2022-10-31 · 4 min read · NBA/Basketball
LeBrone James of LA Laker, Brooklyn Nets

Zhong Zhi/Getty Images | Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Lakers and Nets will both miss the playoffs
Let’s begin here with the Lakers, whose season quickly continues to descend into the toilet. LeBron is putting up good stats, but he simply doesn’t have the help.
Russell Westbrook’s complete inability to shoot the basketball have been obviously well documented, but the Lakers’ issues go far deeper than that. Anthony Davis has been pretty good statistically, sure, but physically? He’s moving around the court like a 35 year old, and his bad back (which has already sidelined him in a game) clearly looks like its labouring him
What made Davis special in New Orleans, and even during the bubble title run with LA, was is ability to stay around the basket and use his elite athleticism. Hard rolls to the hoop catching lobs, cutting, running the floor, crashing the glass. Now, he’s content to stand around and shoot jump shots.
Then you have the supporting cast, consisting of Austin Reaves, Pat Beverly, Lonnie Walker IV, Kendrick Nunn…Need I continue?
What makes this all the more scary for Lakers fans is the fact that even if they have the worst record in the league, they don’t own their first round pick this year, New Orleans does from the Davis trade. Yikes.
Maybe four to eight years ago, having LeBron and AD would alone would be enough to stay competitive. But the NBA is better and deeper now, and those kind of front loaded rosters don’t cut it anymore.
Speaking of which, the Brooklyn Nets are in their own tire fire right now, due to similar issues.
Kyrie Irving has had some brilliant moments offensively, but it only took him two weeks to get his owner to basically condemn him for his odd promotion of a controversial film that came across as anti-Semitic.
Yes, this the world you live in when Kyrie Irving is on your team. On the court, he is scoring the ball at will though. Perhaps he’s aware of his impending free agency? I’d say so.
Kevin Durant is doing his part offensively as well, though he doesn’t seem particularly interested in playing defence, neither does the team as a whole. That’s the reason they’re losing, they cant guard anyone… and I mean ANYONE.
The other glaring issue his is Ben Simmons, who honestly looks like Bambi after his mom died whenever the basketball comes his way. Complete dear in the headlights.
Like the Lakers, the Nets have no supporting cast to help Irving and Durant, and in a league filled with talent their being run off the court every night.
Seth Curry will be back soon, Joe Harris is still working his way back after major knee surgery, and TJ Warren also hasn’t played yet, so there is some help coming over the horizon. But the thing is, none of the guys I just named play any defence, which as I mentioned, is the main thing plaguing the Nets right now.
At 1-5, how long will Kevin Durant stay in line before going all in on a trade request? Christmas seems like a reasonable guess to me.
Memphis is going to be in the west final…at least
I’ll admit, I sort of expected a regression by the Memphis Grizzlies this season, mainly due to the fact that they lost some key roll players, and the West has gotten way better.
Not the case one bit. They really are breathtaking to watch. They’ve hit this level where they can basically plug whoever in and still keep the institutional stability in tact. They don’t even have their second best player Jaren Jackson Jr. yet, and it hasn’t mattered at all.
Ja Morant has become the most electric player in the league. He’s arguable the most athletic guard on earth right now, he’s super fun to play with because he shares the ball. Morant sort of plays free safety on defence and roams around blocking shots, getting steals and wreaking havoc. He’s playing at an extremely high level right now
Desmond Bane has been a complete revelation. I don’t expect him to put up 38 a night like he’s basically been doing. But he’s a legitimate threat now and he’s shooting the ball with a ton of confidence.
The whole team just oozes with confidence actually. On paper, Memphis may not have the most star-studded line-up in the world. But it goes back to what I was talking about with Brooklyn and LA; teams with two superstars and nobody else are a thing of the past.
In today’s game, you have to have 9 or 10 legit guys that all fit will, play together, and most importantly, play defence. The Grizz check all of those boxes.
I know in part one of these overreactions, I said Phoenix was still the favourite in the West.
I may have to revise that statement, because I don’t see anyone beating Memphis right now.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Eddie Huband


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