BING BONG, Ball Brothers, Ben Simmons, The Bay, Brodie, all good begins with B! The first week of the NBA was one to remember. Lavar was right, the Triple Bs (BBB) would be the biggest news in the league! However maybe slightly different than he imagined. While the two Ball brothers have looked great in the Eastern Conference, the third B belongs to Ben Simmons. What a crazy turn of events that has taken place in the city of "brotherly love." We've seen uncomfortable trade requests of recent, whether it was Jimmy Butler beating the starters with 3rd stringers in Minnesota, James Harden going to strip clubs instead of training camp, and now this. Simmons has every right to want out after Doc Rivers questioned his ability to be a point guard on a championship team, but this is a flat out mess. The 76ers gave Simmons the contract extension he wanted, declined to trade him the season prior for James Harden despite the offer from Houston, and this is how he repays them; by demolishing his own trade value? Only showing up for contract purposes, refusing to partake in drills at practice, and even keeping his phone in his pocket while on the practice floor, it would be shocking if the 76ers got a return they want.
Now back to the Ball Brothers. Lonzo looks right at home in Chicago, as the new look Bulls sit atop the East at 4-0. Lavine and Derozan have lead the way in scoring, with Vucevic being a consistent source of offense and rebounding. Ball has been locked in on the defensive end, as is reunited teammate Alex Caruso who leads the league in steals. While the Bulls are not expected to be a contender this year they sure do show lots of promise as a team who can compete for a championship in a 2-4 year window.
Now to the younger Ball Brother, LaMelo. Lamelo, as Drake said in The Calm is the "leader of the new school, it's written and it's known." He resembles the new wave of hoopers for years to come. Flashy, confident, with an IQ beyond his years. His passing comparable to Magic Johnson's and Steve Nash, at 6'7 he is going to be one of the leagues best point guards for a long time. The Hornets went 3-1 in week 1, despite being without Terry Rozier. Teammate Miles Bridges even earned Player of the Week after averaging 25 points, 8 rebounds and about 3 steals per game. Gordon Hayward looks healthy, Kelly Oubre is fitting right in, and the addition of Mason Plumlee and his athleticism and passing ability has made a great impact. Like the Bulls, the Hornets were not expected to be a contender, their predicted win total was just 38.5 (I slammed the over), however they are exciting to watch, and could potentially upset a team in the first round of the playoffs.
Here come the Knicks! If you follow basketball and haven't seen the viral SideTalkNYC video of fans after game 1, then we can't be friends. The Knicks are back, the roster has depth, potential, youth, and the city is loving the product on the court. Bronx born Kemba Walker is back in the garden, and has electrified the crowd. Evan Fournier has shot lights out and has wisely gained the Knicks fan base with his hilarious tweets. Julius Randle is following up last year's all-star campaign, and Derrick Rose is balling off the bench. Look for Obi Toppin to make a leap from his rookie season as well. The Knicks relevance is great for the league. As a midtown resident, I can concur the city is buzzing each home game, and I will be in attendance November 1st to be a part of that energy.
The Bay. Golden State enters week 2 4-0 as well. Curry is basketball's greatest showman. The attention opposing defenses must commit to him makes the entire offense a threat. Jordan Poole looks to have made great improvements, and could potentially be a candidate for 6th man of the year, or Most Improved. Prior to the season it looked like Wiggins finally found a shot he didn't like, but he has since gotten vaccinated and is playing well to start the year. I don't expect the Warriors to be any better than a 5 seed in the West, but with Klay getting healthy, who knows maybe they can make a deep run.
Last but not least, Brodie and the Lakers. The Russell Westbrook tenure in LA started out shaky at best. Terrible shooting percentages, high turnovers, and awful +/-'s Lakers fans began to question the fit (myself included). However if you watch Russell Westbrook, you should know, it takes him time for him to adjust, and come the second half of the season, he usually figures it out. With LeBron out in the 4th game of the year against the Spurs, the Brodie and Anthony Davis put the team on their back both scoring over 30 points, to lead the team to a W and 2-2 record. The Lakers are missing many key players, but the blueprint for a trip to the NBA Finals is certainly prevalent.
This season is proving to be promising, with no shortage of drama.