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Around The NBA

 

Rich Keefe is an anchor and fill-in host on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and has been a frequent contributor on the CelticsHub.com podcast. We welcome him as he debuts a new column to give us a weekly look around the NBA, with a bit of a Celtics perspective.

The fine writers and contributors here at the CelticsHub clearly have the home team covered.  There is no stone unturned when it comes to the Green.  That is why I am thrilled to add a new dimension to this wonderful site.  This is the debut of a new weekly feature entitled “Around the League,” where I will examine the other 29 teams in the NBA.  I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave a comment(s) with stories, stats, or whatever that I will undoubtedly miss.

-Heat Check: (This will be an ongoing feature to “Around the League,” as I check in with the Big 2 + Bosh down in South Beach.)  Miami is off a to a rousing 9-8 start to the season, and all along I said head coach Erik Spoelstra had until Christmas to turn things around, well that might be too long.  Spoelstra being the next Stan Van Gundy looks more likely than Eddy Curry losing a race to T.J. Ford, unless there’s a pizza at the finish line.

Forget the drama with Spoelstra for a second and look at the dynamic of this team.  I am not a fan of Chris Bosh, but he has played a lot better of late.  He has scored 20 or more points in 6 of his last 7 including a 35 point effort.  But despite averaging 20.4 pts and 8.8 rebounds in his last 5 the team is just 1-4 in that span.

I’m not counting the Heat out yet, but it’s been a lot of fun watching them try to figure things out in the early part of the season.  Mike Miller will help them, and so will Pat Riley.

-Love to Rebound: Timberwolves F and Team USA sub Kevin Love is leading the NBA in rebounding at 14.9 a game.  He has pulled down at least 22 rebounds in 4 of his 17 games this year.  Love had the memorable 31-31 game, and in his last two he’s thrown up a 32-22 followed by a 21-22.  What year is this?  Multiple 20 rebound games is flat out impressive.  And I’ll tell you what, Michael Beasley and Love is a pretty solid 3-4 combo, too bad Minnesota’s 1-2-5, and bench are all terrible.

-Rookie Scoring: Thru nearly 2 full months of the season only 4 rookies are averaging double-digit points per game, and 2 of them are #1 overall picks.  (Clippers Blake Griffin, 20.2; Wizards John Wall, 18; Knicks Landry Fields, 11.1; Kings DeMarcus Cousins, 10.3.)

It’s been a pretty decent rookie class (Avery Bradley notwithstanding), so far this year.  Griffin and Wall will, as predicted, battle back and forth for Rookie of the Year honors.  There’s also been some surprise performances such as Landry Fields, Gary Forbes, and Gary Neal.

-Shoot ‘em up!: Gilbert Arenas is back in Washington, and after going through fears of being booed, the fake injury, the real injury, he has been back in the lineup and playing pretty well.  He’s averaging 17.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.3 steals, all while allowing John Wall to be the man.  In the Artist Formally Known as Agent Zero’s last game he finished with 31-5-5, and last week he had a 19 point 16 assist night.  Remember it wasn’t long ago that Arenas was one of the 10 best players in the league.  Would a contending team be willing to make a trade for Gilbert?

-Another Run? How about those Spurs? 14-2, no Eva Longoria, no problem!  Tony Parker is once again playing like one of the best point guards in the NBA, Manu Ginobili looks great, Richard Jefferson may have finally figured out the San Antonio system, and Tim Duncan is still Tim Duncan.  I don’t think many of us saw the Spurs having the best record in the league, especially with all the attention on the Heat, then Lakers, then Celtics, then Magic, then Thunder…

Alright that will do it for the 1st installment of “Around the NBA,” I will be back the same time next week to look at many of the top stories across the league.

Rich Keefe is an anchor and fill-in host on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and frequent collaborator on the CelticsHub.com podcast.  He also writes for The Sports Brief.

  • What More Can I Say?

    That was good stuff. Great addition.

    The Big 2 + Bosh. LOL! Sombody needs to tell AVATAR when you are a REAL All-Star Power forward…you need to play defense and rebound. I could care less how many points the guy scores…if he owns the boards and starts making his presence known in the paint…they woould instantly become THAT much better. See 2010 Tim Duncan.

  • JAW

    More than a Celtics/Lakers finals I think I'd love to see a Celtics/Spurs finals. There would be something very cool about seeing Garnett and Duncan go toe-to-toe as they end their careers. In particular, a KG win over Duncan I think would get him closer to his rightful place in the NBA history books.

    • JP-

      That would be a fun series to watch, also the Parker-Rondo match up would be a lot of fun, and which Spur would attempt to guard Shaq? Blair probably. Seems more and more likely that Spolstra will be fired. Thats really too bad, since he was a good coach last year, on a team that had more wins than the current Heat. A lot has been made about the poor offense, mainly just using pick and rolls, but it would help is there was any off the ball movement at all.

    • zebulon

      I agree completely about KG and the record books. Duncan has claimed the title of "Greatest PF of all time" almost entirely because of his four titles. But that title overlooks two hugely important facts – firstly, that Duncan won those titles because he is part of the best run franchise in professional sports, and secondly that Duncan is far more a C than a PF.

      Garnett, on the other hand, has been an incredibly dominant player just as long as Duncan. He just spent his entire prime on one of the absolute worst franchises in professional sports (I remember reading a study that said the Timberwolves would have averaged 25 wins/year during the KG era had he been on a different team). He is also undoubtedly a PF, and much more mobile defensively. Duncan is a better post defender, largely because of his bulk, but in almost every other defensive situation Garnett is more effective. He is still one of the absolute best pick-and-roll defenders in the league, and in his prime, he could single-handedly neutralize almost any pick-and-roll combination out there.

      Garnett is a complete stud. Unfortunately, because he spent so much time in Minnesota he is remembered as an excellent player on a losing team – a stereotype that completely belittles Garnett's incredible defensive ability. If we can win it this year, it instantly catapults Garnett into the discussion of greatest PFs ever.

  • lakershater13

    The Heat need to pray New Orleans starts losing a lot. Then maybe they could trade Wade for Paul. Maybe get aaron grey tossed in the deal. This Heat team sucks and Tmac is completely right about what he came out and said. Lebron would have been better off in chicago, new jersey, and maybe even staying in his home town. Good luck Miami. Cant wait to watch the Celtics beat you at least 2 more times this year. 6 if we see you in the playoffs.

  • Batman

    For the Timberwolves, their 1 isn't terrible
    Johnny Flynn just has to grow some more
    But yeah their 2-5 and bench are terrible
    It's sad, remember when KG made them a legit playoff threat?

    • I_Love_Green

      Look out though, Darko Milicic is un-busting before our eyes. Dude has been a shot blocking machine the past few games, and he's getting double doubles. This team has potential to be really good in 3-4 years.

  • Batman

    Also just goes to show you can't count out teams that are always good
    I admit I thought the Hornets were on the way to the lottery so their record surprises me
    But i expected the Spurs would pull something out of the hat

  • NHBluesMan

    the Big 2 + Bosh <- perfect description.

    I would love to see a Spurs/Celtics finals, i've always loved Duncan and his game. It's amazing how alot of the big expectations for this season are not coming true.

    If the Heat keep things going the way they are, they'll be lucky to end with 50 wins. I don't think replacing Spo with Riley will do much good. Riley has a reputation of pushing people even harder than the Heat are currently being pushed… and we already know Bosh wants to chill and LeBron wants to have fun, so i feel that they might but heads with Riley even more than Spo. You can bet i'll be routing for the Cavs on Thursday.

    Unless the Magic can keep playing on this level, i can't see anyone in the East pushing the Celtics past 6 games in the playoffs (as long as we're healthy). Also, it seems the rolls have reversed, the Lakers are now the ones who are very thin in the post. Pau and Odom are both logging huge minutes and will be worn out by the time the playoffs come around if Bynum isn't healthy (which i wouldn't count on, he and Greg Oden must've been drinking the same kool-aid).

    I'm even more excited about this year than i was when the Big 3 first came together, and now we have a legit Big 4!

  • Rich

    Are you reading the stories out of Miami? Apparently LBJ and the boys think SPOELSTRA IS TO HARD ON THEM!!! Rofl….they coudln't handles Riley. Nope, Riley will not be coming down out of the box this year. This thing is going to get blown up after 1 year.

    • What More Can I Say?

      I agree with your Riley assessment, but I think you are off base about the HEAT getting blown up in the offseason. The Heat could win 4-0 games and grab the 8th seed and Wade & Bron will STILL be coming back together. I could see them possibly shopping Bosh though…his defensive rotations and intensity is just not all-star caliber. In my mind…he is the biggest bust so far with that team.

      Miami needs other role players as well. No explosion, just tinkering.

  • Morpheus

    I would also love a Spurs – Celtics finals, BUT there's one thing in the back of my mind and pretty sure in the mind of the Cs….REVENGE. Lakers – Celtics and it would taste sweeter if we got banner 18 beating those punks.

    • What More Can I Say?

      Agreed!

  • Morpheus

    While at the same time stopping them from getting that 3 peat and their 17th championship….now that would be revenge right there.

    • Mike

      12th. the 5 in minneapolis don't count

  • Jamie

    Big 2 plus Bosh perfect words to describe them. Bosh was a terrible fit to add to those 2, who are already a terrible fit cause the Big 2 are the exact same player. It all sounds good in a video game but on the court those 3 can't play together.

    They needed an enforcer for teh 4 spot, not a 6'11" guy that likes to shoot from 20 feet

  • http://www.abclassement.com Faye Mainiero

    What else can i say that it’s a good article. I’ll probably translate it in greek and show the original source.

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