I find it weird that there’s such a hatred for bullet points, especially given the history of blogging in NBA circles. But there is, so you may hate this. I think it might be because bullet points are largely how my brain thinks. Short, condensed bursts, trying to form a complete structure and then move on. You want rambly pambly paragraphs? Go read Mahoney at Two Man Game. He’s got enough to lend you to live through the winter.
Also, it’s two games, and we all know it’s two games, but I wanted to write, so consider any of these observations to be centrally held by “it’s only two games.”
- Tristan Thompson is your early leader for the “Hey, how about (this guy everyone assumed sucked)?” award. In yet another reminder that the draft is an abject crapshoot, the guy everyone was certain was a reach (and, if that’s the case, was a reach since you could have traded down and drafted him later) is an early standout. The frame looks much more NBA ready than it did on draft night and he has a great natural awareness of what he needs to do on the floor. He’s not uncertain or confused. His issues are just, you know, being a rookie. Kid looks like a solid starter-caliber guy two games in.
- Enes Kanter does not. The rebounding numbers are nice, but at some point it’s just a product of how terrible the rest of the team is. And his inability to produce anything under the rim is just bad. Kid might work out, but it’s going to be a long time, and the Jazz really should have gone for a more immediate impact guy.
- The Pistons continue to baffle me with their lineup decisions. They’re a bad team, and I was wrong on theingeydecent, and that’s fine. But Brandon Knight should never have been coming off the bench, which is why Stuckey shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why Tayshaun shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why.. and so on and so forth. Austin Daye’s not playing well, but he also needs to be on the floor with the best offensive weaponry of young guys the team has. He needs to be on the floor with Knight and Monroe, and told not to dribble. Ever. The Pistons are still trying to figure out who they are, but the problem is that they may find out they are someone they don’t want to be, and will still be that because it’s better than being nothing. They need to force the issue in being a young team. Monroe stole the ball on a nice play Wednesday night, and as he outlet the ball to Gordon and ran the lane for the give and go… Gordon re-set the offense. You’ve got to force the issue with this team because you don’t get many chances. And to do that you have to have players too young to know better. Read more from Hayes over at PP.Â
- How much philosophical sense dos it make that Mark Jackson has made the Warriors better by making them less exciting? Dubs fans are trying to convince me this team is fun to watch, and it is, but only as much as any team is. It’s not “the Warriors.” And maybe that’s a good thing. They’re no longer caricatures of themselves. Just weird to know that for the late games, you no longer have the go-to League Pass guys in Oakland to give you a thrillfest. The Knicks game wasn’t so much root canal as it was a lecture on root canal surgery.
- The Raptors are decent early. I’ve long been an advocate that while talent will always matter most, coaching irss crucial and can make a huge difference. You’re seeing it with the Raps who are much more engaged, much more resilient, and arhat en’t completely oblivious to half of their responsibilities. Bargnani pump-faked, drove and dunked, then later re-stole the ball and finished inside. If that doesn’t how progress from Casey, I don’t know what will. DeRozan is such a big deal for them. He’s got to find a set of offense, and I don’t know who’s going to take the time to build it in him. He’s go such great abilities but so few skills. Bayless is Bayless and will always be Bayless for better or worse.
- THE HEAT ARE A FLYING DEATH MACHINE.
- Charlotte’s got something cooking early on. You wonder, along with Toronto, if it’s sustainable, but they’ve got Boris in a contract year (12-9-9 average), Henderson making a jump if not THE Jump (he’s becoming Caron Butler, not Dwyane Wade), Augustin still playing well, the rookies making an impact. D.J. White showing what development does, good defense, smart plays, and decent play on both sides. I know. I’m as shocked as you.
- I rewatched Hornets-Celtics 1.5 times and kept writing the same word. Lazy. The Celtics, 0-2, looked lazy. The Hornets killed them mostly by trying harder, and that’s rare in the NBA for as much as everyone talks about effort.