5 Hot Takes From The First Week Of The NBA Season
Was the NBA ever away? Those weeks of the close season sometimes feel like they go on forever, but as soon as the fixtures roll in and the teams take to the court once more, we immediately forget about the long wait we all endured over the summer. Trades have been made, rumors have circulated, analysis has been done, and now everyone's back to stop talking and start playing. The NBA 2019-2010 season is up and running, and it's already shaping up to be a great one.
Only a fool would try to say where we might be by the time this season is all said and done, but there are already a few eye-catching happenings going down in the basketball world after the first week of fixtures, with drama both on and off the court. While it's still fresh in our minds, here are our hot takes on what we've seen over the course of the first few days.
The Clippers Look Like The Real Deal
Forget about the surprise loss to the Phoenix Suns; the LA Clippers have already put that behind them with a convincing win over the Charlotte Hornets, and by the end of the season, we suspect they'll have collected far more wins than they have losses. When you look at the balance of their side, you don't see any obvious weaknesses. They may not have the out-and-out star power of some of the other teams you'd consider to be contenders for the championship, but they do have strength in depth, coupled with the ability to shut up shop well and punish teams when going forward. Perhaps more worryingly for all of their opponents to come, they haven't yet been able to call upon the services of Paul George. He may be out of the picture due to shoulder issues at the moment, but he won't be away for too long. Look out for them to step it up a gear when he comes back.
The Suns Don't Need Deandre Ayton
Toward the end of last year, Deandre Ayton looked like a potential breakout basketball superstar; the kind of player who might become the face of the whole sport one day. This season, his reputation is in tatters. He's gone from being someone who might be considered as the face of the 'Basketball' star mobile slots game to reminding us what mobile slots are actually all about. The thrill of mobile slots is that you never know what's going to happen next, and there's no such thing as a safe bet. That's exciting for a mobile slots player to play games on website like Rose Slots, but less so for a team that has just invested money in a player only to see him behave in unforeseen ways and take himself out of the picture. Ayton will miss a third of the season because of a doping violation, but the surprising thing is that the Suns are carrying on regardless. People laughed at the idea of Frank Kaminsky and Dario Saric leading the line. They're not laughing now. We're not saying they'll win the conference, but they have the tools to be up there.
Trae Young Is A Long Range Weapon
We already had hints of this last season, but Trae Young is really driving the point home this time around - he's a three-point monster. He's everything that we've always thought Steph Curry is. Curry hasn't had the most electric start with the Warriors this term, but if your favorite thing about watching basketball is seeing guys throwing long shots in, the Hawks are the team to watch. In his first two games, Young sank three shots out of four from more than thirty feet away from the hoop, and has come away with an average of over 38 points. It would be unrealistic to think that he could keep up heroics like this for an entire campaign, but he's definitely grabbed the headlines with his early antics. There should always be time for moments of individual brilliance in team games, and so far, Young hasn't been shy about providing them.
The Kings Are Going Backward
Nobody wants a 0-3 record after three games of the season. It's inevitable that at least one or two teams will always have one, but very few people would have expected the Sacramento Kings to have such miserable figures off the starting block. Last season they finished with 39 wins. That was their best performance in over a decade, and bringing in Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield was supposed to strengthen them so they could aim at bigger and better things this time around. For whatever reason, it just doesn't seem to have clicked so far. Marvin Bagley going missing for around a month with his broken thumb definitely hasn't helped, but the team shouldn't be so dependent on one player. Something's going wrong in Sacramento, and we can't put our finger on it.
Basketball Should Stay Away From Politics
There's enough going on in the world of politics right now to last anybody a lifetime, and for many of us, sport is a welcome form of distraction and escapism from it. We don't want or need politics to start bleeding into basketball, and yet here we all are talking about China and Hong Kong. The China issue was always likely to come up during the opening games of the season, but someone could and should have done something about that huge Honk Kong flag that showed up outside the Staples Center on opening night. If they had, Charles Barkley and Shaq might not have got into such a heated debate about it, and we might have started to put the whole thing behind us. That didn't happen, and now we have protesters turning up at basketball games, and Charles Barkley telling the Vice President of the United States of America to shut up. Nobody wants or needs this from the sport, and we hope everyone can turn their full attention to what happens on the court sooner rather than later.
There will be many more flashpoints, unforeseen results, and shocks over the weeks to come, and some of them might make these hot takes look ridiculous. Maybe Trae Young will get shot shy. Maybe the Kings will suddenly remember where the opposition hoop is. That's the problem with hot takes - they're only good while they're still hot! Despite that, we'll be back to you with more as the season progresses.