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5 NBA Storylines No One Cares About But Me

by W.E. Sauls

The NBA in STL: Vol 3, Episode 1

I did not like the bubble. The fake fans, Disney, the whole summer league vibe to it all…it felt fake. And to me, sports are the last real form of entertainment. It’s team vs team, player vs player. There is no script…well…maybe if you ask Vlade, Bibby, and Webber they’d tell you different…but that theft is a story for another time.

Now that we have our “normal NBA” back I get to dive into the weird weeds of numbers and storylines I pointlessly obsess over every single year…

Let’s Get to it!!!

Andre Drummond is the best pure rebounder since Dennis Rodman

No one ever talks about Drummond absolutely pounding the glass. He is 27 years old and already has 4 rebounding titles. Rodman didn’t win his first of 7 titles until he was 30. There are only 4 players in history with more than 4…

  • Wilt Chamberlain with 11
  • Dennis Rodman with 7
  • Moses Malone with 6
  • Dwight Howard with 5

Every one of those guys is in, or will be in the Hall Of Fame. Will Drummond as well? He only has 2 All-Star Nods and one 3rd Team All-NBA. First, he has to get the hell out of Cleveland and be on a contender for a few seasons and lock down a couple more rebounding crowns. Then it’ll be hard to keep him out. 

Plus…his nickname is Big Penguin

Rajon Rondo’s Hall of Fame Resume

He was the lead guard on my Celts in the ‘08  run so he holds a spot in my heart eternally, but I really can’t get into watching him game in and out…except when he decides to just take it to CP3 and out athlete and out play him for an entire game…then I love Rondo more than one of those bratwursts baked inside a pretzel. 

But, is he a hall of famer? He’s got a few things going for him, and few against. 

The case against

  • He’s been on 7 different teams with the Hawks being his 6th in the last 7 seasons. 
  • He is only averaging 10.2 ppg for his career
  • He really can’t shoot. Career 45.8% from the floor, 31.6% from three and 60.6% from the free throw line.
  • His relationship with the press…he’s a little closer to Bill Belichick than he is to Larry Fitzgerald

The case for

  • He has 3 assist crowns and if he can play 4 more healthy seasons he could possibly finish his career in the top 12 all time in dimes
  • He was a lockdown defender once upon a time. He has 4 All-Defense team nods to go with an All-Rookie and a 3rd team All-NBA in 2012
  • 4 All-Star Nods
  • 2 Rings and 3 trips to the finals

Will he get in? My gut says eventually, but he’ll be eligible for at least a decade before the public sentiment swells to a level to sway the vote. 

Can Kyle Korver Break the top 3 in threes?

There is an outside chance if he holds on for 3 more seasons and keeps dropping those corner treys that Kyle Korver will pass Reggie Miller and retire with only Ray Allen and Steph Curry having drained more. But, at the pace Harden is jacking them up he may have to settle for the 4th place he is currently in. But look…he’s the only guy in the league older than me…please let him keep playing so I don’t have to yet accept my mortality and give in to the arthritis growing in my right hip. 

Giannis is every bit as good as Lebron…at the same age

Now that Dan Haynes’ eyes have rolled completely back in his head and back again…let me lay out the case. I am looking strictly at their age 22-25 seasons. Those four years alone. What they did in those years, and what their statistical trajectory is/was.

Courtesy Sports Reference

Courtesy Sports Reference


Lebron has the edge in points, assists, and percentage shooting from deep and had 2 MVPs. Giannis is nearly doubled LBJ’s rebounding total at 25, has 2 MVP’s of his own, a Defensive POY, and is destroying Lebron in FG% and Effective FG%. 

The only question is, will Giannis get better? Like Lebron, I don’t believe the Freak has hit his ceiling at age 25. Yes, he needs to get a little better from three. Right now he hits about 30 out of every 100 he takes. He needs to get that up to 33 out of every 100 for defenders to truly take him seriously when he pulls up. But, as the 44th President recently pointed out on the BS Podcast, he needs to master that 12-18 footer. Then, there is absolutely nothing that a defender can give to him. They have to stay glued to him for all 94 feet…and he will out athlete everyone on the planet when that happens. 

Thibs gets the Knicks in the playoffs 

This is what he does. Tom Thibodeau has been an NBA coach for 8 seasons and his teams have made the playoffs in 6 of those seasons. He has a career record of 331-201 for a .622 winning percentage. In his first year in Chicago the Bulls went 62-20. In his first year in Minnesota he went 31-51, then in the second year they went 47-35. 

But…does he have the horses? In Chicago he had in their primes D-Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj, Deng, and an underrated Carlos Boozer. In Minnesota he had Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, Taj, D-Rose, Jeff Teague, Wiggins and KAT.

This year in NYC…an ascending RJ Barrett, and a few bucket getters in Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr. and Austin Rivers…a few wild cards in Nerlens Noel, Frankie Nicotine, Elfrid Payton and Alec Burks and a future multi time all-star in Rookie Obi Toppin. But…that’s 2, maybe 3 legit NBA starters and then a bunch of guys you’d like to have on your bench just in case. 

The bigger problem, there are 7 teams that are a lock to make the playoffs in the east. There is only one slot legitimately up for grabs. Can they be better than the Magic, Wizards with Russ, and the Hornets? The only way I see it happening is if one of the 7 locked in teams is hit by injury. But, this will be a fun story line to watch.

2 STL Hoopers Will Make the All NBA Teams

Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum have legitimate chances at making an All-NBA team. Due to his team being absolute garbage last season Beal was snubbed despite putting up 30.5 PPG, 6 dimes, 4 boards, and a steal a game. Tatum was on the All-NBA 3rd team and both were All Stars last season. The Celts will be near the top of the conference again this season which will vault Tatum in voting. The Wiz will be much improved this season by adding Russell Westbrook. The Wiz will be in the playoff hunt all year and if Beal is simply Beal again, he will be at least 3rd team all league.

So there it is. If you made it this far…well done, you must be avoiding family at this point in your holiday. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Until episode 2, long live Tatum over Lebron

W.E. Sauls is a native St. Louisan, a graduate of the University of Missouri and the front man of the band Money for Guns.

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