This is my first NBA season with full access to NBA League Pass. What this means is that if there is ever a close game between the Bucks and the Kings, I would not have to scour the depths of the internet to find a low-quality, choppy, and grainy video stream covered by three layers of advertisements that require you to wait 30 seconds before they can be closed. Instead, I just click the Kings and Bucks game in question and then I would have easy access to a live, HD quality stream, and thus increasing my chance of watching games of mediocre teams.
It’s really a great investment at all for someone who watches as much basketball as I do.
But now with the NBA season underway and couple of slightly more meaningful NBA games having been played (I have learned to not care for preseason), I have some thoughts and observations that I would enjoy sharing with other people.
- If the season ended today, James Harden would be the MVP of the league.
In the Rockets’ first two games of the season, James Harden is averaging 41 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals a game, while shooting 63.6/42.9/87.0 from the field, three, and free throw line. Of course no one is expecting Harden to average 40 points a game, but at this rate and with the way Houston is utilizing him on offense, he could very well be a 30 point per game scorer. Of course, no surprises to me. Lin and Harden are both thriving off of each other (as documented very well in my previous article) and the Rockets honestly do not look that far off from being a competitive playoff squad if one of their 20 power forwards can step up and become a productive player.
- The Bulls season may be pretty exciting this season.
Sure you are missing Derrick Rose, but if a Bulls fan could have any other point guard start in the absence of Rose, it would have to be Kirk Hinrich. The result of losing Rose is another very tough scrappy team capable of winning games, similar to the one we saw against the Sixers last season. The Bulls need to get all the key supporting cast to improve so they can go all out when Rose returns. Joakim Noah needs to be a slightly bigger focal point on offense and Deng has to learn how to create his own shot. My honest opinion is that Derrick Rose should play whatever games he can this season just to get in the grind of a full basketball schedule. Chalk this season up as an off-year, then reload in the summer, knowing that your star Derrick Rose is actually in good basketball shape.
- The Celtics have a deep team this season.
The Celtics now boast quality depth across the board, and this team may have the most firepower of any Celtics team in recent years. I don’t even think there is any question that Rondo is the Celtics’ most important player, and that guy has really come into his own in the league. I love the acquisition of Courtney Lee for the Celtics, and guys like Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Leandro Barbosa are all quality role players on a contending squad. Don’t forget the Celtics still have Avery Bradley waiting in their reserves.
- High hopes for Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris is slowly becoming the internet’s new darling prospect, somewhere along the lines of Derrick Favors and Paul George. In his first game of the season Harris scored 18 points on 8-11 shooting including two 3s, grabbed 6 boards and dished out two assists. After only averaging 5 points a game his rookie season, Harris will receive serious consideration for Most Improved if he can prove his good play is not a result of lack of scouting. He has great size for his position- 6’8, long arms, good scoring instincts, and a decently cool name fit for a future NBA All-Star.
Only foreseeable problem for Tobias is that an offense-oriented player who is a subpar defender has no place in a starting lineup that consists of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. I could see Tobias Harris being a deal sweetener in a midseason trade and then start to become more of a difference maker in the league. If you stuck Tobias on the Lakers right now he would have the starting spot by the end of next year.
Only four observations from me today, but I covered a few different teams and few different issues. These are just the things I’ve picked up from the first week or so. Obviously the Lakers seem to be struggling but there are one of the most covered teams in sports so I will let the Laker experts evaluate that situation. I will probably be too busy being a crazy college student tonight to watch any games, but it looks like another loaded slate for tonight, and hopefully there will be some big performances ahead of us.
And just throwing this out there… first 50 point game of the season will be had by James Harden.