NBA Weather Report – Issue 1

Weather Report

The 82 game NBA season is a gruelling experience, full of fantastic moments in NBA history. It also holds a lot of weird games and blowouts. Only true fans have the real fortitude to commit to such a schedule of watching, reading and breathing basketball. Luckily for you, we’re just crazy enough to keep this going. So throughout the season we/I will be doing the weather report for the NBA, checking in with trends, things I like/hate and getting a little too homerrifc on certain issues.

Join the Church of Boogie

Throughout the first few weeks, the unthinkable is happening and that is the Sacramento Kings holding a winning record. No one saw this coming and I am about to put both my feet in my mouth regarding everything Darren Collison. But no matter what happens, it all starts and ends with one man on the floor – DeMarcus BOOGIE!!!! Cousins.

In the first 10 games he is averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds PER 36 minutes, and that comes on 50% from the field and a decimal shy of 80% from the charity stripe. If you don’t like watching BOOGIE! play you’re wrong. About everything. Life. Love. School. Just wrong.

It’s also coming with extreme efficiency from everyone else, including the brick machine that is Rudy Gay. The Kings are somehow managing to mask a myriad of problems with a BOOGIE! sized board.

What the best thing is he came back from the USA camp a leader. Yes, he has 2 techs already, but given his previous ventures in the NBA it’s not a surprise that Cousins is an easy target. The way he bullies people in the post is unthinkable, and his array of moves seems limitless. So it’s only right that he gets bumped in and out of the block, which means tempers will flare. But you can’t but notice the growth at moments when BOOGIE! is the one pulling back his coach from getting a T.

Also this:

 

Blowouts

I am starting to question the NBA schedule, based solely of the amount of blowouts we have seen recently on the schedule. Everyone has expected that the 76ers will get the whooping of a lifetime night to night, but seriously:

The NBA seems to be suffering a fallout when teams are starting to call it in and it’s worse than before. There has been a run-on of blowouts in the past few weeks. No one is really surprised as we expected some teams to be bad, but really THIS bad?

76ers are basically a D-League team in the NBA, trying their best to function out a dysfunctional season (I hope they don’t come out of here with crippling morale). The Timberwolves lost their best player and are still dealing with identity crisis (that’s what you get when you pay Pekovic an equivalent of Montenegro’s GDP). The Lakers are insuring every single player for Kobe related injuries. Denver is just falling apart with no reasonable explanation. The amount of teams being bad is staggering.

In the past, the biggest problem was Gregg Popovich related “DNP Old”s, and Stern was alost willing to go head to head in a 12 round bout for this. Now it’s just a mix of issues where NBA is at serious risk to lose market value if these games don’t end up being more competitive. The rift is even further now.

 

Raptors

There is a reason for Toronto to get excited. They sport one of the best backcourts in the League and Kyle Lowry manufactures illegal triple-doubles in his basement and then brings them to games. This is a team with a strong defensive identity and a good measure of camaraderie that takes them to another level, yet it’s still not without problems (as the game vs. Chicago shows).

But this team is really coming along. People are still baffled about how the JV pump-fake fakes ANYONE… EVER. Or how Lou Williams is killing it off the bench. Or how Grievis Vasquez saved the arena announcers life by giving him back the ability to say “gracias” and “tres” again.

Yes, they need to fix their defeinsive rotations, stop James Johnson from being their second option of the bench and figure out how to accelerate Valanciunas’ development and passing game out of the post, but then they do stuff like this.

Yeah, they feel good about themselves.

 

RAWR

I have to admit it, I was one of the few people calling it quits on the Memphis title window. Boy, I was wrong. The Grizzlies are 9-1, still playing the kind of defense that gives opposing coaches cold sweats at night. It’s ridiculous how efficient their brand of basketball has become.

Yes, Tony Allen is still a tremendous liability on offense and Z-Bo’s vertical has regressed into the double negatives, but this is a team that just keeps on trucking. They are getting solid bench play from a variety of players, each chipping in when needed most. Marc Gasol is still a magical Spanish being sent to us by the Basketball Gods.

And Mike Conley happens to be perpetually underrated as a point guard who runs a great offense. This is a team that addressed some of their weaknesses in the offseason, whether with signings or schemes that cover them up and they are showing it. The window is not shut, but it is certainly closing, but playing like this, the Grizz might actually have a shot.

 

Derrick Rose PR Nightmare

The Chicago PR manager must be turning in his bed every night with cold sweats. I am not sure what else he can do to regulate Derrick Rose’s media outbursts. I mean, at some point, you should put a guy in a crowd with two big signs, one green and one black, just to indicate when Derrick Rose should keep or stop talking.

On some level I even get it. Health is important, but there is also an obligation to the fans. You are an entertainer, not a doctor or a scientist, you get paid unreasonable amounts of money to go out there and entertain. The least you can do is not act like a condescending little brat in front of your teammates, your fans and your city. Noah played hurt. So did Kirk Hinrich. So did Jimmy. I get it, there is a difference between “hurt” and “injured”, we all do. The inherent problem is that Rose acts as if he doesn’t care what everyone else thinks, as if it’s all about him. Well, I hate to break it to you Derrick, but you are public property, that’s what you do, and it’s not about you. So, perhaps, being condescending to the people who are technically paying your salary isn’t a good idea.

It’s all even more frustrating when we get the glimpse of THIS Rose:

Fear the Deer!

Dear God are the Bucks fun to watch this year. Who saw this coming? (Well, me, but who else?). Jason Kidd has been experimenting with rotations and the unique collection of ultra-long limbs he has. Jabari and Giannis have been playing some ridiculous positions and in so many ways boy is it working.

There is an interesting mix of talent here. With all of the length they have, the Bucks are resembling a top 10 NBA defense, contesting shots, closing down lanes and hassling ball handlers. On the other end, they are a little more murky, with way more Brandon Knight heat checks than I care for. But they are a mismatch nightmare, especially with Giannis and Jabari sharing the floor. This is a team that is hard to defend, mostly because of the unpredictability of the Jason Kidd schemes.

And then there is GIANNIS!:

 

Kobe Homicide Watch is Officially On

This pains me. I am a life-long Laker fan and watching this team pains me. I am still actively repressing the fact that Carlos Boozer is on our team (and is our second scoring option). This team is denying Kobe Bryant a gracious retirement. Instead, he is going down in flames, shooting at an accelerated rate and trying to carry this team somewhere… Anywhere really.

There is very little to enjoy about the Lakers. They have no offensive consistency outside of Bryant with a cavalcade of misfits at every position. Defensively, this team is infuriating and entirely inefficient. And yet, Kobe’s competitive spirit is refusing to give up. Despite the fact that fielding Shaq, Byron Scott and Magic Johnson at this point would yield better results, Kobe is still balling. And probably thinking of committing some heinous crimes.

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