Twenty or so games have been played, putting us a quarter of the way through another wild and wooly season. Here are some random thoughts that I’ve accumulated over the last six weeks or so.
- Every season, there’s an upstart team that starts out winning the first ten or so games and going 13-1, 12-2, or something like that. And every season, somebody asks Jalen Rose if that team is for real. Please be aware. That team is NEVER for real. EVER. There are only 5 or 6 real teams in the NBA at any given time. And by 3/4 the way through, there’s really on 2 or 3 real teams left. Never buy into the surprising hot starter that isn’t established.
- There’s no easier way to beat the Orlando Magic than covering Dwight Howard one-on-one and focusing on shutting down the perimeter players. Dwight Howard for sure isn’t going to score 100 points. You’re better off letting him getting 50, and the rest of the guys putting up less than 10. This is how the Celtics demolished a team that had been undefeated in the playoffs last year.
- The difference between Ron Artest and Gilbert Arenas seems to be professional mental therapy. While the world looks at Gilbert with regret and remorse. Ron Artest is looked upon in amazement. I’m not sure how his particular personality has been harnessed by therapy, but it seems to be working out great for Ron Ron. It reminds me of the end of the second Hulk movie. Banner’s not trying to control Hulk – just point it in the right direction. Right now Artest’s mania is directed at playing defense, raising money for mental therapists in schools, making music, and doing slightly crazy things like practicing in the off season to be a professional tight end, or admitting he still doesn’t understand the triangle offense.
- While Boston, LA, San Antonio, Orlando, and Miami have been winning lots of games, they also have had a strength of schedule in the lower half (bottom 16) of the NBA. One of the teams that I think are also contenders, Chicago has the toughest strength of schedule in the Association. Dallas is at sixth toughest. Makes me wonder if we’re going to be talking about Dirk Nowitski and Derrick Rose for MVP in a few months.
- Kevin Love has 80 more rebounds than the next guy. He’s also averaging 20 points per game. I DID tell you to draft him for your fantasy team. I also told you to look at Yao Ming in the mid rounds. Anyway, 20 and 15 per game is monstrous stuff. If I’m a team missing toughness and rebounding at the forward or center position, I’m offering Minnesota my first born for this guy. Or maybe a new roof.
- I’m sticking with my prediction that Darius Miles will come back, win the Finals MVP, and do it in such spectacular fashion that they will strip all former winners and award the trophies to Miles. I’m taking odds.