If you’re like me, you really enjoy watching National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball and you’re probably going to be watching a lot of the association over the next few months. Here’s a quick guide to teams you don’t want to miss out on seeing in action.
Golden State Warriors
It’s December and the reigning NBA champs are still undefeated. They’re scoring over 115 points per game, by far the most of any team. Do I need to give any more reasons to watch this team? Well I will.
Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA, the best shooter we’ve ever seen and possibly the most efficient scorer we’ve ever seen. He’s also the most fun player to watch. Teammate Andrew Bogut recently said that Curry tries to “destroy the other team’s soul” when he plays, and that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Curry doesn’t even look like he’s trying out there. His typical routine on offense is to casually jog around with the ball like it’s practice before nailing a 30-foot jumper with a hand in his face. I’ve never seen a player dominate a game so casually. He looks like a Harlem Globetrotter out there while every other team is the Washington Generals.
Through 23 games, Curry has a true shooting percentage of over 70 percent. To put that into perspective, Michael Jordan’s highest true shooting percentage in a season was 61 percent in 1989. Yes, he is indeed a more efficient scorer than Jordan.
If this team doesn’t win the NBA title I’ll be surprised. And yes, Curry is the only reason you need to watch this team.
They’re only in eighth place in the East, but make no mistake, this is the best Pistons team we’ve seen in almost a decade. Andre Drummond is a destroyer of worlds and the only truly dominant big man in today’s game. Right now he’s averaging 18 points and 16.5 rebounds per game. The last player to average that many rebounds per game in a season was Dennis Rodman in 1993, and no player has eclipsed over 16 rebounds per game in the 21st century.
Reggie Jackson’s flashy, aggressive style is exciting and watching his ineptitude on defense never gets old. There’s nothing like watching a point guard blow by Jackson only to get stuffed at the rim by Drummond.
With that said, the Pistons could become extremely boring to watch if teams start to intentionally send Drummond to the line, where he shoots just 37 percent. Please don’t, for our sake.
It’s been impressive to see Erik Spoelstra’s Heat adapt to the loss of LeBron James. They’ve done a good job of finding talented players who never had enough of a chance. For example, Hassan Whiteside. Talk about a fun player to watch! Whiteside gets an emphatic block pretty much every game and plays with a ton of energy. The Heat got really lucky with him, as he’s a superstar center that they effectively got for free. Along with Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade, this is a formidable starting five.
On Saturday night the Heat convincing whooped the Cavs, who were resting LeBron James, as the Miami crowd chanted ‘LeBron is tired.’ What a strange chant. I guess only in sports is calling someone tired a serious insult.
If Wade’s Fisher-Price knees can keep up throughout the year, the Heat could be a serious contender. Spoelstra has proven that he can run a winning team without King James.
Los Angeles Lakers
Now I know what you’re thinking. “What the hell, the Lakers are 3-18, why would we want to watch them?” I have two words: Kobe Bryant. There’s nothing like watching Kobe go out there and single handedly sink his own team with terrible shot selection, no passing and terrible defense, then proceed to yell at his teammates out of embarrassment.
Make no mistake, 37-year-old Bryant is one of the greatest players ever, but he’s completely done. He’s shooting 30.6 percent on the year, lowest of all qualified players and is 409th out of 419 players in real plus-minus. Despite this, he still plays like he’s a superstar, chucking up awful contested jumpers without remorse.
The Lakers aren’t for everyone, they’re worth watching for comedic value. They’re like the Jersey Shore of basketball teams.
New York Knicks
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Knicks are undoubtedly exciting to watch. Latvian rookie Kristaps Porzingis (also known as PorzinGOD, PorzinGOAT, etc.) is proving everyone wrong, including myself. Porzingis was practically booed out of Barclays Center by Knicks fans on draft night, as nobody had a clue who he was. Now he’s the face of the Knicks. I personally thought he had a lot of potential, but would initially struggle in the NBA his first few years. He hasn’t struggled much at all and looks like a rookie of the year contender.
Porzingis is a joy to watch because he’s so versatile. This is a 7-foot-3 man who can shoot from anywhere on the floor and keep up with smaller forwards on defense. He plays with a passion that has revitalized this Knicks team. Carmelo Anthony can be frustrating to watch at times, but when he’s on, he’s one of the few unguardable players in the league. He and Porzingis make for one of the most thrilling duos in the league, and home games with Madison Square Garden crowds are always entertaining.