It’s Going To Be A SCARY Start
The 2012-2013 NBA pre-season is drawing to a close this weekend as teams gear up f or when the season opens up for half of the league on Tuesday the October 30th, and it brings up the question, what key observations can we take away from this pre-season?
Well, really, nothing.
The pre-season is for the players, not the fans. It is a chance for them to get their legs ready, and used to the high paced game that is played today. Coaches use it to test out line-ups and run new plays. As far as scouting goes, not much can be done because most teams are not playing 100% for the entire game. However there are a couple of things we can pick up from this years pre-season.
– The superheros in South California have gone 0-8 so far, and I don’t see them trying to change that 0 in the W column. However, with Superman (Dwight Howard) making a couple of appearances in the last few games makes for some optimistic recoveries. Another thing that I can see is that Steve Nash is fitting right into the Lakers new offense and will continue to thrive. On a Canadian note, North Vancouver product Robert Sacre has been getting some excellent minute off of the bench and in some cases, starts for the Lakers while Howard was injured. Sacre was the last pick in this years NBA draft, but is definitely not playing like it.
– The other rookie that everyone wants to know about is the first pick in the NBA draft, Anthony Davis. Davis has had a pretty good pre-season so far. Of course, it will be a while before he makes a huge splash in this league, but so far he has lived right up to expectations. Davis has been getting points down low and making his fair share of offensive plays, but it is his defense that has translated right to the NBA. He still records his fair share of blocks and pulls down every rebound in sight. This is going to be an exciting year for the New Orleans Hornets who have had but a mediocre pre-season. However, the biggest surprise on this Hornets team is Davis’s Kentucky teammate and second round pick, Darius Miller. Miller, as I have said before, is an excellent player who knows the game really well and can do just about anything you ask of him on the basketball court. But what will make or break this team this year, is the play of both Austin Rivers, and Ryan Anderson. Rivers, the tenth pick in the draft, and Anderson, acquired through free agency will be key role players for the Hornets and need to support starts Davis and Eric Gordon. So far, Anderson has been pulling his weight and living up to his shooting reputation. Rivers on the other hand, has not been as successful.
– The end of Linsanity? As hard as it is for me to let go of Taiwanese sensations Jeremy Lin, I think I might have to. Lin has had a horrible pre-season, scoring in double digits only once and keeping up his turnover numbers from last year (which we horrendous). Now, you can’t fully blame the Lin for his bad start, because his supporting cast hasn’t exactly played their best. Last year for the Knicks, even without Melo and Stat in the lineup, Lin had many key role players to feed off of and even feed the ball to. Players like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, Steve Novak and his favorite, Tyson Chandler. This year, he has been trying to make the pick and roll work with Omar Asik, but it hasn’t gone the way he would like it to. But as the season was just about to begin the Rockets front office made a huge deal to acquire guard James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder adding a ton of offensive power to the Rockets starting 5. Other than that, Lin has two first round draft picks who more than capable of playing at the level they have been up until now. Lastly, it seems like Lin plays best when the crowd is fully into it. Now of course, no crowd will match his old home at MSG, but the Rockets fans just don’t compare, not that it should really make a difference.
– If there is one thing I could tell you for certain coming out of this pre-season it’s that the Miami Heat are still the best team in the NBA. Even though they haven’t exactly blown teams out of the water with their scoring and rock solid defense, they have the best player in the world, with an improved supporting cast. The Heat this year are more prepared for what teams will throw at them. They made many off-season moves bringing in players to help them down low and players that can create space with their threat of making a shot from deep. Players like Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Josh Harelson will have a huge impact this year and will give the big 3 some time off every now and then.
– If you haven’t heard, the Nets are now a thing. Yes, it’s true. However they are no longer out of New Jersey. The Nets have made a change: the franchise has moved to Brooklyn, and their future looks promising. Although they really didn’t do much over the offseason in terms of acquisitions, they kept their franchise player Deron Williams and were able to sign Joe Johnson. Their front court consists of Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace. And with Marshon Brooks coming off of the bench, they are definitely a threat out East.
– Lastly, the old Celtics are still in the running. Through offseason player movement they lost Ray Allen to the Heat, and Greg Steimsma to the Timber Wolves, but were able to keep, and add a lot of key players. The Celtics added guards, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa. And kept forwards, Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox and Kevin Garnett. Their team will be even deeper once Avery Bradley comes back from injury. This team may be old, but they are easily seen as the number two team out East, behind the Miami Heat of course.
So in essence, this year proves once again to be another exciting one for the NBA. improvement all over the board from a rich rich draft class leads all basketball enthusiasts to come to one conclusion: MUST STICK TO THE TV. MUST WATCH MORE BASKETBALL. MUST READ MRBBROCK. Well, maybe not that last one, but you get my point.