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.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/169790059.jpg

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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


John Wall Signs Extension

John Wall and the Washington Wizards have agreed upon a max contract extension that’s 5 years and worth $80 million. John Wall always viewed himself as a max contract players and the Wizards agreed. The deal will kick in during the 2014-2015 season. This will keep Wall in D.C until the 2018-2019 season. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said Wall is the cornerstone of the Wizards franchise, and they will build around him. Last year John Wall missed the beginning of the season due to a stress injury in his left knee, and the Wizards lost their first 12 games and went 5-28 in the first 33 games Wall missed. But once Wall returned on Jan 12th the Wizards went 24-25 in their final 49 games. Wall averaged 20.7 ppg on 44.7 percent shooting, 4.5 rebs, 7.8 assist, and 1.5 steals. Wall makes his teammates better as Bradley Beal showed major improvement with Wall on the floor shooting 50% from three point range in Walls return compared to 34% from three point range while Wall was injured.  Wall still needs to work on his jump shot so he can knock down jumpers more consistently, but he’s worth a extension not $80 million though. Would you take Wall over Steph Curry? I wouldn’t, but Wall is still a great player it’s no shot at him. This Wizards team should make the playoffs next year with Wall, Beal, Nene, Martell Webster, new rookie Otto Porter, and Trevor Ariza. Wall must continue to improve his game year, and stay healthy so he can be the superstar that everyone is expecting him to be. But nonetheless congrats to John Wall, it’s a well deserved extension.

Pistons Acquire Jennings

The Detroit Pistons have kept busy this summer landing Josh Smith from the Hawks, and now they have acquired Brandon Jennings in a sign and trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. Pistons will send Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslay Kraytsoy to Milwaukee for Jennings. Pistons will then sign him to a three-year deal worth 24 million dollars. Last year Jennings averaged 17.5 ppg, on .399% from the field, and .375% from three point range. Jennings felt he deserved a salary starting at 12 million a year when free agency began, but he didn’t get a offer to that liking, and now has to settle for 8 million a year. Truth is Jennings thinks he’s better than he really is, but the truth is he doesn’t deserve the money Steph Curry, Ty Lawson, and Jrue Holiday got last year. He’s a streaky shooter, and scorer, but I’m sure the Pistons know that. The Pistons now have a very interesting roster, with Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, and now Brandon Jennings. They need a scorer for this roster, and maybe they can trade Greg Monroe for someone because having Monroe, Drummond, and Smith on the floor at one time won’t work. We can bet on the Pistons having a terrible shooting percentage this year with Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings throwing up shots, but they do look like a playoff team in the East. They’ll probably get the number 7 or 6th seed, and be one and done in the playoffs. The Pistons got better by landing Smith and Jennings. Jennings is certainly a upgrade over Brandon Knight, and Smith is highlight reel waiting to happen, and a defensive presence. All and all you can’t blame Joe Dumars for trying this off-season. But lets face it Piston fans Joe Dumars should have been fired years ago.


Dwight Howard Starts the NBA Firework Festivites

It took sometime, but Dwight Howard has finally made his decision and he’s chosen to sign with the Houston Rockets over the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s been a long week of speculation with many rumors, but the one rumor that was true was Dwights interest in joining the Rockets. Dwight now joins another star in James Harden, and a rising stud in Chandler Parsons. With Howard I call this Rockets team the Magic 2.0, but the difference with this team is James Harden is a big time player and can do things players on those old Magic teams can’t do. Dwight chose the Rockets over the Lakers, Warriors, and Mavs. Dwight felt it was his best chance to win a championship, and he left $30million dollars on the table to do so.

Laker fans aren’t too pleased, but now have to respect Dwight for his decision. Dwight finally had the chance to make his own decision after screwing himself two years ago by opting into the final year of his deal with the Magic. Laker fans shouldn’t be sad for too long as they will have lots of cap space to play with next off season with a jammed packed free agent class. Just don’t count on Lebron leaving Miami for LA. LA best bet is to tank next so they can get into the lottery and draft someone to be the new face of the franchise once Kobe retires. Next years draft class is projected to be as good as the 2003 class or even better. So they should be in good shape. Rockets will certainly be better than the 8th seeded team that made the playoffs last year. The Rockets don’t seem to be done improving the roster, reportedly they’re also interested in a sign and trade with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire Dwight Howards good friend, Josh Smith. One question for the Rockets is how do you fill out the rest of the roster? They will certainly need more shooters to space the floor while Dwight operates the paint. So we’ll see what tricks Daryl Morey has up his sleeves. I personally think Golden State presented the best chance for Dwight to win.

They have two lights out shooters in Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry and new ownership that’s looking to win now. We’ll see if it works out for him four years from now. I also feel that he didn’t want to have that pressure playing in LA and following in Shaq’s footsteps. I think its safe to say Dwight likes to be in a smaller market and just being the silly energetic guy that he is, and that’s something Kobe didn’t want him to be. The big picture is how desperate was Dwight to leave the Lakers? He left 30million on the dollars on the table just to join another team on a shorter deal. I guess the rumors were true that he didn’t like playing with Kobe. Reports were that he was turned off by Kobe’s sales pitch to stay with the Lakers. Reportedly Kobes pitch was “I’ll show you how to win championships”.

Dwight has now updated his twitter profie @DwightHoward and changed it into him wearing a Rockets jersey. He also changed his location on twitter from LA to Houston. And just to make things even more interesting, Kobe and Dwight both unfollowed each other on twitter and instagram. Safe to say the NBA will make sure they’ll schedule Houston in LA for opening night. I respect how Dwight went about making his decision. It was many rumors about Dwight being indecisive, but there  were other reports that his mind was made up and he just wanted a face to face meeting with LA management to let them know he’s going to Houston. Overall I’m happy for Dwight and I wish him luck in Houston.