LaVar Ball Adds to the Pressure That Lonzo Is Bound to Face

The insurmountable pressure on a first round draft pick begins to build up long before we even remotely have an idea of what the draft order will look like in late June. From the college basketball preseason through March Madness and beyond, basketball analysts spend much of their time determining where each collegiate star will end up falling in the upcoming draft. While guys like Maryland’s Melo Trimble go through the season undecided on their future, big name college stars such as Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball treat the season as a resume builder for NBA franchises. This isn’t to say that every college basketball star is only focused on their future, because many of these guys pour their heart and soul into trying to win a national championship. The point I’m trying to make is that elite college basketball players are exposed to loads of unnecessary publicity for people of their age. The last thing these young guys need is more pressure added on by their own actions…or family members. The way Lonzo Ball carried the 2016-2017 UCLA Bruins did not go unnoticed. While Jimmer Fredette’s ability to score at will for BYU during his premier year and Willie Cauley-Steins defensive presence in the paint for Kentucky two years ago helped carry their teams, there wasn’t an area of the game where Lonzo Ball didn’t succeed. With Chris Paul-like vision, Curry-like scoring abilities, and a defensive presence that allotted him almost two steals per night, Ball proved to be the backbone of this Bruin’s squad. As I stated earlier, a season-long performance like this most certainly would not... read more

Don’t Forget About Us, Other Stars Having Career Years

It’s easy to get lost in story lines of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the two clear leaders for the MVP award based on their individual accolades this season.  Their numbers are ridiculous and unheard of in today’s NBA, Harden (28.7 ppg, 11.7 ast, 8.3 reb) and Westbrook (30.7 ppg, 10.3 ast, 10.5 reb).  However, there are some other NBA players putting up their own incredible stat lines and dominating the sport that need recognition too. Anthony Davis We start off our list with arguably the best big man in the league (just don’t tell that to Lebron James, Draymond Green and the man they fancy, DeMarcus Cousins).  Anthony Davis has improved year after year but this season, through 39 games, he is averaging career best in points per game, rebounds per game and steals per game. Unfortunately, the Pelicans don’t provide much support for this super star and that is why he is flying under the radar this season despite putting up close to 30-12 every night with 2.5 blocks and 1.3 steals. Isaiah Thomas The Boston Celtics were highly touted coming in to this season with the acquisition of Al Horford.  But what really makes this Boston Celtics team go is the 5’9” point guard, Isaiah Thomas.  Since coming to Boston from Phoenix after Danny Ainge hoodwinked his old associate Ryan McDonough, he has been one of the best scorers in the league.  He has improved each season and is shooting a career best 45.9% from the field and 90.7% from the charity stripe.  He is averaging a career high 28.4 points per game and leads the... read more

About Hoops Critic

Brian Geltzeiler’s true passion is the NBA. He grew up in a basketball family. His father, Burt was an elite college basketball player for Newark-Rutgers University in the late 1940’s and was drafted by the Tri-City Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks) in 1950 by their then GM, Red Auerbach.

Brian is a regular host on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio and gets his money’s worth from his NBA League Pass. He lives in Livingston, NJ with his wife and four children.