NBA: Karl Anthony-Towns, Julius Randle, Rajon Rondo, and The Warriors

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By: Adam Pasternak

The 2015 NBA season is not even a week old and it feels like it’s February already with the intensity level these games have had early on. Karl Anthony-Towns has quickly proven that he deserved to go number one, Julius Randle is showing us that he hasn’t lost a step, the Kings are looking like a possible 7th or 8th seed in the West, and Steph Curry is already my pick for MVP. As a fan of the NBA, I could not be more excited for the rest of this season.

Karl Anthony-Towns was the first overall pick this past summer, and he was picked by the late and great Flip Saunders. The passing of Saunders really effected Towns. He had a personal connection with him, as Flip believed in him and picked him first overall. Towns is playing with tons of emotion and it’s almost as if Flip’s passing has inspired his play. He’s averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds per game in just two games this season. I thought he would be good, but I didn’t think it would be right away. In just his second game he dropped 28 and 14 on 58% shooting. If he keeps this up, the Timberwolves will become a force in the West for many years to come. With a young core of Towns, Wiggins, and Lavine (and to a certain extent, Shabazz Mohammed), surrounded with veterans like Kevin Garnett, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Tayshaun Prince, and with the motivation to play even harder to honour Flip Saunders – the Timberwolves look like an exciting team to watch. I think Towns will continue to produce, but it is inevitable that he will encounter a few rough patches as all rookies do. Lookout for the Wolves in the future.

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The Lakers suffered a huge blow in the first game of last years NBA season when then-rookie, Julius Randle, went down with a broken leg and was done for the year. This season, Randle is healthy and just last night he had his first dominant game, giving hope for Laker fans. He finished the game with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. We all saw how he dominated in college, but some people worried about his size at the power forward position in the NBA. Well, no need to worry anymore! Randle looks like the real-deal and considering he’s fresh off a broken leg, he’s having a great first season. He’ll continue to grow and improve and the core of him, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson will eventually lead the Lakers back to the playoffs…eventually. The Lakers are hard to watch right now and it’s going to be a tough next few years as they rebuild their roster and go through the process of not having Kobe for the first time in god knows how long. It’s going to be interesting to see how they develop, but the future does look bright in “Laker Land” with Randle leading the way.

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The Sacramento Kings are 1-2, but they’ve looked like a playoff caliber team. It’s too early to really say, but I think this is the year they get over the hump and make the playoffs. Rajon Rondo is looking like his old self, DeMarcus Cousins is playing at an absurd level, and Rudy Gay is even putting up efficient numbers. It looks like all the doubts about personality clashes on the Kings and how the players would get along with the old-school coach, George Karl, are not something to seriously worry about. Yes, their one win came against the awful L.A Lakers, but they also came close against the Clippers losing 114-109. Their rivalry with the Clippers, by the way, is also something to watch this season. A mad DeMarcus Cousins is the best DeMarcus Cousins. He plays extra hard and is very physical when he plays against the Clippers. He’s made it publicly known that he doesn’t like Chris Paul or the Clips and personally, I love his fiery energy. I also have him on my fantasy team and so far picking him 5th overall over LeBron is looking pretty good. DeMarcus, as I mentioned in a previous article, is my dark-horse MVP candidate. Look for an improved year from the Kings.

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Steph Curry is playing out of his mind. He’s averaging 39 points per game in three games this season! He’s already demolished the Pelicans twice this year, scoring 40 points in the first meeting and 53 in the second. He’s following up his 2014-15 MVP season with even better performances thus far. Obviously, he’s not going to average 40 points per game all season, but he’s always been a consistent player, so look for him to have another big, and possibly another MVP, season. With coach Kerr out for the next little while, it puts even more responsibility on Steph to lead his team on the court. He is an incredibly smart player and it rubs off on his teammates. It’s going to be fun to watch him defend his MVP title this year, and I think come summer time we will be handing him the award again.

What do you think of the first few games this year? Comment below!

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