Tag: Chris Bosh

Dwight Howard, Jason Terry, James Harden

PBT’s NBA Power Rankings: Rockets, Grizzlies move to the top of the charts


This early in the season there is still a lot of shifting around in the rankings as we are just starting to get a real sense of the pecking order, while teams that got off to a slow start find a groove (such as San Antonio). About the only thing we can count on right now is the Sixers and Lakers to be bad.

source:  1. Rockets (9-1, Last Week No. 2). Nobody is shooting threes like the Rockets, who have averaged 32.7 attempts per game (hitting 36.1 percent, which is okay but not great). Even with that, they just had two rough offensive outings and got wins because they played the Sixers and Thunder. Big showdown Monday with Memphis but the schedule is still pretty kind to Houston.

source:  2. Grizzlies (9-1, LW 3) They have racked up the wins but against one of the softest schedules in the NBA so far — Phoenix, New Orleans and Charlotte are the only potential playoff teams they have seen, and they needed a 26 point comeback on Kings and struggled with the Lakers. This week the schedule stiffens with the Rockets, Raptors and Clippers.

source:  3. Warriors (8-2, LW 1). What I like most from Steve Kerr’s offense is that he’s got them playing a little bit faster, and that pace seems to be picking up. Also, they are getting used to the offense and the turnovers seem to be going down. Still, that was not a good loss to a Spurs team (on the second night of a back-to-back).

source:  4. Mavericks (7-3, LW 12). They are benefitting from a soft spot in the schedule (save for upstart Sacramento, but Dallas came from 24 down to win) and that continues this week. Well, up until a weekend showdown with Houston. If you have Chandler Parsons on your fantasy team, play him that night.

source:  5. Trail Blazers (7-3. LW 10). They keep picking up wins (against soft teams last week) behind the hot shooting Damian Lillard — the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week is averaging 7.1 attempts from three a game and is hitting 46.5 percent of them. The days of going under the pick with him are long gone.

source:  6. Spurs (5-4, LW 15). Back-to-back road wins over the Clippers and Warriors announced San Antonio’s slow start was over and they are back to being the Spurs. That their defense is still top five without Tiago Splitter is impressive because when you watch them play you see how much they miss his rim protection.

source:  7. Bulls (7-3, LW 5). Lost in all the “Derrick Rose injury watch” overhype, the Bulls have a Top 10 offense. They are scoring 106 points per 100 possessions. As their defense starts to round into Tom Thibodeau form, this team looks more and more dangerous.

source:  8. Raptors (8-2, LW 4).
Loss to the Bulls just showing the Raptors where the bar will be set in the Easter playoffs. Their seven-game home stand ends this week and starting Saturday 5-of-7 are on the road, including at Cleveland Saturday. Some real tests ahead for Toronto.

source:  8. Cavaliers (5-3 LW 16). The offense has found its groove, as expected, with great ball movement and guys who can knock down the open look. Plus they have that LeBron James guy (playing 39 minutes a night). But the questions remain on defense, where this is still a bottom five team in the league.

source:  9. Wizards (7-2, LW 9). I don’t know that you can be an unimpressive 7-2, but the Wizards have picked up their wins against a soft schedule so far. However, they likely get Bradley Beal back this Friday and he instantly makes them more dangerous.

source:  11. Clippers (5-3, LW 8). The Lakers hole at the three spot is creating some serious defensive issues for the team. These are not the kinds of flaws that show up too often in the regular season, but they get exploited mercilessly come the playoffs. Tough week, facing the Bulls then at Memphis and Miami.

source:  12. Pelicans (5-3, LW 14). They are outscoring teams by 6.4 points per 100 possessions, sixth best margin in the NBA and ahead of teams like Memphis and Cleveland. We said the key to them this season (aside health) was getting the defense up to at least average. It’s still early, but the Pelicans are currently 14th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, which is pretty much average.

source:  13. Kings (6-4, LW 6). The beat the Spurs, but it is a little disturbing that they blew better than 20 point leads against both Dallas and Memphis. Keeping Rudy Gay for a couple more years was a win-win for both sides, he’s found a home in the California capital.

source:  14. Suns (5-5, LW 13). Isaiah Thomas has looked great coming off the bench. Like “can we still keep bringing him off the bench?” good. Interesting week for the Suns as they head out for an Easter road trip but all four games (Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Indiana) are winnable.

source:  15. Heat (5-5, LW 7). Dwyane Wade went down with a hamstring injury (he’s missed two games so far), then not so coincidentally Chris Bosh and Luol Deng have off shooting nights. When defenses can focus on fewer threats it makes it can take away the space and pace the Heat rely on.

source:  16. Hawks (5-4, LW 21). This is a team getting nice play out of Jeff Teague and Al Horford on offense, plus they are moving the ball and as a team assisting on 2/3 of their buckets. However, their bottom 10 defense so far has them hanging around .500.

source:  17. Bucks (5-5, LW 20). We knew the Greek Freak would be fun to watch, as would Jabari Parker. What nobody saw coming was Brandon Knight playing beautifully and the Bucks having a top three defense. You’ve got to give Jason Kidd a round of applause for his work so far.

source:  18. Nets (4-5, LW 11). A tough West Coach road swing exposed some issues for the Nets. Now Joe Johnson is calling the team “selfish” and Brook Lopez isn’t his old self late in games, all of which means the struggles from the West could well follow Brooklyn home.

source:  19. Celtics (3-5, LW 17). The collapse and loss to Cleveland was a tough to swallow, even if it took LeBron going LeBron to make it happen. The Celtics have the sixth most efficient offense in the NBA but when your defense is 27th you still lose more than you win.

source:  20. Jazz (4-7, LW 18). Utah’s offense is 13.3 points better per 100 possessions when Gordon Hayward is on the floor. With Derrick Favors the offense is +10.6 better. And you wonder why the Jazz decided to pay those two guys big money.

source:  21. Hornets (4-6, LW 19). They went 1-2 on a West Coast road swing but they Hornets showed some real signs of life. Lance Stephenson seems to be getting more and more comfortable with his teammates. It was always going to be a process in Charlotte, with that team looking a lot better in the second half of the year compared to the first.

source:  22. Pacers (4-7, LW 29). Roy Hibbert remains on of the best rim protecting big men in the game and the heart of the Pacers defense, but when he sits down the Pacers offense gets 13.2 points better per 100 possessions. Still, credit the Pacers for finding themselves lately and picking up a few wins.

source:  23. Magic (4-7, LW 27). Losing rookie Aaron Gordon to injury is a punch to the gut, but on the bright side Victor Oladipo is back and finding his way. You have to like the way they competed against Toronto and Washington this past week.

source:  24. Knicks (3-8, LW 24). The Knicks will take the win over struggling Denver as it ends their seven game losing streak, and they have three more winnable ones coming up (Milwaukee, Minnesota and Philly). So, anyone still think Steve Kerr has second thoughts about not taking this job last summer?

source:  25. Thunder (3-8, LW 25). The return of Reggie Jackson has been a boost to a previously terrible offense, but it doesn’t exactly make it good. We’ll see how much the Thunder are improving in winnable games against Utah, Denver and Brooklyn this week — these are the kind of wins they need to keep their heads above water before the dynamic duo returns next month.

source:  26. Pistons (3-7, LW 23). Brandon Jennings is putting up impressive numbers and the defense isn’t terrible, but until the Pistons can get the front line to work together — and until Andre Drummond really blossoms under Stan Van Gundy — this team is going to struggle. The question is how long.

source:  27. Timberwolves (2-7, LW 22). They had two of the ugliest losses of the season, giving up better than 130 points on back-to-back nights. Ricky Rubio is a better defender than he gets credit for and they clearly miss him. They are reportedly shopping veteran Corey Brewer and don’t be shocked if other veterans on that team find themselves in a lot of trade rumors.

source:  28. Nuggets (2-7, LW 26). This team is a mess and you’ve got a feeling Brian Shaw’s seat has to be getting pretty warm right now. When your home fans are booing the team’s effort, it’s not a good sign.

source:  29. Lakers (1-9, LW 28). On the season now the Lakers have a defensive rating of 114.7, which is 3.8 points per 100 possessions worse than anyone else in the NBA, and if they keep this up it would be the worst NBA defense since at least 2000. But hey, Kobe Bryant is scoring.

source:  30. 76ers (0-9, LW 30). We try to focus on the good of seeing Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel together, but when you trail 78-29 at the half in a game as the Sixers did last week there really are no positives. Teams trying to avoid giving the Sixers their first win of the season this week: San Antonio, Boston, Phoenix and New York.

Chris Bosh rips Heat defense after giving up 114 points in loss to Hawks

Chris Bosh

The Miami Heat should be better than the Atlanta Hawks this season, even after losing LeBron James to the Cavaliers in free agency this past summer.

But a Heat team that finished 11th in the league in defensive efficiency last season ranks just 21st there now, and gave up 114 points to the Hawks during Friday night’s loss.

With James out of the picture, it’s up to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to step into a vocal leadership role with Miami this season. And since Wade sat out on Friday with a hamstring issue, Bosh was the one who discussed how poorly his team played defensively.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“We had too many breakdowns in our coverages. I think we guarded the pick-and-roll OK, for the most part. But after they kicked it out, our rotations, we weren’t there. It’s like we ran out of guys,” Chris Bosh said of the Heat’s defense, as he turned his attention to Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena. …

“Whether it’s the coverages or just man-to-man defense, they’re blowing by us,” he said. “We’re not helping each other. Or we have no weak-side defense.

“It’s so many things, pick-and-rolls, side pick-and-rolls, one-on-one defense, pin downs, transition. We actually did a job on transition [against Atlanta]. We haven’t put it together yet. I guess it’s a process a little bit. I keep telling myself, ‘Keep myself sane.’ But eventually we’re going to have to turn the corner.”

Again, Wade was out in this particular matchup, so rotations were out of whack. But this is the same Hawks team that fell behind by as many as 35 points to the Cavaliers in the first half the very next night.

If Wade can remain healthy for the bulk of the season, I like this Heat team to finish among the top four teams in the East. The talent and continuity is certainly there to make that happen, but it all begins on the defensive end of the floor, and Bosh was right to point this particular aspect out.

PBT’s Wednesday Night NBA Winners/Losers: Davis, Morrow, just good night for anyone named Anthony

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while spending $24 million on a watch….

source:  Anthony Davis. He’s been the best player in the league so far this young season. Better than LeBron James, better than Chris Bosh, better than Stephen Curry. Davis has a PER of 35.7 so far. At age 21. In his third NBA season. He had 25 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks against the Lakers Wednesday night — and that’s pretty much been a standard night for him. He’s a defensive force, he runs the floor, he’s got a midrange game, there’s not much he can’t do. Oh, and he can dunk, too.

source:  Anthony Morrow. The Thunder need scoring without Durant and Westbrook, and in his second game back Morrow provided it. He had 19 points in the fourth quarter, 28 for the game on 11-of-15 shooting, plus he was 4-of-5 from three. Oh, and the Thunder won, they are now 3-6 on the young season and just trying to keep their heads above water until the cavalry coms charging over the hill next month.

source:  New York Knicks. We all knew there was going to be adjustments to be made: The triangle offense takes time to learn, Derek Fisher is learning on the job as coach, the roster just does not have that much talent on it… but wow they have looked bad during this six-game losing streak. And never worse than in this loss to the Magic on Wednesday night at home. I’ll grant you that J.R. Smith’s last shot was not a wise choice (and not what Fisher drew up, you could see that on Carmelo Anthony’s face) but this loss was more than that. It was some odd player rotations and lineups from Fisher (no Tim Hardaway Jr. in the first half?). It was poor defense again — the Magic scored a high 106.5 points per 100 possessions in this game, but that is still berter than the Knicks season average of 108.4 (25th in the league). I wish I had a bright spot for Knicks fans, but this is going to be a long season.

source:  Paul Millsap. Normally he’d slide into the loser category because the Hawks misspelled his name on the back of jersey, but the man and too big a night to ignore — 30 points on 12-of-23 shooting, plus 17 rebounds and a couple of blocks. He carried the offense for stretches and the Hawks needed every bit of that to hold off the Jazz 100-97 (Utah’s shot to tie it late was not exactly pretty).

source:  Denver Nuggets. There was a time when the second night of a back-to-back up in the altitude of Denver was seen as a schedule maker’s loss — no team expected to win that game. Not any more, and not with these Blazers scoring at will in the first half — Portland led Denver 84-50 at halftime. Brian Shaw looked for what would work, throwing 13 different players on the court, and every single one of them has a negative +/- at the half. Kenneth Faried told ProBasketballTalk that the early-season problems are tied to the team just not meshing yet because of guys missing time due to injuries. That’s part of it, but there is a lot more going on here. And the Nuggets are digging the kind of early-season hole that will be hard for them to climb out of in the West.

source:  Brandon Jennings. Any night he is efficient it is actually news, and he was on Wednesday with 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting, plus 10 assists to just two turnovers. But it wasn’t enough to get the Pistons a win over the Wizards because Detroit just can’t get stops. However, Jennings is mostly here in the winner category because he did this: