2022-10-27 · 4 min read · NBA/Basketball
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker

Christian Petersen/Getty Images | Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports

We’re a week into the NBA season, and there’s been some pretty big surprises. I know its probably a bit early to be overreacting to anything based on such a small sample size, but a couple of teams have been so glaringly good or bad *cough* (the Lakers), that I feel pretty solid about a couple of opinions I want to plant my flag in early on.
Phoenix is still the favourite in the West
Pronounced DOA by many, including myself, after a tumultuous offseason, the Phoenix Suns have proved a lot of people wrong so far. It’s not just that they’ve been winning, they’ve been running good teams, like the Clippers and Warriors, completely out the gym.
They also had a crazy comeback shocking Dallas on opening night.
So far, they’ve showed a mental fortitude that everyone thought had been broken by last years playoff collapse against the same Mavericks. From a personal perspective, they haven’t missed a beat without Jay Crowder thanks in large part to the brilliance of Devin Booker, who looks like he may have the early inside track on this year’s scoring title.
I still have some reservations about how Deandre Ayton will carry himself throughout the year. We all know the story there by now, and his broken relationship with Monty Williams has been kept below the surface so far, winning sure does cure anything.
Time will tell if the two butt heads again at some point.
But here’s the thing, every other contender in the conference has issues. It’s already obvious the Clippers are intentionally sleep walking through the regular season again. For a team that’s never won anything, to just rely on turning on the faucet at a moment’s notice whenever you need is a very dangerous game, no matter how much talent you have.
Then there’s Golden State, who seems to be dealing with a little bit of an identity crisis/changing of the guard moment.
At some point they’ll have to come to grips with the fact that they’re better off playing the kids over Klay and Draymond, who look like they’ve lost several steps each.
Anyways, regardless, Phoenix has earned my respect again after I had them all but written off.
Pascal Siakam is going to make second (or first) team All NBA
I know people will say “he made All NBA last year”, and that’s true. But there’s a big difference between second and third team. Second essentially means that you're a top 10 player in the league, which Pascal Siakam is going to be when this season is all said and done.
If you’ve watched any part of any Raptors game this year, it's pretty clear to see just how special he’s become.
He’s playing at such a high level on both ends of the court, and on all three levels on offence. He can score from anywhere and his jump shot is bursting at the seam with confidence. But it’s not just the scoring. He’s really the epitome of a point forward, which is a term too easily thrown around these days.
A legitimate playmaker at the power forward spot that can calmly absorb doubles and find open teammates, evident by his nearly 7 assist per game averages. He also has the ability to work in transition, using his long strides and much improved handle to go coast to coast or finding teammates
He’s putting up LeBron type numbers, and affecting the game in a LeBron type of way right now. Period.
I haven’t even mentioned his elite defensive play yet.
Pascal Siakam has taken another step into true greatness. Now, can he bring his Toronto Raptors up with him, is the next question.
Doc Rivers won’t be coaching by Christmas
No team other than the Lakers (who are coming, don’t worry) has been more disappointing than Philly.
Heading into the year, they were a popular pick to win the East and possibly even the title. Harden looked in shape and motivated, Maxey was expected to take another step, they had a better bench on paper, and it all surrounded superstar Joel Embiid.
It hasn’t played out that way so far.
Embiid looks out of shape at times, the highly touted depth additions of PJ Tucker and DeAnthony Melton haven’t played well at all, and they’ve been mostly a sieve on defence.
Harden’s been inconsistent offensively, and Maxey’s been solid, but together they have no cohesiveness, so it turns into “my turn, your turn” one on one offence far too often.
If they can’t pull it together fast, heads are going to roll, and what better option than the head coach, who I’m not sure Team President Daryl Morey even wanted to bring back in the first place.
Doc’s made a lot of money in his career, I’m sure he’ll get over it.
Part Two coming soon…
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By: Eddie Huband


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