Post Up: Full of Surprises

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Okay, I’m going to keep this short, or at least try to. Because yesterday was a holiday –and technically, I’m writing this Monday evening– I’m taking a bit of a holiday myself. There were 80 million games on all day on Monday and there were lots of good ones that went down to the wire. Hi, Jamal Crawford, nice try.

We’ve got plenty to talk about.

First, let’s talk about the dunk contest.

Shannon Brown.

That’s all I needed. Gerald Wallace and Nate Rob are the other two guys who will be competing and then whoever wins the dunk-in between DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon. I’m going to go with DeRozan, just because I’ve seen so many of his slams in person and the boy truly can fly. Maybe EG will surprise me, though.Are you happy, sad, angry, disappointed, pleased, ambivalent about these picks? Let me know. I’m happy because really, all I needed to make me happy was Shannon getting a chance to show his stuff. Of course, now he’s got the hype thanks to #LetShannonDunk and I’m sincerely hoping he can give us something exciting.

Who’s your pick to win it, kill it, blow it, etc?

Speaking of G. Wall, holy hell the Bobcats. They’ve been quietly piecing together wins and have been very, very impressive as of late. They own the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference right now and regardless of how weak you want to say the conference is, you can’t take that away from them. That huge victory over the Suns the other night raised some eyebrows, I think. Wallace is playing like an All-Star, Stephen Jackson has been a leader and Raymond Felton is even making Larry Brown happy.

Felton was one rebound shy of a triple-double yesterday as the Bobcats held on against the Kings to grab another win and move to 8-2 over their last 10 games. Basically, they are the hottest team in the East, if we’re talking about the last 10. I just like thinking of them surprising the hell out of everyone, I think.

In the West, the team to talk about is the Thunder. They love being young, they love basketball and they love each other. They are the closest thing to an NCAA team we’re probably going to get in the league and I love that. KD caused a Twitter argument between our ow Vince Thomas and NBATV’s Sekou Smith about whether or not he could be the best 21-year-old anyone’s ever seen.

What’s your take on that.

All I can say is, damn, the boy can score. Like, score 25, make it look effortless and make me do a double-take when I peep the boxscore. Russell Westbrook has been putting in solid nights and has been working hard on becoming that point guard they need him to be. On the nights when he’s struggling, they find ways to get it done anyway. Jeff Green has this smooth throwback feel to his game and I love their bench, too.

OKC is 23-18. I wasn’t expecting them to come together as quickly as they have. The win against the Hawks yesterday was pretty awesome. It just sounds like fun to be a member of the Thunder. If I had to pick a team to play for, that’s where I’d be.

And now, Matt Moore’s team needs some love. The Grizzlies are 22-18, 8-2 over their last 10 and have won against San Antonio and Phoenix in their last two contests. Zach Randolph looks like a new player, or at least one that’s revitalized. Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo are making it work and Marc Gasol continues to make me love his passion when he’s on the floor.

Who is surprising you by how good (or bad) they have been as we are approaching the midway point of the season?