Week 1 of the NBA Season tells you about as much as the first week of the MLB season. In other words, teams can turn around for the better or worse. Nonetheless, Week 1 did provide us with some information that probably won’t change unless injuries, or trades affect them. With three months until the trading deadline, many trades can happen that could change a team’s fortune, but here is a recap and prediction of what will happen.
Utah Jazz (4-0) – An undefeated season without their top point guard. No problem says Carlos Boozer. Boozer was expected to have his numbers drop due to William’s injury, but instead they rose and propelled the team to 3 victories. So their schedule right now is a tad easy and it will stay that will for another week
Los Angeles Lakers (3-0) - The Lakers opened up with three victories, two of them were won by 20 points or more. Although the Clippers, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets all are borderline playoff teams, they won in convincing fashion in all three which convinces me enough to believe 60 wins.
New Orleans Hornets (3-0) - They opened up with three victories as well, two of which were without starting center Tyson Chandler. Two of their wins were borderline playoff teams. A questionable bench earlier has recently stepped up and proved critics wrong. Also, they defeated the Cavaliers without Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic. Last note is that David West has stepped up in Chandler’s absence and Rasual Butler in Peja’s,
Toronto Raptors (3-0) - Chris Bosh has absolutely stepped up to his leadership role. Jose Calderon is averaging 18 and 9.7 assists which are Chauncey Billup like numbers. The Raptors, remember, were last year’s predicted team to raise the bar. The critics may have gotten it one year too early.
Detroit Pistons (3-0) – I’ll say this hopefully one last time: three victories due to an easy schedule. Anyway, they did look solid across the board in all three victories mostly thanks to Rip’s points, Rasheed’s rebounds, and Chauncey’s assists. Ah, Chauncey. It hard to tell where this team goes from here with A.I. as leader. See you next week.
Atlanta Hawks (2-0) – When I first saw this, mouth dropped and then I thought it was because of easy schedule, but then I saw their two opponents: Magic and 76ers. This team won their last two with Joe Johnson leading the show with his league-leading 30 points a game. During the upcoming week, by the way, they still play Hornets and Raptors.
Boston Celtics (3-1) – 2-1 doesn’t surprise me, because schedule had possible losable games with Bulls and Cavaliers. The one loss comes, however, comes against…Indiana Pacers. I really don’t know what happened. This team, though, will be consist with their Big Three.
Phoenix Suns (3-1) – Don’t write them off yet. They impressed me with their victories over the Spurs and Trail Blazers. Their lone loss came to a more than respectable Hornets’ team. Amare Stoudamire and Steve Nash lead the way.
Houston Rockets (3-1) - I DECLARE THE ROCKETS ARE FOR REAL in the regular season at least. They put three wins on the Grizzlies, Thunder, and the Mavericks, none of which are good teams, but now we see Yao raise his total in points, McGrady as old self, and Artest contributing as well. Their only loss was to Boston.
Indiana Pacers (1-1) – Nice win over the Celtics had everyone confused. I won’t get used to it, but you never know. I mean their loss came to Detroit and was a 6 point difference. This week will tell us some with them facing Cavaliers, Suns, and Nets. If they come out of that 2-1 they could be serious contenders for the playoffs.
Clevand Cavaliers (2-2) - Well, I didn’t figure out much from their 2-2 start. They lost to New Orleans and Boston, two title contenders and beat Bobcats and Dallas. They did what everyone expected so… They now face Bulls and Pacers, both of which seem serious as they beat respectable teams. These match-ups should tell us more of where Cavs are.
Philadelphia 76ers (2-2) – This record makes you wonder if the money on Elton Brand was needed. The 76ers did this last year, too. They lost to Toronto, who are in a similar position as Philly, and to the Hawks, who could surprise. They did beat Sacramento and the Knicks, but they don’t seem to be legit due to combined 1-6 record.
Chicago Bulls (2-2) – After losses to the Magic and Celtics and wins against Bucks and Grizzlies, I am convinced they will pick up a 7 or 8 seed. One reason is weak Eastern Conference that allows .500 teams to sneak in. Another is the surprise emergence of rookie Derrick Rose.
Milwaukee Bucks (2-2) – I wouldn’t let the record fool you. This is different than the Bulls situation. For one they got their wins on two of the worst teams in the league in the Thunder and Knicks and they got their losses to playoff contenders Chicago and Toronto.
Memphis Grizzlies (2-2) – To be honest, I think this team will surprise. Their schedule included four predicted playoff teams to most analysts. What did surprise me, though, was the face that they beat the Magic. Victory against what appears to be an overrated Warriors team and losses to Houston and Chicago show the promise is their. Emergence of Marc Gasol helps, too.
Orlando Magic (2-2) – Losses to Hawks and Grizzlies are scary, however the fact that both appear to be potential playoffs lightens the weight and the fact they bounced back to defeat the Bulls and Kings. Dwight Howard is just dominating with 21.8 PPG and at least 14 rebounds a game
Dallas Mavericks (2-2) – The Mavericks are officially not a premier team. With losses to a good Rockets team and a good Cavaliers team, the Mavericks should be happy with 1st round wins, but make no mistake, playoffs are only an option. Dirk Nowitzki is keeping his numbers normal and Jason Kidd assists are actually down.
New Jersey Nets (1-2) – The loss to Golden Statemay prove they can’t beat contenders. The win the Wizards may prove they can beat the teams below them. Hard to tell though, because two games tell you pretty much nothing in the NBA.
Charlotte Bobcats (1-2) – Two losses to the Pistons and Cavaliers mean nothing as they both have a considerable amount of talent more. The victory over Heat was good, because of the talent level of the Heat. In the lone victory, Gerald Wallace dazzled with 34 points. Upcoming schedule is harder than last week’s.
Denver Nuggets (1-2) – Once again, the Nuggets lost to two very good teams. The Jazz and Lakers could meet each other in conference finals. They got it done against the Clippers, too so a 1-2 mark shouldn’t be a disappointment. Also, Chauncey Billups will make this team better in the upcoming week.
Portland Trail Blazers (1-2) – The Trail Blazers goal should be to come out of this tough early lead with a .500 mark by defeating the Jazz. The Suns, Lakers, Jazz, and Spurs are all playoff teams. Led by a young starting cast, the Blazers opportunity is there.
Oklahoma City Thunder- (1-2) – The Thunder defeated a Timberwolves that were expected to surprise. They also, however lost to Rockets and Bucks as well. The Thunder is going to try to win for the first couple of months and then try in their young draftees.
New York Knicks (1-2) – The Knicks started the season very well with a close victory over the Heat without Stephon Marbury (perfectly healthy) and Eddy Curry (injury). They quickly proved critics right though with losses to 76ers and Bucks after the surprise victory. Knicks could surprise some though.
Miami Heat (1-2) – Even with a healthy Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion in his contract year, and Michael Beasley they still lost to two out of three teams that aren’t supposed to make playoffs. Charlotte and Knicks are certainly not making the playoffs. A victory over the Kings saved us from a repeat from last year.
Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) – An opening win did cheer up the T’Wolves, but lasted all of two days as they lost to Dallas and the Thunder. Dallas doesn’t surprise me, but the Thunder. Al Jefferson quietly leads this team.
Golden State Warriors (1-3) – The Warriors first two losses against New Orleans and Toronto may be what we call expected. The victory against the Nets was expected as well. The loss to Memphis either proves Grizzlies are legit or Warriors aren’t. Too early to which it is.
Washington Wizards (0-2) – They lost to both Detroit and the Nets. To tell you the truth I don’t know if Nets are good or bad. They certainly aren’t elite or playoff contenders and did what was expected of them.
San Antonio Spurs (0-3) – Have the Spurs ever been on this list? I don’t think so. The reason of course is Manu Ginobli and a shaky bench that certainly didn’t help. The bright side is that the Suns, Trail Blazers, and Mavericks all are playoff contenders. The bad news: Ginobli still has a month left. As long as they avoid a long losing streak they may just survive.
Los Angeles Clippers (0-4) – Don’t let the record fool you. They faced the Lakers, Nuggets, and Jazz twice. Three of the four games are against title threats. Their goal should be to get off this list next week and nothing more. They face the Lakers again and the Rockets and what seems to be a good Dallas team.
Sacramento Kings (0-4) – The Kings have been terrible. They gave wins to the Heat and Timberwolves, both of which are their only victories. They also lost to the Magic and the 76ers. They should be 3-4 by next week facing a combined record of 3-7 teams coming up.