Nov 19, 2009

Association in Review: Part 1

Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki...... Brandon Jennings. What do all these names have in common. Well, from an outside view the first six seem like an early rough draft for the NBA MVP trophy, and in all likleyhood it could very well be, except for the last name.

The list I just mentioned (including Jennings) are seven of the top 10 scorers so far in this 2009-10 NBA season. Above all the primetime names that are thought of as long term faces of franchises the NBA is seeing a resurgance of a new star in Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings. With most teams hitting the 10 game mark in their 09-10 campaigns I figured it would be a good time to take a brief look at the progress so far and see where this year is headed. Since we are 1/8 of the way throughout the season I am going to give you my top 8 reasons why "The Association" is back and why if your not watching, your missing one hell of a league.

1/5- Brandon Jennings.(Bucks)
Pts: 220 (in 9 games)
Team Record- 5-2

This kid in incredible. Coming into this season their was not a lot of hope in Milwaukee. With the loss of Charlie Villanueva to free agency last season many in the twin cities area marked this team for dead. Not only that but many people in the national media questioned the teams drafting of Jennings 10th because of so called "character issues" due to his forgoing college to play a year in Europe and the fact that in that year abroad Jennings struggled with limited playing time and a general dislike for his playing situation at Lottomatica Roma.

Milwaukee is only seven games into their season and are showing that for once the Bucks could make a run. Not only had Jennings taken over the scoring burden left by Villanueva but he has excelled in places that Charlie lacked last season. Jennings in shooting a respectable 56.7 from three and in last nights game against Golden State he hit 7-9 from beyond the arch and finished the game was an astounding 55 points.

My predication for Jennings is this..... He is this years Kevin Durant. He wants the ball in his hands (which all leaders do) but in doing so creates more opportounities for his teammates. Jennings is playing unselfish and with his increased attenttion from defenses is creating a lot more oportounities for his teammates. With Jennings in the lineup Andrew Bogut is averagingThe Bucks have won five in a row and if it wasent for a slow final 22 seconds in their 81-83 loss to the Bulls this team could be 6-1 (they lost their opening game to the Sixers).

2/5- How good can the Suns be.
Record: 10-2
110.4 ppg.

Many people in the sports world weren't really sure what to make of the Suns in the offseason. Shaq headed to Cleveland, Amare wanted a trade (again) and there were many people questioning Grant Hill's relevance in the game. These questions were answered quickly this season with the suns at 10-2 and becoming one if not the most dominant team in the Western Conference. It looks like the Suns have gotten better since the departure of Big Cactus and have perfected their patented 8 second offense.

Not only has the team proven their skeptics but they are excelling in areas we never is thought of. If there is a seasonal award for strongest bench the suns are slowly walking away with it. Their "second team" as they call themselves in contributing over 60% of their scoring and is giving their veterans the times they need to relax during game. Sure the Suns are allowing opponents to score 100 ppg. I guess thats acceptable when they are getting close to the century mark after the 3rd quarter. Now Im not talking title but the Suns are going to do things this year and could be the suprise in the west.

3/5- Are the Hawks for real.
Record-10-2 (tied for the best in the league)

For years everyone always said the Hawks had potential. The bad thing about potential is that everyone that has it wasts it (Kwame Brown anyone). So far this season it seems that Atlanta has finally put all the pieces together and players like Al Horford and Joe Johnson are taking over most if not all of the scoring  from Josh Smith and Mike Bibby. Not only has the scoring evened out but the teams is playing with discipline.

For the last two seasons since they drafted Al Horford the Hawks have ranked towards the bottom of the league in turnovers allowed per game. The Hawks coughed up the ball and led the league is turnover points allowed. Since last year the team has improved 10 fold allowing only 12.6 per game and have controlled their ball movement with an assist to turnover ratio over just under two.

Not I know were are only 12 games into the season but things like this show early signs of how a season will turnout.

4/5- Will the Nets win a game this year.
Record- 0-12

When your leading scorer is only averaging 17 points a game you know you have issues. This team is terrible and is seems as if this is not the best time for a team that has had rumors of a location change for the last 2 years to struggle. It was crazy that Byron Scott got fired first (more on that later).  Lawrence Frank is a terrible coach and has not coached an above .500 team since 2006.

Now I understand they have injuries. Every team does but its what they do to counteract them that shows you what a team and a coaching staff are made of. This team has no organization. They trade away their best players and seem like they are already prepping for the LeBron lottery. If they cant win a game by Thanksgiving I call for a mutiny.

5/5- Where will LeBron go- Day 28.

Like I said in the last point its not a good time for teams like the Knicks and Nets to struggle..... or is it. Its really annoying that no matter where he plays any night there is a countdown to where LeBron wants to go. As of last night there were rumors he was going to play for the Cleveland Browns.... I kid you not.  Listen I love basketball but I don't care where LeBron will go NEXT YEAR. LeBron is going to make bank next year but lets see what happens this year. The Cavs are good let them play this year and after they loose in the playoffs then we will talk. Its like a papal conclave every game thats on ESPN... all the broadcasters try to get his decision out of him. LET IT GO... I know he is the face of basketball but pay attention to the game on the court.

Besides I think we all know what's gonna happen.... Nets are terrible... they get the 1st pick in the lottery... Jay-Z and a large Russian move them to Brooklyn.... Draft a point guard #1 in the draft... then they rename the team the Kings and make Spike Lee the mascot.

On a side note: I will be taking over the position as Philadelphia Headline Examiner for Check for short headline stories about Philadelphia Sports I will also be plugging the blog on the site as well.


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