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AboutChronicling any and everything before, during, and after the NBA season. Basically.
Blogs of Note
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’.
“Chris Cohan is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
- James Joyce, if he were a Warrior fan
For nearly twenty-five years, the Warriors franchise has been defined by two men: Don Nelson and Chris Cohan. Warriors basketball meant apostional lineups, running up the score, creating mismatches above all else, and playing zero defense. It also meant disastrous free agent signings, followed by ownership bad-mouthing those free agents, while team underlings defended the organization on message boards using synonyms. It meant drafting an undersized left-handed power forward in the lottery every other year. It meant watching players go straight from the D-League to the starting lineup. It meant losing out on Kevin Garnett to the Celtics, losing their team mascot to the Thunder, losing lots of games, and losing out in the draft lottery as well.
What did they have to show for it? A lot of fast breaks, one big first-round upset, and a fanbase that somehow remained loyal and passionate while the team missed the playoffs for 13 straight years (and never made it past the second round even when they did).
But now the team has been sold and Don Nelson has been put out to pasture in Hawaii. The “We Believe” Warriors have been scattered to the four corners of the league. Only Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins remain from the team that upset the top-seeded Mavericks just three years ago, and they’re both on the trading block. Keith Smart is doing a one-year audition for the head coaching job. Larry Riley is a lame-duck general manager. Robert Rowell is a lame-duck team president.
Which means that for the first time since the original “Wall Street” was in theaters, you really can’t assume what the Warriors are going to be like. Of the 20 players who saw the floor for Golden State last year, only five are still on the roster. Two of them are the aforementioned Ellis and Biedrins, and may not be long for Oakland. The only people who guaranteed to be here next year are David Lee, Stephen Curry, and the owners themselves.
David Lee signed a six-year $80 million contract, which shouldn’t be regrettable until Years 5 and 6. While Smart did coach under Nelson for years, he was effectively the defensive coordinator, so the Warriors may be committed to both sides of the ball this season. In a departure from the Nelson era, many of the team’s summer acquisitions have shown an ability to play defense or get rebounds, though generally not both.
Carney and Amundson should be rotation players, and Wright will start at small forward. Ekpe Udoh is out for six months, and when he comes back, he’ll be 24 years old already. Good lottery pick, guys! Jeremy Lin’s name will be on a lot of fans’ jerseys, though Lin himself will mostly stay on the bench. He’s currently so raw that swingman and D-League alum Reggie Williams is slotted as the backup point guard. Smart has discussed playing Brandan Wright at the 3 as well as the 4, which won’t matter once Wright injures himself again.
C.J. Watson has fled Oakland to back up Derrick Rose and flee the wrath of Floyd Mayweather. Anthony Morrow left to shoot three-pointers for a Russian billionaire in Newark. Randolph, Turiaf, and Azubuike are in New York providing bench minutes for the Knicks and expiring contracts for a Carmelo Anthony trade. Anthony Tolliver signed with the T-Wolves, because once a team is starting Darko and Supercool Beas, why not?
The team is built around Stephen Curry and David Lee. While that doesn’t scream “championship core,” they’re both nice players, and should be highly effective on the pick-and-roll. Don’t expect a ton of one-on-one defense. Monta Ellis scores in bunches, but he also takes more ill-advised shots than Braylon Edwards. If he can pull a Josh Smith and give up on long, contested jumpers, he’d help the team immensely. Andris Biedrins is still only 24, and just one year removed from averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds a game. And he can’t possibly shoot 16% from the line again, can he?
They’re unlikely to make the playoffs, but they’re unlikely to lose sixty games. They’re also very unlikely to run out of players in a game, something that happened twice last year. Last year, the Warriors were a mediocre team that played D-Leaguers 33 minutes a game, and occasionally upset playoff teams while using only five players for 48 minutes. This year, they’re just going to be regular mediocre, before the serious revamping begins next summer. Which is probably just fine with the fans: they just want to someday, finally, win a lot of basketball games.