NW Hoops Represent
It’s been two weeks and anywhere between six to eight games for the NBA‘s Northwest Hoop Stars.
In that time we have seen the Lakers kick Mike Brown and the Princeton offense to the curb and hire Steve Nash‘s favorite run and gun bench boss, Mike D’Antoni…the Wizards are this years Bobcats….(funny thing MJ, arguably the greatest on court talent ever, has had a front office role with both teams)…the Rookie Of The Year race is no longer a one horse event as Damian Lillard has stepped up to give Anthony Davis a run for the trophy…the Raptors are, blah.
1. Jamal Crawford
Jamal continues to prove that the move to LA has been nothing but a good decision for him and the Clippers.
Since week 1, Crawford and LA’s lil brother team have gone 6-0. In that time, JC has posed three games with 22+ points, including a 25 point effort against the Trail Blazers, and 22 points against both Miami and Chicago, proving that the buckets aren’t coming against the lesser than opponents.
At the time, Crawford leads the Clippers in scoring with 20.7 ppg in just 28 mins of floor time.
I wonder if Vinnie Johnson has trademarked “The Microwave”.
2. Nate Robinson
The State Of Nate moves up a notch on the “hot list” as he continues to help the Bulls stay afloat with Rose on the sidelines.
Although the Bulls are sitting at 5-5, Robinson is a big reason why they still battling for a playoff seed in the East. In the last six games, Robinson has averaged 13.8 points in only 24 minutes of action, with two 18 point games (one against Portland) and a seven assist night against his former Boston teammates.
While Kirk Hinrich continues to play with the starting five, Nate has made more of an impact with the Bulls roster.
3. Luke Ridnour
“Cool Hand Luke” continues to motor along for the Timberwolves, holding down the starting point guard spot.
Despite a 3-3 record, Ridnour is helping keep the Wolves relevant in the West, as the losses were definitely winnable games (including a two point L to the Bobcats) and the victories included a pair over Dallas and Indiana (both potential playoff teams).
Hitting double digits in four of the six games, including a 16 point, 10 assist, 5 rebound effort against Kemba Walker’s Bobcats.
4. Jason Terry
JT finds his way onto the “hot list” after an opening week appearance in the bottom five.
With the Celtics going 5-3 in their last eight games, Terry has started to make an impact, to the point in which he has flipped roles with Courtney Lee and entered the starting five.
Returning to being the Jet that many were used to seeing in Dallas, Terry has hit double digits in six of the last eight games, including a 20 point effort against the Raptors (though he did have two stinkers against the Jazz and Pistons).
5. Rodney Stuckey
As with Terry, Stuckey moved up to the positive list after a horendous start to the season.
Unable to hit the broad side of the barn in the first week of the season, Stuckey still has his shooting troubles, hitting only 31% from the field, 22% from downtown and at 9.7 ppg is four points shy of his career average and his lowest total since his rookie season. However, on a positive note, Stuckey has three double digit games in his last five games, including a season best game 19 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a two point loss to OKC. The Pistons may not have turned the corner, but it looks like days have become just a little brighter for the Kent, Washington native.
1. Brandon Roy
Man, you gotta feel bad for BRoy.
Just when things started to look up after his one year retirement, Roy has found himself on the sidelines once again with wonky knees.
With the last two years boarding on Greg Oden like territory, Roy has only played in two of the last six games and has not seen the floor since he played fifteen minutes against the Pacers on November 9.
While Roy is on the bench in street clothes recovering from surgery on his right knee one has to wonder if this comeback attempt is over before it really gets started.
2. Spencer Hawes
76’ers fans had hopes of seeing Andrew Bynum in their lineup at some point at the beginning of the season when they participated in the big four-way trade. The reality is Bynum isn’t going to be back until after Christmas at best.
So why isn’t Hawes stepping in and taking advantage of the opportunity?
Sure he has a 14 point / 9 rebound game against the Cavs and a 12 & 11 game against the Raptors, but sandwiched in between are three games of 6, 5 and 4 points against the Bucks, Pistons and Jazz.
3. Isaiah Thomas
After a decent start to the season, Thomas has found himself on the bench for a crappy but talented Sacramento Kings team.
Battling Jimmer Fredette and Aaron Brooks, all three of which have had their ups and downs in the early portion of the year, none of which playing well enough to lock down the starting guard spot, Thomas has seen his production and playing time drop in his last two games (he missed a third game against the Blazers).
Coming off the bench in the last two outtings averaging 16.5 mins, Thomas has totaled 4 points, and 9 assists, while shooting 1-9 from the field and 1-6 from three point territory.
4. Tony Wroten
While it is unfair to pick on the rooks, out of the three hailing from the northwest, only Wroten has failed to put the ball in the basket.
To be fair to Wroten and the Grizzlies, they are tied for the Western Conference lead, so why fix what ain’t broke? In only eight minutes of action, the young cub has yet to tally a single point or an assist. Fortunately or unfortunately, Wroten has been sent down to the NBDL in order to gain some experience and confidence. At this point, the best choice for the first year guard would have been to stay on campus and play for the Huskies.
5. Steve Nash
Two weeks from now when this list gets published again, it will hopefully be the last time Nash’s name appears in negative print.
Reports say that Kid Canada will return to the Lakers lineup anywhere between a week to ten days. Right now the Lakers are rolling, winning five of six at home, but with D’Antoni at the helm, a healthy HOF point guard would certainly make things a lot easier.