By Ben Hirschman,
The Golden State Warriors – I can’t wait to watch the Golden State Warriors. No, I am not a Warriors fan, I am not jumping on the warrior’s bandwagon, but I think we can all admit that this is the best team ever assembled in NBA history. And before they signed Kevin Durant, one could have made the argument that the Warriors already were the best team assembled in NBA history, which makes the signing of Kevin Durant monumental.
By Reuven Gonzales,
As summer slowly draws to a close and fall approaches, the focus around the NBA will turn to training camp and getting prepared for Opening Night. For the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, there is a chance that their preparation begins without their full team. One of their most important pieces to last season’s championship run, shooting guard J.R. Smith, is continuing his contract hold out in hopes of landing more money. Even though it is deep into the offseason and no deal between the two sides has been reached yet, the concern still is not high.
By Jake Katz,
The past two seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks have been anything but normal. Two years ago the Bucks surprised everyone making the playoffs ahead of schedule. They flopped in the first half of last season but played better in the second half led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. This team has a lot of talent and plenty of size and there will be pressure on head coach Jason Kidd to make the pieces work. With breaking news coming in yesterday that star player Kris Middleton will be out six months with a torn hamstring, the Bucks now have to adjust their focus and work with what they have.
By Ashley Douglas,
It’s no secret that the Minnesota Timberwolves are not necessarily the most buzzworthy team in the NBA. However, this organization has recently been very hard at work compiling a roster that is jam packed with talented young men who are determined to leave their mark on the league. In full rebuilding mode, and with the first pick in last year’s draft, Minnesota selected Karl Anthony Towns. Towns is a Dominican-American center who played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Not all early draft picks pan out to be something special, but upon being selected by Minnesota, Towns went on to earn the coveted Rookie of the Year award for the 2015-2016 season.
Towns was born in Piscataway, New Jersey to a Dominican mother named Jacqueline Cruz and an American father Karl Towns Sr. Karl Senior coached for Piscataway Technical High School where young Karl Anthony would practice with the Jr. High team as a mere 5th grader. Towns went on to play for St. Joseph High School where he led his team to a state basketball championship in 2012 earning him the top spot on the ESPN 25 national ranking of high school players. He then went on to lead his team to two more state championships in 2013 & 2014.
In 2012, Towns announced that he would commit to play for the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team under the coaching leadership of John Calipari who coached young Towns when he played on the Dominican Republic national team. In his only year playing for the Wildcats, Towns was subjected to Kentucky’s platoon system that limits the amount of minutes each player can play. Nonetheless, Towns was able to record a respectable 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes of play per game. After one year of college under his belt, Towns declared eligibility for the 2015 NBA draft and went on to have a very successful rookie season.
In 82 regular season games during the 2015-2016 season, Towns averaged 32 minutes and an impressive 18.3 points per game. He made a staggering 54.2% of his field goal attempts and a noteworthy 34.1% of his shots from the 3 point line. As a 7 foot center, Towns recorded an average of 10.5 rebounds per game which is equal to or higher than some of the top ranking veteran centers in the NBA. Most rookies are turnover prone, but Towns was able to protect the ball quite nicely, producing only 2.2 per game. Last, but not least, 20 year old Towns averaged 81.1% from the free throw line which made him un-hackable in contrast to other centers who can tend to be very poor free throw shooters. This versatile Rookie of the Year certainly earned his title!
Coming into the 2016-2017 NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are stacked with young talent that is sure to prove fierce competition for any NBA team. Their starting lineup boasts sharp shooter Ricky Rubio, and Zach LaVine who I think might be the next Klay Thompson. Superstar in the making Andrew Wiggins starts in the small forward position alongside veteran Gorgui Dieng as the starting power forward. Add Karl Anthony Towns to this mix, and I would wager that you can expect to see some very special things from this team in the 2016-2017 season.
The T-wolves were able to snag another top prospect in the 2016 NBA draft, Kris Dunn, and they will add this young stud to their arsenal of weaponry off the bench. Coming off a very successful rookie season, Towns will continue to be a vital part of the Minnesota roster, and will no doubt become one of the next superstars in the league. Under the mentorship of the great Kevin Garnett, Towns couldn’t be in a better position to learn and grow from one of the best players the NBA has ever seen. Young & hungry, Minnesota is quietly preparing for a season that I think will leave many people surprised.
The 2016-2017 NBA season might very well be Garnett’s last as his goal has always been to retire with Minnesota. Towns and the other team leaders will need to be ready to step up after this season to take on a larger role with the team, and I believe he is ready from what we have seen thus far. This young group has all the makings of a championship team, and while everyone is busy talking about Golden State and Cleveland, the T-wolves may be queued up to make a run at the title in the next couple of years. Stay tuned!
By Ashley Douglas,
It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over, and that the beginning of the next NBA season is almost here. The thought of cooler weather, football, and NBA basketball nearly makes my heart skip a beat with excitement. If you have been following the league this offseason you know that there have been many trades, free agency changes, and other interesting happenings to make for one exciting NBA season coming up. If you haven’t been following along, here are a few matchups you won’t want to miss!