- Chicago looks like the sleeper team so far. Rose looks unstoppable, Noah wants to be the best center in the league(and he's not as far off as you'd think), and the defense looks improved under Thibodeau. They're 11th in offensive efficiency and when Boozer comes back they could vault into the top 5. The second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs could be epic with Orlando, Miami, Chicago, and Boston. This could be the biggest advantage the Lakers have. They could potentially cruise to the Finals and meet a gassed opponent.
- Spurs are looking good so far in the early season and I wouldn't be shocked to see Duncan average less than 20 minutes a game. With Blair, Booner, McDyess, and Booner look for Pop to rest the big fundamental early and often. This could be huge in the playoffs as Ducan has wear down significantly by the end of the last three seasons. Spurs also have shooters they didn't last year in Neal and Anderson and of course they added Richard Jefferson in the off-season...wait he played in San Antonio last year? I remember a starting small forward with shockingly small ears playing in Black and Silver last year, but he was terrible and played nothing like Richard Jefferson.
Preston's Top Five
- Hornets- Chris Paul is the MVP so far. Everyone is +5 basketball skills when he plays along side them. As long as none of their starting five get hurt they'll win 50+ games.
- Celtics- Celtics look good early on. Garrnett looks healthy, Rondo is better, and their depth is much better. For one game on a neutral court I'd pick the Cs over anybody.
- Lakers- They lost a couple games recently and their defense isn't where it needs to be but I think it's more effort thing than anything serious, and who can blame them? They know when the playoffs start and it's not in November.
- Spurs- Eleven quality players! As long as the big three stay healthy (and that's a giant if) the Lakers will hope they get eliminated by another team in the Western conference.
- Heat- They're crushing bad teams, which does mean a lot, but right now they have some problems. Most of them, like their offensive problems, will be solved with time, but the issues of who's going to do anything inside the paint could be a killer. One solution...Lebron needs to play the four on both sides of the ball. He has all the tools to be an amazing defender of the opposing teams power forwards, but he'll have to sacrifice his game a little, and I'm not sure if he's willing to take the pounding, as seen by his recent comments that 44 minutes is too much for him against the reigning Eastern Conference Champs and a team that beat you the first night of the season.
Games to Watch this Week!
Bulls at Spurs Wednesday- See if the Bulls can slow down the suddenly potent Spurs offense and if Pop can come up with a defense to slow down Rose.
Nuggets at Trail Blazers Thursday- Nuggets look better than I thought. Blazers have massive injury issues which shocks me.
Spurs at Jazz Friday- Two of the top teams in the West and two of the greatest coaches of all time. Blair vs Milsap in the battle of shorty, stocky power forwards.
Nets at Kings Friday- I'm kidding
Thunder at Celtics Friday- Thunder need a big win. Celtics already took the first of the two meetings.
Warriors at Lakers- Could be 250 points scored in this game...and that's by the third quarter!