It's been a busy start to the NBA restart, but I'm here to break it all down for everyone to make it simple and understandable.
The Unstoppable Force of Damian Lillard
No matter what people say, Damian Lillard has a piece of Michael Jordan in him. The way he can set his eyes on something and fight so hard for that, is just incredible. When Damian Lillard is determined, there is not much that can stop him, including players like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Lillard recently said that he really needs to just be himself. He said he was previously "analyzing the game too much" and was focusing on things too much when he really needs to just let loose and play. If Lillard can "let loose" and "be himself" and score 50 PPG, I think this league is in trouble. Plus, next year, the Blazers will have added assets like a hopefully healthy Rodney Hood and other guys like Trevor Ariza. It's also likely that the Blazers will resign Carmelo Anthony, but they have most of their players' contracts locked up. The Blazers have a group of veterans like Lillard and McCollum, but also have the young squad in Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little, and Gary Trent Jr. So they have a whole other squad which will improve and develop over time while they still have other great players playing the big minutes.
The Sun's Surprise
The Sun's shocked the world with their performance in the bubble and they left many casual fans confused. Devin Booker obviously draws a lot of attention to himself but the defense can't over commit to him too much because they have other players that can shoot and score as well. They have an underrated group of big men which includes Deandre Ayton, Aron Baynes, Dario Saric, Cameron Johnson, and Frank Kaminsky. The Suns have a great up and coming coach in Monty Williams and the work that this coach has put in over the hiatus is really what has benefited this team for the restart. Holding Zoom calls, getting together when possible, it's the little things that coach Monty is working on, but it helps in the long run and that's been proven here in the bubble
The Disappointment of the Los Angeles Lakers
We all expected more of the Lakers when the bubble started then what we saw. It just goes to show that when either LeBron or Anthony Davis is struggling, the team struggles. They need more options and Kyle Kuzma is trying his best to take that role of third scorer. Danny Green is known as a three point shooter but he has been way off since the start of the bubble games. Kyle Kuzma has not. Kuzma knows that his defense needs improvement and he's been working hard on and off the court to be a better defender, and it has shown up in the box scores and the hustle stats. We also have to remember that they don't have the defenseman with them in Avery Bradley. That's why they have struggled with good backcourt teams which included teams like the Kings, Rockets, and Thunder. With Rajon Rondo hopefully returning soon, this team should gain momentum and really start grinding for that Finals spot.
The Pelicans Uninspired Effort
You could come up with many theories to why the Pelicans went 2-6 with one of the easiest schedules in the bubble, but it's pretty simple, they didn't want it. This team is a group of young promising players with good, veteran talent as well. Despite the team's average age, this team has less energy than Carmelo Anthony, and he's 36. You can blame this on the players, but you also have to blame it on the coaching staff as well. This should be held as unacceptable behavior, and as a coach, Gentry should've been on player's backs to play their hardest. With Gentry gone, we'll see what the next coach can do to get this Pelicans team back in shape.
If I forgot anything, please let me know in the comments and I can write another article if need be, thanks for reading.