A few games in and I'm sure that everybody has a few notes...Here are my completely random and unedited musings after the first few games.
Personally I want to thank the NBA for offering a league pass free pass while I'm recovering from surgery. I bought the package last season and then discovered that covering one team intensely really limits your ability to follow the league as a whole. I think that phenomenon really explains a lot of what I read and hear in the news...
Utah has gotten off to a great start and I still feel that they will be up there with Seattle and Denver fighting for control of the NW division. What suprised me to date is that Portland is not as bad as I expected. Really when you watch a Blazers game and you see their rotation featuring Magloire, LaFrenz, and Juan Dixon it is not a terrible roster. The big problem is that they are never going to be anything better than mediocre and redundant. We shouldn't let that distract us from the fact that they have bought a pretty talented roster.
Let's all savor this moment. Atlanta is leading their division at 2-1. I don't expect the Hawks to be in first place anywhere for a moment.
I need a bigger TV. I thought for a moment today that the pain medication had kicked in when I saw the Knicks playing competatively at 82-87 against he Spurs. Then I realized they were losing 62-87 and it all made sense again. That Knicks roster is flat out terrible. A collection of the most heartless, overpaid, and egotistical players in the land. And that is after they cut Jalen Rose.
Speaking of Jalen Rose... I was watching the Kings game today when I realized that two teams completed a trade a couple of years ago in which Jalen Rose was traded for both Brad Miller and Ron Artest. Somehow, only a few years later the Bulls are better than the Pacers despite what may have been the most lopsided trade in the league's history. The Pacers got an all-star center and a defensive player of the year and if failed to propel them out of the second round of the playoffs. It shows how much parity there is in the league that such a huge event really had minimal impact.
Back to the NW Division - I had to see it on paper to realize what a horrible idea it is. The Timberwolves have a single player in their frontcourt that needs to see the ball as much as possible for them to win. So what do they do? They start a backcourt of Mike James and Ricky Davis who both love shooting MUCH more than passing. The only bigger mistake they could make would be to have Vin Baker on the roster. I watched them play tonight and was unimpressed. There is a shortage of playmakers in this league and the Sups should be thrilled to have Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson. The Wolves would be markedly better with either one.
For the most part I am not overly impressed with many teams in the league this year. Other than Portland and the Lakers almost every team I look at seems worse than expected. I continue to use the word parity. For the first time in several years I think there is going to be a big crowd of teams in both conferences fighting for playoff spots.
I've already addressed Portland so let me say that I'm really intrigued by what the Lakers have done. Andrew Bynum is the real deal and a lot of their other moves make sense when you add a legitimate center into the mix. When I look at the combination of athleticism and savy, veterans and youth on that team I think that they did a really nice job of assembling a roster that Phil Jackson can maximize. Another team that points out the lack of playmakers in the league. Frank Hughes told me that the Lakers would not have offered Ridnour the mid-level next season and I'll call BS on that one. Ridnour in that system would just be dominant. If they did't have Vladi they'd be a team that I could really start to like.
The Clippers are a team that I am down on and some people don't understand why. Let me just lay it out to you: Sam Cassell and Tim Thomas always follow up productive years with meltdowns. When they start to go south the egomaniac that is Cuttino Mobley will be ready and waiting to try to shoot them out of a losing streak with an 8 for 30 effort and their greatest asset(I really am growing to like Shawn Livingston) is impressionable...I just hope he doesn't talk to any of those teammates. Really I do. Any team that you can look at and describe Corey Maggette as the second most mature player on the roster should be cause for concern. Too many knuckleheads.
The Sonics need to win 2 of their next three. Given the opposition and the fact that they opened 0-2 it is just essential to get back on track. The Heat are struggling and Orlando is finding out that Milicic just stinks. On the flip side is there anyone out there who would have had the guts to select Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor? I never in a million years would have thought that move would look so good so soon.
Thats all of my completely random commentary. Looking forward to yours....