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Well, it’s been an eventful start to the NBA season, to say the least. A lot has happened both on and off the court, but here at RYP, we’ll stick to what we do best, good-mid takes and top-tier game picks.
Before we get into the meat of today’s corner three, let’s hit on a few early-season learnings:
- The Bucks are the best team we’ve seen since the 73-9 ‘don’t mean a thing without a ring’ Warriors. Giannis somehow keeps getting better and is averaging an outrageous 32/13/6 to start the year. Jrue Holliday continues to prove he’s a top 5 two-way guard in the league. Oh, and Khris Middleton’s return from wrist surgery is looming.
- The Warriors are in trouble. And there’s one reason why: the bench. The two-timeline experiment is failing miserably as the young guys are struggling night in and night out leading to a paltry 3-7 start.
- Russ for 6MOTY? The Lakers are off to an even worse start than the Warriors, and father time might be finally catching up to LeBron, but Russ of the bench has been a success, if this keeps up the former MVP could add some new hardware at the end of the year.
Now, the real fun. Today’s corner splash is going to dive into three guys who should be included in early season MVP talks, ultimately won’t win MVP, but deserve to be talked about among the game’s great talents.
SGA is off to an absolutely torrid pace to start the season. Averaging 30Pts/4Reb/6Ast with 55/30/96 shooting splits. While he leaves a little desired beyond the arc, he makes up for it with his insane efficiency attacking the basket and his pestering defense. Currently averaging over 2 steals and 1 block per game, Shai is the main reason the Thunder have been competitive to start the season. Chances are he has a mysterious injury pop up sooner or later that needs to be ‘managed’ but enjoy this kid while he’s out there. One of the supreme young talents in the league who won’t get mentioned in any MVP ladder columns but absolutely deserves to be.
Spicy P! After breaking out as one of Kawhi’s sidekicks during the Raptors magical title run, many have questioned Spicy P’s ability to truly be the main guy on a contender. Question no more. Pascal is out here putting up 25Pts/9Reb/7Ast on a nightly basis, and while he isn’t the most efficient scorer out there he puts his stamp on every game, on both sides of the court. Oh and he makes plays like this off the dribble.
Playing in the wasteland that is Sacramento (at least since the early 2000s) Fox is an oft-forgotten star who’s putting up a career-best 26Pts to go along with 5AST/6REB every night while pushing for 50/40/90 shoot splits. Fox is known for his speed and is making defenders pay, he’s also currently hitting the 3-ball at a career-best 37% while matching a career-high of 5.5 attempts per game. The Kings are only 3-5, but Fox is on pace for a career-best season, if these shooting numbers hold, he might be pushing for All-NBA.
Week 3 Picks Recap
Picks – Season (5-3)
Sixers – L (the downside to picking early, I didn’t know Embiid would be out)
Grizzlies – W
Hawks – W
Survivor Season (4-2)
Bucks – W
Survivor Traps (2-4)
Nuggets – L
Mavericks – L (Mavs won, but exactly the type of game you want to stay away from)
I need to stop trusting the Mavs!
Week 4 Pools Picks
Celtics vs Pistons – The Celtics have cooled off a bit after a scorching start, and a get-right game against the Pistons comes right after a battle with the Grizzlies, lock them in.
Heat vs Hornets – Miami should be getting Jimmy Butler back and this team needs to turn it around. Expect a big night at home, and fire up the Heatles with confidence.
Thunder @ Knicks – I can’t harp on how good SGA is and not make a bold pick for the Thunder to win, right? Shai takes the garden by storm and the Thunder take down a bad-to-mid Knicks team.
Warriors over Kings – Similar rationale to the Miami pick last week, you can’t keep the defending champs down long. Especially against the kings. Steph gets the dub for the dubs.
Pelicans over Rockets – Zion is back, and the Pels might be legitimate contenders out west. The Rockets, on the other hand, might be leading the Wemby sweepstakes soon enough.
Mavs @ Magic – The Magic are young, hungry, and talented. Not to mention, big enough to potentially slow down Luka (lol, no one can slow down Luka) Still, stay away.
Lakers vs Kings – You simply can’t trust this team, even against the Kings