With the first week of the 2015-2016 NBA season officially in the book, there has not been a lack of storylines. Here are some of my reactions to what has happened so far this season.
Kobe Bryant’s woes
Heading into this season with so much young talent, it would be ideal for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant to back off the reigns and allow players like D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle step into the forefront. After three games, that has not happened.
The Lakers are off to a 0-3 start and Bryant has been dreadful offensively. Bryant is averaging 17.3 points per game but he is doing so while taking an average of 17 field goal attempts per game. His field goal percentage is at 31 percent and he is shooting an abysmal 20 percent from behind the three-point line.
If Bryant is insistent on the offense still running through him, the Laker’s are going to be in a bad situation all season long. In his 19th season in the league, Bryant is no longer a guy that can be expected to carry a team offensively night in and night out. It will be interesting to watch going forward if he will decide to alter his game and accept a minimized role.
Stephen Curry is must-watch television
The reigning Most Valuable Player has continued to set the league on fire this season. Every night Curry and the 4-0 Golden State Warriors have been putting on a show. Curry is averaging 37 points per game this season, including a 53-point performance already this year. Oh yeah, he is also shooting a ridiculous 60 percent from the field.
Obviously, it is unlikely that this pace will be sustained the entire season but it is clear that Curry is silencing his doubters on the court. What makes Curry so fun to watch is the fact that he makes dazzling dribbling combinations and high arching three-point shots look effortless. He is a walking highlight reel, as he makes a play seemingly every night to remind us that he is the most unique player in the league.
Coming off a 119-69 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State will host the Los Angeles Clippers tonight, a team that they will certainly be excited to play. There has been a lot of talk this offseason between these two rivals so expect Curry and the squad to be up for this one as they have another opportunity to make a statement.
Can Detroit make the playoffs?
I know it has only been four games, but Detroit has shown promise this season. A lot of it has to do with the play of Marcus Morris, who Detroit traded for during the offseason. Morris has done a great job stretching the floor and is a good compliment to center Andre Drummond. Combine that with point guard Reggie Jackson and the Pistons have a young core that is able to be competitive in a relatively weak Eastern Conference.
I certainly do not expect the Pistons to remain at the top of the Conference but I do think it is realistic that they can sneak into the playoffs as, at least, a seven seed.