1. James Harden is a max player, deserving not only the 5 year, $80 million dollar contract he received earlier in the day, but also the opportunity to lead his own team as the number one option. Last night he dismantled the Pistons with a Lebron-like line of 37 points, 12 Assists, 6 Rebounds, and 4 steals. He accomplished this by being highly efficient from the floor, 14-25, and displaying his unselfish nature by sharing the rock. While the Rockets aren’t ready for the jump to title contender this year, I for one, cannot wait to see what James Harden and his beard accomplish this year.
2. Dwight Howard’s back is fine. While People may overreact to the Lakers 0-2 start, don’t be fooled, this team will be in the mix at the end of the year. a 33 point, 14 rebound performance by Howard will ease a lot of the concerns Laker fans had about his back. Now let’s see if it holds up for another 80 regular season games and the playoffs.
3. Damian Lillard is scary good. While his stat line may not jump out at you (23 points on 7-17 from the field to go along with 11 assists) it was clear to anyone watching that his speed and offensive prowess will be NBA weapons. He has a ways to go defensively, but i think he has as good a shot as anyone at the Rookie of the Year award. If you have a chance to watch him play, don’t pass it up. He was dominant on the collegiate level, and I believe he will have a strong rookie season and beyond.
4. San Antonio is still the same team they’ve been for the past 3 seasons. A slow methodical breakdown of their opponents with a highly efficient offensive output looks familiar. While i don’t believe they have the depth to truly compete this year, I wouldn’t want to be a team to have to face them in crunch time. Pop is the best coach in the game right now, his players play hard for him every night.
5. Utah is a really fun team to watch. While they might not stifle many opponents on defense, this team can score with anyone. With scorers at every position, and especially scorers at the big man spots, this team can put up points in a hurry. Watch out for Mo Williams and Paul Millsap this year, they are going to put up some great numbers.