I have a few sayings that I kind of live my life by. One of them is… It doesn’t matter how you start, it is how you finish. For some NBA teams, they better hope this phrase holds true for them.There are several teams underachieving at the start of the season.
The Sports Whisperer’s Top 3 trending topics in the NBA.
#3) What coaches are on the hot seat?
On Wednesday November 22nd the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Golden State Warriors 108-91. I know one game can never make a season, but I really thought that Oklahoma found their chemistry with Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. The “Big 3” combined for 76 points, 26 rebounds and 11 assists in that victory. I thought that game would give them a starting point of consistency and would give them momentum. Boy was I wrong. The Thunder have been terrible since that game, losing three straight. OKC has started the season 8-12, and that is simply unacceptable. They have one of the best starting fives in the NBA. Just to put in perspective how bad they have been … The Boston Celtics are 18-4, with ONLY one scoring option, Kyrie Irving. The Thunder have three # 1 scoring options. Billy Donovan is a good coach, but he is underachieving right now. If he doesn’t “right the ship” soon, he could be fired by Christmas.
The Miami Heat have a record of 10-11 and they will struggle to the make the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. They are coming off two blowout losses, one to the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 (but it wasn’t that close) and a 115-86 loss to the New York Knicks who were without Kristaps Porzingis for three quarters. Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, is the most overrated coach in the NBA. Without LeBron James on his roster, the man they call “Spo” has never made it past the 2nd round of the playoffs. Without LeBron on his roster he has a record of.
He is 226- 205. Pat Riley’s protégé is an average coach at best.
2) Is LeBron James this year’s MVP?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 14-7 and 9-1 in their last ten games. They are winning without starting point guard Isaiah Thomas and back up point guard Derrick Rose. Both are recovering from injuries. LeBron James has taken over the point guard duties. The Cavs have been starting veteran Jose Calderon at the point guard spot but make no mistake about it, LeBron is running the offense. The 4-time MVP is averaging 28.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.3 assists per game. He is shooting 57% from the field, 42% from three and 76% from the foul line. In a year where “The King” was supposed to do less, he is doing more. He is my choice for the MVP right now
1) Don’t look now but the 76ers and Knicks are playoff teams.
As a former comedian, personal trainer and basketball coach, I love the process. I love the prep work, I love putting time in the gym or preparing for a show. The workouts and prep was the hard part, the games and shows were easy. Watching the young Knicks led by Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. has been fun. Even if the Knicks don’t make the playoffs, their young core will grow and get better and hopefully land a great draft pick.
As for the 76ers… Ben Simmons is about as skilled and as poises as a rookie as I have seen. Not since LeBron James or Larry Bird have a seen a 1st year starter, slow the game down. He has tremendous court vision and leadership on the court. Joel Embiid is making his case as the best big man in the NBA. He is averaging 22.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. I love the addition of J.J. Redick (14 points per game) and Dario Saric would be a star on any other team. Saric is averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds a game. But, on any given night he can score 25 plus.
I think the 76ers will be a 4 or 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and they should be fun to watch all year long.
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