Here’s ten observations from the first inklings of the Association’s season.
- Mike D’Antoni is going to be an upgrade – but he’s no Phil Jackson
D’Antoni should give the Lakers a little bit of a spark. It will be enough to set them right, and get them into a solid, middle-of-the-pack playoff spot – but it won’t get them a championship. Phil Jackson is the coach that could have brought them to a ring.
- Pau Gasol will be shipped out
Gasol is a great player, but D’Antoni’s system needs shooters above all – something the Lakers don’t have. Look for him to goand a couple of bombers to be brought in.
- Kevin Garnett is the league’s most irreplaceable player
Just try to watch the Celtics when Garnett isn’t in. They’re miserable. It’s Garnett’s defense that holds this team together. When he isn’t on the court, they’re a lottery team. Doc Rivers might have to amp up his minutes just to keep Boston competitive.
- Anthony Davis is going to be an All-Star for a very, very long time
The Unibrow has been very good so far, even showing some advanced offensive skills for such a young player. He’s going to be a great one.
- James Harden will lead the league in scoring
Unshackled from the Thunder, Harden has blossomed in Houston. With a lack of top-notch offensive players around him, Harden’s going to fire away and rack up the points.
- The Wizards will get the first pick in the draft – and they’ll take…
The Woeful Wizards a rebound for the #1 overall pick again.If they win the lottery, look for them to take Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, yet another talented Wildcat underclassman who could team with Bradley Beal.
- The Clippers are for real
Give credit to the much-maligned Vinny Del Negro – the Clippers are playing very, very well. DeAndre Jordan has jumped up to another level, and Chris Paul is having another MVP-level season.
- The Knicks aren’t as good as they look
Sorry, New York fans, but the Knickerbockers are going to come back to Earth at some point. They’re good enough to grab a good playoff spot, but title contenders? Nah.
- The Memphis Grizzlies are a serious threat in the West
With the presence of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the defense of Tony Allen and the emergence of Mike Conley at the Point, the Grizzlies are a real threat to come out of the West. That should make David Stern happy – talk about a Finals ratings disaster.
- Miami’s still the best team, and LeBron is still the league’s MVP
Yeah. Some things never change. Miami looks pretty unstoppable at this point.