What’s up everybody. Welcome to the Sunday Summary, a piece in which I rant about certain topics relating to basketball. Let’s get started.
1. Damian Lillard is a BAD MAN
What a second half season Damian Lillard is having. Don’t get me wrong, Lillard has been decent all year, but ever since he got snubbed from the 2016 All-Star Game he has been a mad man.
Since January 28th, the day the All-Star reserves were announced, he has averaged 29.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 16 games. He has scored more than 30 points in nine of those games, also two of those games he dropped 50 and 51.
I’ve said this in the past, I am a huge Damian Lillard and he is my favorite player in the league right now. He’s used to being overlooked and it just gives him more motivation to become a household name.
Remember when everyone (including myself) said the Portland Trail Blazers would not compete for a playoff spot and they are in rebuilding mode? Well thanks to the backcourt of Lillard and C.J. McCollum they are currently 33-30 and have the 7th seed in the West.
He’s been snubbed from many things early in his career and has been often overlooked. If this continues to happen, Lillard won’t mind, it is just more motivation for the young point guard to accomplish great things.
2. Best Backcourt in the NBA?
Remember this debate last year? When John Wall said and teammate Bradley Beal were the best backcourt in the NBA? Then followed up by Dion Waiters saying him and Kyrie were the best backcourt (that turned out well).
It was a hot discussion topic in the beginning of the 2014-2015 NBA season, and in the end it was really Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson showing that they were the top dogs. Now after watching the Trail Blazers-Raptors game this past Friday, I figured it should be up for discussion again.
I know most people will bash me saying, “Steph and Klay are the best and there is not a close second.” But you can make the argument that the Raptors or Trail Blazers backcourt is close to or even better than the splash brothers. Here is my quick top three backcourts in the league.
- Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry 30.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 51.4% (47% from three). Klay Thompson 21.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 47% (41% from three).
- Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry 21.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 44.3% (39.2 % from three). DeMar DeRozan 23.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 44.4% (34% from three).
- Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard 25.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.0 steal while shooting 43.1% (38% from three). C.J. McCollum 20.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steal while shooting 45% (41% from three).
The Warriors have the best record in the league and are chasing history and it’s led by those two guys listed above. Toronto’s Lowry and DeRozan are a very close second in my personal opinion. They are currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference and have stayed relatively healthy this whole season so far, which is why I think they have both done so well. Lillard has always been good since he came into the league and now that he has another guard next to him that can score the ball well like McCollum, this backcourt has the potential to be the best in the coming years.
3. Disaster in the Desert
Two years ago the Suns won 48 games and were close to making the playoffs. It was looking bright in Phoenix (no pun intended) and in the span of two years they are back at square one.
In the beginning of this season, this team looked like they would make some noise on paper. They have two guards in Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight who are scoring threats. The Suns also added veteran Tyson Chandler to help with their troubles down in the paint.
It started last season when the team traded not only Goran Dragic but also Isaiah Thomas. Firings in management, questionable moves and frustrated players have really hurt this franchise as it tries to return to some sort of glory since the days of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire.
They do have one bright spot in Devin Booker. Not gonna lie, I had doubts about him in the beginning. He was really young entering the draft (18 at the time) and didn’t start in college. Now, he’s averaging close to 12 points a game and has already has the showings of being one of the best shooter in the league right now. The Franchise looks like a mess right now, but they have a cornerstone to build around with Booker.
4. Baron Davis is back
A while back, former NBA All-Star Baron Davis had plans to attempt a comeback. This past week he signed with the Delaware 87ers of the D-League (Philadelphia 76ers affiliate).
The former 3rd overall selection in 1999 last played for the New York Knicks in a playoff game in 2012. His ending wasn’t so pretty as he landed awkwardly on his leg, tearing both his ACL and MCL.
His comeback was not anything special, scoring only 8 points (shooting 3-11) while dishing out 4 assists and 3 steals. He even had a two-handed dunk, not bad for a 36-year-old four years removed from a terrible injury.
I thought it was really funny at first that Davis was attempting an NBA comeback, but after seeing him play and hearing what he had to say after, I give the man credit. He wanted to leave the game in better terms and not like how he did in New York being carted off in a stretcher. While an NBA call-up might be very unlikely for Davis, you gotta root for a guy like him to make one more final run in the NBA.
5. LET’S GO BONAS!
What a year for St. Bonaventure. After a slow start in the beginning of the season, the team finished on a high note going 10-1 in their last 11 games. They now finish the regular season 22-7 (14-4 in the Atlantic 10) and are co-champions of the conference tied with Dayton and VCU.
Led by the trio of Marcus Posley, Dion Wright and Jaylan Adams, they are looking for a possible bid in the big dance come mid-march. Winning the regular season A-10 title definitely helps their case for a bid. Next up they head to Brooklyn Friday, March 11th. They have a bye in the first and second rounds so their potential opponent is TBD.
This has been a great year for St. Bonaventure basketball. I know they have a shot to go far in Brooklyn and potential to join the big dance. The team just needs to focus on one game at a time and not worry about what’s potentially down the road just yet.