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My 4 Takeaways from the NBA So Far
By: Drew Zlogar (@Drew_Zlogar)

The NBA season has exceeded our preseason expectations for the first quarter of the season. Some teams haven’t performed as we thought they would, and there have been some surprises from teams with how well they have started too. As the thirty teams across the Association are all about 20 games into the season, I will highlight my 4 biggest takeaways that need to get more praise.

Golden State Has Found Their Swag
Seems to me that all the doubters of the new-look Warriors at the beginning of the season need to go quiet for now. Golden State has quietly rattled off 12 wins in a row, to climb to the top of the West at 16-2. The questions surrounding the potential issue of the star power on the roster, and only having one ball on the court have to be shut down for now. Durant at 27 ppg, and Steph at 26.6 ppg leading the team is working out a lot better than some thought. Klay Thompson seems to be comfortable in the third scoring role, at a respectable 21 ppg for the sharp-shooter. As a team they have been putting up numbers far above anyone else in the league. Still though, I am going to question the depth issue on this squad. It hasn’t been a glaring issue yet, but 82 games is a long season let alone the playoffs after them. We will have to wait and see if having a bench with the top scorer putting up 6.5 ppg will come back to haunt them in a grueling series with a deep team.

Kristaps Porzingis Isn’t Getting Enough Love
The 7’3 Latvian has really amped up his play at the start of this season, and is demonstrating a confidence that we didn’t see last year as a rookie. Porzingis is averaging just under 22 ppg while snatching 8 rpg as well. He is leading the Knicks in minutes per game this season, and the duo of him and ‘Melo has finally started to look like it can be really effective. New York was active during the offseason in getting pieces to form around those two, and right now at 9-9 but winning the last 4 of 6 has a lot of us in the media reconsidering how high the ceiling should be this year. The 21 year old is still tapping into his talent and confidence in this league and is only going to get better, so don’t be surprised if we are talking about the Knicks as a low seeded playoff team in the East come March, largely due to the play of the Porzingod.
Let’s Truly Appreciate Russell Westbrook’s Greatness
We knew Westbrook’s role was going to increase heavily this season with the departure of Kevin Durant in OKC. However, not many of us thought that 20 games into the season he would have 9 Triple-Doubles. Westbrook notched his 9th last night in emphatic fashion, with 35 points 14 rebounds and 11 assists. This comes a day after he had a triple double against the Knicks with 27 points 18 rebounds and 14 assists. If these averages are maintained, Russell will be the first player to average a triple-double for the season since Oscar Robertson. Yeah, he’s that good. Stats are one thing, but the overall goal is to be a successful team, and right now he has his new look Thunder at 12-8 and 5th in the West. Keep doing you Russell, because so far, it is working.

The Lakers are in Great Hands With Luke Walton
It has been a while since we have discussed Los Angeles having two legitimate NBA teams, but so far this season, Luke Walton has led his Lakers to a 10-10 start and tied for the 8th spot in the West. It seems to me that Kobe Bryant’s last two seasons with LA was not allowing the young Lakers squad to reach their potential. D’Angelo Russell wasn’t ever given the keys to the car last season with Kobe demanding the ball at all times, and thus taking most of the shots. Russell isn’t the only one reaping the benefits of the new look Lakers, as Nick Young, and Julius Randle look revitalized as well. The young team seems to mesh really well with first-time head coach, Luke Walton beautifully. He brings a much needed vibrancy to the team, and has let the team play to the players true strengths. By no means are they a true playoff threat down the road this season, but let it be known that one of the two losses for Golden State was given by the Lake-show this year

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