The NBA preseason has started, and we have been blessed with yet another NBA season. If the NBA preseason is any indication of the NBA season to come, then we can take away these five things:
#5: The Lakers are still deadly
Lebron James and Anthony Davis both did not play in the preseason. While this fact may not seem that important, the Lakers beat the Clippers that had Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, and Serge Ibaka all playing! Despite only playing eight guys, none of them All-Stars, the Lakers won — by 25 points! Talen Horton-Tucker scored 33 and grabbed 10 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma put up 25, six, and four, and Montrezl Harrell posted 19 points and 11 rebounds. With eight guys, they beat what is supposed to be one of the best teams in the NBA without Lebron and AD. Throw in those two, and the Lakers are still definitely championship favorites. The preseason game before this one, the Lakers beat the Clippers 87-81; again without Lebron and AD and with only nine guys. Montrezl Harrell had another double-double, and the starting five scored 65 points. Speaking of the Clippers….
#4: The Clippers are not having a bounce back season
So… if the playoffs and preseason are indication of anything, it’s that Kawhi and PG are slowing down. We all remember the 2020 playoffs, and if you don’t, then listen to Stephen A Smith yell, “Kawhi Flat Out Choked!” here. The Clippers played 18 guys their first preseason game, two times the amount of guys the Lakers had. Kawhi Leonard dropped an awe-inspiring THREE POINTS in his preseason debut. Paul George had to have been better, right? Yeah, he was. He had 10 POINTS AND TWO REBOUNDS. The sad thing? He led the team in scoring. I’m not joking. Here’s the box score if you don’t believe me. But hey, it can’t get worse than that, can it? In their second preseason game, the Clippers lost again, this time by 25 points. But boy, Kawhi and PG were awesome! They put up monster stat-lines… 11, two, and one for Kawhi, nine, four, and one for Paul George. This was so pathetic that Lou Williams, their 6th man, led the team in scoring with 12 points. Now yes, I’m just some anonymous blogger on the internet that couldn’t score 11 points in an NBA game to save my life. But I do know that two years ago, Paul George finished third in MVP voting and Kawhi was an NBA champion. The deterioration is obvious. They’re not having a bounce back season, and Kawhi will be lucky to make the All-Star team if he keeps playing like this. Clippers fans, I’m sorry. I want them to have a good year, but I don’t see it happening.
#3: Steph is back — and maybe the Warriors will make the second round of the playoffs
Not only is Steph rocking the coolest hair style of his career (see above), he is splashing threes from deep again and finding open teammates for easy buckets. The loss of Klay Thompson still hurts, but the Warriors managed to draft James Wiseman and Nico Mannion, trade for Kelly Oubre Jr, and sign Kent Bazemore to a one-year deal to help fill the void Klay Thompson left. In his preseason debut, Curry scored 10 and had three assists, but this was most likely adjusting to the new style of play and new teammates. In his next preseason game against the Kings, Curry looked like his old self, scoring 29 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. In his last preseason game, he scored 29 points again, this time to go along with six rebounds and three assists. The Warriors definitely have a chance to make a deep playoff run if they keep playing this way. It’s unlikely that Steph will return to playing at an MVP level, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll make the All-NBA, and at the very minimum be an All-Star.
#2: John Wall and KD are looking good
Two of the biggest stars coming back from injuries in the 2020-2021 season are Kevin Durant and John Wall. Questions have been circulating for the past year about how they would come back from injury; with both of them having some of the worst injuries in all of basketball. In three preseason games so far, John Wall has averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. These aren’t the best numbers of his career, but when you consider that everyone thought he’d come back as a shell of himself, these are pretty good. Granted, this is the preseason. He’s also going to have to get used to sharing the floor with James Harden; unless Harden gets traded. But it looks like Wall could have a comeback year. As for Kevin Durant, he has only played one game in the preseason as of the writing of this blog. In that one game, he put up 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists; in 24 minutes of playing time while having to deal with a ball dominant point guard who wants to be an alpha male. Whether these guys come back at the exact same level they were before they got injured is up for question, but they’re not going to become bench-warming scrubs doing weight loss commercials. Oh wait…
(this is a joke)
#1: Lamelo Ball is what we expected… so far
There have been more questions asked then answers given when it comes to Lamelo Ball. How will his game translate to the NBA? Will he ever stop shooting 35 foot bombs? Will Ball win Rookie of the Year, unlike his brother? Will he be better than his brother? These questions are, for the most part, unanswered, but from what we have seen so far, he might be a Rookie of the Year candidate. In his preseason debut, Lamelo failed to score a single point, but grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists. In his second game, he put up 12, three, and two, and in his third game, he posted 18 points, five assists, and two rebounds. Considering he’s playing on a team with a lot of young, talented point guards, and is coming off the bench, this may be a very good sign of things to come. However, there is a chance I’m getting ahead of myself. Remember, Lonzo Ball was the summer league MVP before his rookie season, and everyone thought he would be a star when in reality he was something of a bust. Whatever the case, Lamelo will bring excitement to the NBA in 2021.
Who do you guys think will become a star this year? Who do you think will shrink under the pressure? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to like, follow the blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
Credit to the NBA and Clutch-Points for pictures