What is the current state of the NBA? Is Derrick Rose without a doubt the leagues MVP? Are the Spurs the team to beat? Will Kevin Love continue his double-double streak for the rest of the regular season? Can the Lakers three-peat? These are just some of the questions that are being asked all over the league and with just around 20 games left in the season, this is the best time of the year for serious NBA fans.
The NBA MVP....
The Chicago Bulls are currently 44-18 and sit at the number two spot in the East, two and a half games behind the Boston Celtics, it is honestly amazing to see the type of injuries they have had to go through with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer and how they have prevailed to their position in the East. Derrick Rose has to be the leagues MVP right now because he has taken the league by storm, while pretty much doing it under the radar. It is unbelievable, that a player, especially a point guard in the NBA can do this amount of damage to the best teams in the league and not be the top story every night all over the sports news. Whether it is the tragedy in Miami, the love of Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin or the consistent Boston Celtics, Derrick Rose just does not get the constant love he deserves this season.
Are the Spurs the team to beat in the Western Conference?
Obviously if you look at the standings, you are going say the Spurs are the team to beat in the West because they have a 5-game lead on the Mavericks and a 6.5 game lead on the Lakers, but I am not sure that is going to be the truth when it comes down the Playoff time. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been preparing for the Playoffs all season long by reducing his stars minutes any chance he gets and teaching the youth of his team in almost every situation of the game. The first four seeds in the Western Conference are locked in to the playoffs and most likely also locked in to home-court advantage in the first round, but after you get passed the Oklahoma City Thunder you get to the Denver Nuggets, who are just a game and a half out of the eight spot. The Suns, Jazz and Rockets are all within a few games of the 8th seed Memphis Grizzlies and I believe the last 20 game fight for the 5-8 seeds in the West will be an extremely hard fought and very entertaining spectacle. All four teams at the top of the West in my opinion can become the most dangerous team in the West at the snap of a finger. All the Thunder need to become the dominant team in the West is a healthy Nate Robinson off the bench and even a semi-healthy Kendrick Perkins to be able to play decent minutes in the middle to try and guard the Duncan's, Gasol's and Nowitzki's. The Lakers are the two-time NBA champs and as we have seen in the past, can turn it on pretty much whenever they want [example: after the all-star break].What scares me about the Mavericks and the reason why i think they may actually be the team to worry about in the West is their fantastic road record [23-8] which is percentage points lower than the Spurs; but the Spurs have gotten all of the attention this season and the Mavericks have been treading slowly behind them and have crept above the Lakers and have stayed their even with the recent streak by Kobe and LA. So, to answer my question, the Spurs could be the team to beat in the West, but in my eyes only a 25% chance.
What does Kevin Love's double-double streak really mean?
What Kevin Love is currently doing for the Minnesota Timberwolves is not known as winning games, because well they are not; but what he is doing is putting up at least 10 points and 10 rebounds every single night. Is this impressive? How should we look at these numbers compared to other we have seen? The way I feel is simple, what Kevin Love is doing is a great feat to watch and keep track of [those nights he has 7 and 3 at the half and you are like, is he going to get it?], when you look back at some of the legends in the NBA's past you realize it is just a great current streak.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accumulated a double-double for an entire season... 12 times!!!!!!
Elgin Baylor did it for an entire season 9 times
Bill Russell did it in 12 of his 13 seasons in the NBA
Wilt Chamberlain was off the scale, averaging a double-double for all 14 of his seasons. Plus, the Wilt had 10 seasons where he averaged at least 20-20 and seven years where his rebounds were over 20 and his points were above 30.
Love is having an amazing season for a third-year player out of UCLA, but just like I believe the NBA needs to do with Black Griffin we need to do with Kevin Love, give it some time and see if this is something we can expect out of Kevin for the next few years and then we can talk about where this streak all started and how some people were making the comparisons to other NBA Hall of Famers.