Welcome to an all NBA edition of the Bro Brief. I’ll highlight a few notable stories and exceptional performances around the league.
Beef of the week: LaVar Ball and Luke Walton
Here at The BarnBurner we have a renewed focus to call out the pettiness of the NBA and highlight the drama that makes the league so much fun to watch. We are so committed to this that we even focused our second Backdoor Cut edition to said pettiness and recorded a podcast that can be listened to at your convenience .
Poor Jeff Goodman. Just when you think you have made it to the big leagues, the mecca of sports reporting, you’re working for the big guys, you get sent to Lithuania to cover a couple mediocre teenage basketball players and their bizarre father. In an exclusive interview with Jeff Goodman, LaVar Ball started throwing shade at Lakers’ coach Luke Walton. He said things like ”Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.” Did anyone tell Mr. ball that the Lakers roster is just not that good? Not yet at least. Does he expect his son and his teammates to immediately be competing against the powerhouse teams in the Western Conference who have established pedigree?
Currently the Lakers sit tied for last in the Western Conference and 12-17 and have only won one 1 of their last 9 games. Maybe this is due in part to having a sophomore coach, maybe it is partly due to the fact that the average age of the players who play at least 10 minutes a game is 24. For comparison, the average age for the league is 26.5. Two years makes a lot of difference in player development. Pick any NBA star and you will see vast improvements over any two year period in their early 20’s. The Lakers have the young star power in Ball, Kuzma, and Ingram. Give them a few years and I don’t think anyone will be questioning Luke Walton’s ability to coach.
NBA Players of the week:
Eastern Conference: DeMar DeRozan
Are Kyle and Lil Yachty fortune tellers? Not sure, but DeMar helped lead the Raptors to 3 wins during a week’s span with victories over the Bucks twice and the Bulls. During these wins he averaged 35p/4r/6a on 55/55/93 shooting! This included a game where he achieved 52p/5r/4 against the Bucks, setting a career high in scoring. Raptors are currently on a four game win streak and sit at second place in the East behind only Boston. This week they have four games that includes a match up against both Cleveland and Golden State. If you want to see some good basketball, keep an eye out for those games.
Western Conference: Steph Curry
Since his return from an ankle injury that he suffered against the Pelicans in early December, Steph has been on a tear. His first game back was against the Grizzlies where he hit 10, yes 10….. 3’s. This was very close to his previous record he set last year with 13 made 3’s in a game. Last week he averaged 35p/6r/5a on 53/46/88 shooting. It looks like the time off did nothing but make him better and in turn make the Warriors a stronger team. Good luck to the rest of the league. I expect to see Steph win this award several more times this year.
(Most Exciting) Play of the weekend: Khal Drogo (Steven Adams?) dunks
It is not every day that we have a highlight that involves a fantasy savage conquerer and a master of the triple double. Steven Adams must have had some help from Drogon to get that high and slam this one down. Too much? Naw, I just really want Game of Thrones to come back on, and the savagery on display with this play will have to tide me over for a while. (Sorry you have to click on the link, but I promise it’s worth it.)
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Images courtesy of Bustle and NBA