At just 22 years of age, Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken the NBA by storm. Originally born in Athens, Greece, Antetokounmpo, or ‘The Greek Freak’ as he is most commonly called, has not disappointed since entering the league in 2013. Antetokounmpo is a special talent because of his size and agility. The Greek Freak stands at 6’11”, but also possesses the speed and quickness in his footwork to play multiple positions, even point-guard. In four games this year, Antetokounmpo has averaged 36.8 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, and 5.3 assists per game. ‘The Greek Freak’ scored a season-high 44 points against the Portland Trailblazers on Oct. 21. Antetokounmpo has helped guide the Milwaukee Bucks to a 3-1 start, tying the Cleveland Cavaliers for first place in the Central Division.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is not the only star lighting up the NBA right now. Controversial star Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins is also on a tear for the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 31.0 points per game and snagging 12.0 rebounds per game. Cousins, who was traded to New Orleans from Sacramento last season, seems to have finally settled in the Pelicans’ system, after a rough start to life in New Orleans last season. The Pelicans have two superstars who are performing well right now, with Anthony “The Brow” Davis being the other. Davis has averaged 24.3 points per game and 12.8 rebounds per game in his own right. Boogie and The Brow, as they are called in New Orleans, each scored 35 points against the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. The Pelicans’ sole victory of the season came against the Lonzo Ball-led Los Angeles Lakers, who nearly pulled off a 22-point comeback against New Orleans. New acquisition Rajon Rondo has yet to play for the Pelicans due to a sports hernia. Rondo, a member of the 2008 Boston Celtics Championship team, has been cleared to participate in shooting drills and should be on the court again in mid-November. Fun fact: Cousins, Davis and Rondo are all former Kentucky Wildcats. One could say the chemistry could turn into something beautiful once Rondo is recovered.
Steph Curry is up to his usual tricks out on the West Coast, where he was recently ejected from a game against the Memphis Grizzlies for tossing his mouthpiece in the direction of an official after a controversial call. Curry has also been disciplined by the NBA for his actions, which resulted in a fine of $50,000. Curry has been known to throw his mouthpiece around during games. In 2016, Curry flew his mouthpiece and inadvertently hit a fan sitting courtside during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Curry was also fined $25,000 for that incident.
Closer to home, the Minnesota Timberwolves have started with a 2-2 record. The highlight of the season for the Wolves is the play of Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. At just 21-years-old, Towns has made his mark on the NBA this season. Averaging 23.3 points per game and 10.5 rebounds, Towns has played a key role on the new-look Timberwolves, which features new additions such as Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford. Wiggins has also been putting in some great performances as of late, including a game-winning, half-court shot at the buzzer in Oklahoma City to give the Wolves a 115-113 win over the Thunder. With the new additions and the high level of play from key players, the Timberwolves may have a good shot at making the NBA Playoffs this season. The last time that the Wolves had made the NBA Playoffs was in 2004, when Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, and Latrell Sprewell led the team to the Western Conference Finals, before being defeated by the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA has a lot of young talent coming through the ranks. Whether it is 22-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 38 points a game for the Milwaukee Bucks, 19-year-old Lonzo Ball being the face of the Los Angeles Laker franchise and trying to bring back their winning ways, or if it is Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns playing extremely well in this playoff-contending Wolves team, the NBA is sure to remain exciting for the rest of the season