on the bench and let him be a sixth man until he gets his legs back.
5. Tom Thibobeau running his starters into the ground.
So back in his Chicago days, Tom Thibodeau was notorious for being the one coach who let his guys run 36+ minutes a game every single night. Those guys were Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and most famously Derrick Rose.
Looking at where those guys are now, only Jimmy Butler has survived. Noah is literally a ghost on the Knicks, Luol Deng is getting paid by the Lakers to do nothing, and Derrick Rose… well he’s contemplated retirement since his knees blew out from all the usage by Thibs.
That being said, Jeff Teague got injured earlier this season and Jimmy Butler has been having nagging knees issues so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see Taj or KAT start to wear down come playoff time.
6. NBA drama in general
The Clippers Rockets locker room confrontation, Afflalo throwing haymakers, Paul Pierce ‘s retirement ceremony, the Cavs attacking Kevin Love in a team meeting, All-Star snubs, Player vs. Referee altercations, just GIVE ME MORE.
WHY WATCH HBO WHEN YOU GOT ALL THIS DRAMA viewed at a distance and at no expense to yourself. KEEP IT COMING, it’s good TV.
7. The NBA Trade Deadline
Here’s 10 players I think will be traded:
Here’s 5 players I want to be traded:
Ricky Rubio (Donovan Mitchell has arrived and he took Rubio’s everything as tribute)
Skal Labissiere (Willie Calely Stein is already eating up those front court minutes, I wanna see what he can do somewhere else)
Willy Hermangomez (I PICKED THIS GUY WITH MY LIKE 6TH PICK IN FANTASY AND IT’S HAUNTED ME EVER SINCE)
Nikola Vucevic (Magic are rebuilding, might as well keep AG and dumpster fire the rest of that roster)
Kemba Walker (unleash Malik Monk! Also get him out of there if they don’t want him)
That does it for my quick takes of the NBA pre-trade deadline, hope it was at least entertaining because I had a lot of fun writing about it.