Damian Lillard, LeBron James and the NBA’s need for stars on bad teams

Damian Lillard
Photograph: faux photographs

It is no secret that this present iteration of the NBA has struggled to make its common season significant. Star gamers miss video games evening after evening, and matchups we anticipate as a result of they may very well be a postseason preview immediately change into moot. Solely two issues actually transfer the NBA needle on social media: Home of Spotlight-worthy clips and particular person performances.

That is why it isn’t unreasonable to say that the NBA wants nice gamers who actively run dangerous organizations. Tremendous groups are nice for the playoffs because of the polarizing nature of dynasties. Nonetheless, from final October to mid-April, we’d like the most important names within the sport to be in place to need to carry out like superstars.

Ask your self: Does the NBA need to see Damian Lillard win a title, or make January related by scoring 40 or extra in six of 11 video games, together with a 50 and 60 burger?

If Kobe Bryant had performed on a superteam his whole profession, he would by no means have scored 81

Steph Curry has 4 40-plus level video games this yr, and that is as a result of he is not required to have the sense of urgency that Lillard, and even LeBron James over the previous two seasons, has needed to muster in January and February.

The Path Blazers and Lakers have kind of trailed all yr, and their stars have needed to play like that. The identical goes for Luka Dončić this yr and Nikola Jokić throughout Jamal Murray’s absence.

Keep in mind the Warriors season after Kevin Durant left and Klay Thompson needed to sit out to rehab a torn ACL? The media have been completely shocked on the prospect of Curry having to say “Kobe taking part in Smush Parker,” and devastated when harm robbed them of that.

The argument towards tremendous groups is that we need to see KD and LeBron rev the engine to the max.

And solely as soon as we have discovered that all the things they’ve is not ok will we settle for stars in search of different stars to win titles. (Which is the place we’re with Lillard in the intervening time.)

The NBA is not totally inept, and that is why scoring is simpler

This season has seen a plethora of massive 40, 50, 60 and even 71 level outings from huge names. Clearly, it is (virtually) simpler than ever to attain within the NBA, and we have not reached that juncture the place it turns into dangerous for the sport like peak no-hitters in baseball.

And we’ll most likely by no means get to that juncture as a result of watching our favourite gamers rack up large numbers by no means will get previous. Defending doesn’t promote sandhowever LeBron will break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring file.

The league desires the sport to be as open as doable throughout the common season as a result of followers are nonetheless shocked once they see “Dončić: 60, 21, 10” on their feed or scroll by the ticker. Who is aware of how lengthy will probably be till we’re all desensitized to outrageous field scores, however that is an issue for future NBA followers.

Proper now, followers are blissful to take a seat again and luxuriate in particular person achievements as a result of we have been programmed to consider they’re nice. As soon as that feeling wears off although, I am unable to assist however marvel what modifications the NBA makes subsequent to attempt to fulfill the followers.

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