Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Thoughts

With a big NBA Friday on tap tonight I want to take a minute first to talk about last night's Houston win in Dallas. The Rockets are very impressive, and it is very early. Ron Artest is the piece that this team has been lacking for the last few years. His 29 points last night including a 3 point dagger down the stretch, along with 30 and 13 from Yao shows that Houston can be a multi faceted attack offensively as well as a very good defensive team. Artest is going to take all of that pressure off of Tracy McGrady that T-Mac has been unable to handle over the course of his career. With the Celtics putting it together with 3 stars and a group of committed role players both young and experienced why can't the Rockets? Aaron Brooks has the look of a starter in the backcourt as he came off the bench last night to score 14 points and dish out 5 dimes, but more importantly he was playing the crunch time minutes, not Rafer Alston. When Shane Battier returns to the lineup this team is going to be on lockdown every night. Battier and Artest defending the wings, with Yao waiting at the rim. SERIOUS.

It is time to put a choke hold on Reggie behind the microphone.

The one thing I did not like about the game however was Reggie Miller. He is just not working as the third guy with Marv and Fratello. He has no sense of when those guys are joking and when they are serious, his analysis is average at best and his excitment during big moments is forced. I had nothing but admiration and respect for him as a player especially when he was battling Reggie Lewis in the early 90's, torching the Knicks in the mid 90's and going toe to toe with Jordan before greatness retired in Chicago. But as a broadcaster he is no Mark Jackson, ironically his former backcourt mate during their finals run in Indiana.

With seven games on tap tonight three of them standout to me. The Knicks
are in Philly to battle the Sixers. There is really no such thing as a big game this early but these are two teams looking for early season success and the city of Philadelphia fresh off of a World Series victory I am sure wants more. With Elton Brand leading the way the Sixers are expecting a 50 win season, which means you gotta take care of the Knicks in your building.

The Celtics remain at home and host the Bulls who started off on the right foot against the Bucks with a win. The Celtics looked ok in their emotional home opener on Tuesday against the KING and his Cavs. Boston should come out smoking tonight. The question that will linger for the first month or so is will Boston's bench be as consistently strong as it turned out to be last season? If Leon Powe keeps providing facials and Tony Allen keeps getting to the rim then the answer will be YES. I have not even mentioned Eddie House yet who struggled on opening night.

Your late game to watch is Spurs at Blazers. Oden is down already and the Spurs lost at home to the Suns. Will the Blazers enter an early season funk as their over hyped offensively limited big man is on the shelf yet again? Portland has the guards to push the rock against anyone and the Spurs are in need of that third scorer with Manu out. The experience of the Spurs is something the Blazers need
to pay attention to and learn from. Tim Duncan had 32 opening night, look for Pop to keep getting the big fundamental the ball on the block. Pops beard is scary.

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