By: Monte Perez
On Tuesday night, New York Knicks Power Forward/Center, Kristaps Porziņģis scored 29points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. Porzingis is my clear choice for rookie of the year. He won’t average as many points as Jahlil Okafor (Who is leading the 76ers with 18.8 points per game) But he is much more versatile. Porzingis has proven in the first 11 games that his skill set is very high. As he gets stronger physically, he will be a 20 and 10 player every night. Because he is so tall (7’2) his jump shot is almost impossible to block. I compare it to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s SKY HOOK. If he stays healthy, He will be an all-star for 10 years. He seems to be embracing New York and the fans already love him.
The Houston Rockets fired Head Coach Kevin McHale 11 games into the season. The Rockets have had a ton of injuries and their record was 4-7 when the firing happened. I never thought McHale was a pay attention to detail coach, a lot like Rex Ryan of the Bufalo Bills but he is considered a player’s coach. McHale led the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals last season. If Houston wanted to fire him why didn’t they do it at the end of last season? We have seen this numerous times over the years. The Golden State Warriors fired Mark Jackson, the following year they won the NBA Championship. I agree with the firing but they should have done it last year.
I warned the Pelicans about hiring Alvin Gentry. New Orleans is 1-11 and in the Western Conference that may be an insurmountable hole to get out of and make the playoffs. After the Warriors won the Championship last year, Gentry who was an assistant coach looked in the camera and said, “We will be here next year in New Orleans.” Um, no you won’t.
There is a reason Gentry is 335-375 as a head coach. He is not that good! You are what your record it.
Top 5 Power Rankings:
#5 Oklahoma City Thunder (7-5) Russell Westbrook is averaging 28.1 points, 10.4 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 2 steals per game. The whole NBA world is talking about Stephen Curry and rightly so, but let’s not forget about Westbrook. He is putting up Oscar Robertson like numbers. OKC will get better as the season goes on under new head coach Billy Donovan, right now it is just a learning and evaluating process.
#4 Chicago Bulls (8-5) I don’t believe Chicago is a legitimate contender for an NBA Title but they seem to be playing well once again. They are transistioning from Derek Rose and Joakim Noah’s team to Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol’s team. Like OKC, their new coach Fred Hoiberg will get more comfortable over time. The Bulls do not have enough offense to compete for a title but the can win up to 55 games.
#3 San Antonio Spurs (9-2) Gregg Popovich doesn’t seem to ever miss a beat on the sidelines. Since Popovich took over the Spurs, there have been 219 head coaches hired in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are averaging a combined 36 points and 17 rebounds per game. These two should be a dynamic duo for the next 5 years. The Spurs can be on cruise control and they should win 60 games and well rested for the playoffs.
#2 Golden State Warriors (13-0) The Warriors are off to one of the best starts in NBA History. They are doing this all without their head coach Steve Kerr. I don’t understand why people are shocked by this. They won 67 games in the regular season last year. That was the 4th best record in the history of the NBA. Stephen Curry is the best Point Guard in the NBA and it is not even close. Curry is averaging 33.7 points, 5.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Power Forward, Draymond Green is averaging almost 7 assists per game. The Warriors feel comfortable letting him run the offense as a point/forward.
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers (9-3) The Cavs have lost three games (1 in overtime) by a total of 10 points. They are doing this without (2014) All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving. They are loaded 2 deep at every position. The only negative early on is that LeBron James is leading the league in points scored in the 4th quarter. This cannot continue if the Cavs want to compete for a championship. James needs to be more of a facilitator in the 4th quarter. If healthy, the Cavs are better than Golden State. If healthy, both those teams should make the Finals.
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