Coach Treal | November 18th, 2019
Welcome Back Hoop Heads!!! We are already into the fifth week of the NBA season and we can see some teams already distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. The standings should start taking more shape as we grow closer to December and beyond.
Trail Blazers vs. Rockets
With James Harden coming off a 49 point game Saturday and averaging close to 40PPG and 8APG this is a must-see contest on Monday night. Portland is currently 5-8 and is in hope of finding their footing. They recently have added Carmelo Anthony who has yet to officially play a game for them as of yet. No word on if he will suit up for the game tonight but if he does I expect a little extra motivation as he faces the team that let him go last season.
The Rockets so far have used Russell Westbrook the same way he has played his entire career and his style of play still seems to be at the same MVP type level that we have grown accustomed to over the past few years. Damian Lillard also will be on the floor as he is putting up 30PPG, 7APG & 5RPG. The matchup between Russ and Dame is always one to keep a close on eye and one of my favorites to turn in for.
The surprise team of the early season is the Suns and they look to do battle with the injury-plagued Kings. I do give them credit for coming together and next man up as they have won games missing two of their key players in De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III. The Suns are being led by Devin Booker who looks poised to make his first All-Star game this season if he can continue his early play so far as he is averaging 25PPG and 6ASP. Along with Aaron Baynes who has increased his numbers across the board with the help of off-season signing point guard Ricky Rubio.
The game of the week for me is this contest as the Celtics continue on their early season west coast road trip that has seen them jump out to a 10-2 start. The loss of Gordon Hayward to a broken left hand is a blow to the team but having so many talented players they are able to stay the course thus far. Hayward was starting to show his old All-Star form when he went done so hopes are he is able to come back in the same form.
Kemba Walker has been able to fit into the team structure so far this early season averaging 24PPG, 5RPG, and 5APG. I would like to see his assist per game numbers climb as the season wears on. Paul George is back on the court and he is playing as if he is making up for the lost time. In the last contest he scored 37 points in all of 20 minutes of play. In the two games played this season PG13 has scored a total of 70 points.
The Heat currently sit at 9-3 and are for me the surprise team in the eastern conference. The off-season signing of Jimmy Butler is showing to pay huge dividends as he is posting solid numbers across the board 18PPG, 7APG & 6RPG. He also has found help with Bam Adebayo who is quietly is putting together one of the best all-around seasons we have seen in a long time as he is putting up 14PPG, 10RPG, 4APG, along with 1.5 BPG and SPG. Very impressive so far for the third-year big man.
The surprise player is rookie Kendrick Nunn who has my early season vote for the Rookie of the Year. He is putting up 18PPG and has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. The 76ers are currently at 8-5 and I had them as my preseason pick to come out the east and they haven’t done much for me to make me more confident in that selection. This team will go as far as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can lead them but they will need big contributions from the likes of Tobias Harris and shooting from Josh Richardson.
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