The bandwagon fan is never disappointed.

Zuck witnessing the Linsanity.

Zuck witnessing the Linsanity.

40 minutes, 26 pts, 5 ast, 4 stl, 2 reb. NINE turnovers.
New Orleans 89
New York 85.

40 minutes, 26 pts, 5 ast, 4 stl, 2 reb. NINE turnovers.

New Orleans 89

New York 85.

Mike D’Antoni, Coach, New York Knicks

Mike D’Antoni, Coach, New York Knicks

Bandwagon Assessment: 1st Quarter
Every team has played at least 25% of their schedule so it’s time to evaluate which bandwagons are worth jumping on. (Records thru 1/28/12)
Chicago Bulls 17-4
Jersey to buy: Derrick Rose
Bench player to rally around: Taj Gibson
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Joakim Noah
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Reigning league MVP Derrick Rose makes at least one play a game that blows your mind. Their offense still needs another guy who can create his own shot.
Miami Heat 14-5
Jersey to buy: LeBron James
Bench player to rally around: Norris Cole
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Chris Bosh
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Most Heat fans are bandwagon fans- which we endorse obviously. They need more fans like Lil Wayne if they are to rise to true greatness.
Philadelphia 76ers 14-6
Jersey to buy: Jrue Holiday
Bench player to rally around: Thaddeus Young
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Spencer Hawes
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: This is a solid League Pass team. They’ve got young ballers being coached by a veteran coach. They’re winning but their injury-prone bigs will have a say in how far they go.
Atlanta Hawks 14-6
Jersey to buy: Josh Smith
Bench player to rally around: Ivan Johnson
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Zaza Pachulia
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: For a team called the Highlight Factory doesn’t it seem like no ones cares about this team.
Indiana Pacers 12-6
Jersey to buy: Danny Granger
Bench player to rally around: Tyler Hansbrough
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Dahntay Jones
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Indiana has a team. They get under opponents’ skin and have just enough offense to beat you. And they aren’t afraid of Chicago.
Orlando Magic 12-7
Jersey to buy: None
Bench player to rally around: J.J. Redick
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Quentin Richardson
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: It’s only a matter of time before Dwight Howard is traded. This team has turned in two heartless performances recently. Not a good situation.
Boston Celtics 9-9
Jersey to buy: Rajon Rondo
Bench player to rally around: Brandon Bass
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kevin Garnett
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: Hard to count out the Celtics but the Perkins/Green trade was a gamble that they lost.
Milwaukee Bucks 8-11
Jersey to buy: Brandon Jennings
Bench player to rally around: Jon Leuer
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Stephen Jackson
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: I like this team… and their old logo. The Bogut injury might be too much to overcome but they’ll battle.
Cleveland Cavaliers 7-11
Jersey to buy: Kyrie Irving
Bench player to rally around: Alonzo Gee
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Anderson Varejao
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: The Cavs are showing signs of improvement and that’s admirable. Slightly disappointed I couldn’t write this note in Comic Sans.
New Jersey Nets 7-13
Jersey to buy: Drazen Petrovic
Bench player to rally around: None
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kris Humphries
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: The impending move to Brooklyn and the uncertainty around their roster means you should wait for their new jerseys.
New York Knicks 7-13
Jersey to buy: Carmelo Anthony
Bench player to rally around: Bill Walker
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Jared Jeffries
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: Help Wanted: Point Guard to run high-powered offense with two of the leagues best scorers in the world’s most famous arena.
Toronto Raptors 6-14
Jersey to buy: Andrea Bargnani
Bench player to rally around: Leandro Barbosa
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Aaron Gray
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Just say Bargnani a few times. Then watch this.
Washington Wizards 4-16
Jersey to buy: John Wall
Bench player to rally around: Shelvin Mack
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Andray Blatche
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: Team building is hard and the Wizards have a culture of losing. They’ve had too many ‘Get Mine’ guys. The Bullet Wizards are casting blanks.
Detroit Pistons 4-17
Jersey to buy: Tayshaun Prince
Bench player to rally around: Will Bynum
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Ben Gordon
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: Joe Dumars made some mistakes with this roster. They stink.
Charlotte Bobcats 3-18
Jersey to buy: Michael Jordan
Bench player to rally around: Byron Mullens
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Boris Diaw
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: You get the feeling Jordan might be a distant owner given his team is still named after the previous owner. They stink.
Western Conference

Bandwagon Assessment: 1st Quarter

Every team has played at least 25% of their schedule so it’s time to evaluate which bandwagons are worth jumping on. (Records thru 1/28/12)

Chicago Bulls 17-4

  • Jersey to buy: Derrick Rose
  • Bench player to rally around: Taj Gibson
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Joakim Noah
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: Reigning league MVP Derrick Rose makes at least one play a game that blows your mind. Their offense still needs another guy who can create his own shot.

Miami Heat 14-5

  • Jersey to buy: LeBron James
  • Bench player to rally around: Norris Cole
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Chris Bosh
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: Most Heat fans are bandwagon fans- which we endorse obviously. They need more fans like Lil Wayne if they are to rise to true greatness.

Philadelphia 76ers 14-6

  • Jersey to buy: Jrue Holiday
  • Bench player to rally around: Thaddeus Young
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Spencer Hawes
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: This is a solid League Pass team. They’ve got young ballers being coached by a veteran coach. They’re winning but their injury-prone bigs will have a say in how far they go.

Atlanta Hawks 14-6

  • Jersey to buy: Josh Smith
  • Bench player to rally around: Ivan Johnson
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Zaza Pachulia
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: For a team called the Highlight Factory doesn’t it seem like no ones cares about this team.

Indiana Pacers 12-6

  • Jersey to buy: Danny Granger
  • Bench player to rally around: Tyler Hansbrough
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Dahntay Jones
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: Indiana has a team. They get under opponents’ skin and have just enough offense to beat you. And they aren’t afraid of Chicago.

Orlando Magic 12-7

  • Jersey to buy: None
  • Bench player to rally around: J.J. Redick
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Quentin Richardson
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: It’s only a matter of time before Dwight Howard is traded. This team has turned in two heartless performances recently. Not a good situation.

Boston Celtics 9-9

  • Jersey to buy: Rajon Rondo
  • Bench player to rally around: Brandon Bass
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kevin Garnett
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: Hard to count out the Celtics but the Perkins/Green trade was a gamble that they lost.

Milwaukee Bucks 8-11

  • Jersey to buy: Brandon Jennings
  • Bench player to rally around: Jon Leuer
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Stephen Jackson
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: I like this team… and their old logo. The Bogut injury might be too much to overcome but they’ll battle.

Cleveland Cavaliers 7-11

  • Jersey to buy: Kyrie Irving
  • Bench player to rally around: Alonzo Gee
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Anderson Varejao
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: The Cavs are showing signs of improvement and that’s admirable. Slightly disappointed I couldn’t write this note in Comic Sans.

New Jersey Nets 7-13

  • Jersey to buy: Drazen Petrovic
  • Bench player to rally around: None
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kris Humphries
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: The impending move to Brooklyn and the uncertainty around their roster means you should wait for their new jerseys.

New York Knicks 7-13

  • Jersey to buy: Carmelo Anthony
  • Bench player to rally around: Bill Walker
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Jared Jeffries
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: Help Wanted: Point Guard to run high-powered offense with two of the leagues best scorers in the world’s most famous arena.

Toronto Raptors 6-14

  • Jersey to buy: Andrea Bargnani
  • Bench player to rally around: Leandro Barbosa
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Aaron Gray
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • Long-term outlook: Just say Bargnani a few times. Then watch this.

Washington Wizards 4-16

  • Jersey to buy: John Wall
  • Bench player to rally around: Shelvin Mack
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Andray Blatche
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: Team building is hard and the Wizards have a culture of losing. They’ve had too many ‘Get Mine’ guys. The Bullet Wizards are casting blanks.

Detroit Pistons 4-17

  • Jersey to buy: Tayshaun Prince
  • Bench player to rally around: Will Bynum
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Ben Gordon
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: Joe Dumars made some mistakes with this roster. They stink.

Charlotte Bobcats 3-18

  • Jersey to buy: Michael Jordan
  • Bench player to rally around: Byron Mullens
  • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Boris Diaw
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • Long-term outlook: You get the feeling Jordan might be a distant owner given his team is still named after the previous owner. They stink.

Western Conference

    Bandwagon Assessment: 1st Quarter
Every team has played at least 25% of their schedule so it’s time to evaluate which bandwagons are worth jumping on. (Records thru 1/27/12)
Oklahoma City Thunder 16-3
Jersey to buy: Kevin Durant
Bench player to rally around: James Harden
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Nick Collison
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Fun team to watch. The current favorite in the West.
Denver Nuggets 14-5
Jersey to buy: Ty Lawson
Bench player to rally around: Al Harrington
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Chris ‘Bird Man’ Andersen
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Denver has no stars but plenty of guys who can play basketball.
Los Angeles Clippers 10-6
Jersey to buy: Blake Griffin
Bench player to rally around: Mo Williams
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Reggie Evans
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: The Clippers look to be the future of LA hoops but it’s only year one and their backcourt is tiny.
San Antonio Spurs 12-8 
Jersey to buy: Manu Ginobili
Bench player to rally around: Danny Green
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Matt Bonner
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: This might be the end of the line for Tim Duncan. They’ll be competitive and their wing players are pretty exciting.
Portland Trail Blazers 12-8 
Jersey to buy: Gerald Wallace
Bench player to rally around: Jamal Crawford
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kurt Thomas
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: The Wallace trade remains a baffling heist. This team has good chemistry and might be the team to give OKC a run in the spring.
Dallas Mavericks 12-8
Jersey to buy: Dirk Nowitzki
Bench player to rally around: Ian Mahinmi
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Brian Cardinal
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: Never jump off the champ’s bandwagon
Utah Jazz 10-7
Jersey to buy: Gordon Hayward
Bench player to rally around: Derrick Favors
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Earl Watson
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: They’re young, scrappy and athletic. Point guard play is bad. May not make the playoffs but lots to build on.
Los Angeles Lakers 11-8
Jersey to buy: Metta World Peace
Bench player to rally around: Josh McRoberts
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Matt Barnes
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: There are two reasons to like the Lakers. 1. One last run for Kobe, who is ornery enough to try and carry them. 2. Potential for a blockbuster trade.
Houston Rockets 11-8
Jersey to buy: Goran Dragic
Bench player to rally around: Terrence Williams
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Luis Scola
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: You get the feeling all of these players could be traded at any time.
Memphis Grizzlies 10-8
Jersey to buy: Mark Gasol
Bench player to rally around: Sam Young
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Tony Allen
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: This team is much better with Zach Randolph, who’s hurt. Gasol is a nimble dinosaur and probably the best Center in the Western Conference.
Minnesota TImberwolves 9-10
Jersey to buy: Kevin Love
Bench player to rally around: Derrick Williams
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Darko Milicic
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
Long-term outlook: This is the reason you buy NBA League Pass. To follow a small-market team with talent and young players to rally around. Plus they’re coached by Rick Adelman. This should be your new favorite team.
Phoenix Suns 6-12
Jersey to buy: Grant Hill
Bench player to rally around: Jared Dudley
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Marcin Gortat
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: The Suns are a cautionary tale about new NBA owners. Robert Sarver ruined this team. On the bright side, they should get a decent lottery pick.
Golden State Warriors 6-12
Jersey to buy: Stephen Curry
Bench player to rally around: Epke Udoh
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Nate Robinson
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: New Owners. New Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.
Sacramento Kings 6-13
Jersey to buy: Tyreke Evans
Bench player to rally around: Isaiah Thomas
Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: DeMarcus Cousins
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: Stressed Owners. Fired Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.
New Orleans Hornets 4-15
Jersey to buy: None
Bench player to rally around: None
Announcer you’ll love but everyone else hates: Gil McGregor
Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
Long-term outlook: The NBA owns this team. It’s not even clear if New Orleans can support a basketball team. The situation stinks.
Eastern Conference

    Bandwagon Assessment: 1st Quarter

    Every team has played at least 25% of their schedule so it’s time to evaluate which bandwagons are worth jumping on. (Records thru 1/27/12)

    Oklahoma City Thunder 16-3

    • Jersey to buy: Kevin Durant
    • Bench player to rally around: James Harden
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Nick Collison
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: Fun team to watch. The current favorite in the West.

    Denver Nuggets 14-5

    • Jersey to buy: Ty Lawson
    • Bench player to rally around: Al Harrington
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Chris ‘Bird Man’ Andersen
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: Denver has no stars but plenty of guys who can play basketball.

    Los Angeles Clippers 10-6

    • Jersey to buy: Blake Griffin
    • Bench player to rally around: Mo Williams
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Reggie Evans
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: The Clippers look to be the future of LA hoops but it’s only year one and their backcourt is tiny.

    San Antonio Spurs 12-8

    • Jersey to buy: Manu Ginobili
    • Bench player to rally around: Danny Green
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Matt Bonner
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: This might be the end of the line for Tim Duncan. They’ll be competitive and their wing players are pretty exciting.

    Portland Trail Blazers 12-8

    • Jersey to buy: Gerald Wallace
    • Bench player to rally around: Jamal Crawford
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Kurt Thomas
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: The Wallace trade remains a baffling heist. This team has good chemistry and might be the team to give OKC a run in the spring.

    Dallas Mavericks 12-8

    • Jersey to buy: Dirk Nowitzki
    • Bench player to rally around: Ian Mahinmi
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Brian Cardinal
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: Never jump off the champ’s bandwagon

    Utah Jazz 10-7

    • Jersey to buy: Gordon Hayward
    • Bench player to rally around: Derrick Favors
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Earl Watson
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: They’re young, scrappy and athletic. Point guard play is bad. May not make the playoffs but lots to build on.

    Los Angeles Lakers 11-8

    • Jersey to buy: Metta World Peace
    • Bench player to rally around: Josh McRoberts
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Matt Barnes
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: There are two reasons to like the Lakers. 1. One last run for Kobe, who is ornery enough to try and carry them. 2. Potential for a blockbuster trade.

    Houston Rockets 11-8

    • Jersey to buy: Goran Dragic
    • Bench player to rally around: Terrence Williams
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Luis Scola
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: You get the feeling all of these players could be traded at any time.

    Memphis Grizzlies 10-8

    • Jersey to buy: Mark Gasol
    • Bench player to rally around: Sam Young
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Tony Allen
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: This team is much better with Zach Randolph, who’s hurt. Gasol is a nimble dinosaur and probably the best Center in the Western Conference.

    Minnesota TImberwolves 9-10

    • Jersey to buy: Kevin Love
    • Bench player to rally around: Derrick Williams
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Darko Milicic
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
    • Long-term outlook: This is the reason you buy NBA League Pass. To follow a small-market team with talent and young players to rally around. Plus they’re coached by Rick Adelman. This should be your new favorite team.

    Phoenix Suns 6-12

    • Jersey to buy: Grant Hill
    • Bench player to rally around: Jared Dudley
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Marcin Gortat
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: The Suns are a cautionary tale about new NBA owners. Robert Sarver ruined this team. On the bright side, they should get a decent lottery pick.

    Golden State Warriors 6-12

    • Jersey to buy: Stephen Curry
    • Bench player to rally around: Epke Udoh
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: Nate Robinson
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: New Owners. New Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.

    Sacramento Kings 6-13

    • Jersey to buy: Tyreke Evans
    • Bench player to rally around: Isaiah Thomas
    • Player you’ll love but everyone else hates: DeMarcus Cousins
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: Stressed Owners. Fired Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.

    New Orleans Hornets 4-15

    • Jersey to buy: None
    • Bench player to rally around: None
    • Announcer you’ll love but everyone else hates: Gil McGregor
    • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
    • Long-term outlook: The NBA owns this team. It’s not even clear if New Orleans can support a basketball team. The situation stinks.

    Eastern Conference

    siphotos:

Even at 32, Julius Erving had crazy hops. In this 1982 photo, Dr. J dunks over Larry Bird and (an unpictured) Kevin McHale during the Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Championship. Philadelphia went onto win the game but lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. It was 35 years ago today that the 76ers paid $3 million to the Nets for the rights to Erving. (Tony Tomsic/SI)
SI VAULT: The Nets get $3 million in deal to send Dr. J to 76ers

    siphotos:

    Even at 32, Julius Erving had crazy hops. In this 1982 photo, Dr. J dunks over Larry Bird and (an unpictured) Kevin McHale during the Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Championship. Philadelphia went onto win the game but lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. It was 35 years ago today that the 76ers paid $3 million to the Nets for the rights to Erving. (Tony Tomsic/SI)

    SI VAULT: The Nets get $3 million in deal to send Dr. J to 76ers

    Thunder Troop 405 by Freedarko

    Thunder Troop 405 by Freedarko