a 2017-2018 NBA musing

 Brilliant Photoshop skillz.

Brilliant Photoshop skillz.

There’s a lot to write about on the status of the NBA and its teams, but as a precursor to this upcoming NBA season, I’ll just focus on my favorite player (RICKY RUBIO) and my favorite teams (LA LAKERS, MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES, and recently added to the list MILWAUKEE BUCKS). Not going to go in depth at all into stats, just a few brief thoughts on the various narratives.


RICKY RUBIO


You might be wondering why my favorite player is Tricky Ricky. Well, here. 

You’re welcome. He can’t shoot for his life, but my goodness he can pass.

Rubio has been playing in professional leagues since he was 14 years old, so he’s got plenty of experience from his 13+ years of playing against top talent. Following a brutal ACL tear in his rookie season in the NBA, he languished on a mediocre at best Minnesota Timberwolves team for the next few years. I randomly played as them on NBA 2k13 online, and that’s where my love for Ricky flourished. It was way too fun using the T-Wolves through the next few 2k games, and began rooting for them in real life. Underdog stories are the best, and the Timberwolves were the perfect team for that.

With the Timberwolves’ 2017 offseason move bringing in Jimmy Butler, Rubio would have been the perfect conduit to lead the offense. Unfortunately, he was traded to the Utah Jazz as the Wolves bolstered their team. (More on that below.) This could have been exciting since he would have had Gordon Hayward to play with, but Hayward left for greener pastures in Boston. With barely a name player on the Jazz, it looks like ma boi Rubio will be running a mainly half-court offense with Rudy Gobert at the five, and lots of mid-level players to help. They probably won’t make the playoffs, but maybe the next hat in my collection will have a Jazz logo on it.


LOS ANGELES LAKERS


The OG favorite team since I was a child is finally back on the upswing. They drafted Lonzo Ball (from UCLA and right-next-door-to-me Chino Hills before that) and Kyle Kuzma (Kuz-Monster? Kuz Kontrol?), who will both fit in extremely well with the rest of their budding core. Brook Lopez seems like a stop-gap, and will probably not be on next year’s roster. Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson look to all develop further. It’s great to be excited for this team again!


MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES


As referenced in the Ricky Rubio passage, the Wolves added A LOT of talent to complement the blossoming Karl Anthony-Towns and still-developing Andrew Wiggins. Coach Tom Thibodeau brought in some ex-players he coached in Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks to bolster their lackluster defense last year. This is going to be a crazy, minutes heavy learning experience for the young core, but look for them to find their footing midway through the season and squeeze into the playoff race.


MILWAUKEE BUCKS


WHERE IS MY GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO JERSEY?!