The NBA Playoffs is a time where the stars shine brightest. However, this is also where some of the top-rated players become shells of themselves. This can be attributed to a lot of things, from nursing injuries sustained through the grueling regular season to players shrinking in the limelight. It's something that we see every year. This one is no different.
There is no question that Kobe Bryant is one of the best scorers in the history of the NBA. Going into Tuesday night's game against Brooklyn Bryant, he has scored 30,813 points in his 17 years in the NBA. He has averaged at least 25 points a game for the season 11 times in his career.
While NBA fans have been trying to figure out what is wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers, they might be missing the start of a new rivalry. Before the start of the 2012-13 season we looked at the best rivalries this year.
As of this writing, the Golden State Warriors are fresh off a tough loss at home to the resurgent, yet inconsistent Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, they remain at second place to the L.A. Clippers in the Pacific Division with an 18-10 record. And that’s despite scoring only 1.6 points per game more than their opponents do.
Looking at the NBA scene right now, two of the most underwhelming teams right now that aren’t the Los Angeles Lakers are both in the Eastern Conference. And one of them, at least for the time being, has a winning record.
You can point to multiple reasons as to why the Lakers are not winning like many thought they would. They play poor defense. They give up way too many points in transition. They still have not played as a full team with Steve Nash still out because of a leg injury.
When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets last week it was a major shakeup in the Western Conference. It is a trade that affects the West not just this year, but in the future as well.
Despite slightly reduced numbers, Blake Griffin still turned in a season worthy of one of the NBA’s best big men. His recent knee pre-Olympics knee injury notwithstanding, Griffin has been very durable after missing his entire rookie season, playing in 148 consecutive NBA games thus far; fortunately, he should be alright once the 2012-13 season kicks off.
If Kevin Love could lead the Wolves to a winning season AND the Playoffs in 2012-13, the MVP award just might be his for the taking. He was arguably the best big man (four or five) in the NBA in 2011-12, and the scary part is that he just turned 24. He could easily be compiling 20-10 seasons for the next decade or so. And there doesn’t seem to be a thing he couldn’t do, except maybe block shots like the 6’10” player he is.
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NBA Basketball Opinion Articles
2013 NBA Title Contenders Going into the start of the 2012-13 season, here are eight teams that have the pieces to make a run at an NBA Title.