Mat MacDonald AKA The RookThe Rook is currently enrolled in Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nov a Scotia. A frequent contributor to all NBA and Rapto rs debates along with other sports. Witty, quick and never afraid of a challenge, Mat's here to talk hoops with you and dish out his two cents whenever!
Click here to follow him on Twitter!
The Monday Morning Hangover
Weʼre a month into the NBA season and what a great month itʼs been. So far weʼve seen the usual Laker dominance, Clipper failure and Atlanta mediocrity. Weʼve seen LeBron James pull off his first triple-double of the year, Chris Bosh rebound above single digit numbers again and Blake Griffin overachieve - maybe.
In the past week Kevin Love cooled down on the rebounds - only averaging 12 rebounds - while Reggie Evans stayed hot pulling down 16 rebounds in a huge Raptors win over the Celtics.
Now that the season has officially shaken out the kinks of rust and nervousness, itʼs clear to see who the teams to beat are this year...and the teams that will struggle to win.
So without anymore stalling, hereʼs whoʼs hot and whoʼs not:
- Andrea Bargnani is on a role again. To all the doubters out there - myself included at times - that said Andrea may have been better chosen later in the first round, think again. After scoring 29 points and leading the Raptors to a huge win over the Boston Celtics at home, Bargnani capped off a huge week statistically.
In the current three game winning streak for the Raptors, Bargs is averaging 28 points per-game and at the same time is steadily improving in the rebound department. Mind you, itʼs hard for the Raptors centre to grab a big number of rebounds every game when the third leading rebounding in the NBA is on his team.
- Pau Gasol continues to prove why if the Lakers go all the way this year heʼs the MVP. Forget everything else he did this past week and focus on just last nightʼs performance against the Golden State Warriors. 10-10 shooting, 28 points and nine rebounds proves once again how valuable he is for the Lakers, and furthermore how he may be the best power-forward in the game today.
- Furthermore, the Lakers are extremely hot. After Phil Jackson shed his wisdom to league reporters and said that he believed the Heat would win 72 games but not the Lakers, Kobe and company decided that it would be only fitting to lose two games just to make coach look right. Besides those two small, small blunders, the Lakers have looked unbeatable this season and currently sit at 12-2. Not too shabby at all.
- Did you think we were going to leave the west coast with just one hot team? Heck no. The San Antonio Spurs are on FIRE, I repeat, FIRE! The sleeper team to everyone except residents of Texas, the Spurs have flown under the radar and now have tied New Orleans for the best record in the NBA at 11-1. Once again, not bad for a team that was considered too old, slow and not healthy enough to make a solid push to contend this year. As for the ʻwashed upʼ superstar on their team, number 21, heʼs being typical Tim again averaging 13 points and just under 10 rebounds per-game early on this season.
Now, whoʼs not:
- Alright, Iʼm convinced this is a conspiracy in sports. First Tiger Woods, then Brett Favre and now Tony Parker! If you havenʼt got the message yet - and no we arenʼt talking text because you get a lot of those - then you need to wake up and smell the roses!
Tiger got caught leaving messages on phones of everyoneʼs mistresses. Brett Favre rustled his old feathers in some New York trash and now Tony Parkerʼs looking for more desperate housewives than Eva Longoriaʼs co-stars.
After allegedly receiving more than hundreds of text messages from other women, including a teammateʼs wife the storied relationship of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria is over. I canʼt say itʼs too surprising, everything happens for a reason and in todayʼs world it was only fitting that basketball entered the text-drama movie.
- Speaking of drama in Hollywood, check out the Clippers and their terrible record! 1-13, an out of shape Baron Davis and the one bright spot, rookie of the year candidate Blake Griffin. And wait, hold up...weʼre done with whoʼs not. How can you forget about that kid from Oklahoma.
So hereʼs the new section of the week:
- Get your Griffin on, Blake is HERE NBA fans. Check out his dunks against the Knicks on the weekend and if you believed at one point that there was any competition between him and John Wall for who deserves this yearʼs NBA Rookie Of The Year, listen to what my boy had to say:
“ Thereʼs no way that thereʼs any competition right now for the award. I mean, come on...John Wall canʼt even sniff Blake Griffinʼs boxer-shorts right now heʼs that nice!”
There you have it this yearʼs ROY, and heck, heʼd be the MVP if he didnʼt play for Kobeʼs younger sister in L.A.
Oh, and his stat line from Saturdayʼs game: 44 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Now if youʼre arenʼt hung over from the weekend or you feel like you need to just sit back and watch these hi-lights over and over again, then go ahead because I know I will...