By Zach Malamud
In what could be one of the strongest draft classes in NBA history, the night is finally here for the 2017 NBA Draft. With that in mind, here’s a look at my first round mock draft:
|2||LA Lakers||Lonzo Ball||PG||UCLA|
|6||Orlando||Jonathon Isaac||SF/PF||Florida St|
|8||New York||Dennis Smith||PG||North Carolina St|
|15||Portland||John Collins||PF||Wake Forest|
|21||Oklahoma City||Tyler Lydon||SF/PF||Syracuse|
|27||LA Lakers||Caleb Swanigan||PF/C||Purdue|
|28||LA Lakers||Terrance Ferguson||SG/SF||Australia|
|29||San Antonio||Kyle Kuzma||PF||Utah|
Zach Malamud is a contributing writer for Dabuzzza. He is a radio host of The Plainview Blitz on WPOB 88.5 FM. He loves soccer and basketball and finds himself watching Manchester City on a regular basis. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Kevin De Bruyne. You can follow him on twitter at @Zachmalnyy
As you know, the NBA season began last night. However, we decided to release our predictions today marking our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Thanks for your continued support over the last year and thank you in advance for your support in our second year! Feel free to comment with your own opinions, as these are simply ours. Without further ado, we present our 2014- 2015 NBA Season Predictions:
|Place||Sam Breiter||Brett Malamud|
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2||Chicago Bulls||Chicago Bulls|
|3||Toronto Raptors||Washington Wizards|
|4||Indiana Pacers||Toronto Raptors|
|5||Washington Wizards||Miami Heat|
|6||New York Knicks||New York Knicks|
|7||Brooklyn Nets||Charlotte Hornets|
|8||Charlotte Hornets||Brooklyn Nets|
|Bubble Team (9th)||Atlanta Hawks||Atlanta Hawks|
|ECF||Cleveland Cavaliers vs New York Knicks||Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls|
|Place||Sam Breiter||Brett Malamud|
|1||L.A. Clippers||San Antonio Spurs|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|3||Dallas Mavericks||Golden State Warriors|
|4||Oklahoma City Thunder||L.A.Clippers|
|5||Houston Rockets||Portland Trail Blazers|
|6||Portland Trail Blazers||Houston Rockets|
|7||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks|
|8||L.A. Lakers||Phoenix Suns|
|Bubble Team (9th)||New Orleans Pelicans||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|WCF||L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks||Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs|
|Champion and Awards|
|Sam Breiter||Brett Malamud|
|FINALS||Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Clippers||Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs|
|Champion||Cleveland Cavaliers||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Defensive POY||Dwight Howard||Joakim Noah|
|Rookie of the Year||Andrew Wiggins||Andrew Wiggins|
|Coach of the Year||Doc Rivers||Gregg Popovich|
|Most Improved||Tim Hardaway Jr.||Anthony Bennett|
|MVP||Blake Griffin||LeBron James|
|Sixth Man of the Year||Isaiah Thomas||Jamal Crawford|
By Christian Pierre-Louis
The Los Angeles Lakers hit 16 3-pointers against the Houston Rockets, but the last one meant the most.
With 1.3 seconds remaining, Steve Blake caught a short inbound pass from Jodie Meeks and drained his fourth 3-pointer of the night. Suddenly, the score was 99-98, and the Lakers held on for the final second and three-tenths to hand Dwight Howard an embarrassing loss against the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers.
Later in the game, Howard was repeatedly sent to the free throw line using the hack-a-Howard strategy, a strategy that Lakers’ fans painfully lived through last season. Howard finished 5-16 from the charity stripe, and his 15 points and 14 rebounds were overshadowed by his 31 percent foul shooting and four turnovers.
For Lakers fans, it was a case of déjà vu in more ways than one.
Watching Howard miss free throws late in the game was a familiar sight, even if it was welcomed for a change. Also, watching Howard lose the ball on careless turnovers was an all-too-familiar memory for fans watching at home.
This time, though, Howard wasn’t on the Lakers, so all of his mistakes were being celebrated across Laker Nation.
Aside from Howard, the Lakers were the same bunch they’ve been all season long. After getting out to a massive 17-point first half lead, the Lakers found themselves trailing at the end of a close ball game.
Howard’s consistent misses at the line allowed the Lakers to stay in the game, as LA ran out of ammo from behind the arc. Including Blake’s game-winner, the Lakers only made three field goals in the last five minutes of the game.
One of those field goals came via Meeks, who led the Lakers with 18 points on 5-7 shooting from behind the arc. The Lakers’ bench outscored the Lakers’ starters once again, but that didn’t seem to matter by the time everyone got into the locker room.
On a Thursday night in Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers won their first road game of the season, embarrassed the man who spurned their team, and made the Laker fans proud.
Christian Pierre-Louis is a journalism major at Seton Hall University. He is a HUGE fan of the, LA Lakers, NY Giants, and NY Yankees. He is also an assistant sports producer at Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU 89.5 FM. You can follow him on twitter at @CPL_78.