Saturday, November 16, 2013

Random NBA observations

2013-2014 NBA observations

  • The No. 1 and No. 11 picks in the NBA Draft appear to have been mixed up: top pick Anthony Bennett laid goose eggs in his first four games in the pros and is shooting 5-for-35 from the field overall, while No. 11 pick Michael Carter-Williams (17.4 PPG, 7.6 PPG, 2.6 SPG) nearly recorded a quadruple-double in his NBA debut. They do have something in common, though: both players are currently injured.
  • The New Orleans Pelicans have so far been underwelming (3-6) in their inaugural season, but don't blame sophomore big man Anthony Davis for that. The 20-year-old Olympian, generally considered too raw offensively less than a year and a half ago, is averaging 21.8 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 3.1 BPG (up from 13.5, 8.2 and 1.8). 
  • Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is back to his old self after breaking his hand twice last season. His MVP-worthy scoring (27.2 PPG, second in the league behind Kevin Durant), shooting (.484 FG%, .348 3P%) and rebounding (13.8 RPG) are a big reason for Minnesota's 6-4 record. The 3-5 Knicks are reportedly strategizing to lure Love to The Big Apple in 2015.
  • And it's probably for the best that the Knicks look at the future, because presently they are a mess: center Tyson Chandler broke a bone in his right leg and will miss up to 6 weeks, the team is already trying to dump defender Iman Shumpert, star Carmelo Anthony is pouting for more foul calls, and Ama're Stoudemire is collecting $20 million per year to play 9.8 minutes per game.
  • Thunder bulldozer Russell Westbrook, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on October 1 and was scheduled to miss up to six weeks, returned to action on November 3 without missing a beat. The Thunder are 4-2 with Westbrook back at the helm. Westbrook's athletic twin and Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose, who missed the entire 2012-2013 season while recovering from ACL surgery, is still finding his rhythm, shooting .333 from the field while averaging a career-low 14.7 PPG. Rose is currently out with a mild hamstring injury.
  • The Indiana Pacers remain unbeaten at 9-0 thanks in no small part to forward Paul George, last year's NBA Most Improved Player, who is averaging 24.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG on .487 shooting. Danny Granger, who missed most of last season with a left knee injury and was supposed to be a big factor this year, has strained his calf and has yet to play a game. Playoff standout Lance Stephenson is making the most of his opportunity.
  • At 3-5, the all-in Brooklyn Nets are not where we thought they were going to be. The reasons are plenty: Deron Williams is battling ankle injuries, Kevin Garnett is still finding his groove, and the Nets' iso-heavy offense isn't particulary effective.  
  • Rockets guard James Harden doesn't even pretend to care about defense anymore.
  • Kobe Bryant (torn Achilles tendon) and Rajon Rondo (partially torn ACL) could be back by December.
  • All-Star voting has commenced!

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