Seven Craziest Things To Happen This NBA Season

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Seven Craziest Things To Happen This NBA Season

Malcolm Allen, Sports Editor

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The 2019-2020 NBA season is in full effect and what a season it has been so far. Expectations for this season have been skyhigh as many star players joined new teams over this summer. Players such as Paul George, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, former NBA MVPs Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard all suit up for a new franchise this season. In a crazy season, here are seven of the craziest things to happen this season.

The NBA International Games

The National Basketball Association has made efforts to globalize their brand, as most major U.S. sports have been doing. This year, preseason games were played in India, Japan, China, and Canada. The NBA’s game in China was met with a lot of criticism. On October 4, Houston Rockets owner Daryl Morey tweeted in support of the protesters in Hong Kong, while NBA players were in China. Many Chinese officials saw this as a tweet that opposed their regime. This led to a boatload of controversy between the league and the country. However, this will not stop the NBA from international play. The league has scheduled games in December and in 2020 in Paris and Mexico City, respectively.

Luka Doncic’s dominance

In just his second season in the NBA, Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic has become one of the most dominant players in the league. The 20-year old from Slovenia is averaging a near triple-double, with 30.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game, with a 33.32 player efficiency rating, which is second in the league. Through the month of November, Doncic has averaged a triple-double, with 32.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.8 assists. Doncic, assisted by Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis, has also lead the Dallas Mavericks to an 8-4 record in November, and an 11-5 record overall, which is fourth in the Western Conference.

James Harden’s Scoring

James Harden averaged 36.1 points per game in the 2018-19 NBA season. With the addition of former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, anyone would expect for Harden to score less. Wrong. Harden is currently averaging 38 points a game, which if he continued at that pace, would be the fourth most all time. He would place behind Wilt Chamberlain, who holds the top three records in NBA history. Harden’s historic streak includes a 59 point game in a 159-158 win over the Washington Wizards, a game that surprisingly did not go to overtime. Can Harden continue his streak?

Lakers and Celtics Are Both Dominant

Is it the 1960s? The 1980s? Is it 2008? No. It’s 2019. Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics are both finals contenders for the first time in a decade. The two most storied franchises in the league are finally back at the top. The Celtics are second in the Eastern Conference with a 12-4 record, while the Lakers are first in the Eastern Conference with a 15-2 record. The Lakers, lead by all-time great Lebron James, and NBA all-star Anthony Davis has dominated the West this season with losses only to the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers and the defending champion Toronto Raptors. The Celtics with their young core lead by new point guard Kemba Walker have shocked the NBA and their fans by exceeding expectations stemming from the loss of Kyrie Irving.

San Antonio Spurs’ 8 Game Losing Streak

The San Antonio Spurs, lead by all-time great coach Gregg Popovich, have an abysmal 6-12 record that places them at 13th in the Western Conference filled with 15 teams. A major factor in their record is the eight game losing streak they endured from November 9 to November 23. The losing streak included close losses to Grizzlies, Magic, Trailblazers, and Wizards, teams that many would believe the San Antonio Spurs would win. Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is quoted as saying, “It sucks to lose. On the streak that we’re on, every single game that we have lost has felt worse than the last one.” (nba.com) The streak was snapped when the Spurs defeated the lowly Knicks in a 111-104 game, before losing to the streaking Lakers on November 25. 

Bulls Defeat Hornets In One Of The Craziest Finishes Ever

On November 23, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Hornets 116-115 in one of the most insane endings to a basketball game ever. With just under 20 seconds to play, the Bulls trailed 115-110. After a Lauri Markkanen three pointer cut the Hornets lead to 2, Bulls guard Zach Lavine, who is famous for his victories in the 2015 and 2016 Slam Dunk Contests, stole the ball from a Hornets guard, and hit a fadeaway three pointer to give the Bulls a 116-115 lead with 8 tenths of a second remaining. Without enough time to get a shot off, the Hornets suffered one of the most heartbreaking defeats in the league’s history. Zach Lavine finished the game with 49 points and 13 three pointers, making him the third player in NBA history to make 13 threes in one game.

Golden State Warriors’ Downfall

From 2015-2019, the Golden State Warriors were the most dominant team in basketball. In those seasons, they made the NBA Finals five consecutive times and won three championships. In 2016, their dominance grew as the Warriors signed forward Kevin Durant who is one of the best small forwards to ever play in the NBA. This only made the team more dominant. However, the downfall of the team starts in the 2019 NBA playoffs. When Kevin Durant injured his leg, the Warriors looked like a team with a huge missing piece. They advanced to the NBA Finals, a series they lost in 6 games to the Toronto Raptors. Kevin Durant played in only one game, a game in which he ruptured his Achilles tendon, and will most likely not play until the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season. In game 6, Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson tore his ACL, and will most likely not play until the start of the 2020-2021 season, as well. In the offseason, Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Important pieces such as Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, and Demarcus Cousins also departed from the team. Earlier in this season, Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry broke his left hand, and will miss the remainder of the season as well. The Warriors currently sport the worst record in the Western Conference with a 3-15 record, after spending the majority of the last five years on top of the West. Can the Warriors reclaim their spot on top of the West, or is there time completely up?

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