Friday, July 14, 2017
The Best Moments of 2016-17 NBA Season
We're taking a look back at what was another heart-stopping season of the NBA. The Golden State Warriors won the championship after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1. This was the first time in NBA Finals history the same teams had met in the finals for three consecutive years. The Warriors destroyed their first three opponents, winning 12 games straight to set yet another record. They finished their Finals campaign 16-1, with a win percentage of .941 -- the highest in NBA playoff history. What a year!
It does look as though Golden State will once again be the team to beat after displays throughout the year that have seemingly put them in a whole different league. They have so much depth in their squad and the fantastic four of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. All four were named in the 2016-17 NBA All-Star Game. The side are -150 with most bookmakers, per Oddschecker to take the championship again and it's clear to see why this is the team that everyone fears in the league. At such short odds, punters may instead be looking towards free offers to enhance their bets on the favorites.
As we get ready for another tantalizing season of blockbuster NBA action, we take the time to look back on some of the players that blew us away with incredible performances week in and week out. There were so many amazing players this year and we thought we'd take a look back at three that really took the season by storm; the kind of players that have the consistency and endurance to get their team over the line again and again.
First off, six-time NBA all-star Russell Westbrook had an absolutely fantastic season. The dynamic point guard from the Oklahoma City Thunder had a record-breaking year, with numbers that were truly staggering. He became one of only two players in history to average a triple-double for a season. He also broke the record for the most triple-doubles in one season, with an astonishing 42, seven of which were in consecutive games. This saw him surpass Oscar Robertson, who held the record with 41. Due to all these amazing performances, he was subsequently named the 2016-17 NBA's Most Valuable Player.
Westbrook finished with an average of 31.6 points per game and was the leading point scorer overall for the year. He was also the league's third highest assist maker, coming in with 10.4 per game. His season average of 10.4 rebounds was equally commanding and a key part to his brilliant triple-double average season.
In the playoffs, Westbrook scored 51 points when the Thunder played the Houston Rockets in game two. Oklahoma eventually succumbed to the Rockets, 4-1, but the point guard became only the second player in NBA history to claim three consecutive triple-doubles in playoff history, equaling Wilt Chamberlain. Amazingly, he only needed half a game to take his third, completing it in just 24 minutes; the fastest triple-double in the last 20 years.
The Thunder will be thankful they managed to keep the star player in Oklahoma after there was speculation he may be heading elsewhere prior to the start of the season. Fortunately for fans, he put pen to paper and signed a three-year contract worth $85.7 million for three years.
Next, we take a look at the Houston Rockets' star James Harden. The powerful shooting guard was outstanding throughout the year and another player who had some real blockbuster performances.
"The Beard" came a close second for most points per game, averaging 29.1. He also had 8.1 rpg, which helped him claim an impressive 22 triple-doubles. Where he commanded the game the most, though, was with his assists. He averaged 11.2 per game, more than any other player in the 2016-17 season.
The Rockets' superstar also became the first player in the history of the game to total 2000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds in a single season, something which has never before been accomplished. These statistics gave Harden the best offensive record in the league and it's easy to see why they value him so much down there in Houston. He is also the first player to score and assist on 2,000 points in a season.
We've seen players accomplish those feats separately, but have never witnessed both done in the same season. Westbrook came close and easily got the points. However, he only assisted on 1,924 points, falling just short of the magical 2,000 club. It's not as flashy as Westbrook's triple-double record, but it is more unprecedented. His commanding presence on the court has people suggesting that he may be one of the greatest offensive players of our time. He also broke the record for most turnovers in a year, with 460.
The records didn't stop there, though. Golden State's Wardell Stephen Curry had a magnificent year. The three-point wizard was unstoppable from long range and set a new record for the most three-pointers in one game, making an incredible 13 baskets. The "Baby-Faced Assassin" wasn't satisfied there, though, and also broke the record for most consecutive games with at least one three-pointer at an unbelievable 157 games.
He was such a pivotal part of the Warriors' dominating season and racked up a mind-blowing 324 three-pointers. No other player came close to that number, with teammate Klay Thompson the closest back on 268. It's easy to see why Golden State just can't stop scoring, with both of the NBA's top two three-point shooters in the same squad.
Luckily for the Warriors fans, Curry has signed a new five-year contract worth $201 million and will be hanging around for many seasons to come. Great news for the club and player alike as he will play a major part in Golden State's chance to retain the title come the start of next season. He had previously signed a $44 million deal back in 2012. However, after constantly providing the Warriors with absolutely superb displays every game day, they have seen just how much of an asset he is.
Many players and analysts have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. Some say he has revolutionized the game in a way we may never see again. Any way you look at it, he's an extraordinary player and will be a dominating force once again when the season kicks off.
We now look forward to October 17th, where we will see the 72nd NBA season kick off with Golden State taking on an opponent still yet to be determined. Will there be as many records set as this year? No one knows. One thing is for sure, though, it's going to be another spectacular season.