BDCi’s NBA Weekly 11-1-13
(BDCi) — The NBA season is alive and well. What a marvelous week it has been so far with teams and their high expectations coupled with key players coming back from injury. Can the Miami Heat three peat? Will Derrick Rose come back to his All-Star form after ACL surgery? When will Kobe Bryant make his season debut? Are the Golden State Warriors the team to beat in the West? Will the Brooklyn Nets with their All-Star but aging roster finally win a championship? These are just a handful of questions that hopefully will get answered by the end of the NBA season. It sure is exciting.
1. Indiana Pacers (2-0) — impressive wins over Orlando and New Orleans to start season
2. Toronto Raptors (1-0) — snapped three game home opener losing streak by beating Boston
3. Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) — shock the defending champs at home in season opener
4. Miami Heat (1-1) — uneven start to season as they defeated Chicago but lost to Philly
5. Detroit Pistons (1-0) — defeated Washington in home opener
6. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) — spoiled Nets debut of Pierce and Garnett
7. Chicago Bulls (1-1) — great to have Derrick Rose back
8. New York Knicks (1-1) — lost heartbreaker to Chicago on last second Rose shot
WESTERN CONFERENCE Top eight teams make the playoffs
1. Phoenix Suns (1-0) — impressive first win over Portland
2. San Antonio Spurs (1-0) — older but still can get it done with win over Memphis
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) — barely beat Utah and waiting for Westbrook to return
4. Sacramento Kings (1-0) — basketball is alive and well in Sacramento
5. Houston Rockets (1-0) — a team with high expectations
6. Dallas Mavericks (1-0) — big offseason moves helped Dallas
7. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) — hope Kevin Love returns to All-Star form
8. Golden State Warriors (1-1) — a team that could compete with the Clippers for division
Points– top five scorers are: Kevin Durant-OKC (42.0), Monta Ellis-DAL (32.0), Damian Lillard-POR (32.0), Kevin Love-MIN (31.0) and Demarcus Cousins-SAC (30.0).
Rebounds– top five board crashers are: Dwight Howard-HOU (26.0), Kevin Love-MIN (17.0), Greg Monroe-DET (16.0), Miles Plumlee-PHX (15.0) and Omer Asik-HOU (14.0).
Assists– top five passers are: Chris Paul-LAC (13.0), Michael Carter-Williams-PHI (12.0), John Wall-WAS (11.0), Ricky Rubio-MIN (11.0) and Jose Calderon-DAL (11.0).
Brazilian Player Watch
Anderson Varejao- Center, Cleveland Cavaliers. Averages 11 points and
8 rebounds per game. Cavs fans are happy to have a healthy Varejao back in the mix. He certainly is a force in the middle that they need in order to take that next step. In his season debut against the Brooklyn Nets, Varejao scored 11 points including the game winner and had eight rebounds. If Varejao can stay healthy and with the addition of Andrew Bynum, the Cavs could make the playoffs this season.
Tiago Splitter- Center, San Antonio Spurs. Averages 11 points and 8 rebounds per game. Splitter has now become the man at center for San Antonio since th
ey let Dejuan Blair go in free agency. Splitter averaged about 10 points and six rebounds per game last season. In the season opening win over Memphis, he scored 11 points and grabbed eight boards. San Antonio is a talented team so Splitter does not need to do too much but be a force in the middle, grab rebounds and stay out of foul trouble. If he does that, the Spurs will be successful.
Nene- Forward, Washington Wizards.Averages 12 points and 3 rebounds per game. In his season opener, Nene scored 12 points but grabbed only three rebounds, a
significant drop for someone who has always been a big board crasher. The Wizards addition of Emeka Okafor makes things very interesting for Nene. Nene and Okafor have very similar skill sets and it will be something to watch to see how well they can play together and how that will impact Nene’s effectiveness. There were times last season when Nene was fantastic and times when he disappeared. The Wizards need Nene to be more consistent especially since this season, the team is talented enough to make the playoffs. However with Okafor, we will have to wait and see how Nene does.
Vitor Faverani- Center, Boston Celtics. Averages 13 points and 3 rebounds per game. Faverani is new to the NBA having played professionally in Spain. He was signed as a free agent by Boston in July. In his NBA debut, the Brazilian scored 13 points and had three boards to go along with five fouls in 27 minutes of play. Faverani has lots of room to improve and his head coach Brad Stevens sees a lot of potential there. Faverani needs to work on his defense but Stevens had the confidence to start the rookie right away d
ue to the fact that he is the only true center on the Celtics roster and Stevens wanted size upfront. WIthout another true center on the roster, Faverani is going to get plenty of playing time and he also happens to be on a Celtics that is rebuilding. Welcome to the league Vitor Faverani and it will be nice to see how he develops this season.
Stats and Standings: NBA.com