This week, the Three Man Weave assesses Kyle Lowry’s invaluable play, dissects the top team in the league and looks at Andrew Wiggins, the NBA’s Rookie of the Month for November. Adam Thielen Jersey . Hosts of TSN 1050s 1-On-1 With Will & Duane, Will Strickland and Duane Watson are joined by Hoops Lounge co-host Sporting Phil Boileau from Montreal. In DeMar DeRozans absence, Kyle Lowry has put up big numbers. If DeRozan is out for an extended period and the Raptors continue to sustain, should he start to get MVP consideration? Strickland: In last weeks edition of #3MW, I pointed out that Kyle was already a top five MVP candidate. That stance is further affirmed by his play since DeMars injury, leading the Raps to a 2-1 record on their recent West Coast road swing and dropping a career high 39 points vs. Utah. Theres no indication that while DeRozan is shelved, Kyle Lowry and his team will lose sight of the three Fs: Focus, Fight and Finish. Will the rest of the league take notice? They should because The Bulldog is coming! Boileau: Should DeMar’s absence be of considerable time, and their winning percentage stay where it is, or even close, then this has to be had as a conversation. He will have to shoulder much more of the scoring and leadership role. His numbers may have to improve though, and shouldering such a load could make that happen. I say this because past winners not only vault their respective teams to impressive win totals, but themselves becomes league leaders (or close to) in various categories. Think of the last few MVP winners, then look at Lowry’s present numbers: 20 and 6 is not an MVP, no matter how many wins they get, just ask Tony Parker. Watson: Without question, he’s the proven leader of this ballclub and a deserved All-Star. If the team is successful, he should get recognition and consideration. The bigger question is: Will he? While the Raptors have made inroads, they still have ways to go to earn that respect. The Golden State Warriors have won 12 games in a row, are 17-2, tops in the league. What do they have to do this season to prove they are a contender? Strickland: What any good contending team should look to do is: try to stay relatively healthy, find consistency and stability on both ends of the court, in the locker room and off court as well. Winning is a habit that requires constant nurturing. The Warriors are top five in assists and offensive efficiency as well as tops in point differential and, surprisingly enough, defensive efficiency. The Splash Brothers continue to strike fear in hearts and opposing coaches game plans, Steve Kerr is looking like the leading early candidate for Coach of The Year and everyones happy in The Bay right now. The pop quizzes, at least in the regular season, will come against every team in the state of Texas and when their in-state rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, come knocking. The real tests begin in April. Lets see where they are then and if can they make the conference finals a realistic goal. Boileau: This has to be seen as a feel-good story, with roster players staying on, where they might have been shipped off for contractual reasons, and the impressive emergence of Coach of the Year candidate Steve Kerr. The factors that will have to keep going are: Health: This is a team seemingly made of glass, can they keep this current roster who is setting plus/minus records on the court for 82 games? Consistency: With your primary scorers being jump shooters, as weve seen in the past with “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson’s Milwaukee Bucks that also featured Ray Allen and Sam Cassel, we have to see if they can consistently win even if their shots arent falling, which seemed to be their downfall last year. Defence: We are seeing a great improvement this year, but it’s a mindset, not a fad. This has to be their focus even though their pace would dictate an onus on the scoring over protection. Andrew Bogut being healthy is the huge X factor here. Watson: Perhaps going 80-2 would silence the doubters. With the return of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, will the OKC Thunder make the playoffs now after an abysmal start? Strickland: As great as the current, reigning MVP Kevin Wayne Durant and Russell Westbrook are, asking them to go 45-19 to reach the 50 win threshold many believe will mark entry into the playoffs in the West is a tall task. Though not impossible, it is one that could leave Durant and Westbrook fully spent by mid-April. Failure to make the playoffs a season before The Slim Reaper becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2016 could have franchise shifting implications from the top down in Oklahoma City. Stay tuned! Boileau: OKC needs to win two-thirds of their remaining games it’s that simple. Even then if enough of the right teams get hot, this could still not be enough. People speak to the emergence of teams that did NOT make the playoffs last year such as the Suns, Pelicans, and Kings, but let’s not forget, all of the other Western teams need to face these boys also. I wouldnt bet the farm on them making it, but should it be the case, and the San Antonio Spurs come out with another top seeding in the West, we could be looking at another classic No. 8-over-No. 1 upset, especially with how OKC has had their number in past years. Watson: That’s a tall, tall order. They have to play lights-out basketball in a better and deeper western conference and that’s barring injury to any of their other key players. If the Thunder were in the east, it’s a possibility, but in the west? True or false: The 2014-2015 NBA Champions will come out of the Southwest Division? Strickland: Plausible. A betting person could look at reigning champs San Antonio and feel relatively safe with their wager as they are a squad that knows what it takes to win when it counts most. But the division is a murderous one that houses a vastly improved Houston Rockets, who are playing very well even without Dwight Howard, a steady, cohesive unit in Memphis lead by Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and a wily veteran squad in Dallas that stretched the Spurs to seven games in the first round of the playoffs last year and look more dangerous this season with the return of Tyson Chandler, the electric, dynamic player that is Monta Ellis and the ever-present ninth-leading scorer in NBA history, Dirk Nowitzki. It could be that these teams end up cancelling one another out, opening the door for another potential champ. But... dont bet on it. Boileau: I would say true, and less because of how I truly believe in what they can send out, but more of how I think the rest won’t be ready to meet them. Memphis and San Antonio are two veteran teams who have great chemistry and are on top of their respective games. I can’t see anyone from the East making any notable noise THIS year, and the rest of the west would require either OKC to make a monumental leap in the win/loss department or The Clippers/Warriors to show that they can consistently win playoff games, which I’m not sold they can. Watson: Too early to tell. That’s where the current champions reside, but there’s a lot more basketball to be played, but chances are high that they will come out of the western conference. With Andrew Wiggins winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month what are your thoughts on his performance thus far? Strickland: This may be the most bittersweet offer of congratulations ever, so kudos to Andrew Christian Wiggins for taking this honor. But, its been won by default in essence, as none of the rookie class has truly distinguished themselves early in the season and he has no real challengers in the West...yet (Sorry, Kostas Papanikolaou). Wiggins has not taken full advantage of the opportunity to spread his wings more and take charge for the injury-riddled Timberwolves. His elite athleticism has allowed him to excel as a rookie on defense. When his technique, balance and understanding of nuances / tendencies meet his athletic prowess, fuggedaboutit! But his shooting has actually suffered, falling below 40 per cent for the season. Wiggins can only get better from here and hell have ample opportunity to do so in Minny. Boileau: His shooting stroke while streaky has been a thing of beauty, drawing rave reviews from announcers/writers around the Association. His willingness to attack larger players on the block and drive the lane is also a great sign, and more shots will fall as he learns the nuances of drawing fouls and player tendencies. His greatest stumbling blocks to me so far have been his ball handling (which I think is improving at a nice rate), but most importantly, his decision-making. You can tell that coach is telling him to shoot and be aggressive, and with their injury brigade, it makes sense, but you often see him forcing shots/situations. His ability to pass out of double teams and/or keep the dribble alive when trapped to me are his next steps towards stardom. Watson: He has done well so far and as expected he’s been afforded the minutes as the T-Wolves rebuild. His defence keeps him on the floor, but he has to shoot the ball better, or more importantly smarter. I’ve tempered my expectations of him since Kansas, but nice to see him beat out some rookies that were more “NBA ready.” Follow them on twitter: Will Strickland @WallStrizzle1, Duane Watson @duanewatson and Phil Boileau @SportingPhil Mackensie Alexander Jersey . Serves hit by her surgically repaired shoulder often missed the mark, resulting in 12 double-faults. 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