Saturday, November 01, 2008

The NBA's Early Unbeatens

The Western Conference has 4 undefeated teams while the East has 3. No surprises out West as both Houston and New Orleans are 3-0, and the Lakers and Jazz sit at 2-0. In the East, there may be a surprise or 2. One undefeated is Detroit, while the other two are Toronto and Atlanta. All three were playoff teams last year, with Atlanta surprising Boston by taking them a full 7 game series. The Raptors are on the rise this season, as they added forward Jermaine O'Neal to battle down low alongside Chris Bosh. These two provide quite an intimidating defense as well. As for Atlanta, the loss of Josh Childress to Europe hasn't hurt them so far, but again the season's early. Josh Smith has emerged into another Shawn Marion type player who definitely earns his salary. His stat lines are full night in and night out, and full stat lines help teams win games. Just ask guys like Marion, AK-47 and Kidd, who all have been known to "do a little of everything needed".

The West isn't so surprising, mainly because it's the West. Last season, even though they didn't come away with the NBA title, they still showed themselves to be the superior conference. There were teams with almost .500 records or better unable to make the playoffs. The Lakers and Hornets were amongst the final contenders, with the Lakers heading to the Finals. New Orleans at 3-0 this season shows how valuable guard Chris Paul is. The Jazz are yet another solid unit with a great point guard, defenders and shooters. The Rockets at 3-0, show that the addition of Ron Artest has been a big plus. It's one thing when you have a guy who's known as the Great Wall down low in Yao Ming, but even better when you've got Artest. And don't leave out Shane Battier, making for one solid defensive squad. Remember last season the Rockets were the hottest team in pro sports, winning over 20 straight games, and many without the services of Yao Ming.

How many of the above teams will continue their winning ways and who will be the first to falter? Will the West continue to be best, or will the East surge?

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