By Mark Molz
The NBA season has officially begun and while the Lakers are coming off their title win from only two months ago, other teams outside the bubble haven’t played in an NBA game since March. With all 30 teams in competition for this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy and COVID-19 complications still looming over the heads of everyone, the league and its players will be put to the test with a full 72-game NBA season ahead.
Just a few weeks in, here are some accomplishments we all should be looking out for:
1. Lebron James Fifth Title
With Lebron coming off his fourth NBA championship in his storied career, inching him closer and closer to the all-time GOAT, he will be looking to add a fifth to his trophy case. If Lebron is able to reach number five he will tie Laker great Kobe Bryant and officially be one behind the six-time NBA champion and long-time GOAT, Michael Jordan.
If Lebron is able to win back-to-back championships in his 18th year many people will believe that he will finally have enough accolades to surpass Michael Jordan and be the all-time GOAT of the NBA.
2. Stephen Curry Three-Point Record
Curry is currently sitting at 2,527 career three-pointers. He is 446 from the all-time record set by Ray Allen. The most ever made in a season is 402, which was set by Curry back in the 2015-16 season. While 446 threes might seem a little out of reach for the 2x MVP his splash brother Klay Thompson will be out all season due to a torn ACL, so you never know how many threes Curry will put up as the season continues.
If Curry doesn’t get it this season you can almost count on him claiming the all-time record during the course of next year.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo Back-to-Back-to-Back MVPs
Antetokounmpo just locked up his second MVP in back-to-back seasons. Being the first one to do this since Curry in 14-15 and 15-16. This year Giannis will look to be the fourth player in NBA history to win the MVP three years in a row. The last player to accomplish this was Larry Bird in the 80s while playing with the Boston Celtics. While it is not very common for this feat to be accomplished, Giannis is currently second in the NBA MVP odds for the 2021 season, with Luka Doncic just ahead of him.
4. Russell Westbrook All-Time Triple-Doubles Leader
Sitting at 150 all-time triple-doubles, Westbrook is currently 31 away from being the overall triple-double king. In 2016-17 Westbrook was able to reach 42 total and in 2018-19 he had 34. The record and current king Oscar Robertson is very much in threat and can easily be accomplished this year (especially if he is playing for the Wizards).
5. Most Points in a Game Since Kobe - 81
While scoring is at an all time high 81 points in a game still might seem like it is out of reach. But, with players jacking up threes at an almost overwhelming rate it seems more likely than one might think. The NBA season is just a few weeks in and we already have two players who have scored 60 points or more (Bradley Beal and Stephen Curry). The closest player to reach 81 was Devin Booker who managed to tally an incredible 70 back in 2017.
I wouldn’t put Kobe’s 81 point game as unbreakable just yet as there is a lot of basketball still left to play.
For more information regarding the research of this article please visit the links below.
Melanie Moyer '22,