Good Week/Bad Week – 27/12/12

A busy festive period culminated in 5 games on Christmas day, including a Los Angeles double header. We take a look at this week’s winners and losers…

Good Week

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LA Clippers

The Clips are on a franchise-record 14 game winning streak. Aside from the athleticism of starters Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, they also possess the highest scoring bench in the NBA this season.

With their confidence growing by the game, and this level of depth in their squad, they’re currently number one in the West, and the league overall. For a moribund franchise once considered the joke of the NBA, this is uncharted territory.

As LA’s other team still struggles to find their feet, and the Oklahoma City Thunder faltering, things look good for Vinny Del Negro’s men.

Rating: 10/10 for effort and commitment, but minus several thousand for style (See below)

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Honourable mentions: Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Mike Miller.

Bad Week

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Brooklyn Nets/ Avery Johnson

After a promising start to the season and an 11-4 record, Brooklyn has now lost 10 of their last 13 games, and their head coach.

The Nets suffered their worst home loss of the season on Christmas day, and to make matters worse it was against a division rival. They followed this with a 108-93 loss to the Bucks on Wednesday night, and their coach of the last 2-and-a-half years was handed his marching orders.

So, did Avery Johnson deserve to follow Mike Brown as the second coaching casualty of the season? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: Deron Williams and company will need to up their game if they free spending Nets are to get anywhere this (next) year.

Rating: Don’t panic. It’s only the Bobcats up next…

Honourable mentions: Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook.

Milestones and MVPs

There have been a number of milestones hit over the course of the season so far. And, while we can’t document them all here (partly because it would take too long, but mostly because we’re lazy and don’t remember most of them) here are the big two… from the big two.

LebronLeBron – Love him or loathe him, you can’t argue with the numbers. Not content with his NBA championship ring and Olympic gold medal, being the regular season MVP and finals MVP, King James was voted Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 2012 last month.

Following his infamous ‘decision’ to leave Cleveland, LeBron has moved from strength to strength in Miami. He’s had a strong start to the season so far, and is already in the running to retain his MVP crown.

Personally, apart from his self appointed nickname, we don’t really mind LeBron. Just don’t tell Skip Bayless…

 

 

Kobe B

Kobe – On December 5th 2012, in a game against the New Orleans Hornets, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player ever to reach 30,000 points. He now joins an elite list of basketball greats including Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292) as the only five players in NBA history to break the 30,000-point barrier.

Although he has taken the longest number of games to get there (1,179), at just 34 years old, Kobe is within touching distance of Kareem’s record. Lets just hope he stays healthy.

The season so far…

So, with the 67th NBA season roughly one fifth of the way through, and the NBA and ESPN finally agreeing a deal to screen live games in the UK, it seemed the perfect time to start this blog. And for anyone new to basketball, or those who had to live off scraps of NBA tonight and Pardon the Interruption (lets not even get started on League Pass), here are some things you may have missed this season so far…

The biggest trade of the Offseason: Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard,

The Lakers acquired Dwight Howard from Orlando in a trade which included 4 teams and 12 players. So far, Dwight has been pretty average in LA. Also, he’s not very good at free throws (see: Hack-a-Howard).

The first coaching casualty of the season: Mike Brown

Mike Brown
Lakers again. Mike Brown lost his job as the Hollywood Head Coach just five games into the season, becoming the third fastest firing in NBA history.

Immediately following this, the prospect of the third coming of Phil Jackson is widely mentioned. Lakers fans exited. Mike D’Antoni hired. Lakers fans less excited.

Overreaction of the season so far: Charlotte Bobcats

Bobcats

After only winning 7 in last year’s lockout shortened season, they took just 12 games to get there this season. Cue wild celebrations and high-fives all round. Michael Jordan calls it ‘The greatest accomplishment of my entire career’ (Warning: not actual quote).

Unfortunately, Charlotte have not won since…

Story of the season so far: New Orleans name change

Pelicans

New Orleans reportedly consider changing their name from the New Orleans Hornets, to the New Orleans Pelicans. Other potential names considered reported as ‘New Orleans Puppies’, ‘New Orleans Honey Badgers’ and the ‘New Orleans Hashtags’.

In all seriousness, I hope that this change doesn’t end up happening. I know that some teams have had success using their state birds for naming purposes (particularly any incarnation of the Cardinals), but a line has to be drawn somewhere…

Surprise of the season so far: Thunder/Clippers/Warriors

Disappointment of the season so far: Lakers