Well NBA Fans, we are currently one-fourth of the way through the 2019-2020 NBA regular season! We know, it’s flying by! So, in order to keep everyone updated on the biggest headlines from around the league thus far, the team here at http://www.thehardwoodtribune.com has decided to compile a list of the five biggest story lines so far this season. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into this thing!
1) James Harden is historically good
Love him or hate him, there’s one thing all NBA fans need to come to terms with: James Harden has been historically good so far this season. Harden has taken his game to another level in the 2019-2020 season and is making a strong case for MVP yet again. The Rockets’ guard is averaging 39.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and 7.5 apg, which is incredible in and of itself. But its when you taker a closer look at the stat-sheet that Harden’s greatness really shines through. Harden has been able to put up these kinds of stats with good efficiency, as the Arizona State product has been shooting nearly 45% from the field this season. For Harden, this season is a chance at redemption and a chance to show the world that the Rockets are the real deal , and he sure seems determined to do that based off his play thus far. If Harden can sustain this level of play throughout the season, he will not only find himself in contention for the league’s MVP trophy yet again, but also potentially for a Larry O’Brien Trophy as well.
2) The Warriors are bad, like real bad
Going into this season, many fans looked at the Golden State Warriors no longer as a powerhouse dynasty, but as a team that could still potentially make a playoff push late in the season. Well, I’ve got some news for fans who had that opinion going into the season: throw that idea clean out the window. The Warriors have been extremely bad this season, and the stats show this perfectly. The Warriors have been atrocious this season on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. But, to be fair, this season’s shortcomings shouldn’t all be blamed on them.
Early on in the season, the Warriors lost star point guard Stephen Curry for likely the remainder of the season due to a hand injury, which did the team absolutely no favors on the offensive side of the ball. His running mate, D’Angelo Russell has also missed some time this season due to multiple injuries, allowing him to only play 15 games thus far. With Klay Thompson likely sidelined for the team this season, there really hasn’t been any bright spots for this Warriors’ team this season. The best thing the Warriors can do at the moment is to tank-out the remainder of the season and select a good quality pick, might I suggest Memphis center James Wiseman, with a high, first-round draft choice. With a below average roster and an injury plagued bench, there really is no end in sight for the Warriors this season. At this point, Warriors’ fans should turn their attention away from this season’s horrid play and focus on the upcoming draft, which they will likely have a top-3 choice in.
3) Luka Doncic is the real deal
If you didn’t see it before, you absolutely must now: young star guard Luka Doncic is the real deal, and he’s here to stay. The young Slovenian guard is playing at an MVP-type level so far this season, and he’s managed to turn the Dallas Mavericks into contenders in a tough Western Conference. The stats don’t lie: Luka is probably the best 20-year-old we have ever seen in the NBA. Yes, I said it, someone had to. So far this season, Luka is averaging 29.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, and 8.9 apg all while shooting nearly 48% from the field. That’s simply incredible for a second year player, almost unheard of. After watching him play this season, even Luka’s doubters are beginning to change their stance on the young, feisty guard. If Luka can keep playing like this for the remainder of the season, he will likely scoop up the MVP trophy. While no one is exactly sure just how good the Mavericks will fare in the postseason, assuming they make it there, on thing is certain: Luka Doncic is the real deal and he’s putting the basketball world, and his doubters, on notice with his play this season.
4) The Hornets are better then we all assumed they would be
Out of all the teams overperforming this season, this one is the real shocker to me. The Hornets parted ways with their longtime star Kemba Walker in the offseason, as he went to test the waters as a Boston Celtic, a role which he has realized and thrived in by the way. But, we have more on that later. Back to the Hornets. So, as I previously mentioned, the Hornets suffered a crushing blow by losing Walker, but in his wake, several players have really stepped up and helped propel the franchise to a decent record. Players like Devonte Graham and PJ Washington have helped keep the ship afloat, while players like point guard Terry Rozier and others have pitched in as well. By no means are we saying that this Hornets team will be a contender in the Eastern Conference or even be an above .500 team this season, but they certainly have out performed their preseason expectations.
5) The Celtics are, wait for it, having fun
After a season filled to the brim with mysterious headlines and troubling locker room emotions, the Celtics’ brass decided to flip the script in the offseason. Their first order of business was to bring in a young, exciting point guard by the name of Kemba Walker. This move turned out to pay off big time. Kemba has relished in his role as the distributer of the ball in Boston, which is seemingly putting everyone around him at ease. The young Celtics look like they are having a lot of fun taking the court night after night, but the best part is, the team is finding success this season too. The Celtics have managed to find themselves in the top half of the Eastern Conference standings this season, all while having fun doing it. The partnership between the Celtics and the young Walker has worked perfectly, and now the team is beginning to see the dividends pay off.