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Week 5 NBA Storylines

Kobe Announces He Will Retire After Season

Yesterday, Kobe Bryant announced that after 20 seasons in the NBA, he will retire at the end of the season.

This is truly a sad moment for basketball fans across the globe. Kobe’s retirement will mark the end of an era for basketball as we knew it. While Duncan and Dirk are still around, they won’t be much longer. All of these veterans will be missed, but maybe none more than Kobe.

Unfortunately for Kobe, he can’t go out on the terms he had hoped for. He’s clearly a shell of his former self, trying to grasp on to the past. As he hoists jumper after jumper, it has become clear to Kobe that the results aren’t the same, and the desire to play is no longer there.

At the end of the day, this season is irrelevant for Kobe’s legacy. He has already cemented his place in history as one of the best ever. He is undoubtedly the 2nd best shooting guard of all-time and the closest thing to Michael Jordan we have ever seen.

When Will the Warriors Lose?

The defending champion Golden State Warriors are 18-0 and are showing no signs of slowing down. But, they have to lose at some point, right? Let’s take a look at their schedule over the next few weeks.

For the rest of 2015, these all seem like games Golden State should win. But, if there is a game in here  where the Warriors are in a bit of danger, it is on Christmas Day. The Warriors defeated the Cavs in the Finals last year, and don’t think LeBron has forgotten that. This will be the most important game for the Cavs on their regular season schedule thus far, and they won’t take it lightly.

Golden State has to lose at some point, and their Christmas might be spoiled by Lebron & Co.

76ers Struggles and Jahlil’s Troubles

One of the most important things to do during your rookie season is to make it clear that you are focused on basketball, and nothing else. But, recently Jahlil Okafor is finding himself in trouble left and right.

In the past few weeks alone, Okafor got into a street fight in Boston, he got pulled over going 108 mph, and was rejected for using a fake ID. So, let’s break these down.

The street fight seems like something that should have been avoidable for Okafor. According to multiple reports, the fight began after a game in Boston where fans shouted “The 76ers suck” at Okafor. In fairness to Jahlil, we will never know the full story of what actually happened. But either way, getting into a street fight is something a rookie should be avoiding at all costs.

There are few things more exciting to a 19 year old than getting your first million dollar pay-check, and spending it on your first car. Naturally, you are going to want to test how fast it can go. But, when you are an NBA player, you must realize that you are in the spotlight at all times. You simply can’t be taking risks like this, and driving this foolishly.

Attempting to use a Fake ID when you are one of the most recognizable people in sports is certainly a bad idea. I understand that 19 year olds all over the country are trying to sneak into bars. But, when you are 6 ft 11, a recent national championship, and a top pick in the draft, most people are going to recognize you. They are also going to recognize that you are not 21. Come on, Jahlil.

All of these incidents seem like things Okafor could have avoided. Recently, he took to twitter to apologize for his actions. Hopefully, we won’t be hearing any more negative news about Okafor in the future as he starts to really focus on basketball and FINALLY getting his first win in the NBA.

Spurs Quietly Coasting

Everyone is talking about the Warriors right now. But, the one team everyone is forgetting about is the San Antonio Spurs. Somehow, the Spurs have gone under the radar for the first month of the season. Meanwhile, they are 14-3 and the 2nd best team in the West.

The LaMarcus Aldridge signing is already paying off big time. In his first few games, it was clear he wasn’t quite comfortable with the offense yet. But, now that they are 17 games in, Aldridge has looked better and better each game.

Another good sign for the Spurs is that Tony Parker’s play is much improved from this summer. He looked like he had lost a step or two during Eurobasket. But, right now Parker actually has the highest field goal percentage of any point guard in the league.

Best of all, Tim Duncan continues to beat father time. In just 27 minutes per game, Duncan has averaged 10 pts and almost 9 rebounds per game. With Aldridge in San Antonio, Duncan can afford to get rest and reduce his workload, while still being an effective go-to option. It looks like Duncan could play forever.

On top of all that, Kawhi Leonard continues to get better and better. He has maintained his reputation as a lockdown defender, while also improving his scoring ability. Leonard was originally knocked for not being a great shooter. But, this season he is averaging a career-high .492 3P% and .523 FG%. Kawhi is also averaging a career-high 22 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game.

The Spurs don’t need the attention that the Warriors get, and I’m sure they are fine with it. Come playoff time, they will be ready for whoever they have to face.

Paul George Better After Leg Injury?

Many doubted Paul George’s ability to return to form after suffering a gruesome leg injury. But, this season PG13 looks better than he ever did before his leg injury.

As a result of George’s strong play, the Pacers have been unstoppable as of late. Indiana started the season on a rough note, losing their first 3 games. Since then, the Pacers have won 11 of their last 13 games.

Today, it was announced that Paul George won the Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award. It was certainly well deserved. In his last 3 games, George has been virtually unstoppable.

So far, George is averaging a career-high 27.2 points per game and he is converting on .455 % of his 3-pointers, another career-high.

The best thing about George’s game this season is that his athleticism is fully back. Most times, after a gruesome leg injury, players are hesitant to attack the basket, and settle for jumpers. George’s ability to take it to the rack has been on display, and he has also been on fire from deep. If George keeps this up, he could be an MVP candidate at the end of the season.

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