By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr.
Headline Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson-Getty Images
There’s a before and after with everyone. A beginning and an end to every story. The superheroes to every movie always struggle at the beginning of the movies. In the middle, they train hard, add a few pieces of armor perhaps, maybe a new move, and in the end, they’re ready to face their biggest challenges and threats. This may be the middle part of the movie if we’re talking about the Sacramento Kings. Just 2 seasons ago, they were the laughing stock of the league. Drama overwhelmed the franchise in years prior, which caused the Maloof Brothers to disown ownership of the team. Last season, They finished with the 6th worst record last season (12th in the West), but there was a sense of confidence being in the hands of Vlade Divac. Divac publicity made it known if no improvements are made with him as GM during his tenure, he will resign. Well, it appears Divac may be sticking around longer than we all expected. The Kings are creeping upon that 8th seed in the West, just a single game out of the playoff races. Divac deserves a ton of credit here. The Kings recently acquired F Harrison Barnes who has championship experience. They have one of the best young rosters in the league, if not “The Best.” Marvin Bagley looks like he could be one of the best big men in the league in just a few years. Coaching plays a big part as well. Dave Joerger has developed a pretty dynamic backcourt in De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Breaking news will happen at the end of the season. The Kings will make the playoffs for the first time in 14 Years.
Have you ever been at a job where you felt like you have to do everything? It wears you out! You come home and you have no life because all you’re thinking about is resting for the next day at work. Who I am describing here are 2 teammates in the West. It’s no secret the Blazers have one of the best backcourts in the league. CJ McCollum and Dame Lillard score a ton of points each and every game of the season. However, they don’t get much help offensively. The Trade Deadline is a much anticipated part of the NBA Season. Fans love it! The players are nervous yet very anxious to see what may happen. But NBA GM’s and guys like Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania live for it. Everyone’s talking about what The Sixers did. They created a Big 4, but will it all work? Or even The Mavs pairing Luka Doncic and Porzingis together. But will Kristaps Porzingis ever get healthy? No one’s even acknowledging what Portland did. Sometimes, the best moves are the silent moves. There’s a saying that goes “Hustle In Silence.” I’m sure Rap Star Damian Lilard would appreciate that because that’s just what his team has done. They acquired a much needed wing in Rodney Hood. Hood is a serviceable player who can play at a high level on both ends of the floor. He has great size, the ability to handle the rock, and stretch the floor. He also is a very solid defender as well. The Blazers also brought in maybe the most underrated center in the league, Enes Kanter via free agency. Kanter is one of the biggest players in the league, however, he possesses one of the softest touches of the league too. If given the minutes, he could easily lead all Centers in scoring in the league. This Blazers team now has a balanced roster and let’s not be surprised if Golden State struggles with them if they meet in the playoffs.
New York Knicks/ Phoenix Suns
Two words, “Zion Williamson.” Teams are already selling all of their stock in efforts to get their hands on a guy who is going to make them a lot of money in ticket sales, Zion Williamson. Two teams that immediately come to mind are the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns. The honest truth is both teams are already “Tanking” now in their pursuits to land the #1 Overall Pick. The Knicks just ended an 18-Game Losing Streak this month while the Suns just ended their 17-Game Losing Streak just a day later. Zion Williamson is the new Iphone every September. You ever purchased something that you been waiting for a while? You’re excited about finally having it in your possession. You’ve been marking the days off the calendar and it finally comes out. You wake up that morning, and you’re one of the first ones in line to get it. The only question that remains is who will be the very first buyer? We can expect a few bugs to be in that new iPhone. But we don’t worry, because we know the software update will fix everything. Zion Williamson will be the new hot thing to hit the market. He brings so much excitement to fans, possible teammates, trainers, and coaching staffs. But we can expect him to struggle a bit at times. He will update his game every month and get better and better. Knicks and Suns fans shouldn’t be alarmed here. Because the losing is only because of Zion Williamson. Brighter days are just ahead.
When you think of America, you think Hollywood. Los Angelas! The American Dream is to get married, have a family, raise some kids, have a great big house, and ride around in a Cherry Red Corvette with the top down. It was a match made in heaven when Lebron landed in LA. We all knew it was coming. In the beginning, everything was perfect! Happy Bron, Happy Life. The Lakers were as high as 4th place in the West. Lonzo and Lebron had a triple-double together in a win in Charlotte vs. The Hornets around Christmas. Kyle Kuzma proved to be a trustworthy friend/partner for Lebron. Kuz has clearly been the favorite child as he has shown the most heart of the bunch. But as expected, tough times come into every marriage. LeBron went down with a groin injury. Soon after that, Lonzo went down as well. Rondo broke his finger. The injuries became a constant for the team. Lebron noticed something as he rehabbed his injury from the sidelines watching his teammates. He noticed he can’t win with kids. He realized that he’s into the older teammates. He wants a veteran. He needs a star! The whole Anthony Davis drama didn’t help the Lakers. Lebron made it very clear that he wants AD with him in LA. Because AD never landed in LA at the deadline, that Lakers chemistry is completely ruined. Trust is broken. And friendships may even be broken too. There is absolutely no reason why Coach Walton should be on the hot seat. The fact of the matter is this. Before Lebron’s injury, the Lakers were rolling! I can make the argument that Lebron never gets hurt, so was he truly even hurt? Or was he trying to prove a point that the Lakers need to trade for a star because you can’t win with such a young roster… If Lebron never missed any time, this Lakers team could very well still be a top 5 team in the West. Lebron will miss the playoffs for the first time in forever and the Lakers will have some major overhauls this summer.