Every single Monday until the NBA Finals are complete, I’ll be giving you a recap of the most important things from the past NBA week. I’ll give you my power rankings for the top ten teams in the league and name a couple of players with surprising performances. Next, I will go through some of the best and worst moments from the past week.
Week 1 Power Rankings
- Houston Rockets (3-1)
- Golden State Warriors (2-2)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1)
- Los Angeles Clippers (2-0)
- San Antonio Spurs (3-0)
- Washington Wizards (3-0)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1)
- Milwaukee Bucks (3-1)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2)
- Memphis Grizzlies (3-0)
(Stats are from last weeks games only)
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (36.8 Points, 10.8 Rebounds, 5.3 Assists, 2.3 Steals, 1.3 Blocks)
2. Anthony Davis (31.7 Points, 16.7 Rebounds, 2.7 Assists, 2 Steals, 1.7 Blocks)
3. Nikola Vucevic (27.7 Points, 10.7 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Steals, 1.7 Blocks)
4. LaMarcus Aldridge (24.3 Points, 9.3 Rebounds, 3.3 Assists, 0.7 Steals, 1.7 Blocks)
5. Jaylen Brown (17.3 Points, 6.3 Rebounds, 1 Assists, 1 Steals, 0 Blocks)
1. Greek Freak’s Early MVP Case
How can you not love Giannis Antetokounmpo? Even though the Cavs handled the Bucks fairly easily in Milwaukee, the Greek Freak outdueled Lebron James scoring 38 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 8 blocks. That wasn’t even the highlight of his week, however. In a win against the Trail Blazers on Saturday, Giannis went off for 44 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and blocks, and a game-sealing dunk. I don’t think he’s capable of keeping this up for the rest of the year, but he could definitely be a dark horse MVP candidate later on.
2. Warriors Losing
Halfway through opening night, I was ready to crown the Warriors as the first team in NBA history to go 82-0. Unfortunately for them, the Rockets came back, giving them their first loss of the season on the same night they received their NBA championship rings. Just four days later, the Memphis Grizzlies of all teams upset them again. I didn’t think I’d be saying this after week one, but the defending champion, Golden State Warriors have a losing record.
3. Patrick Beverley Shutting Down Lonzo Ball
Even as a Lonzo Ball supporter, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t have a good time watching Beverley putting on a show on the defensive side on the ball. There aren’t many guys who can make that much of an impact on the defensive side of the ball alone.
4. Andrew Wiggins Game Winner
I was honored to have seen this moment live. The Thunder were down by one with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter. Paul George inbounded to Russell Westbrook who immediately hit Carmelo Anthony in the corner. Being one of the most clutch players in NBA history, Melo knocked down the shot leaving around four seconds on the clock for the Timberwolves. Gibson inbounded to Wiggins who received a perfect screen from Karl-Anthony Towns as he banked in a near-halfcourt buzzer beater to give the Timberwolves their second win of the season. The Oklahoma City crowd went from “100 to 0,” if you will. You can take a deeper look at the play here.
5. Pelicans Bigs
Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins are undoubtedly the two best big men in the NBA. I still don’t understand how they were able to do it, but somehow, the Pelicans managed to get them on the same roster. Currently, the two superstars are combining for a ridiculous stat line: 60 points, 28.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 3.5 steals, and 7 blocks per game. Get ready for a bold prediction; Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis will be the first pair of players to each average 30 points per game. It seems to be perfectly set up for them. With absolutely no help, they’re pretty much expected to if they want to make the playoffs.
In this segment, I am building off of “The Starters” from NBATV. Every Friday, they have a segment called, “Worst of the Week,” where they basically shame a certain part of the NBA, whether that be a player, a coach, an idea, or even an entire team. Go check them out here.
Five minutes into the NBA season we saw our first casualty due to an injury. Gordon Hayward fractured his ankle and will reportedly be out for the entire season. The next day, Jeremy Lin landed awkwardly on his right knee and will also be out for the season. A lot of other small injuries occurred in players like Chris Paul who will miss close to a month of action, Milos Teodosic who will be out indefinitely, and Rodney Hood who was carried off the floor yesterday in Minnesota.
2. Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic
We may not know many of the details of the fight that resulted in Bobby Portis breaking Nikola Mirotic’s nose in practice, but anytime two players (especially teammates) get into it like this, it is sure to find a spot on the list.
3. Phoenix Suns’ Management
Perhaps the worst part of the week is the mess materializing in Phoenix. Not only did they set a record for the worst opening night loss of all time, but they also set another record; They fired a coach earlier on in a season than any other team has in NBA history. I am really beginning to question Phoenix on why they hadn’t fired him in the offseason, as now their team chemistry will be at an all-time low. Not only are they one of the worst teams in the league, they don’t even have a familiar coach. Following the firing, Eric Bledsoe tweeted “I Dont wanna be here,” then followed it up by making an excuse that he was in a hair salon. The Suns’ GM has already stated that “he won’t be with us going forward.”