Talking points of the NBA season so far

Sam Staunton Roar Rookie

By , Sam Staunton is a Roar Rookie

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    After just a few days of the 2017-18 NBA season, there are a multitude of talking points. Here are my first impressions.

    Steph and KD ejected… and Warriors lose… twice
    Despite Kevin Durant’s first season with the Warriors delivering six fewer wins than their 2015-16 campaign, where they went 73-9, they were no less unstoppable.

    Once Durant and the Warriors started to gel, they cruised to an NBA championship, defeating the Cavaliers 4-1 in the finals.

    Their starting line-up suffered no losses after a busy NBA off-season, still boasting all-stars Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

    Experts once again predict the Warriors to be unmatched – tipping them to be champions for a second consecutive season. But after their second loss from their opening three games, many are surprised by their shaky start.

    They lost 122-121 on opening night to the Houston Rockets in a thrilling affair, after Durant’s successful ‘game winner’ actually didn’t beat the buzzer. A few days later they defeated the Pelicans, albeit not emphatically.

    During their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, Curry let his frustrations get the better of him, hurling his mouth guard at the referee late in the fourth quarter, after not receiving a foul call during a contested layup.

    He was immediately ejected, and in the fallout Durant was as well.

    The Warriors went on to lose 111-101, with Curry and Durant both starring for the majority of the clash. However, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson struggled from the field, going 0-5 and 2-8 from deep respectively.

    Given this was the year the Warriors were set to really unleash, the one-win, two-loss start raises concerns.

    However, once Golden State get in gear, they’ll most likely go all the way yet again.

    Klay Thompson dribbles past Russell Westbrook

    (Photo: AP)

    Lonzo a bust? Not so fast
    Lonzo Ball is one of the most talked about athletes in US sports, and one of the most hyped rookies of his generation.

    Unfortunately, given his father Lavar Ball’s boisterous and arrogant nature, Lonzo is not particularly popular among NBA fans and players.

    Lonzo’s haters relished seeing the UCLA product put up a measly three points and four assists in the Lakers’ opening game against their hometown rivals, the LA Clippers. Ball was quickly labelled a bust, after just one game.

    What they’re forgetting is that it was Lonzo’s very first NBA game and that he was unluckily matched up against one the league’s best perimeter defenders in Patrick Beverly, who gave Lonzo no room on the offensive end of the floor.

    Well, the rookie can’t be called a bust any longer, after he bounced back the next day in a tenacious performance against the Phoenix Suns.

    He looked dominant while leading the Lakers to a 132-130 point win, falling just short of posting a triple-double, recording 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.

    Props to ‘Zo for proving his doubters wrong in a brilliant, redeeming display.

    Trust the process
    A lot of hype during the recent off-season surrounded the Philadelphia 76ers. ‘Trust the process’, a catchphrase a repeatedly used by Sixers players, Joel Embiid in particular, aroused excitement for the upcoming season.

    Maybe the excitement is justified. Embiid is a promising big man – just has had an unlucky injury run – Ben Simmons is a potential rookie of the year candidate, and the Sixers’ drafted the super talented Markelle Fultz with the number one overall pick.

    (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

    They possess a roster stacked with young talent, and there was a real prospect of making the playoffs for fans and players.

    But the season to date has seen a lowlight video of Markelle Fultz’s abysmal free throw form has go viral, and the team are 0-3 after the Raptors blew them out by 34 points.

    But hey, trust the process!

    To be fair, it’ll take a few seasons of development for this young side to become serious contenders. But maybe the players should have toned down the hype and focussed on their growth. This start is a reality check, showing where they’re actually at.

    The ‘Greek Freak’ isn’t mucking around
    Giannis Antetokounmpo declared over the summer that he was going for the MVP award, and he wasn’t joking. The 210cm monster has been in full force in his first three outings, averaging 38.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and defeating Portland with a game-saving block.

    “He’s a very dynamic player, a very good player, on the path to greatness, that’s for sure, if he’s not already there,” LeBron James said of Antetokounmpo.

    But Antetokounmpo is not quite there just yet.

    James is still the king and he let the world know it when he perfectly executed a clean block on Antetokounmpo during a layup attempt during the Cavs’ win over the Bucks a few days ago.

    However, Antetokounmpo could definitely claim this season’s most valuable player title, and more importantly, bring his Bucks to the playoffs.

    Wrap
    We’ve already seen Gordon Hayward’s and Jeremy Lin’s legs give way, ending their seasons, as well as blowout wins, upsets and games that went down to the wire.

    These talking points will barely be the tip of the iceberg with what’s to come.

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