30-Team Quickie (11/09/2010)

Every Tuesday, I trot out the 30-Team Quickie. We take a look at how each and every team is doing and I give out a few blurbs. Keep in mind that these are NOT Power Rankings; it’s where they all rank record-wise. I also put my preseason predictions on where each team would finish to keep track of how good I am as a prognosticator. Anyway, leave comments or tweet me if ya got something to say. Let’s go!


1. ORLANDO MAGIC (5-1) (Last Week: 4-0): After that Miami loss, the Magic have been taking care of competition. It’s early but Dwight Howard‘s scoring is something to watch. He’s been averaging 23.2 points per game, which is easily a career high. Other teams probably wished they had cancelled their games because of asbestos. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 2)

2. BOSTON CELTICS (6-2) (LW: 4-1): It would’ve been nice to keep a winning streak going by beating Dallas but you can’t win everything, right? Could be a little concern that both O’Neals are already hurting and that the starters are playing huge minutes so far. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo (without the headband) is averaging almost 15 dimes a contest after eight games. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 3)

3. ATLANTA HAWKS (6-2) (LW: 3-2): After winning their first six games, they’re on a two-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Josh Smith has already attempted more treys in eight games this year (10) than all of last year (7). (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 4)

4. CHICAGO BULLS (3-3) (LW: 1-2): Derrick Rose is looking real good with 23.8 points and 9.2 assists per game. For a team that’s supposedly hurting for a second scoring option, they have three guys (Deng, Noah, Gibson) averaging more than 15 points. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 5)

5. MIAMI HEAT (5-2) (LW: 3-1): Every time the media picks up on something negative about the Heat, such as a loss to New Orleans and Chris Bosh admitting that he’s a little lost in the offense, the whole country (except Miami, of course) seems to rejoice. But the fact is the Heat lead the league in fewest points allowed and defensive field goal percentage. These guys are good. Duh. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 1)

6. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (3-3) (LW: 2-1): They recovered nicely with two straight wins after a three-game losing streak. Mo Williams has also returned to the line-up after a groin injury. And a broken heart. Just kidding. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 11)

7. NEW YORK KNICKS (3-3) (LW: 2-1): A 3-3 start is quite positive for New York after a terrible 1-9 beginning last year. And for our usual overreactions, Toney Douglas and Wilson Chandler are averaging 16 points per game off the bench so they’re early candidates for Sixth Man of the Year. Or Seventh. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 8th)

8. INDIANA PACERS (2-3) (LW: 0-2): Roy Hibbert has the early lead for blocked shots this season (3.4 per). I’m quite surprised, though, that Darren Collison is only averaging 4.4 assists so far. Maybe they’re not as generous in Indiana (6 so far in 2 home games) when it comes to giving out assists. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 9)

9. NEW JERSEY NETS (2-4) (LW: 0-3): Nets are on an all too-familiar losing streak. It doesn’t help that three of their last four games were against the vaunted Flo Rida squads. Also, I don’t understand how Brook Lopez is shooting less than 40 percent. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 13)

10. MILWAUKEE BUCKS (2-5) (LW: 2-3): I can attribute their less-than-stellar start to this: they are last in scoring in the league. I would think head coach Scott Skiles would teach them a thing or two about scoring. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 6)

11. PHILADELPHIA 76ers (2-5) (LW: 2-2): Elton Brand says he’s ready to reclaim his place in the league and justify his contract after three injury-plagued seasons. I’m sure that thrills my buddies here at TNLP. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 12)

12. DETROIT PISTONS (2-5) (LW: 2-2): Break out those Pistons! They’ve won two straight. Chances are, however, that this won’t be the same squad by the end of this season with all these trade rumors going around. Hi, Michigan. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 15)

13. WASHINGTON WIZARDS (1-4) (LW: 1-2): Flip Saunders walked out of practice yesterday. The drama in D.C. continues. But, hey, John Wall has been nice with his 19.4 points and 9.6 assists per game. Then again, those 5.8 giveaways are NOT. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 10)

14. TORONTO RAPTORS (1-6) (LW: 0-4): I don’t think I can add to what Jay Triano said in the video. (VIDEO CREDIT: @sigD from Twitter) (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 14)

15. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (1-6) (LW: 1-3): Like Milwaukee, Charlotte has also had problems putting up points on the board. Ya know, Larry Brown can still go to Turkey and… (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 7)


1. LOS ANGELES LAKERS (7-0) (Last Week: 4-0): They have pounded teams into oblivion so far and it has fueled people into thinking they can win 73 games. People always tend to forget that the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. Nevertheless, there may be no one in the NBA playing better than one… Pau Gasol (23.0 points, 10.4 boards, 4.8 assists per game… and, yes, he leads the team in scoring). (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 1)

2. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (6-0) (LW: 3-0): Two weeks ago, I said don’t believe any of my crazy talk about the Hornets. But, hell, I don’t think anybody predicted they would get off to a 6-0 start but here they are. Louisiana is happy and the Chris Paul escape plan talks are doused at the moment. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 10)

3. SAN ANTONIO SPURS (5-1) (LW: 3-0): I’m pretty sure this was THE Richard Jefferson they expected last year. He’s off to a scorching start (18 points per game and shooting 60 percent!). Once again… the Spurs will never die, the Spurs will never die, the Spurs will never die… (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 4)

4. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (5-3) (LW: 2-2): It’s tough to play basketball with heavy hearts. Rest in peace, Maurice Lucas. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 5)

5. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (5-2) (LW: 3-1): Monta Ellis apparently seems to be all right after that awkward fall in Toronto. Also, check out G. State’s defensive efficiency ranking. Last year, they were ranked 29th. The year before? 28th. This season, even if it is early? 12th. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 14)

6. DALLAS MAVERICKS (4-2) (LW: 2-1): Dirk Nowitzki followed up his haircut with a game-winning shot against Boston. Maybe he should grow his hair in the playoffs and then cut it again when they need a must-win. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 2)

7. DENVER NUGGETS (4-3) (LW: 2-2): Carmelo Anthony said he’s happy right now at Denver. Let’s see how long this happiness lasts for him. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 9)

8. UTAH JAZZ (3-3) (LW: 2-1): The team has had mixed results so far but they have to be happy with Paul Millsap‘s production. He’s an early Most Improved Player candidate (according to the NBA’s definition of the award) with 20.3 points and 11.2 boards per. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 7)

9. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (4-4) (LW: 2-3): The rich guys are definitely producing. Rudy Gay is averaging 26.5 points so far and Mike Conley is averaging 3.4 steals per contest. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 11)

10. SACRAMENTO KINGS (3-3) (LW: 0-2): I don’t have much to say about the Kings other than the fact that Luther Head has become my favorite shooter behind the arc. Did you see that game against the Lakers? Ouch. By the way, he’s shooting 23 percent from there. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 12)

11. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (3-3) (LW: 1-2): They’re last in 3-point shooting (21 percent!). They allow the highest 3-point field goal percentage (42 percent). They’re 28th in field goal percentage (42 percent). They’re 27th in defensive field goal percentage (48 percent). Now you know what’s wrong with the Thunder. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 3)

12. PHOENIX SUNS (3-4) (LW: 2-2): HEDO TURKOGLU WATCH… he’s shooting a career high 44 percent behind the arc. And no disruptions so far. In the meantime, Jason Richardson has emerged as the go-to scorer for the Suns (21.7 ppg). (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 6)

13. HOUSTON ROCKETS (1-5) (LW: 1-2): Rockets are allowing a second-worst 112.7 points per game. That game against Minnesota was what the doctor ordered. The doctor’s next order of business, though, is Aaron Brooks, who will be out for 4-6 weeks with an ankle problem. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 8th)

14. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (1-6) (LW: 0-4): Check out the Laker/Wolves preview to see what’s TOTALLY wrong with the Wolves. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 15)

15. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (1-6) (LW: 1-2): I said last week that the roster may be worse than I thought. Then Eric Bledsoe goes out and proves all of us wrong. He might have to get ready to play more after this bit of Baron Davis news. (PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: 13)

PHOTO CREDITS: 1) Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. 2-3) David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. 4) Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian. 5) Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. 6) Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

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