NBA Weekly Review
by Strike Point Sports - 01/11/2007
Maybe I'm the only one that didn't get the memo, but when exactly did the Memphis Grizzlies become an offensive juggernaut? Under Mike Fratello they averaged 94.5 points a night and were one of the more inept scoring teams in the league. During the first month of the season their totals were set in the 170s and 180s. Now under interim head coach Tony Barone the Griz have been nearly unstoppable, scoring 117.6 in the six games with their new leader. They have gone over the posted total in 13 of their last 14 games after defeating the Lakers 128-118 on Tuesday. Memphis can also boast their 144-point effort last Wednesday against Golden State, not to mention a franchise-record 46 points in the third quarter in Tuesday's win over Los Angeles. Memphis is 3-3 under Barone, going 4-2 ATS in that stretch.
While the Grizzlies continue to impress, their former Canadian brethren Toronto has soared to the top of Atlantic division, if you can even call it that. At 16-20 the Raptors are percentage points ahead of the underachieving Nets coming into Thursday. Finally getting back their top scorer Chris Bosh (21 ppg, 11 rpg) is a big reason for their strong play. Toronto has won three of their last four games while going 4-1 ATS over their last five. So far this season the Raptors have turned in the fifth best record against the mark (21-15), only behind the Pacers in the Eastern Conference. Currently the Raptors hold the fourth seed in the conference, thanks in large part to their 10-5 home record, third best in the East.
When it becomes necessary we'll point out a few first year players that have put on a show during a given week. This will be the best draft class since LBJ, Wade and Melo came into the league. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. Brandon Roy | Portland Trailblazers: His Blazers struggled when he was out, but since he returned his numbers speak loudly that he is the obvious choice for rookie of the year through the first couple of months of the season. (14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists)
2. Andrea Bargnani | Toronto Raptors: While Chris Bosh was out, the No. 1 overall pick stepped his game up big time. Even with their big man back, the Raptors are giving Bargnani major minutes and he is delivering with double figure scoring in ten of his last 13 games. (10 points, 4 rebounds)
3. Randy Foye | Minnesota Timberwolves: This Villanova Wildcat has brought some supplemental offense to help Kevin Garnett and the T-Wolves have surged to second place in the division behind the Jazz. He has hit double figures in nine of his last 14, including eleven points and ten assists in a win over Philadelphia on Jan. 5. (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)