What Am I Watching This NBA Season?

Posted: December 27, 2011 in ALL II
Tags: , , , ,

The shorten season shines the spotlight on the stars and rightfully so.  This means other critical storylines get put on the backburner, players and themes that frequently alter the course of the season.   At worst, these will be the stories that people most often discuss and totally misinterpret.  Below are the themes and storylines I will be watching over the NBA season!

  • It seems clear to me that the West is by far the better conference but will the top heavy East overshadow the depth of the West?  Probably.  Everyone is going to ignore the under .500 teams in the 6th seed in the east while several teams will be out the playoffs in the West.
  • How much defense will be enough for the Knicks to win games?  The elite offense does little to hide the porous defense and the absolute value of Tyson Chandler, the second coming of Kevin Garnett as a defensive force.  Mike D’Antoni’s job is going to be in danger all year long so I am going to be focused on the work of NY Knicks defensive assistant coach…former Hawks coach Mike Woodson.  No wonder people are not listening to him in NYC.
  • Will Danny Grainger take a step up or level off to be the best player on a meaningless franchise only to be traded to a contender but not getting any better?
  • Can the Toronto Raptors finally find a star to consistently put up on banners to advertise going to Raptors games?
  • Will 46% player BRI loving Michael Jeffery Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats’ forward Boris Diaw regain his poetic form of old?
  • How many NBA rules and international laws will be broken as New Jersey Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov runs for President of Russia, tries to get Dwight Howard to join the Nets, and keep Deron Williams – the second best point guard in the NBA behind Chris Paul- from leaving for nothing?
  • Will Christopher Wesson Bosh (a man who went from being a number one player with no talent to a number three player with tons of talent around him, a man who averaged 19 and 8 on 50% shooting, and a man who did show up throughout the NBA finals) finally get some credit respect?  No he happens to not be one of the five best players in the league but 19-8 looks real nice as a third option.
  • Will Joakim Noah finally be exposed as the fraudulent, overrated player that he has been his entire career?  When does a “dominant” rebounder (defined as gets boards when no one boxes him out) and defensive presence become a liability at the end of every game?
  • Who will lose their voice first: Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy or Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau?
  • Mil-town Bucks Center Andrew Bogut: second best center in basketball? (Yes!)
  • Will the much unappreciated Rajon Rondo again remind the Celtics that it is foolish to trade him and continue to keep this aging team afloat during the back-to-backs this season?  (Why are the aging Celtics always trying to push him out the door when he is the only solid long term piece they have?)
  • Will the flash and skill of John Wall be able to counter the debacle that is Reshard Lewis?
  • What will Washington Bullets Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert do when Lebron drops 50 on them leading to Cleveland locking up the most lottery balls in the 2012 NBA Draft?
  • How many errant shots will shooter – and sometimes scorer- Ben Gordon take in a ten minute period? (Bonus: How long will it take for the Pistons to organize another mutiny and attempt to get new coach Lawrence Frank fired?)
  • While I am personally interested in seeing Atlanta Hawks Forward/Center Al Horford make the jump to a top three center (from a top five center), I need to ask: Joe Johnson?  $119 million?
  • Michael Curry is listed as “associate head coach” of the 76ers.  There are also three assistant coaches and of course head coach Doug Collins.  What exactly is Curry doing that is so special to get that title?
  • Utah Jazz Forward/Center Al Jefferson, a man that commands a double team when healthy: 20, 10?  (Absolutely)
  • Will the Sacramento Kings pump in this level of production value into every win this season to stay in Sac-Town? (Also, to go from the blackout to the pale Jimmer Fredette – nothing but net – was too shocking for my eyes).
  • Will the Portland Trailblazers acquire doctors that specialize in knee analysis? (ZING!)
  • Do Houston Rockets fans realize that incredibly smart and recently screwed out of Pau Gasol GM Daryl Morey 1) acquired Hasheem Thabeet and 2) moved him from the D-League back to the 2011-12 roster?
  • How will NBA Union President Derrick Fisher be received by his fellow players, particularly in the first go around through the league?  (When will Kobe choke out his first teammate?)
  • Knows that my World Champion Dallas Mavericks are biding their time to pick up a major free agent next year but why does that mean acquiring perennial loser Vince Carter and the often misunderstood though clearly incompetent Delonte West?  How many shots will Mark Cuban take at David Stern this year (Cuban, of course, voted against the new CBA and vocally expressed displeasure about the Hornets trades)?
  • Will new Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson say “Mamma there goes that man” when his mother comes to Warriors games?
  • Does the addition of Rudy Gay mean the Grizzlies will be better than an 8-seed in the west?  (NO!)
  • Will T-Wolves coach Rick Adleman finally announce that the team is satisfied with their point guard situation? Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuubio!
  • Steve Nash is finally an underrated player which may bode well for a Suns team cruising under the radar.
  • David Stern made the most of the New Orleans situation.  Will the Hornets get an owner this year?  I imagine so!
  • Denver Nuggets’ only star JR Smith is live from China.  No wonder the NBA did not blink at the notion of players playing abroad: never made sense and was not feasible.
  • I am curious to see Tony Parker regain his footing as a tier two point guard who, quite frankly, never got the respect he deserved during the championship run.
  • Despite the slow start, Ric Bucher and I believe Russell Westbrook maybe the best overall player on the Oklahoma City Thunder.  We also think that other players may feel this way so obviously I will be watching to see this dynamic grow between an elite scorer and someone who can be an elite player.
  • Clippers Deandre Jordan can become a huge free agent if this year highlights the type of growth he showed last year.  Will year two of Vinny Del Negro lead to player development!?

Now to fix my remote after two Mavericks blowouts to start the season.

 

 

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