Well, the basketball season is upon us. Accordingly, my excuse for only checking often enough to post DEGEN picks is gone. I’m going to try and post daily, with at least some thoughts on the games last night, and some picks for the upcoming day.
There were three games last night. The first featured the Washington Wizards of Washington vs. the Comic Sans Cavaliers of Cleveland. There were three semi interesting storylines to watch there for me. First, would the Wizards play at a slower pace, and try to establish a defensive presence? Second, how would the rookies fare? Third, would Kyrie Irving build on a stellar rookie debut in spite of only so-so athleticism.
I think the answer to the first and third questions were data points in the direction of “yes.” The Wizards did play slow, and did try and play defense. And yes, Kyrie Irving looks like he could be turning into a night in, night out star, rather than a kind of interesting guy to watch in Cleveland.
As far as the rookies go, Beal didn’t look all that impressive, while Waiters did. That’s not surprising with Beal, since not many rookies shoot all that well, and that’s what Beal does. Waiters on the other hand was oddly effective for Cleveland, especially given the doubts about the wisdom of drafting him in the first place. Obviously all of this is insane based on one game, but that’s the fun of this.
The second game was Celtics @ the Heat. The Heat covered the number, in a game that wasn’t much in doubt, even as the Celtics pulled within 4 late in the game. I’ve got less to say here, other than that.
1. The Celtics look like they can play offense a little bit, thanks to Rondo’s improved shooting, and the presence of Courtney Lee and Jason Terry.
2. Lee looks excellent defensively as well. He’s immediately become one of my favorite Celtics.
3. What the is point of Jeff Green. He doesn’t do anything well. He doesn’t look like an NBA player. He doesn’t have good basic stats. He doesn’t have good advanced stats. Other than the fact that the Thunder once wasted a first round draft pick on him, I don’t understand why he’s in the league at all, let alone seeing major minutes.
Game three was probably the most interesting of the bunch, Mavs @ Lakers. Thoughts there:
1. Mike Brown is going to be fired at midseason.
2. Dwight Howard didn’t look to be quite the defensive presence he was before his hernia. We’ll see what that looks like in a few weeks, but the Mavs were getting to the rim far too well against the Lakers.
3. What the point of Steve Nash on this team. They’re still running the team through Kobe (effective as he was last night), so why did they go out and cripple their bench for a point guard who isn’t gonna touch the ball much. This is related to point 1.
3. The new Mavs rotation is oddly fascinating to watch. I forgot when they built this team a few months ago how interested I was to watch them. It’s easy to say now, but in retrospect, this team shouldn’t be a 9 point underdog to anyone. They’re gonna struggle at times, but they’ve assembled many of my favorite “oh yeah” guys, between Mayo, Collison, and Brand.
Picks coming up soon.