The JumpOff weekly NBA update with Tyler Butler

January 22, 2017 - 1:52 pm

Process is defined as a particular series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. The Philadelphia 76ers certainly believe they have a process. 

And they’d would like for the fans to believe in it as well. It seems as if the 76ers were purposely trying to tank their season and trade away their best assets in order to land the top picks in the NBA draft.  They have gone by the same process for the last few seasons, but the process always turned into a failing project. 

However, this season seems to have a different feel to it. The biggest project of all is starting for the Eastern Conference All Stars!  Yes, Joel Embiid is an Eastern Conference starter, and he deserves every accolade that comes his way. He has been unable to play a full season since getting drafted 3rd in three years ago and actually suffered a knee injury as I was typing this blog. Embiid currently is averaging 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game this season. 

The Sixers also have another injured you star that has yet to see the floor in their 6-10 point guard Ben Simmons. You read that last sentence correctly. Simmons is a point guard with the passing ability of LeBron James. You can also add fellow big men in Okafor and Noel. 

Philly has won seven out of their last 10 games and are improving by the week. They still have a long way to go in order to make the playoffs due to being seven games back out of the eight spot, but it’s still another half of season to play. The 76ers who was once the NBA’s laughing stock is now one of the exciting teams to watch. The NBA had to physically take over the team because the tanking was so obvious at one point. But was the tanking a process? Tanking did allow Philly to land Embiid, Simmons, Okafor, and Noel.  

Was there actually a plan for all this madness? Time will only tell, but something is telling me that Philly will be decent sooner than later. 

Player Spotlight: Kawhi Leonard

The best two-way player in the NBA…and that is San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard. Leonard may be the most underrated NBA star in the league. I couldn’t be happier that he was voted as a started, but one could make the argument he should’ve been left off for Westbrook. Over the last four games, he is averaging over 30 points. 

Coach Pop was prepping Leonard to take on a bigger role for the team last season because it was now his team. He has improved every season that he has been in the league. He decided to take on that challenge and work with NBA legend Kobe Bryant in the offseason. 

Obviously it has paid off due to Kawhi having a career year in scoring. He’s currently averaging 25.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 3.1 APG. You should get very familiar with his name, especially when you’re coached by one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. 

Team Spotlight: Golden State Warriors

This team is ridiculous. Golden State is destroying teams at a rate that should be under investigation. Since they suffered a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors are averaging close to 119 points per game. They beat the Cavs 126-91, Thunder 121-100, and Rockets 125-108 in a three game stretch. 

They currently have three players averaging over 20 points per game in Durant, Curry and Thompson. How can you stop this team? I have an easy answer for you. IT’S NOT HAPPENING!!! 

I apologize, it can happen. This Warrior team does have a weakness. The interior defense and rebounding. People underestimate what Andrew Bogut meant to this team. It will show in a seven game series. 

Closing Rant

The NBA All-Star voting for starters should be revised. Fans should be allowed to vote, but not for starters. Russell Westbrook not being a starter was as horrible of a robbery as I can remember. He was robbed worse than Karl Malone championship dreams by Jordan. 

It was worse than Phil Jackson robbing the Knicks for a front office position.  It was worse than that last pass from Rogers than ended my hopes of any advancement for the Dallas Cowboys. 

How can you average a triple double for the entire season and not be named a started amongst your peers? That’s like you being in sales and making the most sales in the entire company of Charter. Then your co- worker sells one triple play gold package and the customer tells the CEO, “he should be employee of the month because I liked him.” Sadly, they gave him the award! 

I understand that this is a popularity contest, but Westbrook deserves to be an All Star starter. I say to the outraged about the outcome of the All-Star election that we demand a recount, or maybe we should protest. That seems to be the new way of making changes these days.

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