Good Week/Bad Week – 2/11/15

So the first week of the season is officially in the books… 

Well, almost in the books. OK, so we’re 3 games in. But regardless of the limited number of match-ups so far, we’ve seen enough to get a good idea of how the season might start shaping up. Also, LeBron dressed as Prince. That too.

Here’s a quick roundup of this week’s biggest winners and losers (Mamba fans, look away now):

Good Week

Steph 1

Steph Curry

Since dropping 24 points in the first quarter on opening night against the Pelicans, Stephen Curry hasn’t just been good – he’s been terrifying.

In fact, last year’s MVP is averaging just over 39 points so far this season, and more than 7 assists per contest. The Warriors have won all three of their games so far by double-digits, two of which came against New Orleans. And it’s not just his dominance from downtown that continues to raise mono-eyebrows.

What make Golden State’s star player so good is the fact that he can beat you in so many ways. His NBA-season-high 53 points in the 134-120 road win in NOLA also saw him go 11-for-11 from the line, and included 9 assists and 4 steals.

After sinking a 31-foot three-ball over 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis, Curry simply called it ‘a dumb shot that went in’.

In other words, Steph’s just being Steph. Sorry rest-of-the-NBA…

Honourable mentions: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (the newly-crowned winningest trio in NBA history)

 

Bad Week

Kobe 1

Kobe Bryant

Look, we know it’s not all on Kobe.

The Lakers are, as expected, a complete mess so far this season. But the man who brought five titles to the Staples Center has been at the heart of everything that’s gone wrong in LA.

Kobe missed 12 of his 15 shots against the Mavericks, taking his FG % to a career-low 31% – topping only James Harden (more on him later) and Monta Ellis amongst 133 qualified players so far this season.

And it’s not just on the court that he seems to be struggling. The self-appointed ‘200th best player in the league’ took a day off from Lakers practice on Monday, because he was ‘too angry with himself’, according to coach Byron Scott.

His words? Simple – ‘I freaking suck’. Which, at the very least, is an honest assessment. But whether you like Kobe or not, it’s a sad sight to see one of the NBA’s greatest end his career like this, especially after working so hard to come back from last year’s season-ending shoulder problem.

Unfortunately though, it’s time to face facts. The days of you carrying this team are over Mamba. Torn rotator cuff, or no torn rotator cuff.

Honourable mentions: Houston Rockets, James Harden, James Harden’s teammates.

 

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Good Week/Bad Week – 25/2/13

Now we’ve had a week to get over the extremely exciting and nail-biting events of the trade deadline (sarcasm on standby), and it’s time to get back down to business. There have been a few telling match-ups, some more Kobe drama, and the unfortunate passing of one of the games true legends. And don’t even get us started on 50th birthdays…

Lets take a look at this week’s (belated) winners and losers…

Good Week

LeBron_James_Heat

Miami Heat

Here at uknba, we’ve tried to avoid stating the obvious as much as possible. Unfortunately, we cannot put it off any longer: the Miami Heat are good. They’re really, really good.

The Heat are currently on an eleven game win streak, and it shows no sign of ending any time soon. Since the 3rd of February LeBron James and company have beaten the Raptors, the Bobcats, the Rockets, the Clippers, the Lakers, the Trail Blazers, the Thunder, the Hawks, the Bulls, the 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’re only 3 wins away from a franchise record, and are playing some of their best basketball of the season.

On a personal level, Dwayne Wade is back to the top of his game after a few shaky starts, and a benched fourth quarter last month . Ray Allen is chipping in, and Chris Bosch is doing what Chris Bosh does (although he needs to learn to close his legs – see the All Star Game if you haven’t already). However, as good as the team have been, the King has been a whole lot better.

In the past week, LeBron averaged 23.5 points, 9.3 assists and 7.8 rebounds. On top of that, he has one triple-double and two double-doubles in the four games he’s played. Last years MVP is unquestionably this years MVP-in-waiting, and, barring a massive effort from any of the other main contenders before the end of the season, this one doesn’t even look close. As for those rumours about LeBron going back to Cleveland? We’ll file that away in the long-shot pile.

So we’ll finally say it: The road to the Finals definitely looks like it’ll run through Miami. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

Honourable mentions: Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Tony Parker.

Bad Week

JJ

.Orlando Magic

Far be it from us to kick a dog while it’s down but, unfortunately, on this occasion we’ve been left no choice. This Magic team isn’t just down; it’s dead.

This time a week or so ago, there seemed to be a little light at the end of a very long tunnel, when they beat the Blazers to end their previous skid. Let’s just say it was short lived. Since then the abysmal Magic have lost another five in a row, and show no sign of heating up any time soon.

Losing JJ Redick (arguably their best player) on deadline day showed exactly what this teams aims are. Especially with the relatively low return they got as a result. 3 relatively average players and a 2nd round pick? It’s like the D12 saga all over again.

To be fair to them, on Saturday night the new additions looked to display a hunger on the court that’s been severely lacking in recent weeks. The bad news? They still lost by more than 20. Hunger is as hunger does, but it’s not gonna keep the fans entertained. After losing the battle of the worst teams in the league just under a week ago, the Magic play the Kings on Thursday to show how far down the NBA pecking order they’ve really slipped.

Look on the bright side Orlando. At least you’ll have a team next year…

Honourable mentions: Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, The Fans (seriously, did you see the trade deadline?).   

Good Week/Bad Week – 8/2/13

With All-Star Weekend just around the corner, and the trade deadline looming, there’s been an interesting dynamic around the league this week, although there has’t really been many surprises. But as usual, there have been some big plays, some bad plays, and trade rumors galore. We’re looking at you Kris Humphries.

Lets take a look at this week’s winners and losers…

Good Week

Rajon Rondo

Boston Celtics

It’s been a pretty good week for a number of teams around the league. Miami are looking every bit like the champions they are, Denver are starting to heat up, and despite their loss last night, San Antonio are arguably the most consistent team in the NBA. However, for sheer resilience, we’ve given this one to the the Celts.

Rewind a few weeks and The Green were struggling to stay in the playoff picture. They were below .500, and looking listless, lackluster and lethargic (and plenty of other adjectives that don’t begin with L). Then in the space of a week, they lost their star point guard for the rest of the campaign, with Jared Sullinger joining him on the sideline for the same period of time. It looked like the beginning of the end in Boston.

But in traditional Celtics style, the team refused to accept the conventional. They’re now on a 6 game winning streak, including getting the W over the Lakers, the Clippers and the Heat in the process. Not bad for a team that were all but written off when Rondo’s diagnosis came in.

On a personal level, KG is playing great basketball, and a higher shooting percentage than when Rondo was in the team (as well as reaching 25,000 career points). Add to this impressive performances by Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Jeff Green, and Boston are starting to quietly creep up the standings.

Rajon who?

Honourable mentions: Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, James Harden, Kevin Garnett.

Bad Week

Print

.Orlando Magic

We’ve been trying to give the post-D12 Magic the benefit of the doubt so far this season, but their time has finally run out. Orlando are on a 12 game losing streak, their longest for 9 years. Let’s face it, they stink.

For a team that started the season with such promise, it’s sad to see just how far they’ve fallen. Ravaged by injuries, most significantly to their star center Glen Davis, and with a group of young players struggling to find their feet, their main hope now is just to get a high lottery pick and get through the season without losing too much dignity. We’re not going to lie, it will be a struggle.

Almost the exact opposite of Boston’s reaction after Rondo’s injury, since Big Baby was ruled out, Orlando have lost their direction and lost their fight. Although Vucevic has been promising with the added minutes, they’re destined to spend the rest of the season in basketball’s basement. The rebuilding process is well and truly underway but, unfortunately, it may take a little longer than planned.

But look on the bright side, Magic Fans. Dwight might end up missing the post-season too. So every cloud…

Honourable mentions: Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings (honourable honourable mention for DeMarcus Cousins), Charlotte Bobcats (duh).   

Good Week/Bad Week – 18/1/13

It’s been another week of highs and lows around the NBA. We’ve had another LeBron Milestone, and the Suns parting ways with Alvin Gentry. We’ve had All-Star announcements. And, for UK fans, we’ve had NBA London spreading the popularity of the game this side of the pond.

We take a look at this week’s winners and losers…

Good Week

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New Orleans Hornets

With the Nets continuing to impress under P.J. Carlesimo, this was a close cal. But for sheer resilience, we’ve gone for the resurgent men from the Big Easy.

After an embarrassing start to the season, the soon-to be Pelicans (see what we did there?) have looked like a different team of late. The return of Eric Gordon has definitely helped, and Anthony Davis is finally starting to put some decent time together on the court. The most impressive thing, however, has been the strength of the opposition faced.

In the last 10 days, New Orleans have beaten the Spurs, the Rockets, the T-Wolves, the 76ers and most recently the Celtics, only falling to the New York Knicks. For a team that made the Wizards and Raptors look good, it’s been nothing short of miraculous.

OK, so it’s probably too little too late. They’re still fighting it out at the bottom of the West, and they’re almost certainly going to miss out on the playoffs. But hey, they deserve some recognition. Also, possibly some pity.

We apologise to Pelicans everywhere…

Honourable mentions: Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, LeBron

Bad Week

Rockets

.Houston Rockets

From a bad team currently playing well , we go to a good team doing the complete opposite. Just where has it all gone wrong for the Rockets?

After winning five in a row, Kevin McHale’s have found themselves on the receiving end of a season-high four game losing streak. To make matters worse, they face the impressive Indiana Pacers tonight to start a four game road trip. Although their record at the Toyota Center is quite comfortable (14-7), their record on the road leaves a lot to be desired (7-11). To put it simply, they’re a very different team outside of Texas.

With James Harden and his fetching facial fur having a career year, and with their defense continuing to improve, it’s definitely not time to panic for Houston. They just need get some of that belief back that was so evident in December, and learn to play as a team as effectively as possible.

To Linfinity, and beyond…

Honourable mentions: Charlotte Bobcats (shocker), Minnesota Timberwolves (actually a shocker), Detroit Pistons (2 words: Jet. Lag.), Alvin Gentry.

Good Week/Bad Week – 3/1/13

The turkey’s been thrown away, the diets have started, and it’s officially over. It can be a depressing time of the year for most people. But, if you love the NBA, it’s just beginning to get good. We take a look at the winners and losers of 2013 so far…

Good Week

Lee Warriors

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have started 2013 like they finished 2012. Going quietly about their business, but getting it done.

Since losing to the Lakers on December 22nd, they’ve won four in a row, with victories coming against the Jazz, the 76ers, the Celtics and the Clippers. They’re now only 2.5 games back in the Pacific, and slowly but surely gathering momentum in the West.

With the Thunder, Clippers, Spurs and Grizzlies all starting strongly, it remains to be seen whether they can keep it up. But with David Lee (the only player in the league averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds) and Stephen Curry (insert equally impressive stat here) going from strength, you wouldn’t write them off.

Rating: Can we finally start to consider Lee and Curry for the All Star game now? Please?!?

Honourable mentions: JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudamire, James Harden.


Bad Week

Clippers

LA Clippers/ Blake Griffin

After showering them with praise last week, we can’t help but feel partly responsible for this one.

The Clippers franchise-record winning streak has come to an end, and they’ve lost 2 on the bounce in 2013. The losses to Denver and Golden State were convincing, and the latter meant that even with their impressive winning stretch, competition in the West is fierce.

2013 hasn’t been kind to Blake so far either. The big man had shot 50% or better in every game of their winning streak. He went a disappointing 4-for-11 from the field in Denver, and just 2-for-11 at Golden State. Add to that being on the receiving end of a Festus Ezeli elbow grab, a theatrical back flip, a three which hit the backboard, and the whole Warrior bench mocking him in unison, and it’s been a pretty bad week.

Rating: Maybe leave the Kia at home this week…

Honourable mentions: New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics.

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.