Those Philly Kids
Those Philly boys will be a problem in a few years (Embiid’s health permitting). I caught the first half of Philly’s game against Golden State on Saturday and went to bed at like 3:30am when they were 22 or 24 points up. I wake on Sunday to find that Curry and the Warriors caught fire in the 3rd quarter and turned the game around. My first thought of course was that I can’t believe these fools choked! Then I remembered how impressed I was with them in the first half.
I was particularly impressed by Ben Simmons. His passing range and his finishing at the hoop was first class. He’s doing something a lot of people don’t often do and that is change my opinion of them. I saw his one and done documentary last year and concluded that he is a pratt and I didn’t care what happened to him. Now it seems like spending last year on the side lines might have done him a world of good. I was impressed by his poise and game management. Philly’s potential excited me at the start of the season and that hasn’t changed. I really hope they make some noise. Don’t forget Markelle Fultz is nursing an injured shoulder and should return towards the end of the year. If he plays like everyone expects, that will add another dimension to Philly’s play.
Embiid of course is playing out of this world. The funny thing is that everytime I watch him, his shooting touch seems to desert him. That doesn’t mean he’s not a beast though.
Toronto’s New team
Truth be told, I was a bit worried about the Raptors at the start of the season. They traded home town hero Cory Joseph for CJ Miles (who I was a bit sceptical about) and PJ Tucker (who played well for them when he came over from Phoenix) decided to take his talents to H-Town. They drafted OG Anunoby (who I only knew because I follow all the kids with Nigerian heritage in the draft). Van Vleet appeared seemingly out of nowhere (they actually signed him last season and he spent time with their D league affiliate). Anyway, I saw their game against a John Wall – less Wizards and I was really impressed with their young players. Siakam didn’t stop moving. He has very active hands on defense, chases every rebound and blocks shots. I looked at the box score after the game and his final tally of 4 points and 9 rebounds did his performance no justice at all. I watched Jakob Poeltl last season and he got off to a good start and fizzled out as the season wore on. He started well again this season and impressed with his energy yesterday. Meanwhile Bebe is one of my favourite under the radar players on the Raptors. I just like the way he plays. Van Vleet played well backing up Kyle Lowry (so I see why they got rid of Cory Joseph). CJ Miles has a sweet sweet stroke and is shooting over 50% on corner threes. OG Anunoby is a capable replacement for PJ Tucker. Demar and Kyle Lowry are out there doing their thing. Ibaka is over paid but he’s capable. If anything, Valanciunas seems like the person who is a tad slow. I like this Toronto team. I think I’ll keep my eyes on them for a while longer.
Clips keep letting me down.
You know how much I don’t like Chris Paul. I think he’s two faced at times and I don’t like his domineering attitude so I really rooted for the Clippers to do well after he left. I was so happy when they won their first 4 games. Now they’re 5-10 and have won just one of their last 10 games. Granted, Teodosic, Patrick Beverly and Gallo have been injured but I think the final straw for me was them getting whopped by Charlotte over the weekend. For someone who like Doc Rivers and the Clippers so much, I decided to watch Golden State and Philly on Saturday because it just seems like the Clippers need leadership and direction. Blake Griffin is taking all the shots (and missing most of them). Wesley Johnson is starting. Let me say that again for emphasis – Wesley Johnson is starting for an NBA team in 2017! The bench is made up of a bunch of nobodies and Lou Williams is shooting them out of games. Something has to change in LA and I hope it is not Doc Rivers job status. You know they relieved him of General Manager duties. I really hope that wasn’t them setting the ground for him to bounce if the Clippers don’t have a good season.