The NBA Looks A Whole Lot Like It Did In 2011

Derrick Rose is averaging 20 points and 6 assists, Dwight Howard is near the top of the league in blocks, the Lakers are title favorites, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are teammates, the Dallas Mavericks are being led by a European player, and the Golden State Warriors are irrelevant. The previous statement pretty much sums up the widely entertaining 2011 NBA season. Oh wait, actually that describes the current landscape of the NBA. Like the late great Yogi Berra used to say “its deja vu all over again.”

While we are just in the early stages of the 2019 NBA season, and things are for sure going to change by years end, it is interesting how much this year resembles the 2011 season. Sure some of it is tongue in cheek joking but the resurgences of Rose and Howard, the rebirth of the Mavericks, the Lakers being true title contenders and the project of rekindling Harden and Westbrook, all ensures we will have an entertaining NBA season.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose seemed to find something last season while in Minnesota with his iconic 50 point game along with consistently good play. Current day as a member of the Detroit Pistons, Rose is proving it last seasons resurgence was not a flash in the pan. With Rose finally back to good healthy, he has gotten back to being an explosive scorer and playmaker. Not to the extent of his MVP season, but Rose when healthy is still a very good guard who will help lead the Detroit Pistons to the playoffs.

Dwight Howard

The resurgence that nobody saw coming is Dwight Howard. If you would’ve told me Howard was a key piece to a championship caliber Lakers team in 2019, I would’ve told you get out of here this isn’t 2013 and there is no way the Lakers nor their fanbase would welcome Howard back into the fold after the way he departed the team. But here we are in 2019 with Howard top 10 in +/-, top 10 in blocks per game, and providing the energy off the bench that the Lakers desperately need from the second unit. The resurgence is one nobody seen coming, not the Lakers, Howard, his agent, nobody. The proof is the non guaranteed contract he signed to just make the Lakers roster. Howard looks like the under the radar steal of the offseason.

Los Angeles Lakers

In the 2011 NBA season the Los Angeles Lakers led by Kobe Bryant were in pursuit for yet another NBA Championship. Fast forward to present day, the Los Angeles Lakers are title favorites led by another all time great in Lebron James. To make things even more eery, the Lakers of the past manned a dynamic front court featuring Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The LeBron led Lakers feature Anthony Davis and a combination of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard to match Bynum’s production. Diving in deeper, both Lakers teams lacked at the point guard position, and had a great wing defender with Metta World Peace and currently Danny Green. The Lakers look to have better fortunes than the 2011 lakers team who got bounced by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas Mavericks Rebirth

Speaking of the Dallas Mavericks, back in 2011 the Mavericks were on their way to winning the franchises first NBA title on the back of Dirk Nowitzki. While today they are not on the championship projection for this season, they have two great building blocks going forward with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Quickly glance at a Dallas Mavericks game while Doncic and Porzingis run a pick and pop for a Porzingis 30 foot jump shot and you will reminisce on the Jason Kidd-Nowitzki days. Obviously they are not at that level just yet, but give it a few years to develop.

As eery as it seems to see ghost of the NBA past resurface this season, it does create a feel good moment. Rose is adding somewhat of a redemption chapter to his story, while Howard has completely flipped the script on his perceived character. LeBron continues to showcase that he is atop the league and not letting go of his throne, and the Dallas Mavericks have stepped into a new age, the post Dirk era.


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