The NBA season has settled in, and college basketball has arrived. Needless to say, I’m very excited. Also, the college football playoff rankings have been released. I have a lot to say about these topics, so I’m going to do a bit of what I call “scatter shooting,” which is where I pick a few random items to write about and run with it. Hope you enjoy.
Luka Doncic is the future
As a Mavericks fan, I’m very hopeful for Luka Doncic being our savior in the post-Nowitzki era, but logic points to him being a star. Doncic has all the tools to be very good for a long time in the NBA.
Physically, he’s 6 feet 7 inches tall, getting stronger and faster every day. Even right now at the ripe age of 19, he continues to wow everyone with his ability to finish with not only finesse but also strength at the rim.
Even though he’s tearing it up right now, I’m more excited for next year and the year after that. We’ve seen big jumps from European guys after their first off-season because they got their bodies stronger and faster. Kristaps Porzingis and Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo spoke highly of the NBA’s strength and conditioning versus the Euro Leagues and we saw great leaps in their games from it.
Doncic’s basketball IQ is off the charts. He makes plays like a veteran and has court vision like he’s been playing in the league for 10 years already. Many former and current NBA players from overseas and the preseason heralded his passing ability and his instincts.
Even with the ball in his hands, no movement is wasted and this slow white kid from Slovenia is cooking these NBA athletes. This allows him to get shots off from three and keep defenders on their heels at all times. His ability to change speeds reminds me of a young Gordon Hayward, and as he gets older he will only be able to utilize that more.
Looking at his numbers this year, he’s averaging 20 PPG, 4 APG and 6.5 RPG. These numbers from a rookie are unheard of. If he were to get his assist numbers to 5 and keep his points and rebounds above 20 and 5 as well, he would be in elite company with Lebron James and Michael Jordan, being only the 5th rookie to ever post numbers like that. Doncic is doing scary things right now and will most likely do scarier things in the future. Look out NBA.
No one is beating Duke this year
Ok, I know I said, “No one is beating Duke,” but while it is highly unlikely, who could beat them? The raw talent and scoring ability is unmatched among other CBB teams. They smashed Kentucky, the No. 2 in the nation, 118-84. Essentially three guys made that team look like they were from the Sun Belt Conference. I don’t know how long it will take them to get to No. 1, but once they get there I assume the won’t be coming down.
Their big three may be the most impressive since the fab five, and it’s definitely more impressive than Kentucky’s 2015 squad with Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and Willie Cauley-Stein. RJ Barrett looked really good putting up 33 points, grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing 6 assists. While he’s still a bit violent with his movements, I assume he’ll get smoother as he gets more comfortable.
YouTube sensation Zion Williamson had an impressive day going 11-13 from the field with 28 points and 7 rebounds. He also added some insane displays of athleticism. The forgotten star of the group, Cam Reddish, put up 22 points and grabbed 3 boards as well. While they still don’t seem to have a true rim protector, I don’t think it will matter. Place your bets on the Blue Devils now.
The College Football Playoff at a glance
In my opinion, there are two teams that have a chance at winning the national championship this year and they are Nos. 1 and 2. Clemson and Alabama are clearly the most dominant teams in the nation and have yet to be truly challenged by any teams in or outside of their respective conferences. Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU, Georgia and Oklahoma are all pretenders. They’re good teams nonetheless, but they are not ready for what Alabama and Clemson are serving up.
What sets the big boys apart from the kids is their defenses. Clemson and Alabama don’t give up an inch on that side of the field. They stuff you at the line and lock you up through the air. I can’t wait for this National Championship simply because it will be the first time that either of these teams are challenged.
That’s all I have for this issue. Grab your copy of the Troubadour next week for more of my brain dumps about sports.