So what’s going on out east this week, you ask?
– Last week I started with the undefeated New York Knicks in this section. With our Grizzlies providing a bit of a damper on their front, crosstown rivals, the Brooklyn Nets are looking like they want to steal headlines, piecing together a 4 game win streak. However, the streak is deceiving as the victories have come against Orlando (2x), Cleveland, and a Rondo-less Boston team. Still, wins are wins, so they’re trending upward.
– The Milwaukee Bucks are looking awfully sound this season. They’re riding a 3 game win streak, mounted by intensified efforts to get after the ball on the defensive end, reflected in Brandon Jennings’ 3.1 steals per game and Larry Sanders’ emergence as a contributor. If Sanders can get his fouls under control (5.0 per game) and stay on the floor, it should help the team even more.
– The Chicago Bulls are holding things together in the absence of floor general Derrick Rose. They’re hovering above .500 with three quarters of their losses coming against the likes of Oklahoma City, Boston, and the Clippers last night. They are missing their bench from last season, but things should look up as the new rotations settle in.
– With a 1-9 record, it’s hard to justify exclusion from the “lame” column, and to be honest, they were going there at first, but on second look, the Detroit Pistons picked up their first W, with a 94-76 walloping of the 76ers, and posted a respectable 2 point loss against Oklahoma City, this week. They may not even be turning a corner per se, but they are at least displaying some signs of life.
Who’s looking lame:
– The Washington Wizards are the sole winless team in the NBA, and things do not look to be getting any better for some time. John Wall is still out with little timetable set for his return, and the forthcoming schedule appears unforgiving.
– The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season off decently on the shoulders of Anderson Varejao, whose production has varied from eye-popping to uninspiring depending on the night. Dion Waiters has had similar results in terms of scoring, and with a young team, the season will be full of ups and downs. Losing 5 straight is definitely a down.
A few fascinating reads from the week, by our TrueHoop brethren:
– There’s another great piece over at Cavs: The Blog, offering a well rounded take on the topic of veteran leadership and its value to a team.
– The squad over at Celtics Hub provides some comprehensive analysis of the C’s defense (or lack there of) of the pick and roll. If there has been a potential weakness of the Grizzlies , this is it without Darrell Arthur, so it’s interesting to look over at how another team is faring with it.
– The Pacers blog, 8 points 9 Seconds, explores the issue of the “Mediocrity Treadmill,” and the motivations behind either avoiding or enduring it.