The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: NBA 2008 Week one in review

Sandro Fracca@@sandrofraccaCorrespondent INovember 7, 2008

The Good:

1. Brandon Roy's incredible buzzer beater in overtime against the Houston Rockets from over 30 feet away with less than a second left on an inbounds.  Could Brandon Roy be "The One?"  Best game of the week, by far.

2. Prices for tickets to see the Atlanta Hawks 3-0 start.  Everyone was predicting playoffs, but these Hawks look like they could contend.  Wins on the road against Orlando, at home against Philadelphia,  who had the Hawks down by 20 at one point, and another road win in New Orleans, in which they held Chris Paulscoreless the entire 4th quarter.
3. Mike D'Antoni's benching of Eddie Curry and Stephon Marbury.  The team is only 2-2 but the coach is perfect.  Instant respect from players and New Yorkers alike?  Consider it earned.  Now if only GM Donnie Walsh would shut the hell up.

4. Phil Jackson's using Lamar Odom off the bench instead in the starting rotation.  The Lakers look like they will be scoring points no matter who is in the game. 

5. Jerry Sloan's moving Andrei Kirilenko to the 6th man role.  He may not like it, but AK47 's numbers are hovering around his career averages, and the team is getting more out of their other role players than ever before.  4-0 to start the season... hard to argue against success.

6 Jermaine O'Neal's attitude.  The team was undefeated until they ran into the Pistons.  In all the games, O'Neal has shown some signs of rust, but he's looked like he's comfortable in a role sharing the front court with Chris Bosh.  More importantly, he's shown signs of maturity and leadership that weren't in his highlight package from Indy.

7. James Posey's debut in New Orleans.  Not only has he been the consummate "glue-guy," he's also been chipping in close to career numbers.  Other than a loss to Atlanta, the team is perfect.  

8.  The return of Shaun Livingston to the NBA.  Seriously bro, welcome back.  Even if you never play another game after this week, you've earned everyone's respect.  So happy for him.

9. Yes, that's San Antonio's Tony Parker and Tim Duncan 1st and 3rd in the league in scoring.  Tony dropped fifty-five points on Minnesota the other night.  His scoring is almost double his career average.  Who was going to replace Ginobili's scoring?   Parker's and the Fundamental have been tremendous, even if their team isn't winning.

10. Allen Iverson's press conference.  That was about the funniest press conference I've ever witnessed.  I'm convinced Iverson needs to take up comedy after seeing his comments on his unruly days gone by and his now infamous remarks on practice. Classic.  More importantly, he left everyone feeling good about a trade that was a little bit suspect at a first glance.  


The Bad:
1. Gregg Popovich's 4 second Hack-a-Shaq.  Not nice, and not that funny.  He dragged his name down into Shaq's level of immaturity, which is pretty bad.  It's still a really discouraging aspect of the NBA that this strategy can't be officiated out of existence somehow.  

2. The NBA's scheduler.  Who thought it would be a good idea to have the Clippers play the Lakers and the Jazz 4 times in the team's first 5 games?  Not the 0-5 Clippers, that's a guarantee.

3. Video Replay extensions.  So far I haven't noticed too many replays, but I just know they're going to find a way to squeeze in about 40 more ads in the last 2 minutes  of a game.  Playoffs beware.

4. The Charlotte Bobcats' bench.  Coach Brown plays his starters the most out of any starting rotation in the league.  It's so bad that the minutes spent waving towels and cheering for the odd dunk are now being counted towards their playing time.  For once I agree with Larry Brown's decisions.  When is something going to be done about this team's lack of depth?  

5. G-State's point guard situation.  When your captain is Stephen Jackson and he's running the point, you know your team is in trouble. 

6. The Miami Heat's point guard situation.  There really isn't much help in their organization at this position.  As  long as Wade is healthy, he can play the 1 and the 2, though, so they always have a puncher's chance.

7.   Andre Iguodala is almost being outscored by Samuel Dalembert.  It probably won't last long, but he's been positively attrocious in the first week.  Huge 3.5 turnovers per game stand out.

8.   Devin Harris might still be licking his wounds after being nutmegged by Stuart Tanner.  Thirty percent shooting from the field, and no successfully made  three pointers. Three very bad games do not a season make, but he must improve in order for his team to have a fighting chance.

9.   Boston's 4-1 start.  They were supposed to be happy with one championship, not hungry to create another dynasty.  Their team-first attitude and determined defense is going to keep the Celts in the mix until the end.   Bad news for everyone else.

10. Denver's "Cost-Cutting" measures.  Whose fault is it that they signed Nene for 10 million a year after picking up Kenyon for an absurd amount of money?  No one told them to add Allen Iverson to their team either.  What a disaster.  


The Ugly:
1.   Greg Popovich's unruly beard.  Since when is the homeless Count Duku look en vogue?  

2.   The Toronto Raptors' new uniforms.  When can they expect the copyright infringement action from the Miami Heat?

3.   The last week has made me realize that Andrea Bargnani was drafted first overall in 2006, supposedly a "weak draft year".  How weak would a team be if comprised of lower picks Rajon Rondo, Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Tyrus Thomas and LaMarcus Aldridge?  

4.   The Lakers played their tenants twice last week. The combined score? L.A. Lakers: 223 L.A. Clippers: 167. Can't Vancouver have one of your teams?

5. Yao's line against Boston: 8 points on 4 of 14 shooting, 7 rebounds and not a single shot blocked. Yao later said it was the worst game of his professional career. Hey, at least he played it.

6. Greg Oden's crutches picture. While he has a better beard than Gregg Popovich, his DNP's are racking up faster than Sarah Palin's wardrobe bill.

7. Gil Arenas 118 million dollar "franchise saving" contract is beginning to look about as appetizing as a piece of salmon left to burn to a cinder on a Hibachi. Washington will not survive Agent 0's absence this time.

8. Leandro Barbosa's stat line. 8 points on 38% shooting. Uglier still is the 9 less minutes of PT that he's not getting under new coach Terry Porter. Can anyone say "trade bait"?

9. How much does Ben Wallace get paid to average less than 2 points a game again.... as a starter? Actually, forget about it... I don't want to know.

10. "I think I'm going to start practicing with my high school team.  
Seriously. I've already called the coach to see if I can run up and down with the guys and at the same time help teach the younger guys the NBA game."- Stephon Marbury

Steph, don't you actually have to be playing in order to teach them the NBA game, or are you planning on teaching them sideline sudoku?