NW Hoops Represent
Week one of the 2012-13 NBA season is under our belts and as expected there is a potpourri of stories to kick off the season. Who’da thunk the Lakers with all their offseason acquisitions would have opened the gates at 0-3. Who’da thunk that decimated Orlando Magic would be 2-0 to start the season.
As for the Northwest’s only NBA franchise, well they shocked the world on opening night, they lost to a former I-5 foe and they beat a team in which they will battle for an eighth playoff seed.
While there were team highs and lows, so to were the individual player performances. Who’da thunk that James Harden would drop 106 points in his first three games.
Who’da thunk that Damian Lillard would step up to lead the Blazers with a trio of near double double games.
When talks turn to how the local talent fared the Northwest natives certainly providing enough water cooler chatter to keep fans talking all week. Below, we rank how the home town hoopsters performed during the opening week in the NBA.
1. Jamal Crawford:
JCrossover has made a big splash in Hollywood. While the impact may not be enough to take the shine away from CP3 and BG, Crawford has returned to the form that won him the Sixth Man Of The Year award a couple of seasons ago.
Averaging 24 points on 53% fg and 48% 3pt shooting, Crawford was a big reason why the Clippers were able to pull of a Battle Of LA victory against the Lakers with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
Proof that Crawford is ready for the spotlight? Check out the damage he did on Metta World Peace.
Oh what could have been Blazer fans.
2. Brandon Roy:
His stats may not be as sexy as the other shooting guards in the league, with only 6.7 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in his first three games, but almost all of the others have both of their knees fully intact and have not been away from the game for an entire year.
Chances are Roy will not average more than the 27 minutes he has tallied in each of his first three games, but once he gets back into game form, a couple more buckets per game are not out of the realm of reality.
3. Nate Robinson:
Teaming up with Kirk Hinrich to fill in for the injured Derrick Rose, Nate has helped the Bulls to a 3-1 record, averaging nearly 13 points in his 24 minutes off the bench. Often a source of energy to pump up the second unit and the crowd, Nate dropped a 16 point, 12 assist, 5 rebound stat line against the Cavaliers.
While such numbers will not happen on a nightly basis, Robinson is doing what he can to help the Bulls keep their heads above water.
4. Isaiah Thomas:
The sophomore guard was thought to be regulated to the back up for newly signed Aaron Brooks, however Thomas has proved worthy enough to maintain his hold on a starting role.
While the Kings are only 1-3 in their first week of action, Thomas dropped a 20 point night in 26 minutes against the Timberwolves, a team the Kings will be battling all season for a playoff seed.
5. Luke Ridnour:
As with Robinson, minus the flash, the Blaine, Washington native has played a similar role for the Timberwolves that he has been asked many times over, to step up and fill in for an injured starter. Never really given due credit, Ridnour has helped the Wolves to a 2-1 record, recording 8.7 points and 3 assists in 24 minutes.
With Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love on the mend, the Wolves are finding ways to win as a collective group, rather than rely on the big names to carry them.
1. Steve Nash:
This might be the only time fans see Nash’s name grouped with the “cold list” (other than his first couple of games playing for the Mavericks). With the Lakers starting the season 1-3, many fans point to Nash as the reason why.
Although he only played in a game and a half, Coach Mike Brown has Nash shackled, unable to fly around the court, utilizing the pick and roll or transition game that we are used to seeing from the BC native.
Unfortunately for Nash, the Lakers and his fans, the point guard suffered a fracture in his shin during the second game of the season, causing him to be sidelined for at least a week, if not more.
2. Rodney Stuckey:
It’s doubtful that Joe Dumars envisioned his starting guard (not really a point, not really an off guard, just a guard) to start a season going 1-23 from the field. Chauncey Billups never did it, neither did “The Answer”. Unfortunately when your team starts 0-3, fingers get pointed.
Stuckey is too good a player to be in this funk forever, but if the Pistons want to compete in the East, they need their guard to stop firing blanks.
3. Spencer Hawes:
The 76’ers brought in an All-Star big man in the offseason leading many to question what to do with Hawes. To date Andrew Bynum has yet to suit up for Phili and Hawes has yet to start at game.
With 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks in their home opener against Denver coming off the bench, one wonders what Doug Collins record would be with Hawes in the starting five.
4. Jason Terry:
The Jet was used to his role coming off the bench for the Mavs, so why change for the Celtics? With Avery Bradley on the IL and Ray Allen in South Beach, the opportunity to start was made available.
Backing up Courtney Lee, JT has only managed 8.7 points and 2 assists per game in just over 20 minutes, stats far below his career scoring double digits.
Sitting at 1-2 with a victory over the Wizards and losses to the Heat and Bucks, JT is going to have to step up his game in order for Beantown fans to forget Mr. Shuttlesworth.
Fair enough the young fellas have to bid their time, but in a total of 10 combined games, only Sacre has seen the floor for a total of 8 minutes and tallying 2 points and 1 block to go along with 3 fouls.
Considering that Big Rob was the last pick in the entire NBA Draft, one would think that Wroten and Jones, both first rounders, would get some love.