03 February 2012

NBA all stars and notes

I can't quibble much with the starters. Chris Paul hasn't quite played up to starter level but the guard slot out West is pretty weak (and part of the reason is that he was hurt for a bit). Marc Gasol should be at center instead of Bynum, but Bynum isn't a slouch either.

This would be the West.
Guards: Kobe, Paul, Westbrook, Parker
Forwards: Durant, Love, Griffin, Aldridge, Millsap, P. Gasol
Centers: M. Gasol, Bynum
Duncan will probably make the team instead of Millsap or one of the Gasols. Dirk might too but he's been hurt and actually hasn't played all that well. Since the Mavs did just win the title, one expects he'll get a nod though. Terry's been better personally.

And this would be the East
Guards: Rose, Wade (I guess. He's been hurt a lot and hasn't played as well as LeBron or Bosh). Jennings or Deron Williams or Rondo, Joe Johnson.
Forwards: LeBron, Melo, Bosh, Josh Smith, Pierce, Iguodala
Centers: Howard, Hibbert

Leftovers include, Lawson or Gallanari on Denver, Lowry on Houston. Monroe as a backup center (Hibbert is on a better team). Granger or West on Indiana. Caron Butler on the Clippers, Rubio on the Wolves, Nash, and Gerald Wallace on the Blazers.

Other notes:

Irving is pretty much running away with the Rookie of the Year. Part of this is the field is terrible, Rubio is about his only competition. Part of it is that he's been pretty good (better than I expected at least), and part is that the Cavs need him to play.

The Sixers don't really have a standout player and have been very good this year. Their defence has been very, very good. They have 8 guys who can score and the best two scorers come off the bench (Williams and Young). But they also have a tougher schedule coming up. They only have maybe two easy wins (Cleveland and Charlotte) of their next 12 games, with OKC, Boston, and Chicago in the next twenty also. They have some good wins (Chicago in particular), but they've dominated a lot of crappy Eastern conference teams, somehow haven't played Boston despite being in the same division, and most of their West coast opponents have been on the medium end, and most of which they've lost (Portland, Utah, Denver). I think they can win their division, but that's mostly because people really overestimated New York and Boston has been seriously hampered by injuries to Rondo, Pierce, and Allen.

The league as a whole has a few "haves", a ton of medium level teams, and several "how are these NBA teams?" running out there. There are 7 terrible teams (Cleveland, New Jersey, Toronto, Sacramento, Washington, Detroit, and Charlotte) and 6 good teams (Philly, Miami, Denver, Chicago, Oklahoma, San Antonio). The rest is muddled right now. I'd be surprised if Utah stays in playoff contention out West. I wouldn't be surprised if Minnesota stays there. At least one team in the East will have a terrible record and make the playoffs. Two if Orlando trades Howard (they look terrible aside from him). New Orleans has been predictably terrible but they also have a tougher conference and one of the toughest divisions. They should be at least somewhat better than 4-19. Most predictably, their offense is terrible.

There has been a drop-off in skilled play because of the lockout. Shooting percentages are down. I'm not sure if it is as bad as the last time however. First glance it doesn't appear to be as severe a drop as in 98-99. One expects that it is possible teams will improve as the season progresses and scoring will pick back up too.
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