San Antonio Spurs – So much for the Spurs getting old and their window closing. Yet again Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and company find themselves atop the Western Conference. Other than their big three, the Spurs are arguably younger and deeper than ever. They’ve had 5 straight years of tough losses in the playoffs. Will this be their year? I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’re hoping Memphis falls a spot as it’s a bad matchup for them.
Oklahoma City Thunder – No Harden no problem. Durant and Ibaka took big leaps forward this season and Kevin Martin has fit into the 6th man role flawlessly. With the largest point differential in the league at + 9.1, it looks like the Thunder successfully improved their long-term outlook without sacrificing in the short term, giving them a good chance for a finals rematch against the Heat.
Los Angeles Clippers – No doubt about it, the Clippers are the best team in LA. The only rough patch of the season came when Chris Paul went down for a few games. Griffin and Jordan have both improved significantly over last year and the bench has been amazing with Barnes, Bledsoe and Crawford all playing above expectations. Now that Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups are back, this team goes 12 deep.
Memphis Grizzlies – Looks like the hangover from losing Rudy Gay didn’t last too long. Seven wins in a row for a sneaky good team. Prince has fit in well for them, adding more defense and consistent shooting than Gay was providing. Let’s not forget the huge frontline of Randolph and Gasol is a matchup nightmare for most teams. Continue reading
The first full month of bball has just ended so lets take a look around the league and see what’s going on:
New York Knicks – 13-4 after playing one of the hardest schedules in the league. As expected they are banged up; Amare, Shumpert, Camby and Kidd are all out and Felton looks like he’s going to play with a bone bruise in his hand. This hasn’t stopped them from holding a 20 point lead in 8 out of their first 16 games. Tough D, Melo averaging the most points per 36 minutes and Chandler on pace for the all time highest FG% for a season have been huge reasons why the Knicks are on such a tear. By the end of the month everyone except Shumpert is supposed to be back so it will be interesting to see if that makes them better or provides chemistry issues. And hopefully Rasheed Wallace can stay on the court more than 90 seconds next game without getting ejected.
The Brooklyn Nets are right behind the Knicks in the standings, however they’ve played a much easier schedule. They did survive an attack by Rajon Rondo. Even though they have the worst crowd chant and the worst mascot it looks like they are going to be a good team.
Andrew Bynum hurt his knee (the supposedly good one) bowling. There is no timetable for his return. Is it possible to be a part of a three team trade where all 3 teams got worse?
Rondo was tied for the second longest double-digit assist streak in NBA history before he attacked Mr. Kardashian. His team is still reeling too. Avery Bradley can’t come back soon enough.
The Toronto Raptors are a very bad team. Kyle Lowry has been the one bright spot. Landry Fields has been terrible but something tells me he’s going to be just fine.
Fortunately for Chicago they are in the worst division in the NBA. It’s totally possible for them to steal a #4 seed without Derrick Rose and then have him healthy for a playoff run. Continue reading
We knew the Knicks had to lose eventually. At least the Knicks first loss was to the Grizzlies who are playing the best basketball in the league and now have the leagues best record as well.
Once again the energy was playoff atmosphere. The effort on both ends was unbelievable. Carmelo held his own for the most part guarding Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and Rasheed Wallace looked like 2004 Rasheed.
Jerryd Bayless and JR Smith got into it late in the 2nd quarter and everything began to go downhill. Continue reading
This is probably the toughest test of the season so far as the quest to remain undefeated continues. Comment here as the game goes on.