One month has gone by in the world of the National Basketball Association and the determination by the NBA Excelsior staff is forwarded for our global at large readership to debate, celebrate, and or player hate our initial 10 random surmisements. Now with no further categorical descriptions necessary surf with HoopsAddict.com as we review the variety of observations during the first month of NBA basketball.
Best Upgrade to Uniform from a year ago: The Atlanta Hawks are the categorical winner. The Hawks improved haberdashery has actually help elevate Atlanta’s aesthetics in the won/loss column. Kudos to the Atlanta fashion decision maker for rendering their previous hideous yellow uniform obsolete that was visually a close approximation to the snow signature of mountain elk in hue.
Best Player: Dwight Howard Orlando Magic. Howard’s improvement from a year ago is now augmented by his play and not his “plant a sticker” to the far reaches of the fiberglass during last year’s slam dunk competition at the party ravaged atmosphere of All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. Howard has been spectacular supported by the Magic’s 9-1 road record as of this writing.
Best Coach: Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs. Ho-hum the Spurs are 16-3 as of this writing and for “Pop” to have his team play as if their battling for an 8th seed playoff position out the gate is admirable. Popovich stalks the sidelines as if he’s in his first year as Coach with a truckload to prove and most phenomenally has his team believing this disposition.
Best relationship between Coach and Management: Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Laker’s Executive Jeannie Buss. Phil Jackson also the best whistler amongst NBA leaders has recently signed a two-year extension for 24 million while dating the owner’s daughter. The last we checked Phil’s squad has not seen the NBA finals in several seasons. Yet give Coach Jackson credit he will earn more than a dozen of NBA star caliber players while “cooling” from his Lakers high chair. Oh yeah Jeannie, still allots Phil on the road meal per diem.
Best Rookie: Al Horford Atlanta Hawks. Big Al has simply been exceptional. Horford averages a dime a night in boards, plays 30 plus minutes, and launches accurate Spalding’s towards the rim at over 50% accuracy. Horford also has the winning floor presence that is reflected in his statistical excellence.
Best Presence under Fire: Isiah Thomas President/Coach New York Knicks. When former New York great and now Knickerbockers color analyst Walt “Clyde” Frazier a chief Ambassador of cool anywhere in the Western Hemisphere states that Knick leader Zeke is the coolest he’s ever seen then the view here is… no doubt. The Knick fans call for Zeke’s head he laughs and coaches a 4th quarter comeback victory after the Celtic’s drop a 49 point deluge on his 12 man format the night before. Isiah is the reflection of live in the moment the same ideology that made him one of the game’s greatest players and in many opinions the best small guard ever. Isiah is in the Big Apple’s daily periodicals bulls-eye yet it appears he was built to endure criticism akin to how planet Earth weathers meteor attacks.
Best Triumvirate of Guards under 6 feet: The Memphis Grizzlies. First round pick Mike Conley listed at 6-1 actually closer to 5-10, former NBA Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudemire listed at 5-10 actually closer to 5-8 hence his “Mighty Mouse” tattoo, and veteran Kyle Lowry listed at 6-0 actually closer to 5-10. Grizz’ Coach Mike Iavoroni has three diminutive point guards (25% of his roster) which beckon the NBA player signal call for a size mismatch on a post-up, “Mouse in the house.”
Best Management Assist for a former teammate: Kevin McHale Minnesota T-Wolves. Kevin McHale sympathized with the Celtic’s plight so much he sent All-NBA player Kevin Garnett and his “big ticket” skills to former Celtics running buddy and fellow GM Danny Ainge for Danny’s perceived dead weight, The tradeoff are the Celtics have an NBA best 15-2 mark and McHale’s Timber is dry-rotting with a 2-14 record. We now know why KG wears Celtics number 5 that’s McHale’s retired Celtics jersey 32 that equates to 3 + 2 = 5.
Best Free Agent Signing: Tie. Forward Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic and swingman Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns. Rashard Lewis is All-NBA if the season ends today and leads the league in 3 point field goals made for his first place Magic squad. Enter Grant Hill who has brought the missing ingredients/spices to the talented Suns such as leadership, savvy, mental toughness, and the wisdom to subjugate one’s ego for the team good (Shawn Marion has been the prized beneficiary of the last description). Oh yeah Hill is performing at a high level for the front-running Suns.
Best Team: The Boston Celtics. Doc and Danny are in pursuit of a 17th banner in Beantown yet will need another “big” to weather the storm for championship gold. Celtics Number 66 Scott Pollard is not the guy. Look for Danny to deal as the season goes on for that 7 foot plus player that can defend.
This culminates the December edition of HoopsAddict.com NBA Excelsior edition. To my readers Happy Holiday’s and will pick up the next edition in 2008. I’m out like last year. Peace!