My apologies Project readers. A combination of a week in Maui, having to catch up with c..."/> My apologies Project readers. A combination of a week in Maui, having to catch up with c..."/>

The Dunleavy Effect


My apologies Project readers. A combination of a week in Maui, having to catch up with classes and get ready for finals has left me like Britney Spears’ two kids: dazed and confused. But regardless of what I think about this blog post, it will be finished and it will be posted damnit.

The most bewildering team to really get a read on: The Indiana Pacers. I’m going to go ahead and say they are the most inconsistent team in the NBA. They remind me of the Carolina Panthers back when they were halfway decent. Indiana wins their first three games, then loses their next 6. Now they’ve won 5 of their last 6 and all 5 of those wins have come over Western Conference team including 2 on the road. Crazy. Here is the secret: They are far superior without Jermaine O’Neal in the lineup. Let’s look at the stats:

With Jermaine: 3-7
Without Jermaine: 5-1

If I’m Bird and co. I get rid of Jermaine ASAP. You’re 8-8, you have a fairly decent core of Dunleavy, Granger, Tinsley, Diogu, Murphy, Foster and whoever you get in the trade. For some reason that offense just gets bogged down when Jermaine is in. Granger and Dunleavy both struggle getting their rhythms and the team falters as a result. Now I present to you a little theory I’ve come up with…the Dunleavy Effect. Take a look at this:

In games when Dunleavy shoots the ball 15+ times the Pacers are 6-0.
In games when Dunleavy shoots the ball less than 10 times the Pacers are 0-4

My theory on Indiana is for them to win they need Dunleavy going. He really is the catalyst of that team and last night showed it. This could be the year for him to finally live up to some of those mighty expectations…or at least prove that he’s pretty dang good. The Pacers sure need it.

On the other side of last night’s game…the Blazers. They have lost seven of their last eight games (including two in a row at home) and are now sitting at a semi-nasty looking 5-10. It’s crazy that had they closed out the game at Philly and at home against New Jersey they’d be 7-8. But that’s hoops for ya. Portland is a young team that is going to be up and down all year. The record may be ugly but the basketball is getting better and that’s all I really care about this year. Although it may get ugly from tomorrow to Monday: Blazers go on a three-game road trip with stops in Dallas, San Antonio and Memphis.

Rashard Lewis returned to Seattle last night as the Magic pounced all over the Sonics to get an easy win. Lewis clearly was forcing the issue (19 shots, 9 points) but when you have Dwight Howard getting 39 and 16 it really doesn’t matter. JJ Redick got to play and do what he does best: shoot the ball. 11 points in 17 minutes, say what you want but that man can put the ball in the bucket. For the Sonics…their biggest problem is the lack of stability at the point guard position. One minute Watson is starting, the next Delonte is, the next Ridnour is. I for one think it should be Delonte and Ridnour getting the minutes as Watson is terrible but that’s just my opinion. They just cannot win any home games.

I said I couldn’t judge the Warriors until Stephen Jackson came back. Well..they’re the same Warriors as last year. Which means they are good. The numbers don’t lie: they’re 6-1 with him back in the lineup and they seem to have that swagger back.

Tonight’s NBA slate: Boston @ New York and Denver @ Lakers on TNT with a nasty Houston @ Golden State on the radar as well. I’m sorry…I wish TNT would switch and put that Warriors/Rockets game on. Sorry Kobe. Quentin Richardson was apparently talking trash about the Celtics which would be all good if the Knicks were any good. This will be a test for the Celtics and the Knicks. And no the world won’t be coming to and end if Boston loses and it won’t mean New York is all of a sudden great again. Lakers/Nuggets is a battle between two teams that could be fighting for the 7th seed later in the season.

This Chicago Bulls collapse is not surprising me at all. For one I have never bought into Scott Skiles being a legit NBA coach. His style is far too abrasive for it to work for a long period of time. Sure enough now that the Baby Bulls aren’t quite babies anymore, his approach isn’t working. Believe you me I think Scott Skiles would be the perfect college coach. In the NBA you can only get away with that kind of stuff for so long before players stop buying in, because..well they really don’t have to at the end of the day.

I’ve heard some nonsense that the Wizards are better without Gilbert Arenas. This is both true and false. They are better without the injured Gil that was on the court to begin the season, this is obvious. That Arenas was chucking up the same jumpers but had no chance of making it, which in turn made no one else better and their supporting cast got worse. All they have to do is hold pat until he can come back at 100 percent. Don’t sleep on the Wiz as a lower seed in the East.

I think this article pretty much confirms that Joe Johnson more than likely regrets leaving the Suns.