NBA Week 1: Top 3 +1 Not-So-Top Things We’ve Learned

As we come to the close of the first week of the 2013 NBA season, there are a few things we’ve learned. Let’s start.

sixers roster

1. The Sixer’s are good. Yes. The Philadelphia 76er’s.

It’s crazy what a new, very experienced and championship caliber coach can do to a supposed bottom-feeder. The Sixer’s had set themselves up to get Andrew Wiggins next year by trading a growing star in Jrue Holiday for a next-year player in Nerlens Noel. Don’t get me wrong, Noel has the potential to be a star, but last week they were speculating at just sitting him this whole year to get his knees completely rested. I’m guessing they were thinking that they weren’t going to win this year anyway so might as well sit him.

Now that they are showing some life (and by “some life” I mean beating 2 contenders and a team of scrubs) when will Noel come back? It’s only been 3 games, but Michael Carter-Williams has showed he’s a gamer, and we even have an Evan Turner sighting!

Let’s take a quick peek at McDub’s and Evan Turner’s stats:

Turner (courtesy of ESPN):

MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% APG TOPG RPG
2013-2014 37.0 23.0 .509 .000 on 2 attempts .882 4.0 3.0 4.3
Career 28.6 10.3 .430 .322 .749 3.1 1.7 5.3

Given that this is a very small sample size, so the percentages will be skewed, he is still playing TONS better. Looks like Brett Brown has given his trust to Turner and Turner has shown that he deserves it. Small sample size, but it COULD be the start of something. I had no clue that Ohio State played in the NBA. You learn something new everyday!

MCW (courtesy of NBA.com):

PPG FG% 3PT% FT% APG TOPG RPG
20.7 46.8% 47.1% 66.7% 9.0 2.3 4.7

Small stat line since it’s only 3 games. He’s got some serious upside though. Literally NOBODY saw this coming. I remember a lot of the pre-draft “guru’s” saying that he has great upside with his size and scoring ability, but he’s not gonna be the best in the draft class. He’s looking like he might be already. We’ll see as the season develops, but I’m going to be watching him closely. He torched my Wizards (which is like me stepping on an ant), but still he has shown he is a competitive leader who wants to win. Tanking isn’t in this kids vocabulary. At least not for now. We’ll see if Hinkie has something to say about that.

It sounds like coach Brett Brown didn’t get the memo.

tanking

Keep a close eye on this team. It could only be a 3-game aberration or it could be a real contender in the making because of their youth. Let’s see how GM Sam Hinkie handles this situation.

To tank or not to tank, that is the question.

thinking-man

(It’s actually kind of ironic that there is a statue of “The Thinker” in Philly.  Just sayin’)

Now McDubs’ first NBA points…enjoy:

2. Heat look rusty.

heat vs sixers

Pretty obvious one here. After 3 games they SHOULD be 3-0 not 1-2 and out of the playoff picture. Only with the Heat do we talk about the playoff picture after 3 games too.  Let’s take a look at some quick stats (courtesy of ESPN.com) :

PPG RPG APG PA
105.7 33.7 26.7 103.3
8th Overall 30th Overall 2nd Overall 22nd Overall

Everything seems about right, except for how many points they’re allowing a game. The Heat are known for their tenacious defense and lightning quick rotations. This season something is missing. After watching the Heat vs. Nets I could tell their defense wasn’t up to par. Late rotations all around. That isn’t Miami Heat basketball.

As usual the rebounds per game are low, but that’s expected with the rotation of Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh, The Birdman, and the ever-tough Joel Anthony. They can usually force teams to play small-ball with them, but we’ll see as the season wears on if that’ll work for the third straight year.

The biggest concern this year for them is that the centers in the East are getting better and better every game. They’re all young and athletic with improving low-post games. Sorry Miami, Joel Anthony is NOT the answer.

Is it time for Greg Oden yet? No? Okay I’ll just move on…

3. D-Rose has come back better, but he just needs time to adjust.

The Comeback. So much hype. So much disappointment.

This is D-Rose’s current stat line (courtesy of ESPN):

MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG STLPG TOPG PPG
33.7 .288 .267 .90 3.7 4.3 0.0 5.7 14.3

You’re kidding right?! D-Rose can’t possibly be shooting 28% from the field, averaging 4.3 assists compared to 5.7 TO’s per game. Oh but he can, and is. Welcome to 2013 my friends!

There is hope though! We do have to cut him some slack because he took over a year off to get his knee up to speed (no pun intended). He says he’s added 5 inches to his vertical and he’s faster than before. Players he’s played against said that he’s faster than before.

So don’t worry Chicago fans, D-Rose will mold himself into form and become the faster and more explosive D-Rose. Just from watching his shot alone his mechanics and footwork are very much improved. Once he gets in a rhythm he will be a serious force to stop. Not like he wasn’t before, but he never had his jumpshot mechanics down. Now that he does, he has the potential to be the best multi-dimensional guard. I might’ve drooled a little bit just thinking about it. At least I’m man enough to admit it.

4. Washington looks like Washington.

detroit beats wizards

(I’m adding this one in just because I can haha)

There were quite a few questions surrounding the Wizards this year, surprisingly, because of John Wall. People were wondering if he could come back this year and lead the Wizards to victory and bring them back into relevancy. About that.

With or without John Wall, the Wizards will lose. A lot. Apparently the reigning “Worst GM Ever” award winner, Ernie Grunfeld, traded a protected first-round draft pick in next year’s loaded draft for Marcin Gortat. Then in the first game he comes off the bench. I’m sorry did I miss something? Did we (yes I’m a Wizard’s fan) just trade a first-round pick in a STACKED draft for a bench-warming center? Yup sounds like Washington is being Washington.

Ernie-ism #1: Remember that guy, Jan Vessely, who was really good in Europe and was supposed to be the next European phenom? Neither do I.  /endsiderant

I think I’m going to start a new saying, “That’s just Ernie being Ernie!”

I would cry, but the Redskins have already made me cry enough this year. Don’t even get me started on the dang Nationals. #WashingtonSportsFansProblems

Anyways…

This season is going to be amazing. I don’t know about all of you, but I am so excited to see which teams pull ahead and find themselves in playoff contention. Can Philly keep up this small win streak? Is there hope for Chicago this year? When will Greg Oden make his glorious and long-awaited comeback to only have his 4th micro-fracture surgery? Only time will tell. Until next time. Steven out.

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