As I'm shutting down NBA2H unless I find a backer, I expect my NBA watching will dramatically decrease as well. So just a quick wrap up of some of the less obvious nice surprises this NBA season has offered up.
The obvious ones, such as the Grizzlies, the fast start of the Kings, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, etc. I'm sure you've already heard about.
I'm talking about things like the new-found parity in the NBA. Yes, there are still really bad teams like the TWolves and the Nets. But overall, there are many more competitive teams and even the Lakers and the Celtics, whom most consider superior to the other teams, are not running away with the regular season as in previous years.
The forgotten key to Charlotte, Stephen Jackson. Yes, Gerald Wallace is playing out of his mind and a deserving all star selection. But Jackson, who went to Charlotte in a trade that had people scratching their heads, has allowed the Bobcats to become a legit contender in the East.
The significance of the NBA D-league. A good number of players in the NBA that we know by name (not just scrubs) played in the D-league. This is very important for the NBA and will be even more important if Stern does in fact want to branch out globally.
The Dallas Mavericks. They have Roddy Beaubois, who will be a legit star (or at worst a Devin Harris). They play good team defense, with Marion finally accepting his role as defensive stopper. Jason Kidd, who essentially just runs fast breaks and sits on the three point line, is shooting about as well as I remember and has a ridiculous assist ratio. Dirk Nowitzki, who now camps out at the top of the key with his back to the basket, is the only player I've seen who uses that spot as his go to position (Pierce does some of it too though). Although Phoenix managed to stop them last night by having Grant Hill front Nowitzki and deny him the ball in that position. It's a team that feels like it's a mix up of mismatched pieces (Josh Howard, Jason Terry), but they get the job done, and Rick Carlisle actually has a very impressive NBA record that noone really talks about.