The NBA's Most Exciting Young Teams
(Photo from si.com)
There’s a lot of young talent in the NBA and as one generation of players phases out, another phases in.
With that being said, here are my three favorite young teams in the NBA that I’ll be keeping an eye on this season.
Luka Dončić is something else. In his rookie season, he already eclipsed 21 PPG, 7.8 rebounds, and 6 assists joining 1961 Rookie of the Year, Oscar Robertson, as the only rookies in league history to average these figures.
The Mavs acquired Kristaps Porzingis last season, and he’s back and firing on all cylinders. The Mavs are an exciting team to keep an eye on due to the play of Luka and Porzingis. Although top heavy, this team is likely to yield at least one all-star this coming year, however, the Mavs just don’t have enough YET to be a serious contender.
At best, they’ll be fighting for the eighth seed alongside a slew of competitors including the Spurs, Kings, and Pelicans.
Which brings me to the next team…
New Orleans Pelicans
It couldn’t have been a better time for the Pelicans to trade possibly the most talented player their franchise has ever had (Anthony Davis). Enter Zion Williamson, who's tearing up the NBA preseason and averaging a ridiculous 23.3PPG on close to 71% shooting!
Zion is fun to watch, especially beside Lonzo Ball. In transition, Zion has been throwing down highlight reel dunks and showcasing his ability to finish at the rim in traffic. I wasn’t on the Zion bandwagon and wanted to see how he adjusted in the league, but I think this guy is the real deal.
Combine a player of Zion’s calibre with young talent such as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Jaxson Hayes, and you have team primed to be making playoff pushes in a matter of years (and maybe even this year).
I couldn’t leave an Eastern conference team off my list, considering a large portion of them are tanking. With that being said, the Atlanta Hawks are one of the young teams I’m looking forward to watching this year.
The team is highlighted by Trae Young, the second year point guard who went on an absolute tear prior to the end of last season; and John Collins, an athletic forward/centre who can score in batches.
The Atlanta Hawks have done a fine job rebuilding, and most are pegging them as a younger Golden State Warriors-esque team. Analysts are not completely wrong by saying this, due to the fact the Hawks have two quality shooters in their backcourt: Kevin Huerter and Trae Young.
It’ll be fun to see if both of these players will take a jump this season and I would not be surprised one bit if we see Young get his name called for this year’s all-star game. He’s a fan favorite and what he lacks in size, he brings in court vision, finesse, and shooting.
Do you agree with my list? Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree otherwise.