The First Buzzer: 5 Things We Learned During The First Quarter Of The NBA Season

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 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.


Report: Jimmy Butler garnering interest from Houston Rockets

According to multiple reports, free agent superstar Jimmy Butler is garnering interest from the Houston Rockets and is expected to be “aggressively” pursued by the organization during the NBA’s free agency period. After being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers just before the mid-season deadline, Butler averaged 18.2 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game while shooting about 46.1% percent from the field. If Butler decides not to rejoin the 76ers on a new contract, the Rockets could be a viable option for the 29-year-old. While their is no word yet on what a potential deal could look like, Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has been very vocal about his goal to acquire another superstar, which he believes will help get the Rockets over the Western Conference Finals-hump.


Report: Chris Paul denied Curry practice time before Game 6

According to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, Houston Rockets’ point guard Chris Paul denied Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry practice time prior to the two’s Game 6 matchup the following night.

The incident reportedly began when Curry’s manager, Eric Housen, scheduled a shooting session for the star guard in the Toyota Center, which is the home arena for the Rockets and was the site for Friday’s Game 6 matchup. One thing seemingly led to the other and Paul was informed of Curry’s plan. The Rockets’ star point guard rushed to the arena and claimed the floor for himself, even turning down an offer from Curry to split the court.

This move seemed to affect Curry very little during the game, seeing as the 2-time MVP dropped 33 points in the second half of Friday’s win versus the Houston Rockets in Game 6. With the help of teammates like Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, who dropped 27 and 17 respectively, Curry and the Warriors surged in the second half to defeat the Rockets and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Paul finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds during 38 minutes of play in the Rockets’ loss

NBA Playoffs Uncategorized

Reports: Rockets expect Clint Capela to be back in action on Thursday

According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets fully expect big-man Clint Capela to be ready to play on Thursday.

Capela missed 15 games this season after suffering ligament damage in his right thumb that required surgery. With Capela returning to the active line-up, Kenneth Faried, who has seemingly rejuvenated his career since signing with the Rockets earlier in the season, will likely be moved into a more reserve type of role with the team. This move will also affect veteran big-man Nene as he will likely be pushed out of the line-up.

Before suffering his injury, Capela was averaging 17.6 points per game, 12.6 total rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.8 blocks. Reports have also surfaced saying Capela practiced with the team at USC in preparation for their upcoming match against the Los Angeles Lakers. Capela’s minutes will be decided Thursday night based upon how he did during the live action practice.


MVP Update: Comparing the top-3 MVP candidates as we hit the All-Star break

The Most Valuable Player Award. This award is quite possibly the single most coveted award for a individual player, with the next closest likely being the Finals MVP Award. The award usually goes to the player who has been the best among his competition, the best of the league. Last year’s award was, for the most part, a two-man race. Lebron James and James Harden duked it out down the stretch, but the committee ultimately decided to go with James Harden, who wowed crowds around the league with his high octane offense which helped push the Rockets to finish first in the Western Conference. This year’s award however, isn’t so cut-and-dry. Many players have made huge cases for them to be given this prestigious award heading into the All-Star break. So here at Hoops Table, we decided to compare the top-3 MVP candidates as we hit the pause button on the regular season.


1) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Season stats thus far: 27.2 ppg, 12.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.4 steals

Season Analysis:

Giannis has definitely lived up to his nickname, “The Greek Freak, this season. The 5-year NBA veteran is averaging career-highs in almost every category on the stat sheet. Night in and night out, Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to find a way to scrap out games and keep themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference. “The Alphabet”, as people call him, has been destroying defenders left and right this season and has definitely made a massive case for MVP this season. Without the other two players on our list, Giannis would definitely be the clear-cut choice for the MVP any other time. Not to mention the fact that Giannis is averaging career-highs in nearly every category, he also is playing nearly 34 minutes per game, a considerably large workload for the young player. When Giannis does take the floor however, he leaves his mark on the game like few other players in the league can. He possesses a ken passing ability which helps his teammates get great open looks, which leads to easy buckets. If Giannis can continue his MVP-caliber play throughout the rest of the season, he will definitely be a hard pass when it comes to deciding the winner of the prestigious award.


2) James Harden, Houston Rockets

Season stats thus far: 36.6 ppg, 6.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks

Season Analysis:

Their are only two words with which one can describe James Harden: Offensive Mastermind. “The Beard”, as people call him, has been an absolute monster this season. Averaging career-highs in points per game, steals per game, blocks per game and more has Harden looking like the clear frontrunner. While shooting 44% from the field, Harden has pulled the Rockets out of their early-season slump and into the top seeds in the West. The 7x All-Star has been lights out from the three, shooting a impressive 37% percent from behind the arc. The three-point ace has immortalized his famous step-back jump shot this year as he has destroyed defender after defender and sliced up defenses with the precision of a chef. With his ability to change directions quickly as well as his ability to take any defender one-on-one and win the matchup, Harden cuts deep into the opposing team’s defense and gets to the rim or takes a high percentage look, which has been nearly everywhere on the floor for him this season. The incredible offensive show Harden has been able to put together this year has put him in the history books for sure, but is it enough to make him repeat as the MVP. Only time will tell.


3) Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

Season stats thus far: 28.7 ppg, 8.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.5 blocks

Season Analysis:

When Paul George went down with his gruesome leg injury several years ago, many NBA fans and experts alike believed he would never go back to being the player he once was. Oh boy, were they wrong. “Playoff P” is having his best season ever along side superstar teammate Russell Westbrook. George is averaging career-highs in points per game, steals per game, rebounds per game, and is tied for career-highs in both blocks per game and assists per game. The 28-year-old veteran has been one of the main reasons why the Thunder have managed to stay in the top few seeds of the highly competitive Western Conference. Not only has PG-13 made a great case for MVP, but he has also made one for DPOY.  Currently, the Thunder sit two seeds ahead of the Rockets in the West, despite the massive push being made by fellow MVP candidate James Harden. George has finally stepped into the role Oklahoma City was hoping he would become and more: the best player on the Thunder this season. While Westbrook has been fantastic throughout his career, there’s no question that without “Playoff P”, the Thunder wouldn’t be able to challenge the throne of the Western Conference kings: the Golden State Warriors. But with him, this dream is a very real reality for Oklahoma City. If Paul George can keep this streak alive until the end of the season, he could be looking at taking home not one, but two NBA awards in the offseason.

Notable Exceptions: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors, Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers.


MVP race

Reports: Rockets working hard to acquire Alec Burks before the trade deadline

According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets are working “hard” to acquire Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard Alec Burks before Thursday’s 3p.m. trade deadline. While it’s not clear as to what would be involved in a potential trade, the two sides will likely reach a deal before the trade deadline.

Trade Deadline News

Morey: We are “in the mix” to sign Carmelo Anthony

The Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey announced that the team is actively “in the mix” to sign Carmelo Anthony via a fan’s question on Instagram.


Morey became the GM for the Houston Rockets in 2007

The announcement made on Saturday should be no surprise to anyone who has been following the situation this offseason, as the Rockets have been the outspoken frontrunners to sign Anthony once he is bought-out by the Hawks. Reports have also surfaced during the week stating that the former All-Star has been telling people close to him that he “expects” to land in Houston this offseason.


Morey and the Rockets’ front office haven’t been shy about their interest in signing Anthony, but they don’t seem to be the only ones who would like to have Carmelo on the Rockets’ roster next season. Superstar guard Chris Paul has been known to have close ties to Carmelo and the two reportedly have formed a great relationship over the years. Rumors about Paul spearheading the charge for Houston to sign Carmelo have surrounded the franchise for weeks, and they don’t look to be slowing down.


Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony are known to be good friends

Assuming Carmelo hits the open market in a week or several days, the Rockets can be expected to extend an offer to him within no time. If Morey and the Rockets are able to sign Melo when he becomes available to them, then it will be another accolade that Houston’s GM can add to his already impressive resume.

Free Agency Uncategorized