NBA

NBA List: What Each Team Should be Thankful for

| by Hoops Karma

Atlanta Hawks: That an easy early schedule allowed them a 6-0 start so that fans will think of them as a real power in the Eastern Conference for a while.

Boston Celtics: That Shaq hasn’t made an ass of himself yet, on or off the court.

Charlotte Bobcats: That Larry Brown is still in town, keeping alive the city’s collective hope of two straight playoff appearances for the last time before MJ sells the team.

Chicago Bulls: That Derrick Rose has become an actual three-point shooter (35% this year, 25% over his first two seasons), in part helping the team stay in a top-4 spot in the East even with Carlos Boozer out for a while.

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Cleveland Cavaliers: That the team is not on pace to win less than 20 games like some idiots predicted in the offseason.

Dallas Mavericks: That Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t slowed down at 32, and that Jason Kidd at 37 is handing out a career-high four assists for every turnover.

Denver Nuggets: That they’re able to hold it together, and even beat a few heavyweights, while they wait for Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin to bring strength back to the frontcourt.

Detroit Pistons: That even with an atrocious team playing like crap, they’re only a half-game out of the #8 spot in the East.

Golden State Warriors: That Monta Ellis has actually bought into playing next to Stephen Curry, helping to facilitate a respectable start to 2010-11.

Houston Rockets: That Luis Scola has stepped up as a legit top-5 PF, which is especially good since it’s now really clear that Yao Ming is done being a game changer.

Indiana Pacers: That Roy Hibbert is actually turning into what very few people thought he would ever be: a good center.

Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin – too easy.

Los Angeles Lakers: That Shannon Brown (a Michael Jordan cast-off from Charlotte) has become one of the elite reserves in the league, serving as both a 4th quarter sparkplug and the team’s best shooter from the guard position (52% FG, 51% 3FG, 91% FT).

Memphis Grizzlies: That the owners will try to impose paycuts on current contracts, which would do wonders for that terrible Rudy Gay max deal. 

Miami Heat: That LeBron James’ big idea for how to improve the club’s slow start is to simply “have more fun.” Sounds easy enough. And 72-10 is still on the table.

Milwaukee Bucks: That it just isn’t possible for the club to shoot any worse than they have up to this point, so the offense has to get better.

Minnesota Timberwolves: That coach Kurt Rambis finally figured out that Kevin Love should be playing at least 30 minutes each game.

New Jersey Nets: That they’ve won 5 more games than they did by Thanksgiving last season.

New Orleans Hornets: That Chris Paul decided to stay without making a fuss.

New York Knicks: That they’re .500. It’s still weird to think about, but it’s true.

Oklahoma City Thunder: That they’ve (fingers crossed) continued to avoid major injuries to any of their top contributors.

Orlando Magic: That there is still no consistent way to stop Dwight Howard inside and all those gunners outside at the same time.

Philadelphia 76ers: That Elton Brand again resembles a good player who can be relied upon.

Phoenix Suns: That offseason acquisitions Hakim Warrick, Hedo Turkoglu, and Josh Childress are all able to do well in Phoenix’s system, just not as rebounders or PF’s with any inside presence.

Portland Trail Blazers: That Oden’s (most recent) knee injury diverts attention away from Brandon Roy’s knee. Or is it the other way around?

Sacramento Kings: That other teams have shown interest in DeMarcus Cousins even after he’s played poorly and shown he’s still a headcase.

San Antonio Spurs: That Brent Barry and his estranged wife Erin are long gone.

Toronto Raptors: That even without Chris Bosh, they have virtually the same record as they had at this time last year.

Utah Jazz: That after losing so many supporting players in the offseason and starting this year lost as a team, they’re back to looking like the cream of the Pacific Division.

Washington Wizards: That fans don’t seem to notice how much smoother the team performs when John Wall is either not playing or is on the floor with two other guards so that his impact is minimized.