The CoronaVirus has spread across the entire globe and is causing all sorts of panic. To anyone who doesn’t know what the virus is they are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 can be lethal. (World Health Organization) On Sunday, an announcement was released by the NBA regarding players to stay away from any hand to hand contact or engagement with fans. This includes high fives, autographs, etc. causing an uproar from the NBA’s fan base.
Ultimately, people need to look at this at a deeper level and respect the fact that Adam Silver and NBA executives are concerned for the safety of its players. Among many things, Silver has made great strides to make the NBA a better and more efficient league. According to CBS Sports, cases of the virus in North America have been minimal. The bigger issue at hand is the impact of the disease on foreign countries that the NBA scouts players year round. I can understand this because prospects overseas usually visit and work out with teams before the draft and it starts around this time of year.
I would suppose once the issue resolved itself that this recommendation will be lifted and things will go back to normal. From a fan standpoint it is disappointing when we work those extra hours and drive that extra distance to see the LeBron’s and Giannis of the league and to be limited to not even getting a high five or an autograph, but from face value I think any NBA fanatic would understand the bigger picture.
At 15-6 The Dallas Mavericks sit fourth in the western conference and you love to see it. Why? Dallas has been one of those teams that always gets in the lost season by the skin of their teeth. After missing the playoffs this past season A LOT has changed for the Mavs. Luka Doncic has been a year putting up near triple double statistics — 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 9.6 assists. If we take a step back and look at last season he’s +7.4 in points, +1.6 in rebounds, and +2.9 in assists. A huge step forward as Doncic is the youngest player to do a lot of things. To many accolades already out on his resume and the kid is 20 years old.
His 6’7″ frame comes off as mediocre from how you see him move. He’s not the fastest guy on the floor, but he gets to his spots on the floor, hits the open man with ease, and creates for himself. He’s a lot like Paul Pierce when it comes to this aspect of his game. Doncic is doing this whole being of the slower guards in the league. Imagine if he had Kyrie like agility. Mark Cuban picked out a diamond in the rough and showed his true owner card with the trade in acquiring the Slovenian prodigy.
Now how does a guy change the culture of a franchise in just one year? You have to bring in the right Calvary.
Kristaps Porzingis: coming off of an injury we didn’t know where KP would be mentally and physically, but he’s fitting right in with Dallas. Averaging 17.2 points, 9.2 rebounds on 44% from the field he’s the perfect counterpart to Luka.
The rest of the roster is deep with depth. Guys like Dorain Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Seth Curry, and Delon Wright can go for a good 15+ points a game on any given night. What I’m not sold on is their rebounding and paint presence down low. Kristaps leads the way averaging 9.1 rebounds a night and outside of him I don’t feel comfortable with Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, or Boban down low. If I’m the opposing team I’m force feeding the ball in the paint and making Dallas get loose on the glass. The Mavericks are 16th in the league for rebounding at 45.3.
Overall, the Mavericks are legitimate contenders for a title this season despite the criticisms and with a young star in the making in Doncic, this team could potentially be playing in June.
Well it’s that time of year where we get to eat all day and not watch basketball. Kind of a win/lose for all of us NBA fanatics right ? We get to eat good food but have to settle for football.
Looking on to what this NBA season has turned into, it’s been a historic one. We haven’t seen a season like this in a long time and it’s about time I can actually share what I’m thankful for.
Celtics and Lakers are top teams in their conferences: growing up these two teams were all over headlines. Now we see the Lakers (#1) and Celtics (#2) playing great basketball and that rivalry that was always there is back and looks to better than ever.
January 20th will be the first time we see this matchup and I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Being that kid from Boston (even though I’m a Hawks fan) it feels good to know that the rivalry is alive again.
Carmelo Anthony is back: The league wouldn’t be the same without Melo In it. In just five games Melo has put up a solid 16.6 points, 5 rebounds, 1.8 assists on 45% from the field.
To be more clear about how much of an impact Melo has made in Portland I’ll break it down for y’all:
Melo is shooting the best he’s shot in five years- 45% overall: 37% 3pt 49% 2pt
He has a plus/minus of +5.4 the best we’ve seen since I’m his whole career. His other career best was +4.6 when he was with Denver
Managed to start all five games thus far as he was told he was a bench a player for the past two years
Overall, it seems like the Trailblazers value Melo and are utilizing him to the best of their ability. Glad to see another guy from the ‘03 draft class still active
Luka Magic: I missed seeing the Mavericks contend the last few years and have to hand it to Mark Cuban. He’s assembled one of the greatest and youngest NBA talents in a long time. Luka Doncic is someone we will be talking about for a very long time.
Doncic at 20 is leading a franchise to an 11-6 start in a grueling Western Conference. I could post stars all day about how he’s the first to do this, the first to do that, but he’s all over the headlines this year and his play has been speaking for itself.
Here’s what he said about losing to the Clippers two nights ago:
“I was feeling sad yesterday,” he said. “Not feeling great. I was pissed. I went straight home. You just have to get through it. When we lose a game like this and I have a bad game, I feel like I let everybody down and I want to be alone”. (Dallas Morning News)
Do we ever hear this kind of talk nowadays? This is what makes Luka special and I’m thankful to have a player who shares such passion for the game of basketball and cherishes every win and is humbled by every loss.
The Golden State Warriors: Making my 8th seed prediction look distinct at this point, the Warriors have been a shocking 4-15 to start the season out and I couldn’t be happier of their demise. From a fan standpoint, Golden State has ruled the league with an iron fist for years, so I apologize if I’m excited that has come to an end.
Obviously I’m not happy that Steph, Klay, D’Lo, and Green are all inactive, but we all have to be thankful about Eric Paschall.
Paschall is averaging 17 points and 5.4 rebounds and has notched two 30+ outings and two 25+ outings on 14 games played. The 23 year old rookie out of Villanova is filling a lot of shoes at the moment as he is trying to keep the Warrior’s head above water.
If you are a Warriors fan and need to find something to be thankful for, then Eric Paschall is it!
Andrew Wiggins is playing like his draft stock: I don’t know what has happened to Wiggins this season, but something just clicked. He seems more in tune with the game, is creating better looks for himself, and is in control of his play.
Shooting 47% on 20 shots a game, Wiggins is a huge reason why the Timberwolves are 10-8 and seeing a positive record.
If he can keep up this level of play and with Karl Anthony Towns averaging 26 and 12, this young duo could cause some havoc later in the season. The Timberwolves are not a team you want to see in a first round playoff matchup.
NoLimitJumper Staff: Lastly, I would just like to thank my whole team here at NLJ for their continuous hard work and dedication to making this brand something special. Please if you haven’t already show some support to the writers below:
The NBA is always growing and expanding and the same goes with the talent. As those brand name stars get older, the younger generation looks to fill those shoes, but some have made their mark already, influencing fans.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (23): Booker wasn’t a hot talent coming out of Kentucky in 2015, but these past few years he’s become a staple in Phoenix. The Suns franchise has been a dying one for years after Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, and vets like Grant Hill left. Booker turned this franchise around and now this year we are seeing his hard work pay off.
Among being a huge influence the 23-year old has accomplished a lot already, making an impressive resume. Booker became the 8th-youngest player in NBA history to notch 6,000 career points, joining LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Andrew Wiggins and Shaquille O’Neal (via nba.com- Cody Cunningham). On the contrary, he’s recorded the 10th highest points scored among all players with 70 against the Boston Celtics.
This season, Booker is averaging 25 points, 5.8 assists at a 54% (career high) clip after 12 games. With the way he’s been able to perform the Suns sit 7-5 in a grueling western conference where they currently are 7th. Can they maintain this level or play throughout the whole season? That’s the question everyone is asking.
Lastly, we can all learn a little something from Devin Booker. He’s donated $2.5m to Suns charity for the next five years as he labels it his “favorite accomplishment”. He’s spent five years on the Suns and hopefully he can stick it out and play his whole career there. Bring back that player loyalty Book.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (21): Just a year ago in 2018, Young was involved in a deal with Luka Dončić that sent him to Atlanta. Now, some of us were a bit skeptical on why Young went so high, but the ultimatum is that the Hawks were very high on him. In fact, they were so high on him that he changed the culture of Atlanta before he even stepped foot on the court for them.
In Atlanta, it’s a very prominent music city and is home to a lot of artists like Quavo, TI, Andre 3000, and 21 Savage. Young gained the attention of Quavo in a matter of a day and when we think of the Hawks, Trae Young is now the first name that comes to mind.
A huge reason why the Hawks are performing so well is due to Young. His offensive arsenal, and elite IQ is tough to contain at times. Averaging an impressive 27 points and 8.7 assists, Young has seen improvements in mainly every statistical category:
Needless to say Young has been getting into a healthy rhythm on both sides of the ball when last season the problem was inconsistency. It’s expected of a rookie to lack at times, but in my opinion I don’t think we have ever seen a player bounce back as quick as young has. Coach Lloyld Pierce is playing him 33.8 minutes a night and running the offense through the 6’1″ guard as he takes roughly 20 shots a night.
His impact dives deeper than just performance. As I look at the fan base from afar, the morale and hope for improvement is high. Even when the Hawks has Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Hordord, and Jamal Crawford the fans didn’t make nearly as much noise as Trae has been.
From a community standpoint, Young is seen throughout the Atlanta landscape participating in charity events, being a social media guru, and working on his craft everyday. More importantly Young wants to be in Atlanta and that’s rare to find nowadays.
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (23): Mitchell to me was the most NBA ready coming out of the 2017 draft. From a performance standpoint the first thing you noticed when watching is his athleticism and ability to murder the rim. He’s listed at 6’1 (who knows if that’s true or not) but plays like he’s 6’5. A true shooting guard, Mitchell is consistently averaging 24.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists on 44% from the field (career best), and 38% from deep which is all a career best.
From an off the court perspective people have grown to like Mitchell. His greatest influence has always been his mother and we saw this first hand as he is determined to complete his degree at Louisville. “I’m the type of person that if I put it off, I’ll forget about it,” he says. “But I really am just focused on that and determined to get it. It’s a good thing to have, especially as a basketball player.” (AJN)
Being a professional athlete is a huge accomplishment, but if you have nothing to back that up once your playing career is all said and done, then it’s hard to recover from. Mitchell demonstrates an athlete with a life plan. Just by his actions he will do right by the community and Utah; hopefully for years to come.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (24): The biggest question heading into this season was if LaVine can carry a franchise over the hump. Coming off of a career year last season, Young Hollywood is putting up ‘ok’ numbers in 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
So let me guess you’re probably wondering why LaVine is so influential if his numbers have been on a downhill slope. His influence comes from giving the city of Chicago hope. They haven’t felt like this since Derrick Rose and that alone is what drives his influence for a franchise.
The rebuild might be a failure, but the LaVine still has time to turn things around. With a 5-10 record there is still time to improve. With Lauri Markannen by his side, posing as one of the upcoming young tandems, LaVine has his work cut out for him. Just because things aren’t working out the way we would all like them to doesn’t mean he isn’t beneficial and influential to the Bulls franchise and the league around him.
Luke Dončić, Dallas Mavericks (20): Luka magic has been proving himself on a nightly basis and why some might hate him you have to tip your hat off to the guy. In just 14 games, Dončić has posted an impressive 29.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 9.4 assists on 34.4 minutes a night. Dončić is nearly averaging a 30-point triple-double on the season, and his back-to-back triple-doubles this week have made him the youngest NBA player to accomplish such a feat.
Needless to say this kid is breaking record after record and we haven’t seen someone this talented since LeBron James. Don’t believe me? It’s all in the accomplishments and numbers.
List of player that have averaged 25, 7.5 and 7.5 over a single season looks like this:
Oscar Robertson (six times)
Russell Westbrook (twice)
None of those legends was as young as Dončić. (via FiveThirtyEight). I’ve went on record stating that he’s had 12 years of professional experience and that we are expecting him to play at this level, but the past month I’ve been eating my words. Nobody predicted Dončić being this good this early in his career.
Dončić is becoming a household name, commentators are falling in love with him, and fans are mirroring their game after his. I did a survey with around 100 people asking them to name a young player who you keep hearing about in the league. More than half of the people I asked don’t follow basketball, but the analysis doesn’t lie:
50%: Luka Dončić
30% Zion Williamson
10% Trae Young
10% Tacko Fall
A 20 year old gaining this much attention this early is something special and we can’t help but sit back and watch history before our eyes. Mark Cuban picked a diamond in the rough for sure. RIP Hawks.
I became a fan of Corey Maggette by accident. Funny right ? How does one become a fan of someone by accident?
Back when I was seven years old, not having a grasp on who players in the league were at the time I went to a sports store in the Basketball Hall of Fame. At that time it didn’t matter who or what I bought because all I knew I wanted was something that referenced the NBA. I left the store with a poster.
When I got home I opened the poster to a player by the name of Corey Maggette who played for the Clippers at the time. For years I had his poster on my wall above my TV and I’ve grown to like him over the years.
If anyone knows Maggette knows that during the prime of his career he was one of the best players on the Clippers, having a few 20+ point game seasons.
The Duke alum played 14 seasons in the NBA notching 16 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over his rather short career. It’s considered short because he retired at age 33 due to a few reasons:
Injuries: Toward the end of his career and in 2013 he had a calf injury playing with the Detroit Pistons, delaying his debut until November 14th. In lue of that game he played the next 17 games until he was sidelined for the rest of the season due to personal reasons and coach Lawrence Frank not giving him playing time
Waived: He managed to gain a roster spot on the San Antonio Spurs heading into preseason but ended up being waived by the franchise just two games into preseason. He later retired after that.
Maggette is still playing basketball; if you’ve ever tuned into the Big3 then you would know he’s a reigning champion, but due to his health he had to take a season off. He looks to be back for the summer of 2020.
I will forever be a fan of Corey Maggette and thank you for making me purchase your poster when I was seven.