By: Aiden Rutman
On December 22, the 2020-2021 season of the National Basketball Association tipped off. Let’s examine some of the major headlines through the first month of the season.
The 22-year-old PF, Obi Toppin grew up right down the street in Ossining. After tearing it up on the court in high school, Toppin took his talents to Dayton University. After winning the Wooden Award as a junior for best player in the NCAA, Toppin declared for the draft and went eighth overall to the Knicks. Despite a calf injury in the first game that caused him to miss an extended period of time, Toppin is back to his normal self, throwing down slam-dunks left and right.
The James Harden Trade
It was no secret that when the season started, James Harden was absent. He skipped practices, and when he finally returned, it was clear he had not been working out on his own. This led the Houston Rockets to trade their former MVP and superstar SG to the Brooklyn Nets, completing one of the biggest trades in recent memory. After putting Harden alongside superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets have become a serious title contender (even more than they were before). While defense is certainly a question mark for the team, they simply have too much firepower to be overlooked. Between swishing step-back threes and dishing dimes, “The Beard” has greatly benefited from his change in scenery.
Are the Knicks…Good?
Well, probably not. But under first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks have shown that they can compete with just about anyone in the league. And, for the first time in years, the Knicks are in the playoff picture. Their other rookie, Immanuel Quickley, has quickly become a fan favorite and has been a major contributor to their newfound success. While this year may not amount to much, Knicks fans can finally rejoice in the little bit of hope the team has.
Deadly Duos in LA
Similar to last year, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers sit atop the Western conference. The Lakers, led by LeBron “King” James and Anthony “The Brow” Davis are amidst the Staples Center rivalry with the Clippers, led by Kawhi “The Klaw” Leonard and Paul “PG-13” George.
Three thousand miles away from the deadly duos of Los Angeles, in the eastern conference, the Philadelphia 76ers are in first place, led by superstar Joel Embiid. Embiid is putting up the best numbers of his career, and is currently an MVP-favorite after a couple months of play. It seems as though no one in the league can stop him.