NBA: Mid-Season Best, Worst, and Surprising Teams
I know that record wise the New Jersey Nets are on pace to tie the all time worst record in league history. At least you could see this coming, trade away all your veterans and a young team is going to struggle.
The team that is the worst of all to me is the Detroit Pistons. Two years ago they were one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and now they look like a doormat.
General Manager Joe Dumars appeared to be a genius when putting together the ’04 Championship roster. Well he took that all back by trading away the most important player Chancey Billups for Allen Iverson.
Result, barely made the playoffs and were out in the first round. This past off season he decided it would be a good idea to add second rate players, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. That has back fired, the Pistons are 14 games under .500 and trail The Cleveland Cavilers by 22 ½ games.
The economy in Detroit has gone down the toilet and all the people have left is sports. With the Red Wings struggling after losing in game 7 of the finals to the Penguins, the Lions (HAHAHA), and the Tigers one decade away from being the Cubs, now what do they have left?
One trade is what set back the Pistons; Billups has the Denver Nuggets one Kobe Bryant injury away from being the best in the Western Conference. Instead of the good old days when they used to rap like the “Bad Boys”, now they sing like the “Choir Boys”.
Thunder Storms Came Earlier Than Expected
Two teams that have been really surprising are the Charlotte Bobcats and Houston Rockets. The Bobcats are .500 and probably going to make the playoffs for the first time. The Rockets lost three all-stars and are still three games over .500.
However the team that I found most surprising has to be the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder’s emergence is like your local weather report, they forecast sun and you get 10 inches of rain. Anyone who says they saw this team, playing this well, is either clairvoyant or a compulsive liar.
The Thunder are lead by a guy who has the build of a high school gymnast, Kevin Durant. He has a young tremendous supporting cast surrounding him that reminds me of the “Fab 5″ (NBA version).
They haven’t just been beating up on the bad teams; they have also beaten Atlanta twice, San Antonio, and Denver. They have notably played the Cavilers and Lakers very competitively.
Durant has joined the MVP talk by posting 25 straight games with more than 25 points. He will need to continue this play if the Thunder plan on storming their way into the playoffs.
Fueled By Bio-Diesel
The Nuggets and Lakers from the Western Conference look like the two teams that have separated themselves from the pack as championship contenders. The Cleveland Cavilers have seemingly separated themselves away from all other teams that play the game on ten foot hoop.
The Cavs added some better role players in Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, and Shaq that have aided to the teams early season success.
One of Shaq’s many nicknames is “The Diesel”, less dominant in his later years he now looks more like “The Oil Spill”. The Cavs are fueled by a younger, innovative, more efficient form called “Bio-Diesel”, LeBron James.
James has the game of Michael Jordan, inside the stature of Magic Johnson. James makes 35 foot jumpers like we make shots on a Fisher Price hoop.
The Cavs have the best record in the Eastern Conference at the break and will easily finish the regular season with the best record. Home court didn’t propel them to the Finals last season when they lost to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals.
This season will be different; Orlando traded Hedo Turkoglu and got Vince Carter, which was the best off season move for the Cavs. Its simple for the Cavs fans, win the ring, keep the king.