2UP 2Down Report! (November 2018)
By:Tyrone Montgomery Jr.
Headline Photo Credit: Deadspin.com
Kemba Walker – G Charlotte Hornets
Sometimes, the trades that you reject are the trades that hurt you the most and will haunt you for a while too. The Charlotte Hornets had a rough season last year. This year, however, things could be differently. When a team loses, they tend to tear everything down and start from the bottom to work their way back up to the top. Kemba Walker has always been a respected player in the league. At 6’1, 184 IBS, Kemba has always been a 20 PPG player. One of the quickest players in the league, to go along with endless range, Kemba has been able to take his game to the next level. While respected his entire career, he is now feared on the court as he is averaging over 28 PPG this season. If the Hornets are still considering moving on from Walker, one thing for sure is the asking price definitely has gone up for the 2X All-Star. At this point, the Hornets will be crazy to move Walker now. Sitting at the 8th seed currently, they could benefit from moving on from a player Like Nic Batum and bringing in a few more players to help Kemba in the scoring department. We shouldn’t be surprised if he wins Most Improved Player of the Year if he keeps us his play. While he was already good, Kemba has now become great.
Joel Embiid – C Philadelphia 76ers
In anything in life, it’s good to set goals for yourself. Goals keep you focused in life. They keep us hungry, keep us sharp, and they mold us into meeting our potential and being the best we can possibly be. Philadelphia 76ers Big Man Joel Embiid made it no secret that he wants to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. These are both reasonable goals for The Process. The Sixers are looking comfortable at the 3rd seed in the East. Embiid is currently leading the league in Minutes. Still, that doesn’t seem to be affecting him as he is in the Top 5 in PPG with 28.1 PPG this season. He also ranks in the Top 5 in Rebounds with 13.3 RBG and ranks 6th in Blocks with 2.2 BPG as well. The Sixers are coming. They just added Jimmy Butler and they may look to try to add yet another potential star if they can get anything reasonable in return for Markelle Fultz. Adding other quality pieces can bring out the best in some players and the added talent has definitely paid off favorably for Joel Embiid. Joel is exactly as advertised and he looks like a legit candidate to win MVP this season (28 PPG/ 13 RBG/ 3 APG).
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs Dynasty has officially ended. They started out strong, however, over the last 2 or 3 weeks, things have been a bit rocky in San Antonio. Demar DeRozan was good for them early on. As good as Coach Pop has been, he hasn’t done a great job bringing out the best in DeRozan. LaMarcus Aldridge has played decently for them thus far, and guys like Rudy Gay and Bryn Forbes have helped too. But the proof is in the pudding here, this team is old and there isn’t a ton of talent here either. You can only play the cards that are dealt to you, and Pop is making the most out of nothing. I said it all summer, and I’m going to say it again. The San Antonio Spurs won’t make the playoffs this season. Pau Gasol is playing on his last leg. This thing could get ugly quick. They may want to start the rebuild now, In fact, they could benefit from a Markelle Fultz trade. He was the Number 1 Pick in last year’s draft, and things haven’t worked out for him in Philadelphia. It’s been said he wants a change of scenery. And what better coach could there be to fix Markelle of his struggles in the NBA. It’s going to be a long season for San Antonio and they really should start looking ahead.
The Boston Celtics won’t be on the down list by the end of the season. All great things take time. Miami didn’t win its first year when LeBron came. The Celtics have what I like to call a good problem. This may be the most talented team in the league. You have a Superstar/NBA Champion in Kyrie Irving. Then there’s 2 Rising Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Alongside of them, there are 2 other All-stars in Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Not to mention the great role players that could very well be starting if they played elsewhere. The only reason they’re struggling at the moment is because they’re trying to figure out chemistry and manage minutes. This is simply a coaching issue. Brad Stevens knows his basketball. He has been successful at all levels of basketball throughout his career. They’re going to work through the kinks and probably will win the East too.