The ’05-’06 season has launched. My pre-season Dirty is now completely useless, and I’m overreacting to what’s happened in the past week as much as possible. Read: The Bucks are a top 5 team right now, and if a team has not won a game yet, they are staying at the bottom. This is the new starting point, and I know everything could change in a week. Let’s go.
This Week
Last Week
Team
Why?
1
1
3-1. One slip-up in the so-called Finley revenge game, but other than that, they’re as dominant as expected.
2
4
3-0. The D is pretty much what it’s been, and now the offense is more lethal. Be afraid.
3
2
2-1. The win over Miami was impressive, even if they barely hung on. Ron Ron is still getting re-adjusted to playing every night.
4
14
3-0. You know about the return of TJ Ford, this year’s Grant Hill. How about this though, through three games they’re shooting 49% from three. That’s a hot streak, and has to come down.
5
8
Two big-time wins, with a letdown loss snuck in. If Cuban keeps making noise off the court, people might miss how good this team is playing.
6
10
2-2. The Suns are still scoring points. Can’t argue with that. Maybe Shawn Marion is ready to pick up more of Amare’s slack than anyone thought he could?
7
3
2-2. The BIG injury drops them, but a bigger problem might be Payton complaining and Antonie and EBoy’s little mid-game argument. They need to all understand it’s D Wade’s team right now.
8
18
3-0. The Wizards look great, especially Arenas. None of the teams they’ve beaten has won a game though, and that’s what keeps them this low as an undefeated.
9
9
2-2. It hasn’t always been pretty, except for when Vince did what he does to Zo last night. That was ugly, so it was pretty. Oh yeah, the Nets are playing to the level of their comp.
10
6
1-3. Not exactly off to a flying start, and the Nene injury thins them out, but there’s plenty of time for the Nuggets. Losing to the Lakers twice though?
11
23
3-1. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if they took of quickly, and here they go. Good thing they got the Memo (sorry).
12
19
2-1. Maybe Pau really is tougher this year. The best player from “The biggest trade in NBA history” so far has been Eddie Jones.
13
11
2-2. LeBron might be looking to score too much, but maybe the new guys need to assert themselves more.
14
16
3-1. Sam Cassell got them off to a big start, and James Singleton is on his way to being this year’s Reggie Evans.
15
7
1-2. It seems like a lot of people want to write them off already. They came dangerously close to 0-3, but the Kings should figure it out and turn it around. They always do in the regular season.
16
5
1-1. Ouch, Now that’s a tough injury for a team. They’ve only played 2 games, so it’s hard to judge them, but without T-Mac, who are they?
17
12
1-2. Paul Pierce is putting up points, but they better not let those tight last-second losses become a trend.
18
13
2-1. Is it too easy to say they win with Baron, lose without him? Well they also win against winless teams, and lose against teams that have won games.
19
15
1-2. Two fun games that went down to the last play, and then they hung tough with the Spurs. Chris Duhon’s trying to put the Bulls in the best 3 guard rotation in the L conversation. Trying.
20
22
2-1. All we know is that the Lakers can beat the Nuggets lose to the Suns, and Kobe is a scoring machine.
21
24
1-1. Remember last year when everyone thought it was just Ray Allen all alone? Remember that? That might be happening now.
22
17
2-2. I’ve got a bad feeling about the Wolves. They win at home, lose on the road, and seem to be stuck in the mud. The KG trade rumors are starting out slowly…
23
29
2-2. The BETcats have been one of the most fun teams to watch so far. Now that was really unexpected.
24
28
2-1. So maybe the MVP vote for P.J. Brown wasn’t totally crazy? Well, yes it was, but he’s off to a good start this year.
25
27
1-2. The good news is that D Miles seems to be serious about being a good player, and they escaped with a win over Atlanta. The bad news is they could easily have been 0-3.
26
21
1-3. At least they held on to beat Indy. I’ll stick with the positives for them, so that’s all I have to say.
27
25
0-3. It’s only three games, but the most they’ve scored in any one of them is 85 points. And not because they’re slowing the game down.
28
26
0-3. Why would the NBA start their season with a 3 game West Coast trip? Whatever the reason, the Hawks are better than this. They have to be.
29
20
0-3. Forget about Larry vs. Steph. How about the rookies and young guys getting PT vs. the sitting veterans? The drama is unfolding this very minute.
30
30
0-4. If they could have held on vs. the Wizards on opening night, things might be different. But they didn’t, so they’re not.
By Sam Rubenstein