ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Basketball Season has Begun

Yes I realize that basketball started a few months ago but now College Football season is over and there is nothing but basketball on TV during the week.  So this is really about the time that basketball season starts for me.  In an effort to get people (myself) up to speed, I asked some of my more basketball savvy friends to fill me in on the top stories in the NBA this year and here is what I found out.
  1. Boston playing great right now.  The Celtics have been on fire lately and although they are missing Kevin Garnett with a strained calf at the moment, they have a 6 game lead in their division.
  2. Professional basketball matters again in New York at MSG.  The combination of Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton have brought relevance back to basketball's Mecca.  Could they possibly bring Carmelo Anthony into the fold and become a serious competitor?
  3. Derrick Rose taking the next step.  As you can see above Derrick Rose is an athlete.  But he is hitting shots this year too.  Rose is .377 from behind the 3-point line this season.
  4. Cavs were better with Lebron. At 8-30, Cleveland is the worst team in the league.  They were almost doubled up by the Lakers last night 112-57 and lose by an average of more than 10 points per game.  Yeah I guess you could say LeBron was good for them.
  5. Heat are better with LeBron. Despite a 9-8 start to the year the Heat are currently at 30-9, meaning they've only lost 1 game in their last 22.  Those three guys are playing good basketball.
  6. Blockbuster deal for Orlando to get more explosive but smaller. Orlando gave up just about everyone on their team but Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson.  They picked up Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas.  They have won their last 9 games after a sputtering start to the year.
  7. John Wall. Yup, he's legit.  Wall is averaging about 16 points and 9 assists per game and already has a triple-double.  He is about the only reason to watch the Wizards now.
  8. Thunder's Russell Westbrook throws down over Lakers Lamar Odom
  9. The Thunder's rise to elite status. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had their coming out party this Summer for team USA but fortunately for Oklahoma City, they are both on the Thunder and boy are they fun to watch.  Those two average only .1 ppg less than the combination of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James
  10. Laker 3-peat? The Lakers have looked good this year but you can start to see things coming apart at the seams (as long as you don't look at last night's blowout).  The only thing holding them back in my mind is their age which they are beginning to show.  Unless of course they are just playing easy to get into the post-season healthy and rested.
  11. Blake Griffin is man-child. Please see this post and the picture below.
  12. Spurs are the best team in the league right now. Their 32-6 record is clearly tops in the NBA right now.  Nobody plays better team basketball.
  13. Poor Yao Ming and Greg Oden.  I think there might be a limit to the pounding that bodies as big as theirs can take and hopefully they haven't reached it yet, but you have to think they're close as both big guys have already had season ending surgery.  Again.
Well there you have it, the top 12 stories going on in the NBA right now.  I'll continue to discuss the bigger events going on in the league throughout the season.  The allegedly impending Carmelo Anthony trade a New York team will probably be the next NBA article.  We might even get some guest writers to come on and chat about some more in depth stuff over the course of the season.

Blake Griffin obliterating physical boundaries

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Wade Garrett said...

The Spurs are my favorite team in the NBA, and I'm thrilled to see them playing so well - the season is going to be half-over in two days, and they are on track to go 70-12. I believe that the Spurs' best game can not beat the Lakers, Celtics or Heat's best games, but they closer to their ceiling more consistently than any other team in the league. I credit the Spurs' front office with finding terrific secondary pieces in obscure places - Gary Neal from overseas, Tiaggo Splitter from the Brazillian Olympic team, Matt Bonner from the end of the Raptors' bench, George Hill, from obscure IUPUI, and DeJuan Blair, who every team in the NBA passed up on account of his knee injuries, and for Gregg Popovich for turning them into ideal compliments for his three big stars.

Justin said...

Hey, the Spurs are my favorite team, too! Couldn't agree more about the great personnel moves they've made over the years - and here I thought I was the only one who appreciates how well Matt Bonner has played - and how they have made the Spurs relevant and competitive every single year. Apparently teams looked at DeJuan's lack of ACL's and decided that even though he was a force in college without his ligaments that he would somehow struggle. Sam Presti and R.C. Buford proved that they knew their stuff, and while most execs were salivating over all the big international players that could put the ball on the floor, the Spurs just went and signed some French point guard instead. Plus, they've had great success with role players like Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen. The one move that they blew that I can think of was when they traded away Luis Scola to avoid the luxury tax. Pretty good when you've got one mad decision in a decade...unless you count Richard Jefferson, who I like to think is just a hallucination of mine after years of overindulgence

Wade Garrett said...

Couldn't agree more about Scola. I was a fan of his ever since he destroyed the United States in the 2002 World Championships. I think the Spurs wanted to avoid the luxury tax, but, even more than that, I think they didn't realize how well Scola's game would translate to the NBA.

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