The NFL, sadly, only has three games left in its season. The coaching carousel is basically done spinning, and draft excitement should pick up soon. If you’ve been focused on college football and the NFL for the last four months, and only seen some NBA here and there, this is what you’ve missed:
1. Kevin Durant vs Draymond Green. Yes, it was a big deal. The Warriors suspended Green for among other things, repeatedly calling Durant a bitch on the bench. Green proceeded to miss 12 of 13 games. Before this, the Will-Durant-Stay storyline was interesting; after that, it’s been the #1 NBA storyline. Also, Green is having the worst season of his career since he became a starter: 41% FG, 23% 3FG, 7.0 ppg.
2. James Harden remains unguardable (34.2 ppg), but he’s not the most valuable player in the NBA.
3. That would be LeBron. The Lakers were surging and up to 4th in the West on Christmas Day after beating the Warriors. But he injured his groin and hasn’t played since. LA has gone 3-7 without him and dropped to 9th in the West. Lonzo Ball has not made ‘the leap’ and he’s shooting an unacceptable 42 percent from the foul line.
4. Stephen Curry is charging hard at Magic Johnson as the greatest point guard in NBA history. I’d long thought that Curry only had a tiny chance to catch Magic. But the greatest shooter in NBA history continues to improve. Somehow, he’s shooting 45 percent on three-pointers, while attempting 11 per game. He’s averaging 29.4 ppg and has been nearly as unstoppable as he was during his two MVP seasons.
5. Where’s Boston? The Celtics are a bit of a mess. There’s infighting. Kyrie Irving is not happy with his teammates. Gordon Hayward has not looked like the star he was pre-injury. Al Horford looks very old. At 25-18, it’s no lock they win 50 games.
6. What about Houston? Other than James Harden, the Rockets have struggled big-time. Harden’s insane four-week run has propelled the Rockets back into the Top 8 in the West, but Chris Paul has had more hamstring problems. Clint Capela is hurt and may return late in February. The Carmelo Anthony experience ended quickly. Harden has been incredible, but carrying the Rockets to a Top 4 seed in the West will likely mean he’s going to be running on empty in the playoffs.
7. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double (again) but his 21-10-10 has been obscured by his ghastly 23% three-point shooting. The Thunder’s best player has been Paul George (career-highs 26.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg).
8. Luka friggin’ Doncic. At 19, the Dallas rookie is averaging 20-6-5 and shooting 43/37/73. In a word: Incredible.
9. Jimmy Butler wanted out of Minnesota, and got traded the the 76ers, but his hard-nosed style on and off the court already has rubbed Joel Embiid the wrong way. They’re the 2nd best trio in the NBA, but it’s probably not going to work. The ultimate boom or bust playoff team – assuming Butler doesn’t get dealt by the trading deadline.
10. Tank for Zion. Yes, I think RJ Barrett has the inside track on being the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, but fans in Cleveland, New York and Phoenix are drooling over the idea of Duke star Zion Williamson next year. The Knicks, plus Porzingis and Zion, suddenly may become attractive to the Kevin Durant. “Hey Kevin, this would be your team!”