The NBA’s 82-game season may be more than halfway over. However, the All-Star game, at least in my opinion, marks the beginning of the real season. It is after the All-Star break that teams begin to push for the postseason. Fringe contenders look to better their chances of making a Finals appearance by trading for pieces they feel they lack. The Western Conference battles for better seeding while a vicious battle ensues in both conferences for an 8th seed. It is at this midpoint of the season I’d just like to share a few of my own thoughts.
Kristaps Porzingis: A case for Rookie of the Year
It’s very simple: Kristaps Porzingis has brought life back to basketball in New York. Taken with the 4th pick by the Knicks, Porzingis was booed by fans, and New York management was ridiculed for taking a “project” who wouldn’t be ready for years. I was one of those people that believed Porzingis would struggle in his first season. Fifty games into the Knicks’ season, and I am here making a case for him to be crowned Rookie of the Year.
Porzingis’ stats are great as he has rebounded and defended much better than what was expected of him. Karl-Anthony Towns is most likely the number one candidate for this honor, and though he deserves it just as much, there is just something special about Porzingis’ fire. Kristaps “Thorzingis” is playing in what many call the “Mecca of Basketball” and through his nasty putback dunks on the likes of stars such as Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as the threes and blocks he’s putting up, he is bringing back the fire to a once great franchise. He is making the New York Knicks not only competitive, but dare I say it, watchable. He has looked and played like a franchise player despite the early and undeserved negativity. People expected KAT to be as good as he is. Nobody saw Zinger’s emergence coming, that is why he should be crowned Rookie of the Year.
The NBA playoffs should take the 16 best teams
The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have been historically great this year. The Warriors are making a run at the 1996 Chicago Bulls 72-win mark for the NBA’s best regular season record, while the Spurs are posting the best point differential in NBA history. They are the two best teams in the NBA, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are not far behind at third.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only true contenders in the East, which is why I feel that the 16 best teams regardless of conference should be pitted against each other in the playoffs. How amazing would it be to see a Spurs vs. Warriors NBA Finals? Hopefully we will find out sometime soon.
DeMarcus Cousins needs to get out of Sacramento
DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins is doing everything he possibly can. Whether it’s filling up a stat sheet with endless double doubles or putting up 56 points, more often than not it ends in a loss for Boogie and the Sacramento Kings. A losing organization mired in management problems is not the place for Cousins to spend the prime of his career. To top it off, he plays for a coach he can’t stand. Whether it’s forcing his way out via trade or leaving in free agency, Boogie needs to do what’s best for his career and get out of Sac Town.