As part of the Thursday rotation, we give you 30 quick points from the past week. With only two days to pull from, some of these are more on the “hypothetical” level.
1. The Celtics’ defense needs to gel, specifically the 2nd unit. Because of all the new faces, don’t expect to see the Celts in full mode until Christmas time.
2. The Nuggets are on the same page as the Celtics. For all the pregame hype that everyone(including myself) gave them, they have alot of gelling left to do. One thing was evident however, they are just as athletic as advertised.
3. The Phoenix Suns’ training is known around the NBA as one of the greatest in the league. I only say this because Steve Nash just suffered his first injury, albeit it a small one. It will be interesting to see how the health nut recovers with the Lakeshow staff.
4. Spencer Hawes is the new mayor of Philadelphia. Last night, I tweeted that someone needed to tell Spencer Hawes and his hair that they aren’t all-stars. I was wrong about one thing, his hair is on an all-star level. While I don’t think Hawes will be putting up 16/12/5 like numbers every night, if they get 65-75% of that from him coming off the bench when Bynum comes back, they can be scary good in a tough Atlantic Division.
5. The Clippers/Grizzlies rivalry is a real thing, however the Clippers have the upper hand thus far. Jamal Crawford had 29 off the bench last night, and Eric Bledsoe brings an unreal change of pace when he takes over for Chris Paul. The Randolph/Gasol combo may not be as effective as you think. They had a combined -25 in (+/-).
6. On the other side of the (+/-) scale, Jeremy Lin and James Harden combined for a +41. Not a bad start for the Western Conferences’ newest backcourt.
7. Anthony Davis is good. Like, real good. While he will have better stat lines than 21/9 by the time this year ends, Davis went 9-9 from the stripe and showed a real knowledge of switching on defense and closing open space. Between him and the leagues newest irrational confidence guy, Al-Farouq Aminu, the Hornets are fun to watch again.
8. The Bulls are going to be super boring until Derrick Rose gets back. Their win over the Kings was extremely underwhelming and sloppy. You are not going to beat many teams in the NBA going 2-9 from beyond the arc. Luckily for the Bulls, the Kings’ 29 fouls turned into 33 free throws. ZzZzZzZ.
9. Taj Gibson was smart to resign with the Bulls. While they are not the team they were last year(see one above), they are his best chance to be on a playoff team. I don’t see another contender offering him the money that the Bulls did(4 years, $38 mil.)
10. Jimmer Fredette is the next Adam Morrison, yet its less emotional. He’ll be out of the league in three years. A pretty much DNP last night, where he didn’t attempt a shot, I think is the beginning of the end for yet another good college/bad pro player.
11. The Lakers should begin to panic. They have more team turnovers(39) than bench points(32) through 2 games. While it is an extremely small sample size, and unhappy Kobe is never a good thing.
12. Brandon Rush should start over Harrison Barnes right now in Golden State. Barnes looked a little overwhelmed by the moment, and Rush is an NBA player who closed fast last year. Golden State needs to get off to a fast start, and having Rush play starter minutes(14PTS in 24MINS) is the better option right now.
13. Phoenix is in big trouble. Having trouble scoring against a defense like Golden State doesn’t speak well for you early. Shooting 4-21 and having your top scorer only score 17 doesn’t help either.
14. The Raptors are finding new ways to ruin Canada’s night. While Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valancuinas showed some great promise for the future, money bags DeMar Derozan and his new buddy Landry Fields were a combined 5-20 from the field.(Fields was 0-6, YUCK.) Also, their last second shot was putrid. How is a Bargnani fall away on the baseline your go to play coming out of preseason? Isn’t this something you practice during the preseason? “What should we do if we need a bucket late?” “Ehh, well figure it out when it comes.”
15. The Pacers are going to be fine without Danny Granger. If anything, this is a tryout for the Pacers to see if Paul George is the replacement everyone thinks he is. The shooting will come(7-15 for 14PTS), but you’re not getting the 15REBS from Granger that you got from George last night.
16. Jae Crowder could be the still of the 2nd round. While the numbers aren’t overwhelming(16PTS, 6REBS over two games), he has shown flashes of what Kenneth Faried does for the Nuggets. He’s not going to be winning any awards, but Crowder is going to be fun to watch in Dirk’s absence.
17. Everyone who was available to play in the Mavs/Jazz game got into the game. I don’t have anything else here, it just doesn’t happen alot in the NBA.
18. Damian Lillard is already my favorite player on my fantasy teams. Watching him play last night was flat out fun. He is also the only player to go for 20PTS /10ASTS(he actually got 23 and 11) in their first game besides Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. Yup, pretty good company.
19. I haven’t heard the word “flop” since the season started Tuesday night. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but maybe the new rules are actually doing some good. Then again, Manu Ginobili was out with an injury last night.(HEYY-OO!)
20. More people need to go to NBA games in Halloween costumes. These guys made my night last night. I haven’t laughed so hard at an NBA game since Dwight Howard went 3-14 from the FT line.(I’ve been doing alot of laughing lately.)
21. It was great to watch Tim Duncan have a nice flashback performance last night. 24PTS and 11REBS would be nice to get from every night, but it just doesn’t seem like those games are going to be around as much.
22. The Spurs should trade DeJuan Blair. There are many teams looking for a solid backup PF/C, and they could get either another piece or a solid draft pick from a suitor. He is too good to be sitting on a bench in this league where big men are at a shortage.
23. Who is Greg Smith? No seriously, who is he? I know he’s the Rockets backup forward, but seriously, who is he?
24. Troy Murphy signed a one year deal with the Mavericks today. I remember two years ago he was the Celtics “big mid-season pickup”. Yeah, that was a pretty depressing day.
25. If the Grizzlies are going to get anywhere, Michael Conley needs to be better. 7PTS, 5ASTS, and 6TO’s in 34 minutes is not good for a starting PG on a playoff team. It’s only one game, but he needs quite the rebound game.
26. Kenyon Martin hasn’t been signed by a team yet, and is still available. He is not going to do much on the offensive side on the ball, but there are many more guys on NBA benches right now that are a worst five fouls. Maybe the Knicks go calling, is they have enough social security left.(KILLING TONIGHT!)
27. LeBron James is an unstoppable force. To have any chance at him, you need to hit him right at half, and then hit him again on the drive. Honestly, I would just foul him every time he drives and hope he hits just one free throw instead of both. I only put this at 27 because it’s just so obvious. If he wanted too, he could easily average a triple double.
28. Adidas needs to calm down with the Derrick Rose commercials. We get it, he’s injured. He’s a great guy. He’s a hard worker. But it’s making me start to resent Derrick Rose. And I like Derrick Rose, but there are many other guys who came back from injury. Including Chris Paul. And 10,000 other athletes.
29. Doug Carlisle made a great coaching decision in his first two games. He started Brendan Wright over Eddy Curry. While this may seem small, Wright has proven to be solid while Curry is solid for a whole different reason.
30. Actually, Doug Collins has already made the best coaching decision of the year. He didn’t play Kwame Brown.
Until next time, here is your awesome NBA YouTube Clip!