My internet decided not to be friendly last night, so I apologize for the delay. However, to go along with Thursday, here are 25 thoughts from the week. Let me know what you think in the comments!
-The Clippers have picked up the speed, and alot of it had to do with Eric Bledsoe. While we touched on it last week, it was their speed on both defense and offense which was the difference in their win over San Antonio. Not allowing to let the Spurs get comfortable in the halfcourt seems to be their weakness.
-The Andre Miller, Javale McGee and Corew Brewer Nuggets bench has finally started to play as advertised. The three are averaging a combined 30PTS, 14REBS, and 6ASTS per game.
-Tom Thibodeau has somehow made a backup point guard out of Nate Robinson. Nate Rob, whose previous highlights include scoring a bucket for the other team by lazily throwing the ball at the opponents net, has been efficient for the Bulls when Kirk Hinrich isn’t in. Robinson is averagine 10PTS, 3ASTS and 4REBS a game for the Bulls in limited minutes. As a comparison, Robinson’s career averages are 11,2 and 3, most which involved starter minutes.
-We will discuss this more, but if the Mike Brown hiring is true then they are in true panic mode. It was obvious that the players just didn’t want him there, and this is management’s move to try to make the players happy. I see it helping them in the long run, as none of those free agent acquisitions came to LA because they wanted to “play for Mike Brown”.
-Kevin Seraphin is not getting the credit he deserves. The Wizards forward is averages 17 and 8, up from his career average of 5 and 3. He should finish somewhere in the middle, but anyone who gives Kevin Garnett fits should be put on notice.
-Speaking of Garnett, what is wrong with the Celtics? While they are 2-2, it is a very weak 2-2 with two squeaked out wins against an undermanned Wizards squad. If this continues, you cant solely blame on it on the second unit needing to gel more.
-Everyone knew the Nets were going to struggle defensively, but did anyone expect this on the offensive end? They are currently 26th in scoring with 92/game, and have no one averaging more then 20 points. While it’s early, they could be a year away from being taken seriously.
-With all the talk of the success of Damian Lillard and Dion Waters so far, people have overlooked the struggles of 2nd pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 3rd pick Bradley Beal. MKD is averaging just 8,6 and 2 in 25 minutes while Beal is averaging even worse at 8,2 and 2 in 27 minutes. There teams were certaintly hoping for more.
-Russell Westbrook needs to drop the wrecking ball routine quick. Now that Harden is gone, no one is there to bail him out when he simply drives down the lane with no plan in mind. Someone should send him tape of Glen Davis, that should get him to cut the habit.
-Can Seattle get a team again already? I met a kid who is growing up in Seattle and had no idea who Shawn Kemp or Gary Payton was. That should never happen. How will he understand the ever popular “Shawn Kemp’s kids” fantasy team name? If Stern wants to go out with everyone loving him, he’ll start making moves to get a franchise back to Washington state.
-I paid 179.99 for my league pass subsrciption to watch NBA teams all over the country this year. I would like 1/30th of that back. I no longer consider the Detroit Pistons a NBA team. Did you know their starting backcourt of Stuckey and Knight is combined 26% from the field? Yup, not a typo.
-I hate to come back to the Lakers, but Dwight Howard needs to grow up. He has to stop telling the media “we need to stop freaking out, we will get it together.” These early losses matter. The matter because teams like the Nuggets, Souts, and Thunder know from experience they can beat you on their court. They know they can fould you specifically and you’ll shoot awful from the free throw line away from home(career 59%). So don’t “freak out” when you are headed to game 7 in OKC and San Antonio.
-Paul George needs to become a 20 point scorer soon or else Indiana will be headed back to the lottery. They have struggled to get any scoring outside the paint, and will need to be able to make jumpers against bigger and quicker teams like the Celtics and Heat. While George may not be ready to do that, he’s going to have to be with Danny Granger now out 3 months instead of 3 weeks.
-There are more teams that fall into the “I have no idea what I’m getting from you tonight” than usual. Right now, the 76ers, Pacers, Thunder, Celtics, Bucks. Cavs, Nuggets, Clippers and even the Lakers could fall on that list. The only sure teams right now are the Spurs, Heat and the Knicks if you want to sound crazy.
-If I am a Spurs fan I am not concerned about last night at all. While part of them was exposed(their overall lack of athleticism at the bigs), it was obvious Pop decided no need to push the big guys in a loss. He is a master of minutes and will take a throw-away loss after four wins to preserve legs for playoff time.
-Fans in Detroit and Sacramento should watch Indiana and Kentucky tonight. Tyler Zeller and Nerlens Noel will be making their season debut(Zeller against my alma mater Bryant-Go Bulldogs!), and these two have a pretty good shot of being on your rosters next year.
-While it angers me as a Celtics fan to watch, seeing how unselfish the Heat are as a basketball fan is pure beauty. The Showtime Lakers and 60s Celtics are notoriously famous for sharing the ball, but the Heat are doing it with such a swagger. It’s starting to look like a team is going to have to shoot almost 50% from downtown like the Knicks to beat this team.
-Kyle Lowry getting hurt, no matter how minor is it, is deadly for the Raptors. He means so much to the team already in terms of production and leadership. While Derozan had a good game the other night, and and Landry Fields have continued to show they can’t be trusted on as a premier scorer.
-While watching the Kings the other night on league pass, the Sacramento broadcast was trying to discuss James Johnson as if he was a premier scorer in this league. Direct quote “very few guys could shut this guy down if given the opportunity.” I thought only Washington and Colorado passed the weed act?
-Is Hasheem Thabeet actually useful? While he will never live up to the #2 billing, he is doing the things he did in the FInal Four a few years back that made him so attractive: blocking shots, grabbing boards, and filling passing lanes. Maybe the Thunder found something here.(Kudos to Basketball Jones for pointing this out, because let’s be honest, who is closely watching Thabeet right now.)
-Only 5 teams are currently averaging over 100 points right now(Heat, Mavericks, Knicks, Clippers, and Grizzlies). At the bottom of the list, the 76ers, who are averaging 83 PPG. Oh Bynum Where art thou?
– Milwaukee, the team everyone(including us) was tabbed as a team to play selfish, leads the league in assists with 26.7 a game. Alot of this has to do with Brandon Jennings.
-We will know if the Knicks are for real this week. After a home game against Dallas tonight, they go on the road to play Orlando, San Antonio, Memphis and then back home for Indiana. If they come out of that 6-2, I’d say they are ecstatic.
-It doesn’t get any easier for the Pistons, who have to play the Thunder in two out of their next three games with the Rockets inbetween.
-I miss Kevin Love. My league pass is going to become so much more exciting when he comes back.
Until next time, here is your amazing NBA YouTube Clip!