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NBA 2005

The Second Week Brings New Suprises

From the first week of action I'm liking what we're seeing. The early jockeying now means something. New systems are being learned and the usual suspects are starting to set themselves up for the long run. As well, a few teams we mentioned last week are turning heads, while another has to be considered team of the week, and the TNT / TBS team has a new addition.

First Item: The addition of Reggie Miller to the TNT / TBS desk. Listen to this man. While Kenny Smith bumbles and Charles talks smack and makes every issue, a race issue, Reggie's insights help fan and non-fan alike understand what's really going on.

Second Item: The biggest surprise team has to the LA Clippers. Everybody knew that they would be better and that they had a floor general in Sam Cassell who would figure out how to best utilize their undeniable talent. And while the Clippers are this week's team of the week, I'm taking a wait and see attitude. It's the Clippers after all and their point man has a history of breaking down. This will be an ongoing story but the Clippers, if healthy, are a lot like the Warriors. Lots of upside.

Last Item: Detroit Pistons. They are averaging 100 points a game. If Flip Saunders gets these guys to average anywhere close to that, Detroit will be taking home the Championship next June. What's amazing is how these guys have responded to the challenge of dealing with a coach who basically abandoned them in their time of need. If Larry Brown had been more straight- forward with his team last year, we might be talking about the Pistons going for a three-peat. Everybody talks about the team's veteran toughness, but key an eye on Richard Hamilton, his offensive consistency makes Detroit go.

Top Five

Detroit Pistons - Tough, tested, and a new offense make these guys look even more impressive.

San Antonio Spurs - They're all back and now they have some new blood which could put them on top in the end.

Indiana Pacers - Look out. The most explosive team in the NBA has a lot to prove and they're starting to pull it together. Ron Artest needs to keep himself composed, but at this point, the sky's the limit.

Washington Wizards - They've replaced a dynamic but mistake prone player in Hughes with three really good team players. Look out, addition through subtraction make the Wizards a scary opponent every time out. Now if somebody would just rebound.

Phoenix Suns - Playing a little small ball and learning what each player can do will pay off big; if they can keep it up. It's only two more months until the big train makes the station.