The NBA has now been in full swing for just over a week now, and there are already plenty of storylines. Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome injury in Boston’s first game against Cleveland. Ben Simmons is looking like a No. 1 overall pick. The Suns are already a mess. Then there is the Lonzo Ball talk, mostly from his dad.
A lot of the main headlines and early performances have caused major overreactions in the league after most teams have played just four games. Let’s break down some of the major overreactions that have occured after the NBA’s first full week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is MVP
Fans and analysts were predicting LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and James Harden to be in the MVP race this season. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo is suddenly the frontrunner for MVP.
Kevin Durant said in a YouTube video that Antetokounmpo could be the best player ever if he really wanted to. That is quite a prediction from the NBA Finals MVP.
The Greek Freak through four games is averaging 36.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He is definitely a top 10 player in this league, but let’s slow down on those MVP talks.
Anthony Davis also had a hot start like this last season. After the first four games, Davis was averaging 37 points, 13 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and three blocks per game.
The MVP talks came then too. But remember, the NBA is a long season. Players go through hot and cold stretches. By the end of the season, Davis’ season averages were 28 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Those are impressive numbers, but they aren’t like the ones he started off with. When it was all said and done, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard were the MVP finalists.
This is not made to be a knock on Davis or Antetokounmpo, but a lot can change through a season. DeMar DeRozan scored at least 30 points in his first 12 games last year with an average of 33 points per game during that stretch. He ended the season averaging 27.3. Lets see how the other 95 percent of the season goes for the Greek Freak, or just half of it.
Any Lonzo Ball reaction
Lonzo Ball went from being a Rookie of the Year favorite before the season started, to a bust after his first game, to owning the Phoenix Suns, to whatever his dad recently said about him.
It is crazy how much of a roller coaster the comments have been towards the Lakers’ point guard. He is currently averaging 11.5 points, nine rebounds and nine assists per game.
I’m going to stick with my prediction of Ball for now. We all know he isn’t going to lead the Lakers to 50 wins, a playoff appearance and make a run at MVP like his dad predicted for this season, but it is reasonable to believe the No. 2 overall pick can average 13 points and six assists and help the Lake Show to maybe 30 wins.
That was my prediction at the beginning of the season and I’m not changing my mind after three games. You shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions about Ball’s career either.
Kyrie Irving is overrated
Irving made headlines with his trade to the Celtics this offseason and all the drama that followed it. Irving also will be taking on a bigger burden than he may have realized now that Gordon Hayward is out.
It definitely hasn’t been a pretty first couple games for the new Celtic. His 20 points, six assists and 2.3 steals per game may seem nice, but he is shooting an atrocious 37.5 percent from the floor. In other words, he is shooting a lot for a little, but don’t give up on him yet.
Remember that Irving is learning to play with a new team in a new system. The fact that he is the point guard makes it that much more difficult. As mentioned before, he does not have Hayward to help him out either.
He is working with Al Horford and young guys like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. He is also still learning to be a main guy after working alongside LeBron James for the last several years.
We all know Irving can play. We have seen his performances in the NBA Finals the past two seasons. Irving is dealing with nothing more than a rocky start.
The Memphis Grizzlies are for real
After a 3-1 start with wins over the Warriors, Rockets and Pelicans, it appears that the Grizzlies were overlooked in the preseason.
A roster that features only two stars with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley has beaten some of the NBA’s best teams so far. The Warriors of course are favored to win the title again, the Rockets made noise with the Chris Paul trade and the Pelicans are expected to do damage with the duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Forward James Ennis III and second-round pick Dillon Brooks have both had nice starts to the season as well. The Grizzlies expect their hot start to continue with games against below-average opponents like the Mavericks, Hornets and Magic in their upcoming schedule.
Should we expect the Grizzlies to stay at the top of the might Western Conference? Probably not.
The Warriors, Rockets, Pelicans, Thunder and Nuggets are all off to cold starts this season. Those are all teams we expect to be in the playoffs this season. Those cold starts are definitely a fluke, just like the Grizzlies’ hot start is most likely one. Their lack of star power is going to make it difficult for them to compete with these kinds of teams down the stretch.
Featured image by by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
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