NBA First Week In Review

The NBA season finally kicked off last Tuesday night, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s my first week assessment.

1. The Indiana Pacers are very good. Lead by superstar Paul George, they’re the only undefeated team left in the NBA. Lets not forget Danny Granger is out the first three weeks of the season nursing a calf injury. Look for them to be one of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference all year.

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2. Dwight Howard looks like the Dwight of old. Yes he’s healthy, and FINALLY happy. Dwight is averaging 17.4ppg to go with 14.6 rpg. Expect to see great things from him and star shooting guard James Harden this year. The Houston Rockets biggest question mark to me is their defense, but they can certainly score with anyone in the league.

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3. The Golden State Warriors look great. They’re off to a 4-1 start, and they’ll only get better as the season goes on. They have two lights out shooters in Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson that can carry the team on any giving night. Look for this team to continue to grow, and yes people they’re a legitimate NBA Finals team.

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4. The Bulls have been awfully rusty to begin the 2013 campaign. As they’re off to a 1-3 start to begin the year. Derrick Rose has struggled shooting 28% from the field. They need to cut down on the turnovers, and score more on offense. Remember offense has been their biggest problem the last several years. No need to panic Bull fans I believe in Derrick Rose and this team.

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5. The Suns, Bobcats, and the Sixers will compete every night. So much for the “Tank For Wiggins” idea everyone thought the bad teams around the NBA were doing. As these three teams have competed every night and they’re a combined 9-6. Yes each team is 3-2, but they’ve been in every game they played early on. As the Bobcats defeated the Raptors and Knicks, and the Sixers defeated the Heat and the Bulls. If these teams are planning on tanking they better do it sooner than later. The Suns look like they have a star in the making in Eric Bledsoe. No wonder why they call him mini Lebron. The Sixers look like they found their point guard of the future in Michael Carter Williams

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6. The Knicks are sluggish out the gate starting off the year 1-3, and to make matters worse they’ve lost their leader on defense in center Tyson Chandler for 4-6 weeks due to a fractured right fibula. Who will step up while Chandler is out? Will that be Amar’e or Kenyon Martin? Knicks must get their defense in order, and get Melo on track. If they continue to lose games and give up points, how long will Mike Woodson remain the head coach? Lets not forget owner James Dolan expects a championship this year.

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The season is still very young, but we look like we’re in store for another great NBA season.

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Paul George Signs Extension

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In NBA news, Paul George has signed a 5 year 90 million dollar max extension with the Indiana Pacers. Paul, who’s only 23 years old averaged 17.4ppg, 7.6rebs, 4.1assists, and 1.8 steals in his 3rd season in the NBA last year. George also won the Most Improved Player award and was selected to his first All Star team. Paul told the Indianapolis Star “It’s almost like now that I have this contract, I’ve got to do more work,” George told the paper. “I’ve got to go out and play at the level the guys that are making this much money are playing at.”. Indiana now has George locked up until the 2018-2019 season. The Pacers can now focus on remaining healthy and taking the next step, and reaching the NBA Finals. Paul is a star in the making, and is well on his way in being one of the best players in the league.  Congrats to Paul George on his new deal it was well deserved.

Lance Yes I Can Stephenson

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Has there been anyone more exciting to watch in these playoffs than Lance Stephenson? I love watching this guy because he thinks he’s better than he really is.  That’s not a diss to Lance at all. I actually enjoy watching him play. You have to have that attitude playing in the NBA.

He brings that New York/Rucker Park game to the NBA, and he’s not backing down from anyone. Stephenson aka Born Ready, a 3rd year player out of Cincinnati, was a big time recruit from the popular high school in Coney Island Lincoln High School, where the likes of Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair attended. Stephenson was named New York State Mr. Basketball and made the McDonald’s All American team in 2009.

When I first heard Lance was from Brooklyn and attended Lincoln High School, I didn’t believe in the hype. I thought he’d be another Telfair who had a lot of hype coming out of high school but he didn’t really live up to it. Lance was the usual one-and-done player and entered the NBA after his freshman year of college after he averaged 12.3 ppg and 2.5 ast. He was a 2nd round pick, but this year is his best year as a pro. Due to the Danny Granger knee injury (causing him to miss the season) Stephenson was able to start at the shooting guard position and was able to make a contribution all year. He saw a career high in minutes and ppg (29.2mins, 8.8ppg).

I think Lance is here to stay. Once he develops a consistent jump shot, I think he’ll be a solid rotation player. He’s already causing havoc on the Miami defense in these playoffs pushing the ball up the court and not allowing their defense to get set and forcing the issue. You also have to love the fact that he’s fearless and isn’t scared of the moment. If you haven’t got a chance to sit down and watch a Indiana Pacers game in these playoffs, you definitely should. Between Lance and Paul George, the Pacers are very fun to watch. Plus, Lance is here to restore the image of New York basketball.

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