A few weeks ago I announced that I would be sharing my thoughts on my favorite teams in a more general fashion moving forward. So, today’s conversations will be very focused the teams I will be watching this closely this year. Those teams will be: the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and Chicago Bulls.
Los Angeles Lakers
Even though LeBron James was able to score 38 point with with 11 rebounds and 8 assists he suffered a shin injury during last nights game against the Phoenix Suns while still playing 75% of the game.
My fellow writer here on The Double Overtime Gaurav Garg commented to me today that he thinks James will burn himself out. At the end of the day, I want #23 to burn himself out and retire because, sadly, as good as he is I never liked him.
As I mentioned in my article a couple weeks ago, the story I’ve been watching out of LA has been that of Anthony Davis. Is he a leader on the court? So far, I’d say he is. While Davis has only played in 8 of the 9 Lakers games so far this season and that is as small sample size… he has played an average of two more minutes per game while also increasing his Free Throw Percentage (FT%), Field Goal Percentage (FG%), Three Point FG% (3PT%), Rebounds, and Assists. Here is the comparison to last year and his career:
Year — Time Played — FG% — 3PT% — FT% — Rebounds
2022/3 — 34 Minutes — 53 — 19 — 71 — 10
2023/4 — 36 Minutes — 56 — 26 — 78 — 13
Career — 34 Minutes — 53 — 42 — 90 — 12
When reviewing his stats since he joined the Lakers during the pandemic season here is my full take take on if he is a leader or not. Sometimes players are disliked by their teammates for various reasons. That does stop them from leading the charge on the court and minding their own business in the locker room because their teammates have issues with them. So, as long as Davis continues to contribute in a positive way on the court I do not see any reason why Lebron or the Lakers would ever want him to be gone.
Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green and Gary Payton II will be returning this evening. This will be big for the Warriors defense against Cleveland following their game in Cleveland earlier this week. The Cavaliers won that game 115-104 and Green after Green was kicked in the groin early in the first. Payton was simply out sick the other night when they played and lost to the Denver Nuggets.
Tonight they will be back in the Bay area in front of their home fans. Then tomorrow the will host the Minnesota Timberwolves. Having these two guys back will be huge for them.
After beating the Lakers on Monday and the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday the Heat is headed west to Atlanta to play the Hawks tonight. Then tomorrow they play the San Antonio Spurs.
Late last night I was seeing things online about form Bulls forward Jimmy Butler being out tonight due to a “heckler” fan who is calling him out for not paying his mortgage. He was officially listed earlier today as being out for family reasons. No person ever deserves to be harassed verbally or physically for any reason. Without Butler tonight I am afraid this game could be a blowout with Miami losing especially because Tyler Herro is out for at least a couple of weeks and he is a big part of their offense.
My last night in Chicago on Sunday will be spent watching all the commotion of the Warriors and Heat wrapping up games on back-to-back nights while my hometown Bulls start a back-to-back at home against the Detroit Pistons before hitting the road to go 90 miles north and play the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. I have always loved the back-to-back games in the schedule since I was a kid. However, I will hold those thoughts for an article later this month.
We knew coming into the season this, likely without out a doubt, would be the last season in Chicago for DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine thank you to the unfortunate injury to Lonzo Ball which has likely ended his career. We are not even 15% of the way through the season and trade rumors have already started involving these two guys when the trade deadline is three months away.
Here’s the thing folks: The Bulls will likely be in a play-in game again this year, at best. However, I do not think it is fair to Lavine, DeRozan, or any of their teammates for these rumors to be starting before Thanksgiving especially when without DeMar and Zach there is nearly no way the Bulls will even have a winning record… short of a block buster trade that catapults them into the playoffs, and I do not see that happening.
With that… it is nearly time for tipoff in Atlanta.
If you cannot play with them, root for them