Monday , Dec , 05 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

For The Love Of Basketball 52nd edition

Sigh…

Placing your support in a team can be extremely painful.

Last Friday I watched the Lakers play some of the best basketball I’ve seen them play in awhile… and then the fourth quarter happened. That loss to Minnesota was one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve ever witnessed. It rendered me speechless. And when my homeboy Orlando called befuddled over the same occurrence, his frustration only made me feel worse. Only 66 more games to go, God help me… please!

Alas…
 
With the first month of the season in the books, here’s a review of all 30 teams from worst to first.
 
Atlanta Hawks (2-14) –They had the second pick in the 2005 draft, and instead of picking Chris Paul or Deron Williams, the Hawks drafted Marvin Williams even though they have 3 guys (Josh Childress, Josh Smith, and Al Harrington) who play the same position. Afterwards, they trade for yet ANOTHER swingman in Joe Johnson. Meanwhile, Tyronn Lue is their STARTING point guard. I think that sums up why the Hawks are so dreadful in a nutshell.
 
Toronto Raptors (3-15) — Sure they suck, but at least they can tell all the critics who laughed at them for picking Charlie Villanueva to go to hell. And getting Mike James from Houston for Rafer Alston was the biggest steal of the year. So there it is, two things they can hang their hat on for the duration of the season.
 
Charlotte Bobcats (5-13) — The second year into expansion and they’re right on schedule.
 
Houston Rockets (4-12) – Either Yao Ming gets his act together and leads this team, or I’m officially labeling him the millennium’s next Shawn Bradley.
 
New York Knicks (5-11) – Good News: They’re young, and they have some talent. Bad News: It’s not enough, they don’t have superstar, and Larry Brown is their coach.
                 
Portland Trail Blazers (5-11) – As soon as they find some way to get rid of that clown Ruben Patterson, they’ll really be headed in the right direction.
 
Utah Jazz (7-10) – Injuries, injuries, and injuries. The Curse of Carlos Boozer.
 
Sacramento Kings (7-10) – Rick Adelman a/k/a Dead Man Coaching.
 
Boston Celtics (7-9) – The only thing I have to say about them is why are they’re new alternative jerseys green? They already have green jerseys!?!
 
Los Angeles Lakers (7-9) – Lamar Odom plays like he’s the 12th man on the team even though he’s the second highest paid, Kwame Brown is looking like a bonafide bust, and Kobe… you know what… never mind.
 
Orlando Magic (7-9) – Josh Howard is their future, I’m not sure about Jameer Nelson, and Steve Francis is a trade waiting to happen.
 
New Jersey Nets (7-9) – Seriously, what has happened to Vince Carter’s game? He’s playing with one of the greatest point guards in history one would think he’d take advantage of it.
 
Philadelphia 76ers (8-10) – Doesn’t it seem like Allen Iverson has been trapped in the same season for the past four years? The Sixers always seem to be one game above .500 or two games below it.
 
Washington Wizards (7-8) – Honestly, whoever would’ve thought that Larry Hughes could have this much impact on a team?
 
Seattle Super Sonics (8-8) – Reality Check Season: You can’t sell your soul to the devil two years in a row.
 
New Orleans Hornets (8-8) – Despite everything that’s happen to this organization due to Hurricane Katrina, they’re playing with a great deal of purpose and it’s commendable.
 
Chicago Bulls (8-7) – They’re a good young team that’s a big man and one true superstar away from becoming a contender again. On another note, Kirk Hinrich is they’re most valuable player, and after watching him at Kansas, I would have NEVER imagined he’d ever be in a position like that in the NBA.
 
Denver Nuggets (9-9) – I’d say George Karl’s initial impact has worn off. Now they’re underachieving like a typical team coached by good ol’ George. Nice to see some things stay the same.
 
Minnesota Timberwolves (9-6) – Will eventually be known as Kevin Gartnett’s former team.
 
Milwaukee Bucks (9-6) – Fun team to watch and I’m guaranteeing that they make the playoffs…if T.J. Ford stays healthy, and that’s a big IF.
Cleveland Cavaliers (10-6) – I’m still not sold on them making the playoffs and that’s not a good thing for Operation: Keep LeBron in Cleveland.
 
Phoenix Suns (10-5) – The fact they’re still relevant despite Amare Stoudemire’s injury only validates Steve Nash winning the MVP last season.
 
Golden State Warriors (12-6) – It’s all fools gold, trust me.
 
Los Angeles Clippers (11-5) – The story in L.A. is not that they’re winning; it’s that the Lakers are losing. Even when the Clippers are not losing, they can’t win. Nonetheless, great job by Coach Mike Dunleavy and Elton Brand is no joke!
 
Memphis Grizzlies (12-5) – They are quietly stepping into the realm of becoming a perennial regular season power and an annual first round elimination victim.
 
 
THE CONTENDERS
 
Miami Heat (10-7) Questions: Although Alonzo Mourning is playing at a high level; will all this activity eventually wear him down once the playoffs start? When Shaq returns, won’t the fact that he’s out of shape slow down their progression? Do they truly believe that Udonis Haslem is the answer at power forward? Answers: Probably, Possibly, and I would hope not.
 
Indiana Pacer (10-6) – I know I picked them as one of the two teams to represent the east in the Finals, but there’s something I forgot to consider: Who’s going to lead them? They’re the most immature title contender in recent memory. How did they lose by over 40 points to the Bobcats???
 
Dallas Mavericks (11-5) – They’re playing well, they have a stud in Dirk Nowitzki, and they’re actually playing defense, but can you REALLY be considered a contender with Erick Dampier as your starting center? 
 
Detroit Pistons (13-2) – Lost in the fact that they don’t miss Larry Brown, and they’re strong start, is that Richard Hamilton is becoming an all-star. They’re a VERY good team.
 
San Antonio Spurs (13-3) – They ladies and gentlemen, are a GREAT team, and hopefully someone (except Miami) stops them from conquering the free world.
 
 
After awhile.