The NBA is back and after getting through the 1st week, boy am I excited for this upcoming season. The loaded Golden State Warriors got smacked, the Cleveland Cavaliers got their rings, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their first game so all is well in the world! There’s so much to talk about but I want to get into some of the biggest take-a-ways that I witnessed this week.
We’re Closer to Trusting the Process!
We are definitely steps closer to trusting the process of the Philadelphia 76ers. The anticipated debut of Joel “the Process” Embiid was successful with a 20 point and 7 rebound performance. Embiid dominated the preseason and it seems that he took off right where he left off. He put all of his moves to test as he gave the Oklahoma City Thunder buckets. What impressed me the most was his confidence out on the floor. Joel Embiid demanded the ball, took all types of shots, got up and down the floor and just played his heart out. He looked like he belonged and it seems he truly believes that he’s a big time player in this league. I know the injury of number one draft pick, Ben Simmons has to sting Sixers fans but seeing Embiid play like he has, has to ease their pain just a little.
We knew once the Warriors acquired Kevin Durant, there would a lot of hatred and critique following every game. And people didn’t hesitate after Golden State took an unexpected blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs. They didn’t just lose on opening night, they lost by 29 points on their home floor. It was a lost that took everyone by surprise but also sparked outlandish critique.
Some of the craziest things I seen was people saying Durant made this team worst and that this team just isn’t that good. And I’m here to tell everyone relax. It was only one game and it’s way to early to be throwing out ridiculous criticism of this team. With such a big shift in the roster, it was very apparent that it would take this team time to get well adjusted. When you add a guy like Kevin Durant, everything just doesn’t gel overnight. We’re going to see struggles from this team especially on the defensive side of the ball but they will put it together and ultimately win the NBA championship in my opinion.
So Many MVPs!!!
This week of basketball gave us breakout performance after breakout performance. And what I can tell you all is that the MVP race is going to be a lot of fun this year. I originally picked James Harden as my pick for league MVP this season but I have to mention some of the other players who will give him a run for his money.
James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis are all super early candidates for MVP. Looking at this table above, how can you not be excited about the MVP race that we’re about to endure?
Looking at their performances through the first two games, they are all impressive. Harden has displayed that he can play point guard and distribute the ball with ease. Westbrook is a stat sheet stuffer as he’s always been and he’s taken on the “I’m going to do what it takes to win” mentality. Kawhi is the same defensive-minded guy that he’s always been with an increase in the scoring category. And Anthony Davis has just been a MONSTER! With 95 points combined in his first two games, Davis passed Michael Jordan with 91 for the most points scored in the first two games of any season.
Big numbers and big production from Davis to start off the season. However, they didn’t translate to wins for his team which could possibly hurt his MVP campaign. Wins matter to some when it comes to the most valuable player debate and when you look at these players, the only one on a definite playoff team in my eyes is Kawhi Leonard.
The MVP race is definitely something to look at as the season proceeds. The crazy thing about these four candidates is that I believe they can continue this production that they’re displaying. They are each the focal point of their respective teams and this kind of output is what I expect from each player. All I have to say is make sure you are tuned in!