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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Brandon Knight Bandwagon

Here at UKNBA, we hate to jump on the bandwagon. However, in our continued effort to provide more relevant, regular and engaging content, we’ve decided it’s time to change our ways. So expect a lot more bandwagon-jumping as the season draws to a close and the play-offs begin. And, as bandwagon’s go, we couldn’t really have picked a better one to start with.

 brandon knight

OK, we know we’re late to this one, but here goes: Brandon Knight (or more accurately DeAndre Jordan) broke the internet. If you haven’t seen the monster dunk in question, see below. Jordan’s dunk, coming courtesy of a Chris Paul lob in the second quarter, was as good as any of his famous namesakes. The Clipper’s eventually won this bout with the Pistons 129-97, but it was Brandon Knight’s name that remains on everyone’s lips.

Sure, Knight could maybe have moved a little more, but when the guy you’re up against has half a foot and over 50 pounds on you, it doesn’t really seem like a fair fight. Luckily, Knight seemed to find the funny side, tweeting:

‘It wasn’t in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs lol’ 

Keep that chin up Brandon Knight. Because those jokes aren’t going away any time soon…

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?).   

All Star Match-ups: Blake Griffin vs. Carmello Anthony

WEST – F – Blake Griffin (LA Clippers) 

Blake

Advantages: Dunking, rebounding, reaching things on the top shelf.

Disadvantages: Shooting outside the paint, shooting three throws, defence, .

EAST – F – Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

Melo

Advantages: Versatile, can score from anywhere, good clutch play.

Disadvantages: Defence ,hotheaded, honey nut Cheerio’s

Verdict – OK, so we know that Melo is the more complete player. But for sheer flair (and for flair, read height) we’ll take Blake on this one. Also, the advert below wins him major kudos. Bingo… 

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All Star Match-ups: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James

WEST – F – Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) 

KD

Advantages: Scoring, scoring, scoring.

Disadvantages: Doesn’t get many rebounds, doesn’t get many assists, and… um, steals? (we’re kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel here).

EAST – F – LeBron James (Miami Heat)

The King

Advantages: Scoring, rebounding, assists, NBA champion, regular season MVP, finals MVP, youngest player to 20,000 pts, ONLY player ever to score at least 30 pts and shoot at least 60% from the field. There’s a lot more we could say, but running out of room…

Disadvantages: Umm…

Verdict – If KD was up against anyone else he would walk it. Time is on his side, and he may yet eclipse James in years to come. But right now, it’s got to be the King… (See also: last year’s finals) 

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