What I’ve learned from the 1st-half of the NBA season

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The Golden State Warriors are very good!

Golden State came into this season with a chip on their shoulder. So many people questioned their championship season last year because “they didn’t have to play the Clippers or the Spurs” and because their “opponents weren’t healthy” and I believe all those naysayers motivated them coming into this season. The Warriors have dominated and dominated and dominated. They put up a 40-point lead on the top team in the East and ran up the score on their peers right under them in the West in the San Antonio Spurs.

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Steph Curry’s improvements from last year to now.

Steph Curry has been even better than he was last year. He’s definitely the league MVP, and in my eyes, he’s the Most Improved Player of the Year as well so far. Golden State is on pace to beat the ’96 Chicago Bulls 72-10 record. They still have games against their biggest threats in the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but with the way they’ve played this season, I believe anything less than a championship would be a huge disappointment.

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Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The future is bright for Kristaps Porzingis & Karl-Anthony Towns

These two guys have been an enjoyment to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing what type of players they can develop into. Karl-Anthony Towns has been a beast for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Playing for the Kentucky Wildcats, we knew he was good ,but being on such a great team, he didn’t have to do too much. But now he’s shown all of his tricks and boy does he have game! He’ll give you his inside game, stretch the floor and hit the jumper, and also, run in transition and throw the house down. Towns can help a core of young guys in Minnesota turn their ship around and begin making some noise in the NBA.

Kristaps Porzingis has brought excitement back to the Mecca of basketball. His story has been great, starting with New York fans egregiously booing him upon his draft, leading him to prove them wrong and becoming the most adored player in New York. Kristaps has given us multiple highlights with monstrous putback dunks, and he’s even showed his inner Hakeem, putting in work in the paint. He has proven he can play in this league. Now he has to continue to develop and improve on what’s been a great rookie year.

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Matt Slocum/Associated Press

It’s not the year to be an NBA Coach

Coaches come and go. Literally they come and go in the NBA, no job is safe! We’ve seen 6 coaches lose their jobs and we’re only halfway through the season. Majority of these firings have been surprising, and it makes you wonder, is it really worth coaching in the league? It started with Kevin McHale being fired quickly after 11 games and Lionel Hollins of the Brooklyn Nets quickly came after. David Blatt was next, surprisingly becoming the most successful coach to be fired, and it rubbed a lot of current coaches the wrong way. Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns was thrown out, but many saw that coming, especially when your players are throwing towels at you. And last but not least, Derek Fisher was let go by his former coach, Phil Jackson this week. The Fisher firing is what really shocked me. After the Matt Barnes drama, I expected him to be let go a lot earlier, but the Knicks decided to stick it out. After the 1-9 game skid, Jackson stated,

“It’s time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward and get some wins and keep going down the road we started here at the beginning of the year.”

When they hired Fisher they knew he had zero experience as a coach. He had a horrible first year but in my eyes they’ve improved immensely this season. They have exceeded my expectations, so I didn’t understand why this firing was warranted. I believe Phil Jackson has unrealistic expectations, which leads me to believe this firing has an underlying root cause. But it was definitely surprising to me as well as Kristaps Porzingis.

 “It was a shock for me at that moment when he said he wasn’t going to be my coach anymore. He said some good words to me, and I am very thankful for what he did for me and I told him that.”

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Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

Kobe Bryant is getting the love that he deserves

Although watching the Lakers struggle this season has been tough, seeing the admiration for Kobe Bryant from teams, players, and fans all around the world has been amazing. It has really shown how great of a player he was and how much he has meant in these past twenty years. Basketball without Kobe is unthinkable and when the Lakers take the court next season without 24 in purple and gold, that presence will be missed. However, all of the tribute videos from city to city have been great to watch, and Bryant himself has truly enjoyed it as well. With only half of a season left of this farewell tour, I’m looking forward to seeing Kobe Bryant leave us with more memories as he slowly makes his transition into retirement.

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