NBA update: the league surprising students

The Mclean high school population witnesses the ongoing 2016-17 NBA season

Michael Redding, Sports journalist

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The NBA season is in full effect and fans have much to enjoy with the presence of new super team; the Golden State Warriors. However the rest of the league is not as prominent as the warriors, such as the Washington Wizards. The fandom continues day to day emitted from super stars Lebron James and Steph Curry. The league looks promising with the addition of standout performers such as Devin Booker, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But record wise the competition lies dominantly between three teams being the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs. The MVP race still fluctuates from players such as Russell Westbrook and his eight consecutive triple doubles. With the departure of Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder have remained consistent but not as dominant as last season.

The whole league revolves around the warriors and whose play style is best to counter their three-point shooting offense. Looking toward the east, the Cavs remain dominant after their 2016 championship run led by Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. Although Kevin Love has proven to put up numbers, the Cleveland bench has maintained its depth by keeping Richard Jefferson who was originally going to retire. The league has been influenced by the retirement of two greats; Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Bryant’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, were not doing too well during his final season finishing 17-65. Their additions during the 2016 offseason have proven to be improvements with their current record of 10-17 led by NBA sophomore D’angelo Russell. Other notable teams include the Milwaukee bucks who on paper seem very formidable but have failed to live up to their expectations. The Bucks are led by NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo whose intimidating size of 6”11 and nimble mobility has helped carry the bucks with his average of 22 points. Falling short of expectations, the Bucks currently are 11-12 and have suffered injury from notable shooter Khris Middleton. Looking more to the east, the Philadelphia 76ers finally have a star in Joel Embiid: a versatile big man whose range, size, weight is perfect for a franchise player.

Down in south beach, the Miami Heat have not had the best of luck during the off season with the departure of superstar Dwyane Wade who carried the heat to three championships. Wade’s departure was inevitable from the malnourished relationship between Miami heat president, Pat Riley who denied Wade an increased salary to enter a rebuilding stage for the heat. The heat may have lost Wade but currently have a dominant superstar in Hassan Whiteside who averages 17 points per game and 14 rebounds per game. We head north to our nation’s capital where the Washington Wizards struggle from a subpar off season which consisted of no notable additions to the roster. This leaves superstars John Wall and Bradley Beal to carry the team by themselves and they’ve proven they can put up the numbers. However the Wizards acquired former coach of the year Scott Brooks who brings finals experience and fresh leadership. Wizards super-fan Sean Senft explains his optimism for the wizards, “I’ve been a Wizards fan since birth and I’ve dreamed of them making a finals appearance, but I think I’ll have to wait a bit longer,” junior Sean Senft said. Warriors fan Sierra Spraker explains her joy and success about her team, “I’m really happy Kevin Durant came to the Warriors and I hope we can win the championship again,” senior Sierra Spraker said. Cleveland Cavaliers fan and JV basketball coach, Terry Johnson explained his excitement during the regular season after he saw Lebron James play in person, “The league is lucky to have a special player like Lebron James,” Coach Terry Johnson said. The standings are shifting all the time but the league is getting stronger. When the playoffs come around the strong teams come to play.


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Cleveland Cavalier super-star Lebron James shooting a jumpshot

Photo obtained under a Creative Commons license


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NBA update: the league surprising students