Take a deep breath.
Did we just see the most NBA action ever, all packed into six crazy days? Did the NBA really eclipse the NFL for the #1 sporting attraction, even during the most important weeks of the NFL season were unfolding? Is LeBron James mercilessly wreaking havoc upon the NBA? Yes.
The GraySportsGuy has had a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to provide you with much content. Until now. Please, sit back and enjoy some scattered NBA thoughts.. starting with:
* LeBron James. Damn. Through four games this season James is averaging 33 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s shooting 60% from the field and 83% from the line. He has cut his turnovers and three point attempts. His efficiency rating is 40.30. Somewhere, John Hollinger is cackling. Meanwhile, his accomplice, D-Wade, is averaging 19.8, 6 dimes, and 3 rebounds.
I think what bothered us the most about James last season was that he never really wanted to dominate. He wanted to play well, but he didn’t want to step on any toes. When you have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on your team- you can get away with this. But what the common fan saw was that the best player since Michael Jordan being satisfied with playing second fiddle to an inferior player. We knew he could put up ludicrous numbers, but we wanted to see it.
The Heat are playing so well, it’s scary. Chris Bosh looks confident (17, 8, 1.3 blocks + a couple of monster dunks), Wade and James are doing their thing, and the supporting cast is acceptable. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go something like 55-11. And also, on the TNT half-time show, Shaquille O’Neal claimed that the Miami big three was James, Wade, and Udonis Haslem- an obvious Bosh diss. Hey, big fella, Chris Bosh is a seven time all star with career averages of 20 and 9. Haslem has career averages of 10 points, 8 rebounds, and has yet to get an All Star nod. Easy on the slights, Shaq. Look out for the Miami Heat.
* The defending NBA champions are 1-3. The Mavericks beat the Raptors last night despite 30 points from Andrea Bargnani. What’s wrong with the Cubanites? I have no idea. Lamar Odom has been dreadful (trust me, he’s on my fantasy team), and the Mavs are getting pounded on the boards. Plus, their best defender, Shaun Marion has been injured. So that leaves Dirk Nowtizki and Jason Kidd on the floor to defend. Needless to say, the Mavs are 28th in the NBA in points allowed. Am I worried? Not exactly. But this could be a little case of the championship hangovers. Remember: the Mavs let Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, and J.J Barea go in free agency. Stay tuned.
* The Thunder are 4-0, but not without some drama. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been engaged in well publicized arguments. Westbrook needs to realize something- it’s not 1A and 1B in OKC, it’s Durant’s franchise. If this becomes a problem, the team will be looking to shop the UCLA alum. If he was smart, he’d keep quiet, and get Durant the rock. I think Sam Presti has seen one too many Westbrook pull up jumpers that clang off the iron. Durant, on the other hand, is playing like an MVP: 31.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists.
* The Celtics are a mess. Brandon Bass is the teams fourth best offensive player, Pierce has been hurt, Garnett looks a little slow, and Sasha Pavlovic, Marquis Daniels, Keyon Dooling, Avery Bradley, and Greg Steimsma are logging major minutes. They don’t look like they have enough this year. Rajon Rondo has been impressive thus far (18.8 points, 9 assists) but that’s about it.The Atlantic Division is a combined 5-12. Yuck.
* Lawrence Frank has now lost his last 20 games as a head coach in the NBA. Yet he remains employed. This seems foolish.
* The Atlanta Hawks are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents by more than 50 points.
* I disagree with all of the rumors that Dwight Howard doesn’t want to play for Orlando. He’s averaging 17 points, 17.5 rebounds, 3 blocks, and is getting to the line 9 times per game. Wouldn’t be totally surprised if he stays in Orlando. I remain confused at how the big man only gets 13 shots per game. He should be getting 13 shots in the flow of the offense, and then 2-3 off of offensive rebounds.
* The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be better than people think. Kobe is playing very well (28, 6, 6) and they are getting Andrew Bynum back from suspension. Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, Steve Blake, Metta World Peace.. that’s not an awful bench unit. If James and Durant cool off a bit, Kobe could find himself amidst MVP conversations. I just want to point out that a buddy of mine (@masonslant) claimed that Kobe was washed up and wouldn’t crack 21 ppg this year.
*Kyrie Irving has scored a lot of points, but hasn’t been efficient with the ball (37% field goal, 14$ free throw). The early front runner for ROTY has to be Brandon Knight – 14.0 points on 48% shooting and has successfully usurped Rodney Stuckey as the Pistons crunch time scorer.
* Kevin Love would have been nice to have on my fantasy team: 26 points, 15 rebounds so far. I think Ricky Rubio has been helpful to the production of Love, as well as Beasley, Derrick Williams, Anthony Randolph and company.
Well, I hope that was coherent. I am off to watch some more NBA action! Take care everyone, and happy new year!