But a handful could emerge from the pack
Nearly one month into the NBA season we are seeing quite a number of very good teams but no single dominant team. It’s not unusual for a team or two to get off to nearly perfect starts with perhaps a loss or two through the first three weeks of the season.
Yet through slightly more than just a dozen games no team has fewer than 3 losses and no team is winning more than 80 percent of their games, a pace which obviously is too high for a full season but is not unusual for the opening month.
Milwaukee (8-3) and Phoenix (11-3) remain the early season pleasant surprises while New Jersey remains winless after 13 trips to the post. At 1-12 Minnesota has the second worst record in the league while all other teams have at least 3 wins.
Other surprise teams would include Oklahoma City’s 7-7 start with Kevin Durant on the verge of being one of the next wave of NBA superstars. San Antonio is off to a disappointing 5-6 start but with G Tony Parker back from injury expect the Spurs to regain their winning ways.
One of the biggest disappointments in the early going has been Washington. The Wizards were a pick by some to challenge and perhaps win the Southeast Division title. Injuries have plagued them early but even injuries cannot totally explain their 3-9 start.
Age may be finally catching up with Detroit as their 5-9 start has to be considered disappointing.
And with one of the league’s weakest rosters Sacramento’s 5-7 start is better than expected as the Kings have been underdogs in all but one game this season.
Here’s a look at three games this weekend.
San Antonio at Houston (Friday): These long time rivals meet for the first time this season. San Antonio is getting healthier with the return of Tony Parker to the lineup. Houston has played well despite several key losses from last season’s team, a credit to coach Rick Adelman. Had the Spurs gotten off to a stronger start this would normally be an excellent spot for the Rockets. But the Spurs are the deeper and more talented team and should be motivated for their best effort against a Division rival. SAN ANTONIO.
Portland at Utah (Saturday): Portland hosted Memphis Friday night while Utah last played on Thanksgiving Day. Portland is off to a solid 10-5 start while Utah is just a game over .500 as the week dawns. Utah seems to have overcome some early season chemistry problems and they enter the week having won three straight. The home team won and covered all four meetings last season with each game decided by at least 7 points. Portland is 5-3 on the road but they have yet to win or cover against a winning team. UTAH.
Boston at Miami (Sunday): Boston has been solid but not dominating in the early going and they’ve already lost 3 times at home. But on the road the Celtics are 5-1 and holding foes to just 91 points per game. Miami has benefited from a favorable early schedule, playing 9 of their first 13 games at home and going 6-3 in those games. The Heat have played well defensively in those home contests and that sets the stage for what should be a low scoring game. UNDER the Total.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Andy Iskoe