Though the new season young, a few players and teams have significantly stood out. Here are three storylines to follow in the Association today!
“Can’t Stop the Reign”
You think the Golden State Warriors were motivated by all of the (unfair) trash talk that came their way before the season? Steph Curry and the champs have not missed a beat (crushing opponents by an avg. of 17.8 ppg) since capturing their first title in 40 years and have a realistic shot at 70 wins.
Yes, 70. Not only has Curry transcended to an other-worldly level (avg. 32.4 ppg, 5.9 assists. 5.4 rebounds), everyone is united under interim coach Luke Walton. The fact that GS remains more cohesive than ever without a leading voice in the locker room (Steve Kerr) shows how locked in the Dubs are to repeat.
At this rate, it makes no difference if other teams in the West have improved. Golden State simply cannot be touched.
In our Detroit Pistons season preview, we highlighted shooting and internal improvement as two key factors to return to the postseason. However, Andre Drummond’s ascension into a top 3 big man is the driving force behind the early Motor City revival,
Dre is our reigning Top DOG of the Week by absolutely dominating on the boards. Through six games, Drummond posted averages of 20.3 points and 20.3 rebounds, the highest mark since Wilt Chamberlain. Drummond HAS to be face guarded if you want to keep him off the offensive glass…he’s that good.
So, it’s safe to say Greg Monroe was holding him back all these years, right? Or is the combo of Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova and Stanley Johnson the “perfect” mix of complementary players for Drummond to go nuts? No matter how you spin it, Drummond’s legendary start to the season makes Detroit (5-2) an interesting squad to follow.
Drummond still has a ways to go but here’s a friendly reminder: he’s just 22 years old and is nowhere close to playing at a peak level.
It’s an interesting hashtag to use, considering LA’s number 2 overall pick has started every game for the purple and gold in 2015-16. But while D’Angelo is receiving consistent playing time (avg. 9.3 points & 2.3 assists in almost 25 minutes), his impact is lessened by Coach Byron Scott’s ineptitude and Kobe Bryant’s poor decision-making.
When on the floor, Russell is mainly used as a decoy instead of initiating sets in the P&R. We’ve only seen brief flashes of D’Angelo’s spectacular passing ability and crafty shot-creating. Even when he makes plays, Coach Scott sits him late in games in favor of veteran Lou Williams.
Russell is a highly confident player but at the end of the day, he’s a 19-year old rookie looking prove himself on one of the league’s marquee franchises, alongside one of the fiercest competitors (Kobe) to ever lace em up.
It’s not yet a delicate situation but the Lakers must focus on putting Russell in a better position to utilize his tremendous talent.