Is the N.B.A. really a Point Guard-Driven League?
Today, a 13 year old nearly broke my ankles.
As a 25 year old who has spent the better part of his life barely budging most weight room scales, Ive continued to stay in pretty decent shape as a gym teacher. Additionally, throughout each day I usually decide to relive my past hoop dreams and play games amongst my middle school students. Most of them are decent but my height allows me to feel like Ralph Sampson in his prime as each game starts.
But today was different.
Today, a sleek-left-handed student hit me with a crossover that legitimately nearly made me stumble. As the class roared, the fact that he ended up dribbling the ball all of his knee and out of bounds was masked by the fanfare of breaking Coachs ankles. Never mind the fact that my team won (yes, Im boasting of beating middle schoolers) and plenty of other students made great plays, the talk of the school from 5th period on was what had happened in my students flash of brilliance.
To my students and essentially a large portion of basketball fans, point guards who create standout moments like these many times outweighs actual game play and statistics. Kyrie Irving is a huge up and coming star, who looks to bring Cleveland back into relevance after the departure of King James. But a not-so-close look at his numbers show that he still has need for improvement, averaging 5.6 assists per games to 4.1 turnovers per game. Andre Miller, a.k.a. the most boring player in the league, is averaging the same amount of assists in almost ten minutes less of average game time.
New Orleans Hornets Greivis Vasquez is averaging a league-third-best 8.9 assists per game while only turning it over about 3 times a game. I thought the NBA had become a Point Guards League. But in taking a look at league play this season, after Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Russell Wrestbrook, everyone else is nothing to sneeze at on a consistent basis. Until Irvings assists come up, Jrue Holidays turnovers come down, and Derrick Rose returns from injury, the point-guard-driven-league label is something that will need to be changed.
Whos Hot?/Whos Not?
Kemba Walker is proving to be a very good player in his role. Averaging over 18 points a game, while being effective enough on defense is allowing the Bobcats to be (gasp) over .500 almost ten games into the season. Having Ramon Sessions on the team has almost helped Kemba, because Sessions is someone who has made a career out of being a spark guy.
Joe Johnson has been hiding his under-performance as a Brooklyn Net courtesy of the Nets 6-2 start. If you take a close look at the recent schedule, the Nets last five games have been against Orlando (twice), Cleveland, Boston, and Sacrament0. Aside from Boston, these are all games that Brooklyn should win easily (and they obviously have). My concern is that against staunch competition, Johnson is going to have to increase his play for them to win those match ups. Hes currently shooting 36% from the field, but is getting his 15 points per by getting to the free throw line. If he can find his shooting touch, his numbers should drastically go up!
WSH Game of the Week:
LA Clippers @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Wednesday 7:30 PM EST)
The Clips have proven themselves to be a Western Conference contender this season while the Thunder continue to figure themselves out behind one of the leagues best 1-2 punches. This will be a very big test for LAC as they head into the great fan experience that is Oklahoma Citys home court. My guess is that Durant will find a way to win, but the Clippers bench is proving to become more and more of an issue for opposing teams.
The Top Ten:
- New York Knicks (7-1)
- L.A. Clippers (8-2)
- Memphis Grizzlies (8-2)
- Miami Heat (8-3)
- S.A. Spurs (8-3)
- OKC Thunder (8-3)
- Milwaukee Bucks (6-3)
- LA Lakers (5-5)
- Brooklyn Nets (6-2)
- Trail Blazers (5-5)