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It’s going to be a short season after an even shorter off-season. We had limited time to track player movement, team development and bring you in depth team analysis, like we did last year. So the bros and bro-ettes at NBAO decided we’ll follow in the footsteps of the NBA and provide you with abbreviated team previews in the best way possible, haikus.
Our fifth installment of NBA Haikus is dedicated to the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. Divorces, drama, veto’d trades, new coaches, suspensions, injuries, more trade talk, and that’s just the Los Angeles Lakers. Will the Lobs Angeles Clippers finally break their curse? Welcome to the Reality TV Division.
Western Conference - Pacific Division:
Golden State Warriors:
Coach hand down, man down
And his ABA-ball team
will miss the playoffs
Los Angeles Clippers:
Out-haul the Lakers
Welcome to Lobs Angeles
Can they trade for knees?
Los Angeles Lakers:
The wise one is gone
Mamba still likes jewelry
Lakers have no chance
Waste your last year with Steve Nash
Save all your money
Super Jimmer on the way
No way out but up
This has been a fascinating year thus far. It’s not just the off-season transactions, the Lakers going for another three-peat, or the hype in South Beach. From rookies to veterans, we are in the middle of one of the most exciting statistical seasons, ever. Most of that can be attributed to some of the all-time great players reaching the end of their careers or young guys trying to make a name for themselves. We are a quarter of the way through the year and here are the statistical standouts thus far:
Los Angeles Lakers (1st, 17-7)
Ironman 2: Now that Andre Miller sacked his own 632-game streak, Derek Fisher is the new active leader in consecutive games played with 437. Old. Reliable. Fisher.
Former Laker, A.C. Green, still holds the NBA record at an astounding 1,192 straight games.
Phoenix Suns (2nd, 11-12)
Phoenix Suns (2nd, 11-12)
One for the Books:
Steve Nash has 8,612 career assists which ranks him #8 all-time. Nash has also averaged about 750 assists per year. This year he is putting up 10.2 assists per game. With 215 of them already in the record books, Nash is on pace to record 622 more assists giving him a career total of 9,234 assists at the end of the season. If Nash hits these totals he will rank 5th all-time in assists. Along the way he will pass Gary Payton (8,966) and Isiah Thomas (9,061) sometime this season. Up next is #5 Oscar Robertson with 9,887, everyone else is in the 10,000 club, which I’m sure Steve will find himself in when he retires. Amazing feat by the 2-time MVP considering he didn’t truly become a starter in the NBA until he was 26 years old.
Side Note: Steve Nash would have to average 10 assists a game for 82 games a year for another 8.7 seasons in order to just match John Stockton’s all-time mark of 15,806 career assists.
Golden State Warriors
Dynamic Duo: Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis are the NBA’s highest scoring backcourt at a combined 44.1 points per game (Curry – 20.1 ppg, Ellis – 24.0 ppg). Silly Monta, we told you it would work.
Sacramento Kings (4th, 5-16)
I hate to break it to you but if you came here looking for Sacramento Kings’ stats, you’re probably cheering for the wrong team.
Los Angeles Clippers
Earth-Quake-Blake: Blake “The Quake” Griffin is trying to bring down Staples, one rim at a time. According to CBS Sports’ Dunk-O-Meter, Blake has a league leading 53 dunks on the year, tying him with Amar’e Stoudemire.
Keep your pencils sharp and your calculators handy, NBA geeks! We’ll be back soon with the next installment of ‘NBA Stats To Watch For’.
Have you ever been to the Phoenix area? It’s really sunny and at times, the terrain makes you feel like you’re on the planet, Mars. It’s a weird contrast between the modern architecture and well, the desert. It seems like a giant stretch to compare the 2010-2011 Phoenix Suns to the landscape of Phoenix and its neighboring cities like Tuscon, but in a way, it is. A majority of the pieces from last season’s surprising team is back, but one giant chunk is missing, and it’s going to feel weird for the Suns in January.
In case you’ve been living under a rock the last four months, Phoenix’s dominant paint presence Amar’e Stoudemire joined the Knicks in the off season and became a fashion icon and self proclaimed savior of New York basketball. Stoudemire averaged around 8.9 rebounds per game and 23 ppg last season and the Suns despite the best intentions failed to fill that gaping hole in their line up.
Obviously, Robin Lopez, the Goofus to his brother, Brook’s Gallant, will become the man in the middle for the Suns, but will that be enough in the Western Conference? Lopez was strong in the playoffs against a banged up Bynum, but can Lopez hang on a nightly basis? Lopez can’t really count on Phoenix’s other big man, Channing “Milhouse” Frye to rebound and clog up the middle since Frye appears to be scared of rebounding and the paint altogether.
After a disastrous season in Toronto, Hedo Turkoglu has made his way out to the desert (no word on how his wife feels about the move). On NBA TV, Grant Hill and Jared Dudley seemed optimistic that the 2009 version of Hedo would come to play. While Turkoglu won’t be a monster in the middle like Stoudemire, he’s going to make the offense a lot more interesting. With Turkoglu as the power forward, the Suns could essentially run the same offense as the Magic. One problem though: Robin Lopez is no Dwight Howard.
In addition, Josh Childress makes a slightly triumphant return to the Association after a couple of seasons in Greece and Hakim Warrick have joined the team.
The Suns are a good team, but are they good enough to keep up with the top four teams in the Western Conference (Lakers, Jazz, Thunder, Mavericks)? We didn’t think much of them last season and they made it all the way to the Western Conference finals. So, we can’t necessarily write them off as a middle of the road team. Steve Nash is still Steve Nash and very capable of doing those amazing Steve Nash things at the age of 36; same goes for Grant Hill at the age of 38. Yet at some point, these two will break down and act their age finally and become “Men Of A Certain Age” (This Fall on TNT).
Who know what’s going to happen with the lower half of the Western Conference as well? Maybe the Clippers can get it together or even the Warriors and Kings (although, let’s not kid ourselves) and of course, there’s Spurs will still hang around and make it interesting.
Predictions & Fun Facts:
And for no reason, here’s the Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla slamming through a burning ring of fire.