Volume 94, Issue 45
Friday, November 17, 2000
Takin' it to the hoop
Looking at all the pre-season magazines, the NBA was supposed to be a predictable entity this year.
The west would dominate. While a a few select teams in the east would battle it out for the top playoffs spots.
So after a little bit of analysis here are a few thoughts about the season early on:
In a recent Internet poll I saw one about who would be the Western Conference champions. The poll placed Vancouver in second.
Hmm. Okay then.
I guess money does grow on trees.
Of course I simply came to the conclusion that Grizzlies fans took over the web site and stuffed the ballot box.
Sure our lovable losers got off to a nice 4-1 start, which included an opening night win over Seattle, but come on folks. Exactly how has this team changed from the one who won only 22 games last year? There's still a miniscule bench and nearly every one of their starters are defensively challenged.
Combine that with the vast improvement of most western teams and all I can say is good luck Vancouver. You're going to need it if you expect to esurpass your win total from last year.
Damn, I knew Philly was good, but not 8-0 good.
Sure Allen Iverson may be having a down-year, compared to what he can usually do, but Eric Snow and Theo Ratliff have help to pick up the scoring slack.
What really has lead to their undefeated record though is their stifling defence. Only Miami has a more potent attack, as the 76ers are second in points allowed per game. In the grind-it-out Eastern Conference, this bodes well for their future.
Hmm, maybe this team won't be as average as people expect. While the loss of Tracy McGrady definitely hurts, the addition of Lenny Wilkens may just overcome it.
A number of unseen things have been happening under his regime. Guard Alvin Williams actually looks like an NBA player, not the guy on your pickup squads who you were forced to select, just to even out the teams.
Even power forward Charles Oakley has returned to his dominant rebounding game, as Wilkens has moved him closer to the basket on offence.
After early struggles the offence now leads the NBA in scoring average. If Corliss Williamson and Morris Peterson continue to improve, this may be quite the intriguing year for the dinos.
Cleveland, who are you trying to fool? Do you really think you'll be in the top spot of the Central division come playoff time? That's as likely to happen as your centre Zydrunas Ilguaskas playing a full season.
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