NBA

Warriors (Steph), Lakers (location), Celtics (Ainge) among NBA’s five most thankful teams

Warriors (Steph), Lakers (location), Celtics (Ainge) among NBA’s five most thankful teams

Warriors (Steph), Lakers (location), Celtics (Ainge) among NBA’s five most thankful teams

It’s Thanksgiving time, and there are plenty of NBA teams that have a lot to be thankful for (the Nets they are not one of them, which is saying a lot for a team that has Kevin Durant). But we’re going to split some hairs here. Every team that has a superstar is thankful for that superstar, but I tried to narrow it down to the five teams that have the most to be thankful for and what, exactly, they’re thankful for. Here it goes.

When five teams passed on Curry in the 2009 draft, including the Timberwolves twice, the Warriors had no idea what they were getting. Curry has transformed the Golden State franchise in ways that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago when Curry first became an All-Star. Four championships. Six finals appearances. An N.B.A record 73-win season. Literally billions in franchise value. None of this happens without Curry, whose combination of skill and humility appears perhaps once in a generation as the face of a franchise, if ever.

I would argue that there is no other player in the world, for a variety of reasons, that could have led last year’s Warriors to a title, and once again this season, Curry is the reason why they are still considered a team of Warriors aged and flawed. a legitimate competitor. If you have Curry, you have a chance, and the Warriors are very grateful to have him.

If the Lakers were, say, still in Minneapolis, or Memphis, or Salt Lake City, or pretty much anywhere else but LA, the way they’re running things right now, they’d be a laughing stock. You could argue that they are anyway. But because they occupy prime NBA real estate, their margin for error is so large that they can essentially screw up anything and still have a fairly direct path out of the darkness and into the light of the title fight.

You could say the Lakers are very grateful lebron jamesbut the only reason they have LeBron in the first place is because they are in LA. The only reason they have Anthony Davis it’s that they have LeBron. And the only reason they’ve had a title for the last decade is because they’ve got these two guys.

Since that title (bubble title, I should say), this franchise has done basically nothing to make itself attractive to gamers with options. Aside from the location and that iconic name on their chest, they’ve made one disastrous decision after another, empowering Rob Pelinka to run in a So-Cal sandbox with seemingly little idea what he’s doing. Pelinka is like a trust fund kid. He can screw up over and over again, in ways that would bury almost any other GM, and still be within a few basic moves of competence to come out on top.

Every organization in the league with a superstar player appreciates that player. Damian Lillard has been a godsend to Portland for a decade. Nikola Jokic in Denver, Jayson Tatum in Boston, And Morant in Memphis, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, Devin Booker in Phoenix, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in oklahoma city, Jimmy Butler in Miami, Kawhi Leonard i Paul George with the clippers; Brooklyn would be a dumpster fire if not for Kevin Durant.

But none of those guys have brought a championship to their current franchise. Other than Tatum, none of them have even made a Finals appearance. Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, has lifted Milwaukee to the top of the basketball world. He could have left in the summer of 2021, right after winning the championship for the Bucks, like Leonard did with the raptorsbut Giannis signed a five-year extension halfway through a season.

Giannis would have at least been able to hear what other teams had to say in the summer. done the dance He has been courted. But his ego didn’t need that kind of celebration. He didn’t want to become a distraction for a Bucks team trying to win a title, which they did just over six months after a relatively quiet stretch. Aside from Stephen Curry, there is no player in the league who means more to their franchise than Antetokounmpo does to the Bucks.

Ainge is doing his thing in Utah now, but the Celtics will be in his debt for a long time; it is the number one reason why they are in a position to compete for championships in the next decade. The trades Ainge executed with the Nets, which landed the Celtics Jaylen Brownand the Sixers, who brought them Jayson Tatum, have provided Boston with probably the best duo in the league, and now they are entering their prime.

There was pressure on Ainge to specifically trade Brown for years. He never did. He allowed this duo to grow together, while drafting Robert Williams and Grant Williams to go with them Ainge drafted Marcus Smart. He brought in Al Horford. He hired Brad Stevens, who was a very good coach and is proving to be a very good general manager. He hired Joe Mazzulla, who looks like he could be the coach for the next decade.

Everything the Celtics have prepared for this long stretch is due to Ainge. He put it all together. He wasn’t always popular with Celtics fans who wanted more aggressive moves, but his stubborn ways and refusal to budge on any short-sighted business is why Boston is in this position now. Ainge built this team to last. Boston should be very grateful.

It will never be surprising that a team can change Bring on Young And a second lottery pick and somehow he’ll come out on the right side of the deal, but that’s exactly what the Mavericks got in trading Luka Doncic’s draft rights, which, barring a career-changing injury is already a block to becoming one of the best players in history.

I don’t know what number you want to put on it — top 20, top 10, whatever — but he’s going down like a timer. This guy has legit GOAT conversational potential and he’s only 23 years old! I’d say if there was an open draft for every player in the league right now, Doncic would go first. I don’t think it’s close.

Having such a great guy, at this age, is what makes you get on your knees and thank the basketball gods every night before you go to sleep. A player like Doncic is almost guaranteed to be contained for the next 10-15 years if you do your part and surround him with the right pieces. Dallas might want to start thinking about doing that.





#Warriors #Steph #Lakers #location #Celtics #Ainge #among #NBAs #thankful #teams

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