Do you remember the off-season? Big name trades, and even bigger expectations. Kyrie and Gordon to the Celtics; Paul George and Melo to the Thunder with the stat king himself, Russell Westbrook; and CP3 crossing the border over to Houston to join The Beard in his quest to take rule over the west coast dominant Warriors.
The off season trades were amazing for fans that were growing tired of the less than surprising playoff/finals turnout over the last three years. (Call it a Warriors/Cavalier overdose.) But something underlying has been brewing that will cause an even bigger fan reaction than the big name trades; sleeper teams.
Watch out for the Pistons. No, it’s not the early 90’s, but we may just get nostalgia from the current bad boys fronting for Detroit. The Pistons currently sit at the second place in the east with a 14-6 record. Admittedly, we all thought it was an early season fluke, but then — they just kept winning and winning and winning. Even so far as to beat the current East coast top seeded Celtics. With their next game going up against a Wall-less Wizards, it can almost be guaranteed that they will find themselves with another W, inching closer to serious talks of being big time competitors.
Drummond has been a stand out for the Pistons, with 14 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block a game. Bradley, who was recently traded from the Celtics in the offseason, is also putting up stellar numbers with 17 points a game with 45 percent from the field, and 44 percent from the arc. Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson have been just as big this season, with the former averaging 19 points with 47 percent from the field and 47 percent from the arc, while Jackson is averaging 16 points with 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from the arc. That’s 64 single-led points from these four alone. These are some bad boys we’re dealing with.
This big 3 out west is causing a lot of quiet commotion and whispers in the conference — and it’s not the Thunder. Ahead of tonight’s game, the Timberwolves will have the opportunity to prove something that I have believed since 10 games into the season, the real new big three is in Minnesota — we can even say it’s a big 4. With the likes of Towns, Wiggins, Butler, and last but not least Teague, the Wolves are 4th in the West, with two wins over the other big 3 led Thunder.
Tonight, they have a chance to make it 3 wins, and with that, they arguably make the statement that they can take on the Thunder in the postseason for a 5 to 7 game series, and win at that. Towns is averaging a double-double this year with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Wiggins is just shy of 20 points a game with 45 percent from the field and a humble 32 percent from the arc. Butler adds about 18 points a game to the mix, while Gibson and Teague combine for 24 points and 11 rebounds on the floor.
Tonight will be one of those statement games echoed throughout the Association — watch out, because we are coming.