I asked people to send me hot takes that they had about the NBA with the purpose being that I would discuss them and share my opinion. This is what I was sent.
Jaylen Brown is better than Jayson Tatum – @meade2
This one can definitely be argued. As a Celtics fan, Tatum and Brown are two of the players I watch the most. I haven’t taken a side in the argument because I think it’s so close. They are both very talented young wings that are huge pieces to the Celtics’ success. Let’s look at the side by side stats so far this year.
(Stats are from Basketball Reference, accurate as of 1/8/2020)
So it’s really close, which is why we’re having this debate. However, looking at the basic stats, Jaylen Brown has the upper hand. After he got paid, he has stepped up and really killed it this season. Brown having a better statistical season doesn’t take away from the fact that Tatum is spectacular, and they both deserve to remain in the All-Star conversation.
Kevin Durant will not be “back” for two more years – @joshmelia_
It will be interesting to see how KD will come back from rupturing his achilles tendon in last year’s NBA finals. He signed a contract with the Nets with both parties knowing he would not play this season. We know Kevin Durant as one of the best players in the game, and when he comes back, will we ever see the same superstar again. I have no doubt he will still be great, and Josh here is saying that it will take him a season of playing to return to his usual self. I think KD can work his way back to being himself in less than a season. Age will be a factor, as he will be 32 when the 2020-21 season kicks off, but I think once he gets back on the court, Kevin Durant can re-establish himself as one of the best in the game pretty quickly.
Philadelphia will never win a championship as long as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are on the same team – @bradyperlz
Brady with hot takes in back to back articles, and this is a good one. Brady is very right that there could be an issue with Embiid and Simmons playing together. When Simmons has the ball, Embiid is being wasted because he is so dominant. Joel could just control the paint constantly on offense, but it’s hard to do when the point guard can’t make, and will be reluctant to take an open jumper. There has also been issues with Embiid and Al Horford this season. Per 100 possessions with Embiid, Al is putting up 8.5 points and is shooting 36.4% from the field. Per 100 possessions without Embiid, Horford’s scoring total jumps all the way up to 25.1 points, and he’s doing it more efficiently too (47.1%). Brady might make a good point, it’s hard to win when the offense doesn’t work well together and the stars can’t be stars.
Devonte Graham is a top 10 point guard in the league – @d_weinbaum13
It’s no question that Devonte should be up there for most improved player, and he has established himself as a great scorer this year. His points per game have taken a jump from 4.7 in his last year as a rookie, to 19.1 so far this year. He’s also up to 7.8 assists and has a 17.1 player efficiency rating. It’s clear that he has been really good this year, but top 10 point guard status might be too much of a stretch. The point guard position has always been stacked, and to say that Graham has elevated himself into that upper tier might be premature. He could get there at some point, but I think that right now I would put at least 10 point guards in front of Graham.
- Kevin Barnett