Early NBA Season: Clairvoyant Overreactions

Everyone loves the playoffs. How can you not? Sixteen teams fighting brutal wars over the span of two and half months, desperately vying for that evasive title (unless you’re the Spurs, in which case it’s just expected). As expected, I love the playoffs, too. Best quality basketball of every NBA season, no doubt. But you know what’s almost just as good? The first fifteen games of the season! That’s right, the most useless time of each NBA season might actually be the most fun.

The beginning of each season is the perfect time to throw away your better judgment, grab a nice cold beer, and submit yourself to rash conclusion after rash conclusion about every trend you notice in your favorite team. Sample size? Screw it. There’s no reason to think that Tony Parker can’t shoot 66 percent on three-point attempts for the rest of the year, right? Or that Kevin Durant will be fed up by the lack of depth GM Sam Presti has piled up at the end of the Thunder bench, let that frustration fester, then play one more year for the Thunder while secretly knowing that he’s going to be a Wizard in 2016—these things should be obvious. Because the thing is, sometimes the improbable happens.

On that note, I’ve got three complete overreactions to trends from the first portion of the season that are absolutely going to end up true. 100 percent. Book it.


The Philadelphia 76ers are going to win less than 10 games: It’s very possible that this is the worst NBA team ever assembled. They’re awful (and proud of it). As of writing this (11/10), the Sixers are 0-7. They played four home games in a row last week. They won none of those games. Coming up? A delightful three-game road trip to Texas, where they’ll try their very best against the Mavericks, Spurs, and Rockets before ultimately losing every game, probably by a substantial scoring margin. Looking at their depth chart, they have, realistically, five players that would get decent minutes on the average NBA team. And that’s being generous. All of them would be backups.

Stephen Curry is the best point guard in the league: About my last column… the one about point guards and which one is the best… never happened. Not after the first week of this season. Curry’s the best, not Chris Paul. He just is. He’s the most fun player in the league to watch, which, despite its subjective nature, is not actually debatable. Beyond that he’s averaging 27.6 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting (55.6 percent in the 4th quarter), including 41 percent from beyond the arc, and 97 percent from the free throw line. And, despite his small frame, he’s an incredible finisher around the basket, shooting over 65 percent on shot attempts from less than 5 feet from the hoop. Let’s not forget the 7.2 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 steals he’s tacking on to those scoring totals. And he went to a liberal arts college, so there’s still hope for all of us, apparently.

The Lakers are going to trade Kobe (!): Alright, I’m not sure I believe this one. But everyone’s talking about it and I can’t help myself. Kobe Bean Bryant playing for another team. I mean, why not? The Lakers are just terrible (1-5), and are not going to get any better this season. Maybe he wants to play for a contender? Okay, you’re right. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere either if I already had five rings, was the king of Southern California, was making $23.5 million this year (that’s a real figure), and had the green-light to jack up 24 shots per game with zero remorse. The thing is, I don’t think there are any real contenders out there that would (or could, with that salary) take him anyway. Before you think it, NYC natives, no, the Knicks do not count as a contender. So if he is going to get traded, I hope it’s to some team in a mundane city where he’ll go absolutely insane and wreak havoc on the NBA for months. Where would be better: Milwaukee, Indiana (with this current Pacers roster, no less), or Utah? Just imagine Kobe Bryant living in Salt Lake City, playing for the miserable Utah Jazz. He’d put up 30 shots per game, guaranteed.

I’ve got about 100,000 more of these in my head, because this is what I think about 97 percent of the time. Next week, maybe we’ll talk about something serious and analytical…who knows? It’s too early in the season for serious. Let’s enjoy the games that don’t really matter before things actually get stressful. Wait, the NBA doesn’t stress you out? Is that not normal?

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