ROY, LeBron, CP3, old achievements and more

The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball news, covering the NBA, WNBA and than. Ordered this to be emailed to you every morning. ‘

The prize races are heating up, the stats are falling to the left, and the knockout picture is in the spotlight. To answer some of the biggest questions in the NBA this week, I tapped some of the best minds from The Step Back and FanSided’s NBA Network.

1. The old man’s more impressive feat – LeBron leads the league in goalscoring or Chris Paul leads the league in assists?

Candice Evans, Pippen is not easy: The old man’s most impressive achievement is that LeBron leads the league in goals so far. Considering he’s never been in the conversation of most of the “skillful” scorers in the league, let alone league history, it’s unlikely he’s consistently hit the mark. is a testament to his versatility. Not to mention he’s doing it with one of the NBA’s worst teams in terms of court spacing.

Mike Luciano, Raptors Rapture: LeBron leads the league in scoring. Not only did LeBron average 30 points per game in his 19th season, but he also broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record for points per game in a player’s 19th season. Kareem had… 14.6 points per game that year. James may have emerged from playing on a terrible Lakers team, but that doesn’t negate the fact that his efficiency numbers are in line with what he did at Cleveland during his second stint. that.

Aaron Kellerstrass, Pistons provide power and Pelican Debrief: Both are impressive, but what LeBron is doing is completely unprecedented. We’ve seen the elderly point defenders lead the league in assists (Stockton, Nash), but none of these seniors have ever led the league in scoring, though Jordan was close to being 35. Kareem averaged 22 games at 37, Karl Malone 23.2, Kobe Bryant 17.6 and Michael Jordan 22 when he returned to Washington (age 38). LeBron is only one time and by the time he retires (if he ever is) will be an undisputed TARGET in my opinion.

2. What tournament are you most excited about a possible matchup?

Candice Evans, Pippen Not Easy: The most exciting matchup will be the Nets-Raptors (if Toronto finishes in seventh). As it stands, Kyrie won’t be able to play in Toronto, making the Nets less intimidating. KD didn’t make the impact he wanted in the 2019 Finals against the Raptors, and now he’ll have his chance for revenge.

Mike Luciano, Raptors Rapture: Minnesota Clippers. I have a soft spot in my cold heart for franchises that haven’t been successful for a while. Minnesota drafted and developed a lot of homegrown talent while hiring Chris Finch. I’d like to see them rewarded with a series of post-season. This team needs Kevin Garnett to have an MVP season to win the only playoff series in franchise history. They come for a lucky break. Watching Ty Lue plot the Clippers to win without his start is just as impressive.

Aaron Kellerstrass, Piston Powered and Pelican Debrief: Easy, Pelicans versus Lakers. Not only do the Pelicans have a chance to knock the Lakers out of the knockout stages, but they could then receive the Lakers’ draft pick. The two teams will always be connected because of the Anthony Davis trade, and I can tell you that Pels fans will love nothing more than taking them down then getting that pick.

3. Rank these rookies – Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner

Candice Evans, Pippen Not Easy: First, Evan Mobley – producer in the important game. In this rookie class, Mobley is the only one who plays with what to lose. He’s flourishing and has been a key part of Cleveland’s success after their injuries. Second, Scottie Barnes – his size and versatility make him a tough opponent for opposing teams. He is the most gifted rookie in terms of his ability to break quickly and has displayed the flash of a good perimeter defender. Third, Cade Cunningham – the position of the goalkeeper is the most difficult position and Cade has performed excellently in his role, specifically in the second half of the season. The Pistons’ play has flourished for him, showing that he is their x-factor. Fourth, Franz Wagner – his shot and creative ability on the circumference coupled with his height has made him the second most available player in this group. He quickly established himself in the core of Orlando but failed to elevate their play in general.

Mike Luciano, Raptors Rapture: Call me bias, but that’s Scottie Barnes. Cunningham and Wagner are dependents on tank crews, so we can exclude them from the discussion here. I think to really appreciate what Barnes did, you have to remember what the pre-draft expectations were. We all knew Mobley was going to be great as a rookie, but Barnes was so raw at Florida State that everyone expected him to be the Sixth Man in his first season. Since then, he has started every game he plays while emerging as a quality defender and finisher. In terms of highlight-reel, he plays well about 1-2 a game. The future of basketball will look like Barnes, and Masai Ujiri is giving Barnes plenty of time to flex his muscles with the Raptors.

Aaron Kellerstrass, Piston Powered and Pelican Debrief: Cade is my guy, so I have him No.1 without offending Mobley (2), Barnes (3) or Wagner (4), who are both having great seasons. It’s a tough call because Cade has a bigger role to play on a bad team while Mobley and Barnes are both additions to good teams. The difference for me is that Cade is constantly being double-teamed, is the guy the other team’s game plans for, and has the ball for all the important assets. He was already the Pistons’ best player and had the best all-round stats even though he didn’t play with any of the All-Stars. It really doesn’t matter, as this is the best draft class in recent memory and all these guys are going to be All-Stars. You can also add Josh Giddey and Jalen Green to this list.

Other NBA stories:

This week on The Long Two – an improved attack and malleable defense show that the Milwaukee Bucks’ best play is yet to come, and that the defending champions can still be the best team in basketball.

De’Aaron Fox has survived some major roster changes and has become the stable face for the Sacramento Kings. But is that enough??

James Harden and Joel Embiid raised the floor for the Philadelphia 76ers. Tyrese Maxey could be what sets their ceiling.

Jason Williams wows NBA fans with dazzling passes but the highlight of his career won championships playing in Miami’s winning culture.

Spurs have multiple first-round picks in this draft and Mark Williams can an excellent late round picka big man racing tank adds a new level to their pick and roll game.

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John Verrall

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