Apple Pie. Bruce Springsteen. Overreacting to a small sample size. These are some of the most American things I can think of. In honor of America, here’s my NBA Week One Overreactions.
NUMBER ONE: Steph Curry will be the NBA Scoring Champion. Steph is currently averaging 37.0 pts/gm (as of November 4) and is shooting .595/.488/.964 and he’s going to keep those numbers up. NBA blowhards have been raving about Curry’s shooting since he joined the league, and this is going to be Steph’s historic year.
His 50.25 PER (Player Efficiency Rating) is the best in the NBA, and way above the highest all time of 31.82 by Wilt Chamberlain in 62-63. So this season, Steph will be the scoring champion, have the best 50/40/90 percentages ever, have the NBA’s all time best PER, and the Warriors are on-line to repeat as Champions, which brings me to my number two overreaction…
NUMBER TWO: The San Antonio Spurs will not reach the Western Conference Semifinals this season. Take away Kawhi Leonard and what do the Spurs really have? Their best player is a 39-year-old Tim Duncan (who’s a top 10 all time player), Tony Parker on a definite career decline since the 2012 NBA Finals loss to my beloved (at the time) Miami Heat, an uninspiring lifetime loser (LaMarcus Aldridge), and a fat French guy (Uncle Boris Diaw).
Gregg Poppovich is a great coach, and the Spurs draft and scout as well as anyone, but the Blazers used Aldridge as their offensive focal point for a decade and got out of the first round once. The Spurs are coming off a first round loss to the Clippers (who no one likes and everyone always thinks are overrated AND underachievers). Speaking of the Blazers…
NUMBER THREE: The Portland Trail Blazers will win 35 games. Damian Lillard is the scorer that Rip City has needed since Clyde “The Glide” Drexler. A longstanding trend I’ve noticed as a Blazer fan is that Portland hasn’t had a top 5 scoring leader for as long as I can remember or care to look up. Lillard is going to bring that to Portland in 2015-2016. Ed Davis is going to be considered the sneaky good signing of the offseason.
Ed Davis was a beast at North Carolina (and a National Champion), put up great numbers in limited minutes in Toronto, Memphis, and Los Angeles, and is covering up how poorly Meyers Leonard has been this season. Al-Farouq Aminu is putting up 15 and 9 a game (I’ve been an Aminu fan since his time with the Clippers) and is turning into the perimeter defender that will hide the fact that Big Game (No Defense) Dame and CJ “Give Him A BJ And Put This Game In The Win” McCollum can’t play a lick of defense. On to the east…
NUMBER FOUR: The Miami Heat will make the Eastern Conference Finals. Dwyane Wade will use the power of Gabrielle Union to stay healthy, Chris Bosh being healthy can take the Heatles offense to a new height with the emergence of Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic is a facilitating point guard who can distribute the ball to Wade, Bosh, Whiteside (at the basket, which is something Miami hasn’t paired with balanced scoring and ball movement since 2006 when they won the Championship with an assist from the referees), and Luol Deng.
Miami’s bench also has Justise Winslow, who should have been taken in the top 3 after seeing how awful D’Angelo Jenner-Russell has been. Amare in limited minutes can give the Heat some energy off the bench when Bosh or Whiteside are resting, McRoberts is healthy this season, Gerald Green is a poor man’s Corey Brewer, and Mario Chalmer is more suited to fill his role as an eighth guy instead of starter. PS- Erik Spoelstra is the second best coach in the Eastern Conference, only behind Brad Stevens. Now to who the Heat will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals…
NUMBER FIVE: The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win the 2015-2016 NBA Finals. LeBron James is my favorite basketball player of all time. Much like the best West Coast rapper in the game (Vince Staples) there’s context to this next statement. LeBron James is the best basketball player of all time, based off what I’ve seen with my own two eyes. Michael Jordan this, Magic Johnson that.
LeBron James has been the best player in the league for last 8 years, and this year is no different. LeBron the GM re-signed Tristan Thompson, picked up Mo Williams, and got Richard “35 years young” Jefferson to come off the bench. LeBron the coach made the genius call of making Kevin Love the catalyst of the offense, which will let Kyrie Irving ease back into the offense and take a load off the rest of the team until the playoffs when the Cavs will be healthy. A full season of Mozgov, Shumpert’s development as a shooter and continued flourishing as a defender, and Matthew Dellavedova will break at least one Chicago Bull or Miami Heat players arm.
Rookie Of The Year: Kristaps Porzingis. Kristy and Langston Galloway (best name in the NBA, hands down) are going to bring New York basketball back to the playoffs (next year), and once Derek Fisher leaves my beloved Knickerbockers are going to be challenging the Cavs for the 2017-2018 Eastern Conference Finals.
Coach Of The Year: Brad Stevens. Stevens would have won last year if the Celtics had a winning record, and the writers who vote for the award are dying to give this guy the award to prove how ahead of the curve they are (even though we all know Stevens is a genius coach). By the way, Marcus Smart will win Most Improved Player.
Premature Coronation Of The Year: Anthony Davis. The Pelicans suck. I’ve watched three of their games and not liked anything I’ve seen. Davis’ shot isn’t falling, Tyreke isn’t anything, and Ryan Anderson is done. The Pelicans won’t make the playoffs, and Russell Westbrook will be considered the next “Best Player” in the NBA after LeBron.
Since these are overreactions, I reserve the right to go back on any declarative statement I’ve made, but if any of these are right everyone must bow down to my immense basketball acumen.
Listen to Young Thug.
Jordan Paladino is a Portland comedian, rapper, and writer for the show “Who’s the Ross?” He is a staunch defender of all things Lebron James, Drake and Kanye West. He is also a KD hater. I try not to hold these things against him.