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Old 10-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: ESPN NBA POWER RANKINGS TOP 5

I've been off the Spurs since Kobe shut the door on them in 2008. It's just like how LeBron finished the Celtics in 2011. Both teams have/had enough talent to keep them competitive and get close in certain years, but their time of winning it all is over.

People were blowing the Spurs because they were 8-0 through the first two rounds but apparently didn't notice that Utah is literally awful and the Clippers were not only injured, but nothing special even at 100%. I picked OKC to win that series in 6.

I love Timmy D, and the Spurs have been arguably the best run franchise in sports since he came to town, but they're not winning it all again under the big three's watch.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: ESPN NBA POWER RANKINGS TOP 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
People were blowing the Spurs because they were 8-0 through the first two rounds but apparently didn't notice that Utah is literally awful and the Clippers were not only injured, but nothing special even at 100%. I picked OKC to win that series in 6.
I will go to my grave saying the Spurs were the best team in the West last season. Game 5 was a pure aberration on the parts of Perkins, Ibaka, and Collison. The Spurs would have closed that series out in 6 if not for the miracle of miracles that simply will never be duplicated or approached by those players ever again.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Re: ESPN NBA POWER RANKINGS TOP 5

So opposing big men abusing the post-prime Tim Duncan Spurs is something new? Where were you in 2011? That's been their fatal flaw for a minute and no amount of incredible coaching or teammwork is going to compensate for that.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Re: ESPN NBA POWER RANKINGS TOP 5

1 Miami 2-1 --

Last Week: 1

The so-called "position-less" era of Heat Basketball sported a thoroughly defenseless look in Week 1. No matter how early it is, Miami shouldn't be ranked 30th in defensive efficiency and allowing 114 points per 100 possessions. Not after ranking fourth in DE (97.1) last season.

2 San Antonio 3-0 --

Last Week: 2

The best record you'll find in the standings is sufficiently eye-catching, especially since Manu sat out the first two wins with a bad back and then someone points out what Duncan did in Week 1. Timmy's averaging 21 and 10 and 3 blocks? Those are turn-back-the-clock numbers.

3 New York 2-0 12 Last Week: 15

The Knicks are getting others involved even with Melo scoring rampantly and defending doggedly, too. Who knows how long it'll last ... but it's been a beautiful start. Too pretty for anyone at MSG to spend too much time fretting about how Amar'e, once healed, fits into all this.

4 Milwaukee 2-0 14 Last Week: 18

Can't quibble too much if Melo wins it, but I'd say a lefty sweep of the player of the week honors is in order. First Brandon Jennings rumbled for a Harden-esque 21 points and 13 assists in a stunning win at Boston, then he dropped that buzzer-beating bomb on Cleveland.

5 Los Angeles 2-1 1 Last Week: 6

Instead of reveling in a rare Staples Center smackdown of the Lakers and the swiftness with which Jamal Crawford has announced his sixth man award intentions, L.A.'s challengers for the city title are smarting from the 114 points they just let Golden State ring up on their floor.

6 Chicago 2-1 6 Last Week: 12

Annoyed as Coach Thibs surely was that they couldn't take care of the Hornets at home with The Unibrow sidelined, this was a bountiful Halloween for the Bulls. The numbers on Taj Gibson's extension looked particularly sweet ... and the first 2-0 start since 2002-03 wasn't bad, either.

7 Oklahoma City 1-2 2 Last Week: 5

Three games post-Harden, two deflating L's and two sightings already of the PG known across the Twitterverse as Bad Russell. Good thing I didn't write "things can only get better from here" in this space as I originally planned on the Monday after the trade/OU's loss to Notre Dame.

8 Atlanta 1-1 5 Last Week: 13

The opener was bizarre: Atlanta surrendered 45 points at home to James Harden and lost Josh Smith to an ankle sprain in the process. The response made about as much sense: Jeff Teague soaring over Durant for a top-shelf dunk and the Josh-less Hawks winning in OKC.

9 Indiana 2-1 1 Last Week: 8

Bold prediction: If Paul George continues to average 14 and 13, Indy will weather Granger's knee issues just fine. In a weekend win over Sacramento, George and D-West just became the first Pacers to amass 15 points and 15 rebounds in the same game since 1985.

10 Boston 1-2 6 Last Week: 4

You have to rewind to the first lockout-shortened season for the last time the Celts lost a home opener as badly as they did Friday night, when Milwaukee showed up and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, equaled the 11-point win Toronto scored on Boston's floor in 1999.

11 Dallas 2-1 5 Last Week: 16

It's a small source of consolation, since this team is obviously headed nowhere meaningful without a healthy Nowitzki, but Dirk's early unavailability has given Collison license and justification to be super aggressive. Which got the Mavs' new PG going after a rough preseason.

12 Memphis 1-1 3 Last Week: 9

Something tells me, as the Robert Pera era launches, that no one told the Grizzlies' new owner that he inherits a franchise that has lost 12 straight season openers ... which Elias says is the longest such losing streak in the history of the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball.

13 Utah 1-2 3 Last Week: 10

ESPN Stats & Info, dispatching the sort of nugget that doesn't reach us every day, reports that the Jazz are 5-17 in their last 22 games played in the Eastern or Central time zones dating to last season. We think this is related news: Five of Utah's next eight games meet that description.

14 Brooklyn 1-0 3 Last Week: 11

There are obviously bigger things to worry about in the city these days, but if you're going to press me for a weekly update on the matter: Brooklyn is back to looking up at its MSG rivals. The Knicks' Week 1 brilliance had to take them past the defensively challenged Nets.

15 Los Angeles 1-3 12 Last Week: 3

Research shows that only four teams that started 0-3 have ever reached the NBA Finals and that only one of those four -- Michael Jordan's first title team in Chicago in 1991 --rallied to win it all. Have to say that sounds like a history lesson with some unquestioned relevance.

16 Houston 2-1 5 Last Week: 21

You only get one guess to work out who'll be named as the season's first Western Conference player of the week. But Jeremy Lin is Linning again, too, with GQ's November cover and the arrival of Beardsanity to help him share the spotlight and burden after a sluggish October.

17 Portland 2-1 3 Last Week: 20

Didn't take long, did it? After three games and countless references to how he's the only player in history besides Oscar Robertson to reach at least 20 points and 7 assists in his first three NBA games, Damian Lillard has made it quite clear that there are two ROY favorites.

18 Philadelphia 1-1 4 Last Week: 14

Mentioning Andrew Bynum is a conversation-killer in Philly. Nobody wants to talk about the ailing center or what's happened to the Sixers' ranking since Bynum was shelved indefinitely. The consolation: Newly extended Jrue Holiday is off to the best launch of his young career.

19 Golden State 2-1 --

Last Week: 19

Even though the Brandon Rush ACL tear has the Dubs cursing their injury luck already, it's been a pretty promising start. Hard to ignore just their second 2-0 road record in 18 years, Carl Landry's big numbers off the bench and what could be a bargain extension with Curry.

20 New Orleans 2-1 3 Last Week: 23

Eventful start to the season with three games, all against 2012 playoff teams, going down to the final minute and two of them ending in victory for the young Hornets. Too eventful, actually, once you throw in The Unibrow's concussion scare and Gordon's latest knee setback.

21 Orlando 2-0 8 Last Week: 29

The Knicks and Spurs both had a case, but how can Team of the Week honors go to anyone other than Jacque Vaughn's Magic? Starting E'Twaun Moore, DeQuan Jones and Nikola Vucevic ... and sporting twice as many wins as Dwight's Lakers. Both by double digits, even.

22 Denver 0-3 15 Last Week: 7

Although the schedule-makers could have been kinder, Denver didn't help itself with subpar showings on the effort scale in Philly and Orlando. And then when the highly touted Nuggets finally uncorked their expected speed game in Miami, Bosh and Ray A. were still too good.

23 Toronto 1-2 1 Last Week: 22

While true that you've got to be realistic about sample sizes after just three games, Kyle Lowry is certainly validating Toronto's trust by promptly tying the club record for the most consecutive 20-point, five-rebound, five-assist games in his first three outings. Can't do much more.

24 Minnesota 1-1 7 Last Week: 17

Cannot tell a lie. That glimpse of Rubio and Love on the Wolves' bench in Toronto with their street clothes on during Sunday night's League Pass channel-flipping keeps popping into my head more than anything we've seen on the court from the Wolves so far. Depressing but true.

25 Charlotte 1-1 5 Last Week: 30

Did I have the Bobcats upsetting playoff-hardened Indy in their opener to immediately halt further flirtation with the NBA record of 26 straight L's and inch out of the No. 30 slot so soon? Of course not. Not after seeing the Bobcats twice in a span of 10 days during the preseason.

26 Cleveland 1-2 2 Last Week: 28

The good news: Kyrie is picking up right where he left off and Varejao literally couldn't have rebounded from last season's injury woes any more emphatically. The bad news: Byron Scott's young bench looks overwhelmed already. (Unsolicited committee advice: It's Casspi Time.)

27 Phoenix 1-2 3 Last Week: 24

Phoenix's unwillingness to sign Amar'e Stoudemire to a five-year max deal is looking increasingly justified. Yet any sense of Suns vindication was temporary thanks to a painful home loss to Golden State in the opener and a road collapse against Jameer-less, Hedo-less Orlando.

28 Sacramento 0-3 2 Last Week: 26

The team on the least solid footing in its own city, thanks to the ongoing uncertainty about whether the Kings can call Sacramento home long-term, is one of only two teams in the whole league (along with Denver) that had to open with three straight road games. Cruel.

28 Washington 0-2 1 Last Week: 27

It has to come as some consolation to Wiz lovers, as rough as Washington's opening week was thanks to narrow losses to the Cavs and Celts, to know that off-limits rookie Bradley Beal was at or near the top of OKC's wish list when it decided it was trading Harden. Doesn't it?

30 Detroit 0-3 5 Last Week: 25

The Pistons are down here for a reason or three. They were helpless against Harden's 37, thoroughly uncompetitive Sunday against the Nash-less, crisis-ridden Lakers ... and remain at a loss to explain how Rodney Stuckey could start the season by missing 22 of his first 23 shots.

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