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November 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez (42, far left), point guard Damian Lillard (0), small forward Dorell Wright (1, second from right), and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12, far right) celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Trail Blazers defeated the Warriors 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Evals: 10 things we think we know so far this season

 

 

We’re a little more than a quarter into the NBA season, for most teams, and there are plenty of preseason storylines that have either held true or fallen false. The Eastern Conference is now the L-Eastern Conference, basketball in the city of New York is a complete waste and the San Antonio Spurs are still the greatest team to never make any noise/headlines outside of the state of Texas.

The Portland Trail Blazers are the new darlings of the NBA and Steph Curry is still a cold-blooded pure shooter. Chris Paul is the POING GOD and LeBron James is still the greatest Flying Death Machine I’ve ever seen.

Still, there are plenty of things that need to get worked out. For example, are the Indiana Pacers really that good? Are the Blazers? Is Kobe Bryant going to look like this, and only decline, for the rest of his career? Plenty of questions and only a handful of answers…so far.

Regardless, here are a few things that I think I know about the NBA season so far…

 

The Portland Trail Blazers are here to stay – Portland has the best record in the Western Conference at 21-4. They have a very nice trio in LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews. They’re young, entertaining and have a few nice signature wins against the Thunder, Spurs, Pacers and Rockets already this season. They remind me so much of last year’s Golden State Warriors – not necessarily the team, but the success. I think the Blazers could make a deep run in the Western Conference Playoffs – assuming they can avoid the Thunder and Spurs in those first two rounds. That’s a big assumption, though.

Andre Iguodala takes the Golden State Warriors to another next level, without him they’re just not that good – The Warriors are 5-7 since Iguodala injured his hamstring a few weeks ago and they haven’t looked like the same team. If the playoffs started today (I know how much ya’ll hate that), the Warriors would be on the outside looking in. Conversely, if they were in the Eastern Conference, they’d be the third seed. Not fair. Get healthy, AI.

Chris Paul should finish 2nd or 3rd in the NBA MVP voting at the end of the year – Without Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers would be a mediocre team. He’s the straw that stirs the drink and he’s the clear leader of that ball club, putting together jaw-dropping stat-line after jaw-dropping state-lines on a night-to-night basis. He’s the POINT GOD. When the team needs a big play, they go to him. When the team needs a spark, Paul usually makes it happen. If something happens to LeBron James, Paul should win the League MVP. No, not PAUL George.

Paul George is hands down the third best basketball player on the planet right now – Do we really have to argue this? Have you seen what he’s been doing with the Pacers this season so far? He’s like two Danny Granger’s, on their best days.

Roy Hibbert is the best NBA Tweeter – View Figure A and Figure B below:

The San Antonio Spurs are just going to continue to go about their business, no matter how much we continue to ignore their greatness – The Spurs don’t care what you think, heck, they don’t care what I think. They’re going to continue to do their thing and see you in June. At 19-4, tied for second with OKC in the Western Conference standings, the Spurs keep finding that fountain of youth. Quietly, Manu Ginobili is messing around with a Sixth Man of the Year type season. If this holds, we could be seeing a rematch of last year’s Finals come early summer.

The Miami Heat are just fine with finishing with the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference – The Heat are more worried about Dwyane Wade’s health than they are about having homecourt advantage come May or June, as they should be. The Heat have proved in the past that they could win wherever they need to – even if that happens to be in Indiana, San Antonio or OKC. They’ve done it and they’ve been there. There’s nothing to see here. The Heat will finish second in the East and will have no problem at beating you in five – on your home court.

The Indiana Pacers are not, they want the first seed – The Pacers have been on record since NBA media day that they want the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. They feel that if Game 7 against the Miami Heat in last season’s ECF had been in Indiana, it would’ve been a different ending. Thus, they don’t want to put themselves in that same situation. They’re giving everything they have for a shot at hosting a Game 7 against the Miami Heat come May. Who can blame them?

The end for Kobe Bryant is near and that makes us sad – At times he looked slow, like he lost a step or two and like a shell of his old self – which was expected. But there’s a big difference between expecting it and actually seeing it. Kobe Bryant is never going to be the Kobe Bryant of old and that is sad. He’s not going to be chopped liver, either, but he just won’t be the Black Mamba anymore. It’s the tough reality.  *Tears*

We were wrong about the East being top heavy; they’re just heavy – The Eastern Conference was supposed to be top heavy – with the Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Knicks and Nets. They still have those teams, but the latter three just happen to suck. Really bad. The Bulls get a pass, though. They don’t have Derrick Rose. The other two New York teams are just bad, just like the rest of the conference. It’s going to be a long season and the Heat and Pacers will only have to monitor each other in terms of the race to homecourt advantage. Sad, but true. I don’t even want to think at how bad the first two rounds of the playoffs are going to be if the Eastern Conference doesn’t pick things up. Yuck.

 

 

Tags: Golden State Warriors Indiana Pacers Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat NBA Portland Trail Blazers San Antonio Spurs

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