Erick’s Hardwood Hypothesis week seven

Kings mediocrity? 



The Larry O’Brien Trophy

ERICK AGUILAR, Evergreen reporter

Folks this is a special issue of my hardwood hypothesis, as we have a few weeks worth of basketball to discuss, in case you’ve been living under a rock. Last week was the Evergreen’s Special Edition Issue in addition to thanksgiving break so it’s been a while. 

With that out of the way, lace ‘em up because we’re hoping right into it. Welcome to week seven of Hardwood Hypothesis. 

Indiana Pacers 

The Pacers are 11-8? And fourth in the East? Alright Indiana, not bad at all.

The small market team is certainly playing better than anyone would have given them credit for. We can attribute a lot of their wins to their ability to put up a fight on the road. Forget the Pacers’ roster you used to know, this team shows the hopes of a new era of Pacers basketball. 

This is a young roster that has something to prove, Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Smith, etc. All young dynamic players that definitely have a future in this league. 

I would love to see this team pick up a veteran flagship player to really build the culture and lead these players into a potential playoff run. This team definitely has what it takes to be playoff contenders as they are seventh in points per game and third in assists. 

Phoenix Suns 

The Suns won all their matches the last two weeks with the exception of two. Those losses to the Jazz and Heat were both by a singular point. 

It is no question that the Suns are a good team. With the ruthless scorer in Devin Booker and poetic-like facilitation of Chris Paul leading a well-rounded supporting cast of Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Cameron Payne, Landry Shamet and a few others. 

The team is currently 14-6 and leads the Western Conference, no question this team is playoff bound, the only question is if they can win the whole thing. 

Sacramento Kings 

It feels weird to say, but the Kings are not a bad team this year. I mean the team is 10-9 and seventh in the conference. De’Aaron Fox is definitely the superhero of the team but his teammates Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter and rookie Keegan Murray are certainly giving Kings fans a season to keep an eye on.

To show how this team is stacking up, the Kings went toe to toe with the Suns last night and barely lost by five points. 

Player of the week 

I have to show some love to Ivica Zubac.

31 points, 29 rebounds, three assists and three blocks on Sunday’s win over the Pacers. Need I say more? 

This gritty performance from the Clippers big man is what teamwork is all about.
Setting the screen, fading into the paint, boxing out, grabbing the offensive board and finishing it off with a slam to save the possession and keep his team in the race. This was Zubac’s game plan all night. 

Don’t get me wrong, there were a few big slams in there. But a lot of his points were patient, well-disciplined, fundamentally sound baskets. Absolutely stellar performance.