Bandwagon Assessment: 2nd Quarter

Nearly every team has played 50% of their schedule and we’ve reached the All Star Break. Time to take a 2nd look at each team’s bandwagon prospects. (Records thru 2/23/12)

Oklahoma City Thunder 27-7

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Cohesion
  • Team Weakness: Post point production
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: Fun team to watch. The current favorite in the West.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Their Big 3 (Durant, Westbrook and Harden) is 2nd to Miami’s but they may be a better overall team. Miami at OKC March 25.

San Antonio Spurs 24-10

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Coaching
  • Team Weakness: Old key players 
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: This might be the end of the line for Tim Duncan. They’ll be competitive and their wing players are pretty exciting.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: A recent 11-game win streak (8-1 Rodeo road trip) has made the Spurs bandwagon an attractive option. Ginobili’s health remains an issue.

Los Angeles Clippers 20-11

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Athleticism
  • Team Weakness: Free throw shooting
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: The Clippers look to be the future of LA hoops but it’s only year one and their backcourt is tiny.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Adding Kenyon Martin was a nice pickup and Chris Paul is a strong MVP candidate. Losing Chauncey Billups for the year is a bummer.

Dallas Mavericks 21-13

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Experience
  • Team Weakness: Athleticism
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: Never jump off the champ’s bandwagon
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: The Mavs have looked much better and there’s no team they can’t beat in a 7-game series.

Los Angeles Lakers 20-14

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Size
  • Team Weakness: Depth
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter 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.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: This team needs to make a trade. The Lakers have Phil Jackson’s personnel on Mike Brown’s team.

Houston Rockets 20-14

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Depth
  • Team Weakness: No go-to scorer
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: You get the feeling all of these players could be traded at any time.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: The Rockets are responding to Coach Kevin McHale. The trade possibilities linger as the Rockets were the most screwed by the Chris Paul trade reversal.

Memphis Grizzlies 19-15

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Balanced scoring
  • Team Weakness: No Zach Randolph
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter 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.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Can’t jump on until we see Z-Bo back in the lineup.

Portland Trail Blazers 18-16

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Athleticism
  • Team Weakness: Point guard play
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter 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.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Raymond Felton’s confidence is in the toilet. If any team should trade for Steve Nash, this is it.

Denver Nuggets 18-17

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Speed
  • Team Weakness: Durability
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: Denver has no stars but plenty of guys who can play basketball.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: The injuries have piled up and it’s shown in their quality of play.

Minnesota Timberwolves 17-17

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Versatile Frontcourt
  • Team Weakness: Consistency
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump On
  • 1st Quarter 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.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Rubio and Love are a great foundation but strangely Love wasn’t given a 5-year max extension. Michael Beasley’s selfish play adds unintentional comedy to their games.

Utah Jazz 15-17

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Tenacity
  • Team Weakness: Point guard play
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: They’re young, scrappy and athletic. Point guard play is bad. May not make the playoffs but lots to build on.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: They’ve cooled but their young guys can fly. What happened to Devin Harris?

Golden State Warriors 13-17

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Backcourt scoring
  • Team Weakness: Defensive effort
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: New Owners. New Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: They’ve shown some signs of improvement and Nate Robinson has won a few games for them.

Phoenix Suns 14-20

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Unselfishness
  • Team Weakness: Bench play
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter 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.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: The Suns don’t have a lot of talent but they battle. No plans to trade Steve Nash which means they’ll be bad but not awful.

Sacramento Kings 11-22

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Backcourt Scoring
  • Team Weakness: Professionalism
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: Stressed Owners. Fired Coach. Lots of chuckers. They stink.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: They still stink. We’ll know in the next couple weeks if they’ll stay in Sacramento.

New Orleans Hornets 8-25

  • Swag
  • Team Strength: Mardi Gras jerseys
  • Team Weakness: Everything
  • Bandwagon Assessment: Jump Off
  • 1st Quarter Outlook: The NBA owns this team. It’s not even clear if New Orleans can support a basketball team. The situation stinks.
  • 2nd Quarter Outlook: Ended the Knicks Linning streak. They may have a buyer. They still stink though.

Eastern Conference

    1. wealwayswin posted this