x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Compact NBA season throws up the unexpected

Steve Dilbeck examines a few things we have learnt through the rushed first half of the NBA season. Audio interviews

The Knicks' Jeremy Lin is enjoying a meteoric rise.
The Knicks' Jeremy Lin is enjoying a meteoric rise.

Say this for the compressed NBA season, it has been interesting.

There have been plenty of moments when the play has been sloppy as teams crammed five games into a single week. Yet it has created a sense of the unexpected nearly every game. Being unpredictable is a good thing.

A few things we have learnt through the rushed first half: The Miami Heat are as good as feared. They are a more cohesive-looking team than the one that lost in the finals last season. The Big Three are playing together and the team is deeper.

* The Charlotte Bobcats are bad. They may not have one player who could start for any other team. They are 4-26; the all-time worst record is 9-73 by the 1972/73 Philadelphia 76ers.

* The San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich is one great coach. The aged Spurs are getting quality minutes from a bunch of unknowns. At 24-10, they have the league's fourth-best record.

* Kobe Bryant remains incredibly driven. He is 33, and if he does not fly quite as high as he once did, he remains a remarkable force. He leads the league in scoring at 28.4 points per game. Only four times has a player over 30 won an NBA scoring title.

* Jeremy Lin is the biggest thing to happen to New York since the Empire State Building. The Knicks guard is such a great story, you root for it to continue.

* Dwight Howard is still part of the Orlando Magic, but the trade deadline is March 15. Stay tuned.

 

sports@thenational.ae