Alright, another exciting week in the NBA. Time to recap it while enjoying what may possibly be the best named beer of all time (review at the end).
Two Words to Describe the Jazz: Mentally Tough
One could argue that it's a bad sign when a team constantly finds themselves behind in games. The Utah Jazz haven't just been behind, they've been on the verge on of being blown out. Remarkably, they've come from behind to beat the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks in the past four days.
The Jazz could easily have given up in each game when they trailed by double digit margins. It's early November and a lot of teams would have crawled away and lived to see another day. Not the Jazz. They played to win even when things looked bleak.
I know it's cliché to say that championships aren't won in the first couple week of the season. However, the heart demonstrated by Utah should be an indicator of how they will play this spring.
It is also worth noting that in their wins against the Heat and Magic, the Jazz dismantled two of the best big men in the league. First, Paul Millsap had his way with Chris Bosh and the Miami front court. The next night, Al Jefferson took it to Dwight Howard in crunch time.
Chris Bosh has already been criticized for his slow start. (He's obviously the weakest link the the so called big three. Did you see Rajon posterize him Thursday night?)
Howard, on the other hand, has been praised for his off season work outs with Hakeem Olajuwon. He was hailed as the one man who could destroy Miami. Now, his toughness has to be called into question.
The Hornets, Really?
If you had to beat on which team would be the last to lose a game in the 2010-2010 NBA season would you have ever put money on the Hornets? Yet, here we are three weeks into the season New Orleans still hasn't lost.
Chris Paul deserves enormous amounts of credit for playing like a true professional. This summer, he appeared less than thrilled to be in the Big Easy. There was constant speculation that he might be traded. It seemed like he wanted to move on. Hell, he still might want to play elsewhere.
There is a business side to professional sports which is completely separate from the game. Chris Paul gets that. It doesn't matter if he's happy in New Orleans, he's giving it 100 percent on a nightly basis and winning. Isn't that what really matters?
Speaking of Chris Paul... He's Reclaimed His Title as Best Point Guard
Yes, Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league. It's tough to choose one, but he's my choice. Anyway, here's the list:
1. Chris Paul
His stats aren't the most impressive, but he's winning games. More importantly, he's winning games without another superstar caliber player. Chris Paul does what stats don't always indicate: he makes his teammates better.
2. Rajon Rondo
One could easily make the case for Rondo to be No. 1. The reason I put him as No. 2 is the incredible talent of his supporting cast. I know he's breaking assist records left and right, but isn't that easier when you are passing to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen?
3. Deron Williams
As I said above, the Jazz have heart. Williams, as the alpha dog of that team, deserves a lot of credit. If he continues to efficiently shoot from long range he could potentially move up the list.
4. Derrick Rose
It's unfair to rank to Rose when the Bulls are playing without Carlos Boozer. Right now, Rose is one the best scorers in the NBA. Once Boozer is back in the lineup, his point will go down and his assists up. If Rose is going to take the next step (which by all accounts would put him amongst the all time greats), his scoring efficiently will only improve as he becomes second option on offense.
5. Russell Westbrook
How do you know we are in a point guard Golden Age? Russell Westbrook is the fifth best point guard. He was the best player on the Thunder in their series against the Lakers in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. Over the summer, he outplayed Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo for Team USA. Now, he may be Oklahoma City's most efficient scoring option. I'm convinced that he can be a No. 2 scorer on a championship team. Now, the Thunder have to figure out who will guard the paint and hit the open three.
By the way, it is mind boggling that the list of the top five point guards doesn't include Steve Nash or Tony Parker. While those two have gotten older, they can still play at a high level. The fact is, right now, there is a ridiculous amount of young talent at the position.
John Wall=Young Point Guard Talent
The list I just made has the potential to be blown up in a couple of years when John Wall matures. He has already recorded his first triple double in the NBA (becoming the third youngest player to do so). He may be the fastest player in basketball—surpassing Rondo and Rose.
Wall is notable as being the subject of criticism by ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd. Cowherd disapproved of Wall's pregame dance (aka the Dougie) and claimed he would never be a good teammate.
I strongly disagree with Cowherd. I love the Dougie and think Wall will be an elite player. However, it is important to remember that Cowherd is a sports talk radio personality. Sport talk radio is basically talk radio. The only difference between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Cowherd is that Rush talks about politics while Colin talks about sports. Both hosts exaggerate their opinions to create buzz.
That's not the say that Rush doesn't have a conservative set of values or that Cowherd doesn't have his doubts about John Wall. I believe that that they both take what they believe and turn it into entertainment. If Cowherd said, "I don't understand Wall's dance. To me, it seems like a ploy for attention, but then again, I'm not in his generation. I don't understand it. As to his play, it seems like he'll better on highlight reels than in real life," would anyone talk about him? Of course not. He has to go to extremes to generate listeners which in turn generate advertisers. Give him credit for being good at his job (which is to get people to listen to the ads during his show).
Beer Review: Short's Brew Huma Lupa Licious
As far as economies are concerned, Michigan is to the United States as Haiti is to the world. I live in Michigan, and I can say first hand that our economy is dead. Thankfully, Michigan owns the Micro-brew industry. Short's Brew joins Bell's, Arcadia, Founders, and New Holland as an excellent brewery. Their IPA, Huma Lupa Licious is unique and fantastic.
If you don't like IPA's, then Huma Lupa Licious will not float your boat. If you're a fan of the India Pale Ale style, be prepared for a less bitter, more sweet beer. Huma Lupa Licious focus more on the flora flavor of hops instead of the bitterness. Overall, it is a crisp brew fit for watching Kevin Durant take over the fourth (which he did for the first time this season against Portland as I am finishing this article).
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