Here is a quick look after a great slate of games this weekend….
-The Celtics got their first win, but it wasn’t pretty. The offense seemed very choppy after the original 15-2 run to start the game. What is definitely of notice, however, is that Paul Pierce may be as healthy and in as good of shape as he was in the Celt’s 2008 title run.
-Indiana has now been pushed by Toronto, Charlotte, and Sacramento, arguably 3 out of the worst 10 teams in the league. If Indiana is to make the jump to an elite Eastern Conference team, they need to beat these teams soundly. Improving on their league worst 20.7 TO/game will help this.
-The Nets got their first win in the new Barclay’s Center, which is nice pick me up for the city of New York right now. If they Nets can get 27 from Brook Lopez and 15 off the bench from C.J. Watson every game, look out.(Obviously this won’t happen, but it has to make the Johnson/Williams combo feel good to know they won’t have to put up a combined 60 every night.)
– While Chris Bosh’s 40 and Ray-Ray’s 23 off the bench including the game winner are definitely notable, the bigger story might be the Nuggets 0-3 start. A favorite pick as the dark horse in the West, are the Nuggets simply going through a tough schedule or are there too many pieces?
-If the Bulls defense can’t stop the Anthony Davis-less Hornets, they could be in trouble defensively. Robin Lopez and Jason Smith dominated them inside (combined 32PTS, 10-12 from the stripe), and the Hornet’s guards had their way as well. This team is going to have trouble shutting down premier offenses without Rose.
-Unfortunately, it looks as though James Harden isn’t going to average 40 a game. He still scored 24 however, and is proving every night this year thus far he is a top 15 scorer in the league. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard had another great game, and the rookie is quickly showing leadership ability within the Portland organization.
-Kyrie Irving(27PTS/7ASTS) and Anderson Varajeo(20PTS/17RBS) put in another great performance, but they ran into the Milwaukee Bucks buzzsaw named Mike Dunleavy. Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Dunleavy. When the Bucks are getting 29 from him off the bench to go along with 23 from Ellis, they should have no problem outscoring teams like the Cavaliers.
-Dallas is going to be alot better than most people(including myself) originally thought. Matt Moore from CBS wrote a great piece about how good of a coach Rick Carlisle is after their win over the Laker’s, and it is a thought most overlooked. Most of their roster are on one year contracts, and have something to play for. If Dirk comes back healthy, the Mavs are a team that a higher seed would not want t match up with in the playoffs.
-The Spurs look scary good at the moment. They are dishing out 26 assists per game, while only turning the ball over 15 times.(They are also forcing 16 TO’s a game as well). Danny Green and Kwahi Leonard are once again proving they are unselfish players who are fitting perfectly into the Spurs system. What else is new, Spurs role players are buying into their system and they will most likely run off 55-60 wins once again.
-The 76ers showed their other side this weekend. While the Richardson injury didn’t help(that now puts them without both of their “marquee” signings this summer), they showed how wildly inconsistent they can be. Your started small forward should never lead you in rebounds(Evan Turner, with 11). Spencer Hawes came back to earth as well, grabbing just 5 rebounds.
-The Magic are shooting the lights out. I don’t think anyone predicted them to be playing this well early, even if their opponents haven’t been playoff teams. Shooting 53% from three and 49% from the field overall most likely won’t keep up, but they are at least proving that you cannot give Magic shooters open jumpers.
More to come today, including your weekly power rankings. Until then, however, your amazing NBA YouTube Clip.