To say that the 2018-19 season has started tremendously would be a gross understatement. All the changes that took place in the offseason are manifesting in some interesting results, and fans are taking in all of the good and even some of the not so good at the moment.
There have already been some notable moments in this season that’s just under a month in:
1. LeBron’s arrival in LA: Even though the team has had to a rocky start and is currently 4-6, there’s no denying that the addition of the best player on the planet to their ranks has brought hope and excitement to the squad. The new floor general of the ‘Lake Show’ is leading the squad in points, rebounds, assists and minutes played per game, and his impact on the young players is already evident.
2. Derrick Rose’s 50-point game: The 2011 MVP has had some turbulent years recently, on and off the court. However, Rose shot 19-for-31 for a career-high 50 points on October 31 in Minnesota’s 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz. The 30-year-old is the fifth Timberwolves player to score 50 or more points, joining Kevin Love, Corey Brewer, Mo Williams and Karl-Anthony Towns.
3. Klay Thompson’s record-breaking 14 threes: After Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, some people might have forgotten that Klay Thompson was the other ‘Splash Brother’. He served a league a reminder on October 29, when he broke splashmate Stephen Curry’s NBA record for 3-pointers with his 14th and just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls.
4. Blake Griffin’s career-high night: Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin fought through contact to complete a tough layup and hit the game-winning free-throw for a career-high 50 points in his team’s overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers on October 23.
5. Kawhi Leonard at the Raptors: Amid much speculation, Kawhi Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors and he is already having a positive impact on the team. He’s played a significant role in helping the team get off to a 10-1 start and leads in points and rebounds per game.
6. Pelicans’ great start: The New Orleans Pelicans had a great start to the season with notable contributions from recent additions in guard Elfrid Payton and forwards Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. They have dropped to 11th in the West after losing six of their first 10 games, but still look poised for a playoffs berth.
7. Trae Young’s performance: There were many doubters of rookie Trae Young even before he was drafted fifth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Much like two-time MVP Stephen Curry who faced a similar dilemma when he came into the league, the young Hawk is already averaging 19.1 points and eight assists per game.
8. The OKC struggles: The Oklahoma City Thunder are one team that can never be written off in the Western Conference. They started off with four losses and things looked shaky, especially because their star point guard Russell Westbrook was out following a knee operation. They are, however, now on a five-game streak.
9. The Rondo/Paul/Ingram scuffle: Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram all received suspensions following an altercation on October 20. The league suspended Paul (for two games), Rondo (three) and Ingram (four)following their brawling showdown at Staples Center.
10. Rockets grounded: The Houston Rockets made some significant changes during the offseason that included trading Trevor Ariza, Luc Mba a Moute and Ryan Anderson. They also acquired 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, Michael Cater-Williams and Marquese Chriss. However, the team has had a rough 1-5 start. The Rockets’ defense and Anthony’s performance received most of the blame for the bad start, but after going on a three-game winning streak, the Rockets are now 4-5.
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