Hype Or Hot: 10 NBA Trends That Will And Won’t Last
November 7, 2013 - 8:47 pm
The NBA’s 2013-14 season is in the middle of it’s second week and already people are talking tank, draft busts and playoff runs. Excitement about the return of basketball season is one thing, but declaring a team “for real” this season after they’ve gone 3-2 in another. We’ve filled you in on what rookies to watch and helped Heat fans know their history. Now take a look at which players and teams will really hold it down this season and which facts will most likely turn to fads by All Star Weekend in New Orleans.
Hype: Anthony Bennet Will Be A Bust
2013’s first overall draft pick Anthony Bennet was going through it, y’all. After only knowing success, the kid took to twitter to say “Going ghost for bit, think it’s best for me at this point .. If you don’t have my number DM me” when he couldn't hit a shot, starting the season 0-19. Some people criticized, others empathized but really, as the first pick in the draft, only 66 other people to walk this earth know the type of pressure Bennett is under. The good news is he hit his first shot, a 3-pointer, last night against the Bucks and can now prove to the doubters it was all mental. The kid from Canada has game.
Hot: Paul George Is A Top 10 Player In The League
No one knew he’d be this good and when Paul George started to show signs of improvement, they still weren’t enough to imagine him being a player that would average 25.8 ppg., 8.2 rebounds and four assists (not to mention two steals as he points out in his new NBA commercial). PG’s game is more like rated R because it’s consistently rough, action packed and is extremely disturbing to opponents. He’s even smooth enough to drop buckets in the Jordan 11’s, so he looks good while making defenses look stupid. Not sure who he knocks out of the top 10 but as the leader of the leading team to challenge the Miami Heat in the East, this is his year.
Hype: Dwight Howard And The Rockets Can Win A Title
Yes, the Rockets are 4-1 but don’t let that or anything Slim Thug has to say gas you into drinking their red Kool aid. Jeremy Lin has turned into a solid starter, but he’s no superstar playmaker. James Harden has emerged as the true leader and Dwight Howard looks healthier and happier than he ever was in the pressure cooker of Los Angeles. But with team X-factor Chandler Parson out to a mediocre start and talks of the other Houston big man Omar Asik unhappy, don’t be so quick to jump on this idea that the Rockets will go any further than the Western Conference semifinals.
Hot: James Harden Is The Best Shooting Guard in the league
The Bearded one is taking over the two guard spot this season. James Harden is so versatile, the Rockets can run their offense through him and trust he’ll get his 25 points, four rebounds and four assists every night. With Dwyane Wade nursing back and leg injuries and the uncertainty of what Kobe Bryant will look like when he returns from a torn achilles (at 35 years old), the top two guard torch resides in Houston, Texas.
Hype: Rookie of the Year is a two man race between Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams
Way too early to say. While the Sixers guard Michael Carter-Williams debut week included a game against the Heat where he had 22 point, 12 assist, nine steals and seven rebound, and he won NBA player of the week honors, joining Shaq as the only rookie to do so in his debut, he struggled a lot over the summer. This performance could either end by midseason or worse be a short lived Jeremy Lin-like memory after by December.
Orlando’s Victor Oladipo is in the better position to take home that Rookie of the Year trophy. He’s on a rebuilding team, has the playmaking and defensive abilities enhanced by his freak athleticism and, by the looks of things, has the green light to as many shots as he needs. Still, other rookies might show out soon and we can’t forget about the dreaded “rookie wall” first year players tend to hit after 40 or so games.
Hot: Minnesota Timberwolves Are A Playoff Team
There are five teams in the Western Conference that we know are going to make the playoffs. San Antonio, Golden State, Houston, the Thunder and the Clippers are just too talented to miss the post season. But with Ricky Rubio in his third year, where hopefully he stays healthy for it’s entirety, and Kevin Love becoming the best power forward in the game, there’s no reason the Timberwolves don’t lock up a spot in the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Hype: Tony Parker for MVP
This isn’t to say the Frenchman doesn’t deserve the nod, but just doubt MVP votes will sway his way. The usual suspects of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul will get consideration ahead of the 13 year veteran. It’s not fair, but he finished sixth in MVP voting last year after averaging 20 points and seven assists on a team that finished second in the Western Conference and took the Heat to a memorable seven game series. Hard to imagine him having a better year than that at age 31.
Hot: The Knicks Are In Trouble This Season
Last season saw a resurgence of go New York, go New York, go! But this year, we might have to replace go with woe. Amar’e Stoudemire looks like he’s on the decline in his career with injuries already keeping him from the lineup. While he did play on Tuesday against the Bobcats, his two points, three rebounds and five turnovers in 11 minutes isn’t exactly all star status. The Knicks have also just lost Tyson Chandler, their most important player not named Carmelo Anthony, to a broken leg for at least a month, possibly two. With Derrick Rose returning to the Bulls, the Pacers looking prominent and the Brooklyn Celti... I mean Nets with a revamped roster, NYK might be on the outside of the upper echelon of elite Eastern Conference teams.
Hype: The fun of Lob City is over
Look, the Clippers added one of the best coaches in the NBA in Doc Rivers and have a legit MVP candidate running the offense in Chris Paul. However, as good as CP3, the Clippers can only go as far as the other Jordan Brand baller, Blake Griffin can dunk them. Defense might be on Doc’s agenda, but the Clippers are statistically one of he worst defensive teams in the league. That might change a little, but not a whole lot. Expect them to keep doing what they do best this season, tossing lobs for dunks and making mad entertaining commercials.
Hot: The Miami Heat
Miami sits in third place right now in between Philadelphia and Charlotte. We know neither of those teams are likely to be in the playoff picture, let alone in the top four of the Eastern Conference for much longer but the Heat won’t fall past third. This is LeBron’s moment and the champ looks ready to own it. Teams like Brooklyn and Indiana have built bigger versions of themselves to challenge the defending champs, so things won’t be easy. Going through a better Eastern Conference and taking out the Spurs, Warriors or whoever comes out the West this season will only add to the precious legacy of King James and cement his spot not only back in favorable public opinion (because winning trumps all) but among among the games all time greats.