There are three letters that associate LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving together: NBA. This year for the NBA season, the biggest game changer for both the Eastern and Western conference was LeBron James joining Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers after several years of playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to NBA statistics, as of Jan. 15, LeBron James has an average of 27.3 points and an average of 8.3 rebounds per game during his time with the Lakers (ESPN). He, however, is recovering from an injury which does not permit him to play with his team on the court.
Junior basketball fanatic AC Carter said, “I am cheering on the Lakers, but mostly just LeBron.” She believes that players like Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and Lance Stephenson could help lead the Lakers to winning the Western Conference finals. Like Carter, junior Micah Smith is supporting the Los Angeles Lakers. “I believe Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, and Javale McGee are key players on the Lakers team,” Smith said.
Currently, at the top of the standings in the Western Conference are the Golden State Warriors of Oakland, followed by the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are having a great season with key players like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, who have led the team to a record of 31-15 this season (NBA.com).
However, the success of the Warriors could not be possible without the fantastic four: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Each of these players play a different position, but are considered to be one of the few best players in their respective position.
High school math teacher, Andy Free, said, “I love watching the NBA and I am supporting the Golden State Warriors.”
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the number one team in the standings are the Milwaukee Bucks followed by the Toronto Raptors. Sophomore NBA fan, Alyssa Phillip, said, “I am cheering on the Milwaukee Bucks.”
The Milwaukee Bucks have a powerful team with key players, Giannis Antetokounmp and Khris Middleton, helping in the forward and shooting guard positions. As for the Atlanta Hawks, they struggle to put themselves on top as they are currently 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings (NBA.com).
As the NBA season continues ahead, one topic that can never seem to be left behind for broadcasters and NBA coaches is Kevin Durant’s free agency for the next season. Durant, a two-time MVP, has led the Golden State Warriors to victory in the last two years at the NBA finals, defeating James and the Cavaliers. Heat stirs up between fans and sports broadcasters as they argue whether Durant will leave or continue to play for the Warriors.
Carter said, “I think that the Warriors and Steve Kerr will convince him to stay, and possibly offer him more money.”
As for Phillip, she said, “I do not have an issue with his decision to potentially leave, it is the reasoning for leaving that doesn’t make sense. Does he really want to leave for more money or is he just trying to get the Warriors to give him more money? If he were to leave, he could potentially do like LeBron James and go back to the team he came from: The Oklahoma City Thunders.”
The NBA players, leaving the discussions of free agencies to the fans and broadcasters, strive to put themselves on top of the standings before the regular season comes to an end. Only eight teams from each conference will make it to the playoffs which is yet to begin on April 13. Smith said, “I think the two teams that will make it to the NBA finals will be the Warriors and the Raptors. I think the Warriors will win the finals again.”
Senior Ashwin Gidwani believes that Atlanta can pick up from their mistakes and qualify for the NBA finals. He said, “I believe the Atlanta Hawks will bounce back this season and win the NBA Finals because of Trae Young and Jeremy Lin. It is the comeback season in Atlanta and we’re going to win it.” The NBA season does not end until June and airs usually every night on ESPN for all sports fanatics to watch.