NBA Weekly Review
by Strike Point Sports - 12/06/2006
The rejuvenated Bulls and Suns, the road woes and a look at separating the best players in the league. All these topics and more in this week's NBA review.
Futile starts had left both the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns wondering what was wrong. Well, perhaps it was just time that was needed to fix things. Chicago had opened the 2006 season 3-9, however they have since run off five in a row and are one game under. 500. During this run the Bulls are 4-0-1 ATS, scoring at least 100 points in each of those games. Overall Chicago is 8-8-1 ATS this season.
Likewise, the Suns have risen to the occasion and turned around their slow start. Phoenix opened the season 3-6 and recently spent time in the cellar spot in Pacific division. But led by their MVP Steve Nash the Suns are current winners of seven in a row and nine of their last ten. The Suns have covered six of their last eight spreads during this hot streak, but they are just 8-7-1 ATS this season.
This year in the NBA any team can win and it should not be considered an upset. But when road teams consistently win then you should start scratching your head. Thus far there have been an overwhelming number of teams that have struggled away from home, and that's a consistent issue for bettors. As of Wednesday just two teams in the Eastern Conference have winning records on the road. Detroit has posted a 5-4 mark while Orlando is 7-4. The Western Conference is a little improved with four teams. San Antonio holds the league's best road record at 7-2. Dallas is 6-3, Utah is 5-3 and the Nuggets round it out at 5-2. Two teams have just one win while two more have yet to win on the road. For their sake they will remain nameless.
The Elite Individuals
A week's worth of debating could be focused on figuring out who the top players in the NBA are. We could factor in winning titles, making teammates better or just look at the statistics. However for the time being let's do it on this year's performances alone.
Carmelo Anthony - He may not be the best player in the league or even from his draft class, however who's playing better? Melo My Man captured the Western Conference player of the week for the second straight time and is scoring 32 points a game with five boards and four dimes a night.
LeBron James - The King of Cleveland continues to carry the load and the main reason for this spot is his team's success. LeBron is averaging 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game. With the all the hype these numbers are expected but you can't help but continued to be amazed.
Dwight Howard - Only scoring 17 points, however he leads the NBA in rebounds at 13.5 not to mention two blocks. Howard has helped his Magic jump out to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Let's not forget, he is only 20 years old.
Steve Nash - The two time reigning league MVP is the main reason for the team's turnaround. Granted, the Suns are very balanced team with four players scoring at least 15 points per outing, but Nash's ability to distribute the ball goes far beyond any number of points scored. Nash leads the Suns with 20 points a night and is first in the league in assists with 11.4. He had an NBA-high 20 assists in Tuesday's win over Sacramento.
Dwayne Wade - Individually speaking, D-Wade would be much higher, however his team has struggled this year and his Kobe-like overshooting doesn't suit his game. He is better to drop 24, six and seven, however if he needs to take control more for the Heat to win without Shaq then more power to him.