NBA Early Season Reactions and Predictions

Jimmy Casey ‘22

The Warriors Are for Real

After a short two season hiatus, Golden State is back on top. Sitting at a league-best 18-2, the Warriors have blown away preseason expectations. Stephen Curry looks as good as he’s ever been; he’s tied with Kevin Durant for the league leader in points per game. He’s on track to shatter his own record for three pointers made in a season — an insane statistic that shows the true greatness of #30. Draymond Green is back to his old ways of being extremely disruptive on the defensive end while also orchestrating play on the offensive side of the ball. Plus, they have the surprise favorite for the Most Improved Player Award in Jordan Poole, who’s made huge leaps in his third year. They’ve also gotten efficient play on both ends of the floor from Andrew Wiggins. All of this paired with the effective role players they have to offer makes them my early favorite to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. Oh, and they likely have Klay Thompson coming back in January. How can you doubt them?

The Lakers Aren’t Good

Talk about the Lakers can get exhausting, so I’ll try to keep this short — they’re not good. There’s no other way to put it. On paper, they seem like they’d be awesome, and I thought they would be. But it just hasn’t worked out and I think that has to do in large part with Russell Westbrook. Even when he puts up impressive stats, he makes losing plays. His style isn’t conducive to success with this team, and I don’t see a way that it could be. He and LeBron don’t fit together, and his 1-2 tandem with Anthony Davis hasn’t been all that great either. Unless they trade him, I can’t see them finishing higher than a 4th or 5th seed. 

Zion Will Be Back 

We’ve all seen the reports: Zion Williamson’s weight is a problem. We haven’t seen him play this season due to a foot fracture, but his name has been in the headlines because of his supposed inability to stay in shape. And while the memes have abounded, I’ve found myself on the contrarian side on this subject. I really think Zion is going to prove a lot of people wrong this season and beyond. Conversations about him being a bust have begun to percolate in NBA circles, but I still hold the belief that he’s going to be great. Once he comes back, I think he’ll provide borderline top-10 individual production for the woeful Pelicans. People forget that he dominated the league for stretches last season, showing just why he was so touted coming out of college. I believe this domination will become more and more consistent, and he’ll be one of the league’s biggest revelations in the second half of the season. 

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