Because of the fluid nature of academia, which mirrors the National Basketball Association and how much can change day-to-day, TwH will track the NBA’s oddities and biggest stories each week with this, the 3-Pointer. It’s a cop-out name for an NBA weekly column, but it just makes so much sense. The weird, the wild and the wonderful all rolled into one, the 3-Pointer will act as a league thermometer, sure only to get hotter as the season moves forward. This week, we focus on the magnificent MC-W, the toils of Anthony Bennett and injuries in a post-Adrian Peterson/Derrick Rose world.
1. Michael Carter-Williams is fearless – Debuting with a near quadruple-double performance, the man they’ve branded MC-W is tearing through defenses and astounding all the experts who thought he would flop before the draft. Beating the Heat in Philly was pretty awesome, and it has only gotten better. MC-W won Eastern Conference Player of the Week, becoming the first rookie since the Great Shaqtus to do so. He’s averaging a cool 20.7 points, 9.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game thus far, and though he is bound to settle down (we think?), it is still amazing to see this young blood showing the vets what it’s like to be all about the fundamentals. And to think, I thought Ben McLemore was going to be the hero of this draft class.
2. Anthony Bennett is fearful – Three games in, and the #1 overall pick is still looking for his first-ever field goal in the NBA. “I just feel like there’s a lid on the basket,” Bennett told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. This league usually has an adjustment period attached to it (don’t tell MC-W that though), but you would think the top draft pick could put one in at some point. Granted, he’s playing behind two other people and averaging only about 13 minutes per game, so we have to keep that in mind…I guess. But hey, Kyrie Irving, right Cleveland?
3. Russell Westbrook is a hoss, and Kobe will destroy his teammates when he returns – Westbrook came back at least two weeks ahead of schedule and immediately rocked @KDTrey5’s world, putting up 21 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. The Thunder remain a Western Conference favorite, and now Oklahoma City doesn’t even have to wait until 2014 to prove it belongs. Meanwhile, following an impressive opening night performance against the Clippers in which their bench dominated the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers scaled back, and Nick Young has taken to being really ridiculous in every way we thought. Kobe is itching to pull a Westbrook-like return, but he realizes his limitations and knows he cannot come back until he is ready. Adrian Peterson left doctors and fans scratching their heads at his return time, and Derrick Rose played the good soldier by making entirely sure not to play again until he knew he was ready. Both had youth on their side at the time of their injuries, however, and Kobe is a smart enough player and person not to attempt that. He’ll be back when he damn well pleases, and the Western Conference will know about it.
BONUS – Pierre Pelican, the New Orleans Pelicans mascot, who haunts restless dreams: “That thing makes me feel like it will eat my face off but not kill me, leaving me to live with the horror,” one of my friends said upon my sending him a picture of the Pelicans mascot, Pierre. Indeed, he is entirely frightening and will likely star as the twist ending in a Stephen King adaptation in the coming years. He’s probably the next incarnation of It, if anything. The good news is that people on the Internet have taken to throwing the new iconoclast into more appropriate settings than the basketball arena. Sometimes the Internet does good things.