Tagged: #NBA Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:18 AM on May 24, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: #NBA, , , Zion Williamson   

    Who’ll Take the Throne from LeBron? Is Zion Williamson the Crown Prince? 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:55 AM on May 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Zion Williamson is the last of my six candidates to become the best player of the 2020’s decade. Probably the most celebrated NBA rookie since LeBron James was drafted 17 years ago, Zion has a similar combination of otherworld athleticism and brutal physicality. At 280 lbs, he’s like Shaq in a power forward’s body with the handle and stroke of a shooting guard. His freakish body not only promises a level of play few in league history have been able to reach but also legitimate concern over whether he can remain healthy considering his weight and style of play.

      As we’ve discussed when reviewing Giannis, Kawhi, KD, AD, and Luka, winning honors as the best player of the decade requires three things: consistent MVP performances, great health and durability, and a handful of championship rings. For a athletic marvel like Zion, the first certainly seems possible while the second and third may become his handicaps. Despite a great rookie season, injuries prevented him from legitimately being in consideration of ROY honors. And while David Griffin has done an admirable job surrounding Zion with more talent than most #1 draft picks enjoy, the truth is winning championships may be hard to do for a small market franchise like New Orleans Pelicans.

      One of the big surprises for Zion’s rookie season was has ability to shoot the ball. In college, he shot a mediocre 33.7% from deep and a poor 64.0% from the line, raising concern over whether he would be able to shoot well enough to become a generational superstar in the NBA. To everybody’s surprise, Zion shot an amazing 46.2% from deep. Unfortunately, his poor 64.5% shooting from the line probably indicates that his elite three-point shooting may be an outlier, which further muddies the waters as to how good Zion can eventually become.

      To prevail as the best player of the 2020’s decade, Zion will probably have to dominate the second half of the decade as most young superstars have difficulty winning in their first five years in the league. The challenge is especially tough for the Pelicans as they’re in the West and have to deal with the Lakers and Clippers and a host of well-stocked playoff teams. I hope Zion can remain healthy but it could be difficult for a high flying 280 pounder who plays recklessly above the rim. But if the young talent Griffin has assembled around him develops as hoped, he will have a shot to become a transcendent superstar and compete for best player on the planet for the next decade.

      • p ang

        p ang 1:43 AM on May 25, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        A wider yet shorter Blake Griffin. Oohs and aahs but that’s about it.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:49 PM on May 22, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: #NBA, , , Luka Doncic   

    Who Will Take the Throne from LeBron? Can Luka Doncic Make the Big Leap? 

    This is the 5th in a series of six articles about the top NBA superstars who hope to dethrone King James as the best player on the planet over the next decade. Here are links to our four previous articles covering Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:04 PM on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      While the 21-year old Luka Doncic may lack the otherworldly athleticism of LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or Anthony Davis, the numbers he is putting up in just his second year in the league tell an entirely different story. There may not be another young superstar who has as savvy or well rounded offensive game. He has the size of Magic Johnson, the shooting touch of Steph Curry, and the passing ability of Jason Kidd. And while he has played pro ball since he was in his teens, he is just getting started.

      His biggest hurdles may be that he does not have a legitimate co-superstar, plays for the Dallas Mavericks, and has several more athletic and flashy superstar competitors in the Western Conference. And he’s white and not an explosive athlete. The big question is how high is his ceiling and can he rack up the championship rings you need to become the best player of the 2020’s decade?

      Ignoring Luka could be a big mistake as he could develop into the next Larry Bird and surprise everybody. He is that savvy and smart of a competitor with marvelous skills. To me, he is the closest thing I’ve seen to Larry Bird to come around. There is just something about his confidence and competitiveness that reminds me of Larry. I still think he’s a long shot to be player of the decade and could end up being stuck in Dallas for his entire career.

      Of all the superstars we’ve talked about possibly joining the Lakers someday, Luka tops my list. When LeBron retires, the Lakers will need a great point guard who can do what LeBron does for AD and the perfect candidate is Luka Doncic. Luke will be in his mid 20’s when he has his first chance to become a free agent. AD would be in his early 30’s. They would be a match made in heaven in my opinion. Kind of like a reincarnation of LeBron James as far as skills and smarts.

      • p ang

        p ang 8:42 PM on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Come to the Lakers, YEAH!!

        Throne, No. Even Bird couldn’t take throne from MJ or Bron.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 7:05 PM on May 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Luka is a Larry clone, for sure. He’s got LeBron and Larry and Magic’s facilitating game with a slice and dice outside shooting repertoire.

      Has some nice pieces around him. See where he goes.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:36 PM on May 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The big question is can Dallas surround Luka with another superstar or two so he can win the championships necessary to become the player of the decade for the 2020’s. I don’t think KP is going to be enough. They need to somehow grow or lure another superstar to go with Luka and KP. He needs to be surrounded with freakish athletes to win multiple titles.

        I think that’s the biggest hurdle in Luka becoming the player of the decade. He’s a sure HOFer with his savvy and talent and has a huge upside at only 21-years old. Is he near his peak because of a lack of elite athleticism? That’s the big question for me. He may be a 21-year old playing like a 25-year old. What will he be when he is 25-years old?

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:27 AM on May 21, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: #NBA, , ,   

    Who Will Take the Throne from LeBron? Could Anthony Davis Be Next in Line? 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:43 AM on May 21, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is the 4th in a series of six articles about the top NBA superstars who hope to dethrone King James as the best player on the planet over the next decade. Here are links to our three previous articles covering Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Durant.

      While I am obviously biased as a Lakers fan who’s just been overwhelmingly impressed watching AD dominate at both ends of the court playing alongside LeBron, I firmly believe Anthony is the favorite to win the mantle of best player of the 2020’s decade. My three critical criteria – age, injuries, and championships – all work in Davis’ favor.

      At just 27, Anthony should be in his prime through most of this decade. While suffering minor dings, he has also not suffered any major injuries. That gives him a huge advantage over the older and more injury prone Durant and Leonard. AD could easily play through his late 30’s just like LeBron because his game is one based on skill and talent as much as otherworldly athleticism and physicality.

      Finally, championships. This is where playing for the Lakers and with LeBron becomes a huge plus. There’s a good reason 6 of ESPN’s top ten NBA superstars were Lakers and why the franchise has won 16 championships. I believe AD could win 2 or 3 rings with LeBron in the first half of the decade and chances are the Lakers will pair him with another superstar or two for the second half of the decade.

      Bottom line, if the Lakers dominate this decade, Anthony Davis will be the favorite to win take the best player of the decade crown from LeBron James for the 2020’s. His only legitimate competition could be Giannis Antetokounmpo, but only if he ends up joining AD on the Lakers.

      • John M.

        John M. 11:20 AM on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree he’s the most complete package, it’s just a matter of breaking from the pack and hoisting multiple trophies. And yeah, being a Laker doesn’t hurt his chances :)

    • Buba

      Buba 5:33 PM on May 21, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Your take on Anthony Davis has been very convincing and on point. AD is a once in a generation type of player who can dominate on both ends of the floor. Once Davis wins his first championship with the Lakers he will even be more hungry and eager for more. The taste of that first championship will fortify him mentally and prepare him for the rest of the next decade to carry the baton after LeBron retires. But I would also like to see him add more muscles to deal with the constant banging against opposing forwards or centers. He certainly has the edge over the rest of the contenders.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:08 PM on May 19, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: #NBA, Kevin Durant, ,   

    Who Will Take the Throne from LeBron? Can Kevin Durant Return as the King? 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:19 PM on May 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Like we discussed, age, injury, and championships are the key to winning honors as the best player for the next decade. For KD, that means two strikes due to age and injury, which is amazing considering just a year ago there was talk he had surpassed LeBron to become the best player on the planet.

      Becoming the best player of the 2020’s decade, however, is a much more challenging accomplishment and I think KD probably has the least chance of the the three candidates we have discussed with Giannis still the favorite of the three because of age and lack of injuries while Kawhi and KD both are long shots specifically because of their age and injury history despite each having won 2 rings.

      Thus, my rank of the three superstars so far is:

      1. Giannis
      2. Kawhi
      3. KD

      What’s your take so far as the superstar who will win best player of the 2020’s?

      • John M.

        John M. 4:17 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Durant is/was a great player, depending on his recovery. However, when he was with GS, if he was the best player on the team, it wasn’t by much. To replace LeBron, there has to be a clear margin at the top. To be just the reigning MVP isn’t going to cut it.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:25 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I agree, John. Of the six candidates to be best player of this new decade, KD is probably one of the longer shots due to age and injury. Who wins the next few NBA championships will go a long way toward boosting somebody’s chances. If Bucks win, Giannis gets a huge boost. If Lakers win, AD gets a boost. Same with Kawhi and Clippers. Youngins like Luka and Zion will have to count on dominating second half of the decade to get into the picture. If Giannis goes to Lakers, he would likely become the favorite and likely hurt AD’s chances. Long way to the end of the decade.

        • Buba

          Buba 6:09 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I completely agree with John. “To replace LeBron, there has to be a clear margin at the top. To be just the reigning MVP isn’t going to cut it.” Actually, I have not yet seen any player in this generation that has planted a seed that could become a transcendent player like MJ, Kobe, and LeBron. That player will eventually arrive but not what we have right now.

        • p ang

          p ang 6:25 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Agree.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:53 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        One thing you have to remember is it took Kobe 5 years, Shaq, and Phil Jackson before he won a championship. Pretty much the same for MJ. Same for LeBron. As talented as they all were, they were really not yet superstars. They had to prove themselves by elevating their games to championship caliber.

        There are three players whom I think have the potential to grow into transcendent players. All they need is the opportunity, the right co-stars, and the right team situation and suddenly they could emerge as a generational player. It takes time and the right situation to challenge them to grow into greatness.

        They’re the three superstars I haven’t yet written about: Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, and Zion Williamson. I believe one of them will be the superstar of the next decade. They have the benefits of being the right age and all possess incredible talent. All except for Zion have been healthy.

        My pick is AD because I think he will be able to win 2 or 3 rings with LeBron, which will give him the leg up on the two younger superstars Luka and Zion.The key for AD is the Lakers. There’s a reason why 6 of the best 10 players in ESPN’s top 100 are Lakers. That will be what carries AD to be the king of the NBA in the 2020’s.

        • p ang

          p ang 8:13 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          AD is a career 24ppg 10rebs. He’s already there. Its his time in NO that held him back. Now in LA the recognition is coming.

          Luka’s ceiling is Jason Kidd with a 3pt shot. Doubt if he’ll be the man.

          Zion might just go the way of Embid. Great but injury prone.

          If anybody can now its James Harden if he ever gets with a good coach (Brooks, MDA, eww). Imagine him with the Lakers, Bucks, Raptors or Clippers. Teams with good coaches. Harden is actually a good defender when he wants to.

          • Buba

            Buba 10:34 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I do find Harden to be intriguing yet plausible if he had a good coach. But I am worried that he is in the middle of his prime and may run out of time when the baton is handed out to him. The dude can really flat out ball.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:21 AM on May 21, 2020 Permalink

              Harden is certainly a transcendent player who has also proven to be very durable. His age and playoff performances work against him as well as questions about his style of play. He’s clearly a better defender than he gets credit for.

              I have James in that second tier of players who will be HOFers for sure who could even be the pick for player of the year but not likely to ever be a unanimous choice as player of the decade. That’s just too high a standard for him imo.

              As for having a good coach, I kind of disagree with that point. In fact, I think the coaches Harden has had have been one of the reasons he has likely grown as much as a player and achieved as much as he has. With better coaches, he might not have had the opportunity to shine as much as he has. Just my opinion.

        • Buba

          Buba 10:24 PM on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You are definitely right about AD. He has the tools and is definitely a rare breed. Let’s just hope for durability and the endurance that goes with being a great talent. He has the clear edge among the nominees.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:19 PM on May 15, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: #NBA, , ,   

    Who Will Take the Throne from LeBron? Is Giannis Antetokounmpo New King? 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:00 AM on May 16, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is the 1st in a series of six articles about the top NBA superstars who hope to dethrone King James as the best player on the planet over the next decade. Over the next week, I will also post articles featuring Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, and Zion Williamson, whom I consider the other five legitimate candidates to wear the crown as king of the 2020’s like LeBron James did for the 2010’s.

      Predicting which professional basketball superstar is going to take over the throne from LeBron and become the king of the next decade is not an easy task because the winner will not only need to be the best player in the league but will also have to win multiple MVP awards for the regular season and Finals as well as multiple NBA championships. Thus, co-stars and supporting cast with whom each superstar plays are likely to have a huge impact on how their careers progress and their chances evolve. In a way, predicting the winner must involve predicting his team’s future success.

      The challenge is made even more difficult because a decade is a long time and it’s logical to presume the winner will be a player who dominates the second half of the decade rather than the first half. Since the six candidates to take the crown from LeBron range in age from 21 to 31-years in age, the younger candidates who are still developing and have a lot more to prove and are at a disadvantage now could have an edge down the road. Long shots now, younger candidates like Luka and Zion might have a better shot at winning than older candidates like Kawhi or KD.

      What I’ve tried to do with each article is evaluate the candidate’s chances based on the above criteria. I’ve kept the articles brief in the hopes everybody will read them and hope to create some good discussion about each candidate’s advantages and disadvantages. Hope you will read, enjoy, and comment. Thanks.

  • Lakers Fast Break

    Lakers Fast Break 4:49 PM on November 21, 2019 Permalink
    Tags: #Lakerholics, , #NBA   

    Lakers Fast Break- Sizing Up The Western Conference with TJ Johnson! 

    TJ Johnson from the Voice From the Underground is back as he and Gerald talk the Lakers’ recent success resulting in the best record in the NBA. The guys also outline the major players in the Western Conference and analyze just how well they match up to AD and LeBron.

    Now available on the Lakers Fast Break channel on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Bullhorn, Anchor and many more of your favorite podcast outlets! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lakers-fast-break/id1485406977

    Please if possible, subscribe to the podcast, and give us a five-star review so we can attract more Lakers fans to our community.

    Have a question for us? You can post it as part of your review on Apple Podcasts, @lakersfastbreak on Twitter, or e-mail us at lakersfastbreak@yahoo.com and we’ll read it on the air!

    Thanks, Lakerholics as always for your support and “Go Lakers!”

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
shift + esc
cancel