Welcome to the third of the Corner Three 2019-2020 NBA division-by-division season previews. In each of these previews, we use RJ Garcia’s player-by-player ratings (based on on/off metrics and career trajectory) and per-game minutes projections (taking into account potential minutes lost to injury) to project overall team quality for the upcoming season. RJ and Derek Reifer also provide their own analyses and commentary to provide any context and additional insights.
The draft lottery is almost upon us.
To the dismay of many, but mostly Magic Johnson and LeBron James, Anthony Davis is still a New Orleans Pelican.
Currently in the NBA discourse, there has been some significant talk about Anthony Davis and what exactly to do about the remaining games until the New Orleans Pelicans are able to trade, or run out, his contract. Scott Kushner of the The New Orleans Advocate published a charged column today suggesting that the Pelicans need to sit Anthony Davis and take a stand in favor of the Pelicans’ fans, who would otherwise spend their money elsewhere if the New Orleans Pelicans continued to play Anthony Davis.
The impossible has happened, and it’s harder to swallow than the horn of a unicorn – Kristaps Porzingis has been traded by the New York Knicks.
It’s official: Anthony Davis has requested a trade.
One of the consensus top-5 players in the NBA changing teams, especially with still a year and a half left on his contract, has the potential to make huge waves within the NBA. Could he team up with LeBron James on the Lakers? Could he go to the East and shift the power balance between the conferences? Anything is possible at this point, as it’s likely 29 GMs are currently awake, coffee in hand (except for Danny Ainge), constructing packages for the Pelicans’ big man.
Twitter is the lifeblood of the NBA.
As described by the Washington Post, it’s “a sports bar that doesn’t close, where the stars pull up a seat next to you”. According to Twitter itself, the NBA was the most tweeted-about sports league in 2018, and it’s no surprise, as the online home of the players houses more organic drama than any episode of The Bachelor. From burner accounts of superstars and GMs, to asking for trades and reacting to them, to basketball players doing what they do best – shooting their shot, fans of the NBA know there’s no way to track their favorite league quite like Twitter.
It’s official. After months of drama and speculation, Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of San Antonio.
Though it’s finally over, the Golden State Warriors’ winning streak was the talk of the NBA during its run, and why not? The dominance of the Warriors has been more than apparent this season. Their already-defending-MVP Stephen Curry has been by far the best player in the Association this season, contributing over 1.5 wins more than the next best player in our WAR rankings. Golden State is 24-1 with an average point differential of +13.1, and there’s no doubting the already-defending-champions have been the NBA’s best team, but by how much?
The Western Conference has been dominant this season. With at least ten playoff-caliber teams and eight legitimate championship contenders – yes, eight (compared to probably two or three in the East) – the disparity between the two conferences may be as large as ever. Three of the most reliable analytics-based power rankings, Hollinger’s, NumberFire’s, and TeamRankings‘, all rank ten Western teams in the NBA’s top fifteen.
It seems the rich are getting richer: in the past week, two of the East’s most talented players in Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith left the Northeast for Texas. Nothing’s for certain, though, as both players have been centers of controversy over the past couple seasons, especially in analytical circles. While both are very skilled, they have the potential to be poor fits for any team, including their new respective squads. Let’s take a look at the possible pros and cons in each situation.