Around The L


We’re spoiled as NBA fans. Another national doubleheader tonight, not only that but it’s another night of Inside The NBA. I could watch them forever. Tonight the Pistons (sans Rip Hamilton thanks to a family emergency) travel to face the Heat. This is the perfect test to see if Miami has anything that will hold the fort until D-Wade stops rehabbing and yelling his name in empty arenas. Ricky Davis should help but could be locked down by Afflalo and Detroit’s tough D. I refuse to speculate on the Diesel, although since I stole him in my fantasy draft I hope he has 27 and 12. The second half of the doubleheader is Phoenix travelling to face Seattle. Forget the debut of Grant Hill, screw the most exciting team in the NBA and an up yours to Kevin Durant. The big question is…will anyone be in Key Arena? All jokes aside this is a very scrappy Seattle team. I was impressed with their effort on D (looking at you Jeff Green and Delonte West). They were right there with Denver until the 4th. West’s stock will only go up during his stay with the Sonics. Also impressive; Seattle’s big men. Wilcox and Collison are underrated but Johan Petro proved that he’s a big body with athleticism, which barring injury means he can steal money like Jahidi White and Adonal Foyle have done.

  • For as much grief as they received for the nation (including yours truely), Orlando Magic fans can now get excited. Not just because of Dwight’s bad-ass elbowpads but because of Stan Van Gundy’s new offense. One of my biggest concerns was I believed Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis would cancel each other out. Unless combining for 50 points is cancelling each other out I was dead wrong. Lewis had 26 and Turkoglu had 24. If Turkoglu steps up and finally has a big(ger) year the Magic will be very tough to deal with. Then again they did only beat up on Milwaukee.
  • Speaking of the Bucks…not sure they have nearly as much to be excited about. Bobby Simmons was healthy and reminded everyone of how good he once was (18 points off the bench), Redd was Redd and Yi showed flashes of brilliance in between his 6 fouls. At least Redd and Yi have a sweet handshake.
  • I told you people not to sleep on Indiana. Granted Washington doesn’t know what defense is, but to score 119 without Jermaine O’Neal in the lineup has to be encouraging to everyone. Except for Jermaine O’Neal who will probably kill this team when he comes back. Jim O’Brien and his free flowing offense has loosened the Pacers up, especially Jamaal Tinsley. He’s a different guy now that he doesn’t have to wait for the coach to call a play. 20 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds….1 turnover. I still don’t believe it. Dunleavy chipped in 25 and 12, Coup’s new favorite Danny Granger had 20 and 13 and the pulled out the victory. Washington….they need some guys who can play D or a little sliver of help for their big 3. Butler had 19 (17 shots), Jamison had 27 (25 shots) and Gilbert had 34 (25 shots). Yikes.
  • I will say this. If Antoine Wright and Nachbar can consistently give New Jersey points off the bench they jump back into the elite in the East. Last year they were a 3-person team, everyone and their mom knew that. Plus Jefferson disappeared every 5th game. They have a paid VC (always a gamble), the best PG alive and a surging, healthy Jefferson. I’m not saying Wright’s going to average 20 but if he can give them some points off the bench, look out.
  • This Kobe thing has got to stop by the way. This is probably the last time I’ll talk about it until something big comes out but I still don’t think he is getting traded. Only now this is clearly affecting both the Lakers and the Bulls. In Chi-Town, Luol Deng is starting to feel a lack of committment. Bulls players are looking over their shoulders wondering if they are going to LA. In LA, Kobe is trying to bully his way into getting traded. This deal with Chicago isn’t happening. The Lakers want Deng, the Bulls don’t mind giving up Deng but Kobe wants Deng to stay in Chi-Town with him. The Lakers don’t want a deal without Deng. It just isn’t adding up right now. Plus what franchise is dumb enough to trade Kobe and Shaq in less than 10 years.
  • News Flash: Cleveland is really, really bad. To anyone who did not believe me, it is really going to be a rough year for the Cavs. They didn’t fix any of the problems, didn’t get any better and still one of the worst offensive coaches in the L. If LeBron doesn’t average 30+ they have no shot at winning. By the way…did anyone else know Dallas had Trenton Hassell? I’d say Hassell and Jones are definitely an upgrade over Greg Buckner and Devean George. But Hassell still can’t score. Boy am I glad he turned us down that one summer.
  • The Warriors Book Club. How can you not love this league?
  • Chris Paul’s response to Deron Williams: 22, 12 and 8 boards. Yeah he’s back like he never left.
  • Last night the Spurs got tested by another young team on the rise and prevailed. I will say this, the quality of the teams in the NBA has really gone up in one year. I mean we are in for a treat of a season. Think about it…there aren’t any really, really bad teams (besides Minnesota) in the league. I would watch every single team in the L with no problem.
  • The Darius Washington story.
  • These Heat are hungry. It’s good that they aren’t satisfied anymore. The real question is are they any good?
  • The title of this article was hilarious ‘Saunders tries to make doubters finally disappear.’ This is impossible. The reason why Detroit won’t win a title this year has nothing to do with their starters or their improved bench. It’s their coach. Flip Saunders, hand down is the 2nd worst coach in the NBA. I can’t say he’s worse than Wittman sorry. He got bodyslammed by Pat Riley and Mike Brown in back to back years. How else do you explain Detroit’s collapse last year??