Erick’s Hardwood Hypothesis Week 8

Boston… ring or bust 



Erick’s Hardwood Hypothesis digs in to the best NBA storylines every week.

ERICK AGUILAR, Evergreen reporter

Ladies and Gentlemen, no-nonsense, Hardwood Hypothesis, week eight… let’s do it. 

A quarter of the NBA season is behind us and so far a lot of things are going as expected. But, in classic NBA fashion, interesting headlines have risen up. Before we touch on a few teams, let us review some unexpected headlines so far. 

The Pacers are better than expected. 

The Heat, what is going on? 11-13, really? 

The Bulls are 9-14? Ouch, with that roster? 

The Pelicans… ok, damn. I see you. Good work. 15-8

The Mavericks are 12-11. Luka can not do it all himself, someone get him some help. 

I wanted to start with the Lakers and Nets. Two teams that had high hopes for the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, those hopes have not panned out. Could this week be a turning point? 

With that said, both teams performed well this week and the whole community knows it, as both teams had featured NBA Players of the Week coming off their rosters. 

Los Angeles Lakers 

The Lakers, currently 13th in the west, went 2-1 this week. They lost to a Pacers team that I spoke of highly last Hardwood Hypothesis. But, they won over the Trail Blazers and Bucks, yes that is right, they beat the Bucks. Beating the best team in the league, yeah that is a good sign. 

Yes, I know, I just admitted to thinking the Bucks are a better team than the Celtics, but we will talk about that more later. 

Folks, Anthony Davis is on the prowl! Davis has always been regarded as a sensational player, but he is always injured or simply freezes up in the spotlight. Not as of late though, Davis has unleashed his inner dog and lets his big frame go to work. Dropping 25, 27 and a whopping 44 in the Bucks game. 

I am curious to see whether or not the team can keep the momentum going. 

Brooklyn Nets 

The Nets went 4-0 last week, beating the Trail Blazers, Magic, Wizards and Raptors. Kevin Durant had standout performances scoring 31, 45, 39 and 17. 

Is the team where they want to be? No, absolutely not, considering the soap opera movie of roster changes in the last few years, the team was hoping to push for a ring behind the stars of Kyrie Irving and Durant. 

Durant is one of the best players to ever ball, no question. But, given his talent, it is sad he has not seen his quality play reflected in team success. He could not do it with the Thunder and he does have two with the Warriors, but this Nets chapter was supposed to show his ability to carry a team on his own, a couple of injuries later… we still have not seen it. 

Will Durant’s legacy be limited to being a phenomenal scorer who could only win rings with the splash brothers? 

This has pretty much become a funky rebuild for the Nets, while the stars of Irving and Durant are still on the roster, does it sound weird to say? Yes, big time. 

The season will go down as a pathetic front office year as the mood prior to the season was ‘chip or bust. 

Boston Celtics 

Alright, cut the crap. We know this team is good, no, great. We know this roster can show up:  Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Grant Williams, Noah White, Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, Payton Pritchard and Blake Griffin. 

First in the East, best record in the league and number one in points per game. But none of this is surprising, this team has to get over the last hump and cement itself into greatness. 

That is right, they need some jewelry, a banner, some locker room champagne… a championship. 

It is up to the team, will they just be remembered as a formidable squad, or will they be remembered as another hallowed Celtics team? 

This team is capable of deep playoff runs, they have made the finals once, now they just need to convert. 

If you are the Boston Celtics, anything short of a ring is a disappointing season. 

Player of the week

Keeping it going with the big men, Kristaps Porzingis, had a HUGE game against the Timberwolves last Monday with 41 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks. 

The Wizards, led in points by the 7-foot-3 Latvian, beat the Timberwolves 142-127. 

The big man was automatic from deep in the first half, finishing the game with a 3-point percentage of 60%. Making 18 points off the 3-pointer. 

When he was not behind the arc, KP was working the defense on the low block. Pump faking, posting up, spinning, splitting and SLAMMING is the name of his game, giving spectators a sensational Tim Duncan-like performance. 

With a quarter of the season in the books, I am curious and anxious to see how the rest of the season will play out.