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NBA Rebound; Look Out For the Griz!!

Gay and Randolph

Gay and Randolph have helped Memphis to the top of the division.

Ya it’s still very early in the 2012-2013 NBA season but I think the Memphis Grizzlies are deserving of some serious attention. At 8-1 on the season, Memphis has already knocked off the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers. All three of those teams lead their respective divisions. They’ll take on the LA Lakers later this week as well.

The Grizzlies are getting tremendous balance from four key guys right now. Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley, Jr. and Marc Gasol are averaging between 19.8 and 14.8 points per game.Randolph and Gasol are killing the glass as they averaging over 20 rebounds per game between the two of them. As a team the Grizzlies are the 4th best scoring team in the league at 101.1 points per game and are 5th in the league at the other end of the court limiting opponents to just 92.1 points per game.

With division foe San Antonio off to a hot start as well at 8-2, this start by Memphis is huge. Now the key is to remain consistent and not panic when things go bad because in a long season like this one, it’s going to happen.

Other thoughts from around the association… With Oklahoma City at 8-3 and their nearest competitor Minnesota at 5-4 and still not 100%, the Thunder could threaten to run away with the division before the middle of the winter… The same could be said for 8-3 Miami. The Heat’s nearest competition is Charlotte and Atlanta who are both 4-4. That’s another division that could be decided early… After starting 0-8 the Detroit Pistons have won two out of three… The most competitive division right now could be the Atlantic where New York is 7-1, Brooklyn is 6-2, Philly is 6-4 and Boston is 6-5. I honestly don’t see this changing much through the season but I do see a team out of the four falling off at some point and my guess is Philly.

Games for tonight.

Toronto at Charlotte – The Raptors will be coming off of a game in Philly last night (went to press before it finished) so that means back-to-back games. Charlotte is tied for second right now in the Southeast Division behind Miami and knotted up with the Hawks. Kemba Walker leads the Bobcats with 18.8 points per game. This Charlotte team has already proven itself as ‘improved’ but now must get better at the defensive end as well. I like the Bobcats over a tired Toronto team.

Greg Monroe

Monroe leads the Pistons in scoring so far in the young NBA season.

Detroit at Orlando – Two bottom-dwellers meet in this one in Central Florida. The Pistons are improving and so to are the Magic but I don’t see either making a run at the post-season. Greg Monroe leads the Pistons with 16.8 points per game while Aaron Afflalo leads the Magic with 15.3 per contest. I favor the Magic in this one simply because they are playing better defense and holding opponents to fewer opportunities than Detroit.

Philadelphia at Cleveland – The Cavaliers are 2-8 and now must go the next month or so with top-scorer Kyrie Irving who is out with a broken finger. I don’t think the Cavs were going to do a whole lot in ’12-’13 anyway but this pretty much nails the door shut for a post-season berth opportunity. The Sixers are in the middle of the Atlantic Division pack and continue to get good production out of point guard Jrue Holiday who is at just under 19 points per game. I definitely like the Sixers tonight.

Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City – Excellent match-up here of current division leaders out West. The Thunder are second in the NBA in scoring right now while the Clips are close behind in third. LAC is also coming off an impressive win over San Antonio Monday night. The Clippers seem to have an advantage defensively where they rank 7th while OKC is ranked 13th, but it’s too early in the season yet to really factor that in just yet. This is a great test for the Thunder who many feel have not beaten a good team yet. A win over Chris Paul and the Clips will take care of that issue and I see them doing exactly that in a squeaker.

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