NBA Primetime: The First 10 Games of The '09-'10 Season Report Card

Brandon RibakSenior Writer INovember 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers brings the up up the court in the game with the New Orleans Hornets on November 8, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Atlanta Hawks- 6-2 record, 3rd in East

The Hawks have gotten off to a great start during the early part of this season, averaging the fourth most PPG in the league with just under 108 points per night. With Josh Smith resurrected and Al Horford posting All-Star type numbers, Atlanta is in for a spectacular season.

Grade: A

Boston Celtics- 8-1 record, 1st in East

The Celtics were the only team in the league to kick the season off with a 6-0 record. They currently lead the NBA in APG with 26.5 per game and are shooting off the charts, nailing 50.1 percent of all their shots. If the Celtics core can remain healthy and intact, there is no doubt in my mind that they will rank either first or second in the East come playoff time.

Grade: A+

Charlotte Bobcats- 3-5 record, 12th in East

The Bobcats starting small forward Gerald Wallace is tied for leading the league in RPG, grabbing 12.3 per night. Aside from Wallace's impressive performance, Charlotte's roster is not producing well enough for any chance at competing for a playoff spot this season.

Grade: D-

Chicago Bulls- 4-4 record, 10th in East

In eight games this season the Bulls have managed to beat two of the top tier teams in the league in San Antonio and Cleveland. Luol Dengs presence has undoubtedly contributed to Chicago's success this season and the breakout of Joakim Noah (averaging 11.5 PPG, 12.3 RPG) adds more icing to the cake.

This young roster will end the season somewhere around .500 and will ultimately be able to compete for a playoff spot.

Grade: B-

Cleveland Cavaliers- 5-3 record, 6th in East

After winning against Orlando the other night, many believe that the Cavaliers are surely the team to beat. But as I mentioned in my Cavaliers article , Cleveland will unfortunately fall due to lack of insurance on the bench.

With a completely healthy roster Orlando would have easily won the game against LeBron...I guess we will just have to wait and see how the cards unfold.

LeGrade: B+

Dallas Mavericks- 5-3 record, 4th in West

With an impressive win against Los Angeles, the Mavericks are off to a great start, although all the credit should be given to forward Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki ranks eighth in the league in scoring thus far, averaging 26.5 PPG, including a historic 29 point fourth quarter performance. With Josh Howard back in the lineup expect the Mavericks to only rise in the Western rankings this season.

Grade: B+

Denver Nuggets- 6-3 record, 3rd in West

After starting the season with a 5-0 record, the Nuggets have quietly slipped back into reality. Forward Carmelo Anthony is off to the best start in his career, ranking third in the league in scoring with 30.2 PPG.

The team ranks fifth in the league in scoring (106.3 PPG) and their rookie guard Ty Lawson is off to a fantastic campaign, averaging 10 PPG and just under three APG. With a healthy frontcourt Denver is a scary team to face up against.

Grade: A

Detroit Pistons- 4-4 record, 8th in East

Detroit's offseason acquisitions have carried this team through their first eight games of the season. Both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva lead the team in scoring thus far.

The Pistons Richard Hamilton (one game played) and Tayshaun Prince (three games played) have battled through injury during this early season and are clearly needed heavily to become a contender this year.

Grade: C+

Golden State Warriors- 2-5 record, 13th in West

Although they have started off with a 2-5 record, the Warriors currently rank second in the league in scoring, averaging 108 PPG. Unfortunately, they also rank first in the league in opponents PPG, giving up a ridiculous 112 PPG.

Rumors have circulated regarding to Stephen Jackson leaving Golden State and if the plans fall through, this Warriors team will be in the gutter for quite some time.

Grade: D

Houston Rockets- 5-3 record, 6th in West

After losing Yao Ming for the season and T-Mac for the first few months of the year many anticipated the Rockets to be in for a serious decline. But after getting off to a 5-3 start, the team looks pretty solid thus far, ranking sixth in the league in PPG, with 104 per night.

Grade: B

Indiana Pacers- 3-3 record, 11th in East

The Pacers starting center Roy Hibbert is off to a terrific start, leading his team in RPG (10.2) and BPG (2.67). Along with Hibbert is Indiana's primetime player Danny Granger who is basically carrying this team on his shoulders thus far, posting 24.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 2.1 SPG, and 1.1 BPG.

Indiana will have to wait a few more seasons before they can compete in the East.

Grade: D+

Los Angeles Clippers- 3-6 record, 12th in West

Just when nothing could possibly get worse for the Clippers it unfortunately did. Rookie and first overall draft pick Blake Griffin fell to a knee injury, sidelining him for the first few months of the season.

Aside from that, center Chris Kaman is off to a incredible start this season averaging a team high 21.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 1.6 BPG.

Grade: D

Los Angeles Lakers- 6-1 record, 2nd in West

Without arguably their second best player in Pau Gasol, the Lakers have managed to compile a 6-1 record this season, only falling short to Dallas.

Kobe Bryant currently leads the league in scoring averaging 33.6 PPG and will continue to carry his team all the way into the postseason.

Grade: A+

Memphis Grizzlies- 1-8 record, 15th in West

The Grizzlies were certainly not a team that was expected to raise eyebrows this season and they have definitely not disappointed.

Center Marc Gasol is off to a torrid start, averaging 14.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, and 1.7 BPG.

With Iverson possibly departing from this Memphis team, there is absolutely no hope in making it to the playoffs this year.

Grade: F

Miami Heat- 6-1 record, 2nd in East

Miami fans should be very proud of their squad as they have gathered a record of 6-1 to tip off the season.

If the Heat can continue to win games and D-Wade can keep the motor running there is no reason Miami should rank lower than fifth in the East all season long.

Grade: A

Milwaukee Bucks- 4-2 record, 4th in East

The Bucks have undoubtedly been the surprise team in the East during the early stages of the season. Rookie point-guard Brandon Jennings is absolutely tearing up the competition, leading the rookie rankings while averaging 20.7 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG in 32.7 MPG.

With no Michael Redd on the floor how can this team continue to win games??

Grade: B+

Minnesota Timberwolves- 1-8 record, 15th in West

An argument can be made that the Minnesota Timberwolves are inevitably the worst team in the NBA as of right now.

Aside from rookie Jonny Flynn who is off to a hot start, the T-Wolves overall roster is producing in extremely low quantities.

Grade: F

New Jersey Nets- 0-8 record, 15th in East

Similar to the T-Wolves, the Nets are off to a horrific start, remaining as the only team yet to win a game this season.

With Devin Harris on the sidelines this team can expect to remain winless until their captain gets back into action.

Grade: F

New Orleans Hornets- 3-6 record, 11th in West

New Orleans thought it would be best to fire head-coach Byron Scott after the Hornets 3-6 start to the season.

With the GM taking over, hopefully the Hornets can go back to their old winning ways, especially with the way Chris Paul is playing thus far (26.1 PPG, 9.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.5 SPG).

Grade: D-

New York Knicks- 1-8 record, 14th in East

While the Knicks roster looks pretty decent on paper, the team has yet been able to convert their chemistry and talent into wins.

With many rumors stating that the Knicks roster has already given up on the season, it looks as if the players are simply waiting for a big named player to join their team during the big 2010 offseason signing.

Grade: F

Oklahoma City Thunder- 4-4 record, 8th in West

The Thunder's big three, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Russell Westbrook have played no short of spectacular this season.

They are the three team leaders in scoring and are ultimately the key components to success for this young roster.

Durant is averaging 27 PPG and will continue to dominate and improve for years to come.

Grade: C+

Orlando Magic- 6-3 record, 5th in East

Orlando's guard Vince Carter and forward Ryan Anderson have both been caught by the injury bug this season. To add more fuel to the fire, the Magic are still without their star forward Rashard Lewis, who was suspended for the first 10 games of the season.

Once Orlando is completely healthy they will make a strong push for the most powerful and deepest team in the NBA today.

Grade: A

Philadelphia 76ers- 4-4 record, 9th in East

Forward Marreese Speights and guard Louis Williams have both been a pleasant surprise for the Sixers early on this season.

Aside from them two, the only players actually posting numbers for Philly are Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young.

Elton Brand has been a dud thus far and continues to be on the decline as he nears the end of his career.

Grade: C

Phoenix Suns- 8-1 record, 1st in West

The Phoenix Suns have been the surprise team in the West so far this season, leading the conference in win percentage (.889%)

J-Rich, Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and Grant Hill have been fantastic for the Suns and the rising of Channing Frye has helped the team a ton as well.

If Phoenix can keep up the momentum, they're in for a playoff seed this season.

Grade: A+

Portland Trail Blazers- 6-3 record, 5th in West

When Greg Oden plays well this Blazers squad is definitely the team to beat. In nine games Oden has produced 10.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in just 23.4 MPG.

With a healthy Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Andre Miller (and ofcourse Greg Oden), Portland is in for a fantastic season.

Grade: B+

Sacramento Kings- 4-4 record, 8th in West

Kings leading scorer Kevin Martin went down to injury recently and will be held out of action for close to two months.

With a depleted roster as it is, the Kings are relying heavily on rookie guard Tyreke Evans and forward Jason Thompson.

Both athletes are producing for this young team and will continue to all season long.

Grade: B

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