By: Adam Pasternak
NBA Chatter is SportsNak’s weekly NBA feature, discussing the past week’s hottest topics in the association. Look for new editions every Sunday/Monday to get your basketball fix!
This week in the NBA we saw the Toronto Raptors almost hand the Golden State Warriors their first loss of the season, LeBron taking the game off against the Heat, and Paul George pouring in a career high 48 points while prematurely convincing me that he is this season’s MVP. It was an exciting week in what’s been an exciting first quarter of this NBA season.
Golden State Squeezes Out Win Number 21 in Toronto:
Saturday night, in front of a sold out crowd (and Drake) at the ACC in downtown Toronto, Steph Curry took charge yet again and led his team to their 21st win in as many games to start the season. The Warriors came out on top 112-109 in a thriller of a game. It was a battle of the point guards, as Kyle Lowry and Steph Curry each exceed the 40 point mark. Curry has been playing like an MVP again this year and these kinds of scoring outbursts are almost expected from him. Lowry, on the other hand, has arguably been the best guard (not just point guard) in the Eastern Conference. He’s ranked third in most three pointers made in the NBA, behind Curry and Damian Lillard. He’s averaging 20+ points per game, 6+ assists per game, and a league leading 2.6 steals per game. His great play so far this season has allowed him to squeeze in at number eight in the MVP race, according to nba.com. The East is extremely tight right now, as shown by the Raptors being in 7th place, but only 1.5 games back of first. Lowry started hot like this last year too, but after the All-Star break he collapsed. He is the key to the Raptors success and they will need him to keep this level of play going all season long. Will fatigue set in again like last season, or is the new and improved Kyle Lowry in shape and ready to lead the Raptors deep into the playoffs?
LeBron Was Tired in Miami on Saturday Night:
“LeBron”. “Is”. “Tired”. Those three words were chanted over and over again this past Saturday night in Miami when the Cavs played the Heat, with LeBron sitting the game out to rest. There’s two ways to look at the fans disapproval of LeBron sitting this game out so early in the season. The first way to look at it is as a sign of disrespect towards LeBron. He brought Miami two rings and four straight finals appearances, a Finals MVP, a season MVP, and many great quotes and memories. The frustration of him sitting the game out is understandable, but how could you treat someone who brought you so much happiness and success like a piece of trash? The second way to look at it (and is probably how the Miami fans who chanted “LeBron is tired!” over and over again, viewed the situation) is that it was deserving. First off, tickets to any ordinary NBA game (especially in Miami) aren’t cheap. When LeBron is in town, the price goes up even more. People spent a lot of money on those tickets to see LeBron and the guy didn’t even put on his jersey. Of course the fans were mad. If this were within the final weeks of the season in late March or early April, it would be a little more understandable, but in the first week of December he already needs a rest? Tim Duncan could pass as LeBron’s grandfather and he has yet to even sit out one single game so far this season. Although he plays less minutes per game then LeBron, he is still able to play every single game. Personally, I think the fans taunting LeBron was pretty funny. The fact that he decided to make this the game he sat out is even more of a reason for me to side with the fans, and the second way of looking at this situation. To me, it looked like he was trying to avoid all the side effects that comes with changing teams and playing against your old team. LeBron, it was your decision to switch teams…again. Grow a pair.
Paul George For MVP:
Paul George has already exceeded my expectations for him this season. He’s always been a favourite of mine, but coming off a serious leg injury and also playing at a new position worried me a little. The thought of him starting at power forward made me hesitant to take him in my fantasy draft and I didn’t agree with the Pacers decision (and neither did George, actually). As the season has gone on, he has actually played mostly at the small forward position and he has looked like a “stat-sheet stuffer”, as Clark Kellogg would say. As of last night, he’s averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists all while shooting 45% from the field, and 45% from three! In his last five games, he had scoring totals of 33, 39, 31, 11, and 48! He’s been a one man wrecking crew, and is the sole reason that Indiana has surprised everyone’s expectations and is currently in fourth place in the East with a 12-7 record. Everyone is looking at Steph Curry right now for MVP, but personally I think PG-13 deserves it more. He’s on a substantially worse team and without him they would most likely be in the basement of the Eastern Conference. If Golden State didn’t have Curry they obviously wouldn’t be 21-0, but they wouldn’t be all that awful either. They would probably still be a playoff team in the West (this is purely my opinion). If George can keep this caliber of play up for the rest of the year, and if Indiana can stay in the top 5 in the East for the rest of the season, look for Paul George to be the leagues MVP when it is all said and done.
That wraps things up for this weeks NBA Chatter. Thanks for reading and be sure to comment your thoughts below and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!