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

Pelican_lakes_entrance02

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.

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