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NBA 2005

A Quarter Season Gone, Now What's In Store?

In Most Cases, What You See Is What You Get
At this point in the season, every NBA fan knows, that barring a trade or injury, this is the team they'll be seeing for the rest of the season. Sorry Toronto, sorry Atlanta, sorry New York -- so sorry for you. Houston, Phoenix, and Miami on the other hand, I know they've lagged projections all year. But now their stars are coming back into alignment giving me reason to believe everything will be alright.

They might even regain that special something that had fans talking finals potential. (If you didn't know already, star players Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O'Neil, and Amare Stoudemire have been injured.) Proof of Point: Tracy came back and the Rockets have won four in a row. Shaq has come back and Miami has reeled-off three straight. When Stoudemire gets back, expect the same from Phoenix. Of course this entire conversation ends with an acknowledgement that the Spurs and Pistons look to be a good head above anybody else. Do I hear: "rematch, rematch, rematch!"

AI Gets Better With Age
When Allen Iverson entered the league, I just knew he would get broken in two; that he'd be knocked to the ground once too often and that would be it. Little men in this league don't get better with age. But that's what's happening this year. Statistically, AI is having his best season. 34.0 points with 7.8 dishes isn't something that happens very often. If you get a chance to see the "little man" play, take it.

What's Up With Ron Artest
This guy has been given chance after chance. Ron, wake up! Wake up! After making trade demands, requests, whatever, Ron Artest's mental capacity has to, once more, be in question. He's on a top talent level team. Hopefully it all ends up good and he really just needs a fresh start.

Sacramento has Peja and Bonzi it can deal. Will they? How desperate about Peja are they? Other young teams know Artest's talent, but will he corrupt the young pups? A word of warning can be seen with the Philadelphia Eagles and TO. One great season. One disastrous. Do these things ever turn out good?

Top Five

Detroit Pistons - Old Hat
San Antonio - Old Hat Two

Dallas - Inconsistency seems to be the rule with this team, which makes them dangerous, but hard to take seriously at times. Lose one, win two, lose one…The story seems to be the same. They can't defend or score consistently enough to go on a nice 5+ win streak.

Miami - Records are usually a good indication of how a team's doing. But considering that Shaq has been out until about three games ago... Oh, did I mention they are on a three game win streak? This team has the looks of a winner with Shaq in the lineup and the look of also-ran without him. Can his legs hold up deep into the playoffs?

LA Clippers - Sure they've lost three in a row, but look at the tough road they've had to hoe. Back-to-back Phoenix-Detroit followed by a back-to-back at San Antonio and New Orleans. By the time these Clips met up with the Hornets, they'd already spent all their amo and looked run down against a feisty opponent. They're starting to get respect, at least from yours truly. They deserve it.

Bubble: Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers
On the Rise: Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers