Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thoughts on the NBA, Week One

If I were head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, my starting lineup would be Andrew Bogut/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute/Corey Maggette/Carlos Delfino/Brandon Jennings. Maggette brings something to the Bucks they didn't have last year; an ultra-efficient 20 PPG scorer that can create his own offense. Meanwhile, Drew Gooden, the Bucks' other major acquisition, has brought a little bit of scoring to go with his customary cringeworthy defense. Bogut should get healthier as the season goes on, so I'm not worried about the team's 0-2 start, but the Bucks' success was built on their defense, and while you can survive with one terrible defender, it's tough to thrive more than that. My proposed lineup has low post scoring (Bogut, Maggette), mid range scoring (Maggette), three point shooting (Delfino, Jennings), free throws (Maggette), passing (Jennings, Bogut, Delfino) interior defense (Bogut, Mbah a Moute), perimeter defense (Jennings), and speed (Jennings, Mbah a Moute).

I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Wolves have the makings of a good team. Michael Beasley has looked impressive so far, and if he can score efficiently, gives Minnesota one of the best forward tandems in the league. The other half of that tandem, Kevin Love, is probably the best rebounder in the league, and will be an All-Star if he gets enough playing time. Through the first two games, Luke Ridnour is playing as if last year's improvement was not a fluke, and they have a decent collection of role players. However, I don't know how many wins this will translate into, as Kurt Rambis doesn't want to play the team's best player (24 and 27 minutes in the first two games for Love), which is the type of thing that tends to hurt a team.

Here's hoping Stephen Curry gets healthy soon. The Warriors offense is almost unstoppable right now, especially with Monta Ellis rediscovering his efficiency. There is no way Golden State will shoot this well all season, but it's fun to watch while it lasts, and they will be one of the best shooting teams in the league. At the same time, the defense looks highly problematic. They gave up 128 points to a team starting two defensive specialists on the second night of a back to back, and their backup center is Dan Gadzuric.

Chris Paul was amazing in the Hornets opener. His line (17 points, 16 assists, 1 turnover) was impressive enough, but watching the game, it was even more impressive to see how many open shots he created for his teammates. The Hornets being the Hornets, they missed a fair amount of those wide open shots, but David West played well (9-14 from the field), and New Orleans won.

Watching their first two games, it looked like the Rockets needed two things; a point guard that could play defense, and a center that could block shots and rebound. Houston will get #1 when Kyle Lowry (whose praise I have sung on these pages before) returns this week, and they just signed Erick Dampier to give them another 7 footer to spell Yao. Also, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin are a fantastic inside-outside combination, even if they both look incredibly awkward at times.

No comments:

Post a Comment