-Philly's much worse than I expected. Terrible defensively.
-Milwaukee's on their way to being a good team. I really like how they play. They don't quite have enough firepower yet, but they are surprisingly good on the defensive end.
-I didn't expect the Bulls to miss Ben Gordon as much they do. They have too many guys that can't shoot, and other teams are just packing the lane in. Especially off of Noah. Del Negro is TERRIBLE from an X's and O's standpoint.
-Gotta give Mike Woodson some credit. That team has gotten better every single year. A Boston/Atlanta matchup in the 2nd Round could be bad news for the Celtics.
-I was wrong about the Wizards. I expected Agent Zero to return. He got neutered somewhere along the way.
-OKC is continuing to build a solid squad. But as much as I like Sam Presti, he needs to start addressing the front court. I think this is his 3rd year, and it's still as bad as it's ever been. That's what's keeping them from getting to the next level.
-The Lakers are far and away the best team in the league. All homerism aside, every article I read that references the opinion of an NBA Scout shares the same sentiment.
-Phoenix has gotten back to what they do best, and having Shaq gone helps them do that. It's still not sustainable in the playoffs, but at least they're entertaining again.
-Westphal's kicking some serious ass in Sacramento. Evans has gotten a ton of love, deservedly so, but I think that Omri Casspi's been a great glue guy. He's one of the Top 5 rookies right now, IMO.
-Golden State...what can you say at this point? I'm waiting for the inevitable 13-7 run to close the season that puts them out of the Wall/Turner/Favors discussion.
-Dammit...I thought that Houston was most likely team to be the "surprise" team of the year, but I still picked them to have a crappy record. They're a great example of what team basketball can do.
-The thing that's most concerning about San Antonio is that they're struggling WITH Duncan playing great basketball. I think their days as a championship contender are over.
-Chris Paul in New Orleans is starting to remind me of KG in Minnesota. But they've gone on a nice little run recently.
-Memphis is halfway decent, especially once the Iverson drama was over. Marc Gasol might already be a Top 10 center in the league. He's a very well rounded player.
Originally posted by phatbutskinny: u were wrong abt the kings
The difficult part about these things is that when I do them and then add everyone's record up, I end up with a league that's 100 games over .500. The losses gotta come from somewhere. I didn't expect the Spurs to fall off as they have. Considering that they're tied for the fewest road games in the league right now, they're on about a 42-43 win pace. I don't think anyone would have predicted that.
I'm not sure why anyone would have expected a much better start from the Spurs, a team that: (1) always starts slow; and (2) is trying to integrate into its rotation and its defensive system several new contributors (including Antonio McDyess, who always starts slow).
Aside from the Lakers, every team in the West has at least 9 losses. The Spurs have 11 losses. The Spurs' losses have been by an average of 7.4 points. And that's with Pop closely monitoring minutes and experimenting with lineups. Seriously, with some of his in-game decisions (in crunch time, no less), Pop has been coaching like he doesn't care about wins. And he probably won't start caring until February.
Make no mistake, I'm concerned about the Spurs. Parker's a vagina, Manu's out of shape, RJ's inconsistent, etc . . . but their current record is a pretty poor indicator of their potential. I still expect 50+ wins and a top 4 seed.
Anyway, my main complaint at this point is that Pop seems to be giving Blair the rookie treatment. I think this is a mistake because Blair could offer Duncan the best opportunity to rest during the regular season. He and Duncan occupy the same space.
The Spurs are tied for the fewest road games in the league, yet their only 15-11. They've looked bad against every good team they've played. Their time to stock up on victories has already passed. They're going to have to turn it on to get to 50 wins, IMO.
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