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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All Star Match-ups: Kobe Bryant vs. D-Wade

WEST – G – Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) 

Kobe

Advantages: 5x NBA Champion, 15x All-Star, 2x Gold Medalist, youngest player ever to reach 30,000 pts,

Disadvantages: Transition defence, best days are behind him, Dwight/Shaq/Women.

EAST – G – Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)

D Wade

Advantages: 2x NBA Champion, 9x All-Star, 1x Gold Medalist, Miami Heat all time leading scorer.

Disadvantages: 3 point conversion, injury prone, overshadowed (and will continue to be overshadowed by LBJ).

Verdict – Black Mamba is one of the best of all time. If Wade was up against anyone else, he may have a shot. Unfortunately for him, as MJ might say, 5 is better than 2 DW….

WEST 2 EAST 0 

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.