I’m proud to say this will become a weekly tradition on HoopSocial. The Weekly 4-Point Play will have rotating categories that will feature storylines, highlights, and players from around the NBA. For the first week, we will do a Role Player Spotlight, A Trip to The Trade Machine, Future Star Watch, and the Block Party of The Week.
The Block Party of The Week will actually be a staple as a good block is probably my favorite play in basketball. Let’s not waste any more time and dive into this week’s 4-Point Play.
Role Player Spotlight: Josh Okogie takes it to the Warriors on Opening Night
Every team needs good role players. Especially championship-caliber teams. The Suns spent the offseason signing role players to cheap contracts in the hope that they would be able to find two guys that can consistently play with Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Kevin Durant. Okogie made sure we wouldn’t forget about him through all the star power the Suns had on opening night.
With Steph Curry trying to relax some defensively and hang out with Okogie on defense, Okogie saw some opportunity to attack the offensive glass. One of the best things role players can do is hustle to earn extra possessions. That means loose balls, offensive rebounders, getting steals, and essentially just playing like Josh Okogie.
A Players’ Only Meeting After the First Game Means a Trip to the Trade Machine
The Chicago Bulls got blown off the floor by the OKC Thunder on opening night and Nikola Vucevic was not happy about something during the game which led to a quick argument with head coach Billy Donovan. The team reportedly had a players’ only meeting after the game which is never a good sign in general, especially early in the season and especially after the first game of the season. I’m going to take a wild guess and say Vucevic’s unhappiness was the reason why this meeting happened. He wants regular post-touches, especially against a smaller team like OKC. He posterized Chet Holmgren early in the game but didn’t get many touches after that.
In other news, the Grizzlies will be without their starting center Steven Adams for the entire season. Adams is one of the best rebounders in the league and his passing and size is a big help to the Grizzlies who struggled in his absence last season and even failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs despite being the 2 seed and having the benefit of playing a play-in team in the first round.
I think you might have figured out where I’m going with this. Vooch is also one of the best rebounders in the league and is a very smart passer. He could help fill the void left behind for Adams at a reasonable price. Vooch gets some hate for his defense but he has shown in Chicago that with elite defenders around him, he can hold his own and the Grizzlies have that in the last two DPOY winners, Marcus Smart and Jaren Jackson Jr. The Bulls might at the start of a disaster season, they will take a young player and a heavily protected 1st to eat Adams’ contract and start the rebuilding process.
Future Star Watch: Cade Cunningham is Back!
The former #1 pick only played 12 games last season which led to many people forgetting how good he really is. Cade showed off his potential while playing for the select team that scrimmaged against Team USA in practice over the summer. Many who attended the camp say that Cade was the best player on the court, including the 12 guys who made the A-Team over him.
This got people excited about Cade’s return to the NBA court which lived up to the hype. Cade scored 30 points on 13/27 from the field and 4/9 from deep and he added 9 assists as well as the Pistons took the defending Eastern Conference Champions Miami Heat down to the wire. This could be the beginning of a monster season for Cade and a season that the great people of Detroit have been waiting for. Don’t sleep on the Pistons if Cade can keep this play up!
The Block Party of The Week: KP comes back to MSG with his new squad and swats away 4 shots
The Celtics made one of the boldest gambles of the offseason when they traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porziņģis. That gamble is looking good after his first regular season game for the Celtics which was against the team that drafted him. A Revenge Block Party! Not only did KP score 30 points and get to the free line an intense 10 times in his debut, but he also blocked 4 shots. The Celtics also traded away Robert Williams in a deal that landed them Jrue Holiday which made two things clear.
First, they will officially be moving away from the 2 big lineups as a staple of the team. Second, they will need KP to hold strong in the paint when playing with 4 perimeter players. The Celtics have many great defensive players (one of whom gets a shoutout in the first DPOY Check-In). They should be able to funnel drivers right into the trap of KP waiting for them at the rim. KP is off to a great start with the Celtics which should be scary to everyone else in the league.