The opening weekend of the playoffs confirmed that the future of the NBA is in good hands. Young, playmaking guards highlighted the weekend and not only brought their game, but brought their attitude, disrespect, and pettiness as well.
That man Trae Young gave the Knicks 32 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in game 1, on the road, in the MECCA. After he hit the game-winner with 0.9 seconds remaining, he had the audacity to turn to that wild crowd in Madison Square Garden and hush them like a grandmother who catches you talking too much in church. This man was showing shades of Reggie Miller-level disrespect to New York fans and it was beautiful to watch.
Luka Dončić just babied the Clippers in the first matchup on his way to a 31 point triple-double. He even told Patrick Beverley to his face that he was “too fucking small.” Dončić is a great player, so it’s not surprising to see him have success, but it is surprising that the Clippers have two of the top defensive players in the game and can’t at least slow him down at all.
Then late last night, Ja Morant completely dominated the team with the best record in the NBA down the stretch of the fourth quarter. And not to mention his backcourt mate Dillon Brooks was getting buckets in the third quarter. Morant finished with 26 points and Brooks finished with 31. The grit that those two play with helps push theirteam to be able to beat anyone in the league on any given day. The Grizzlies are ascending, and they aren’t waiting for anyone to tell them when they’re allowed to put the league on notice.
And I said all of this without even mentioning how Devin Booker cooked the Lakers in game one with 34 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds.
All of these players are at least 25 years old or younger which means that they will help hold the responsibility of carrying the league for years to come when the elder statesmen like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and older stars begin to retire.
They have the skill, attitude, personality, and overall likability to be able to carry the NBA into its next phase.