Blogtable: Good team, bad record?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the five most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Who gets your early season vote for the best team with a bad record?

Steve Aschburner: Milwaukee. The Bucks have a lot of new faces, several of whom didn’t play or practice together much in October. So November has become their preseason deferred. I do wonder if coach Scott Skiles has enough evangelist/drill instructor in him to keep Corey Maggette, Drew Gooden and John Salmons focused and motivated, and I wonder if they’ll miss Luke Ridnour‘s steadiness more than they imagined.

Fran Blinebury: The Rockets had questions with Yao Ming‘s rehab process. But Fear the Deer has turned into deer in the headlights wearing a blindfold with two hooves tied behind their backs. The Bucks are the lowest scoring team in the league, ranked 29th in shooting, which means rather than a dark horse contender, they’re venison.

Art Garcia: Call me coo-coo or part of Team Coco, but I’m still digging those Rockets. Yes, losing Aaron Brooks for at least a month hurts big time, as does being without his more-than-capable backup Kyle Lowry. And throwing Ishmael Smith in as starting point guard isn’t fair to the undrafted rookie. Still, look at the talent on this roster: Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Yao Ming, Chase Budinger, Shane Battier, Courtney Lee, Chuck Hayes. That’s a playoff team, right?

Scott Howard-Cooper: Easy choice. The Rockets are not dregs-of-the-West bad, even with the lurching adjustment to Yao Ming‘s time restrictions, even with the injury to Aaron Brooks. Losing Brooks is an obvious blow, but there’s too much talent to have an entire season like the first couple weeks.

Shaun Powell: The Thunder are better than this, of course. But Oklahoma City may eventually regret two decisions. They passed on Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans in the 2009 Draft for James Harden. And they didn’t reach for a free-agent big man last summer (Carlos Boozer, Amar’e Stoudemire?) when they could’ve spent money and then given Kevin Durant his extension.

John Schuhmann: Houston, for sure. Their five losses to start the season were all against good teams (yes, even Golden State), and even though they’re 1-5, they’ve been statistically better than a couple of teams with three wins. They have great depth on that roster and Rick Adelman is too good of a coach not to eventually figure out a way to make the 24-minutes-of-Yao thing work.

Sekou Smith: Houston is 1-5 with a rugged schedule, the only bad team they’ve played (Minnesota) they thumped. Yao Ming is doing his Jack Bauer thing with the clock ticking down on his 24 minutes in real time … on the nights he actually plays. And that’s disrupted this team’s flow. The bottom line is simple. Right now the Rockets are better without Yao than they are with him. And the sooner they figure that out the better off they’ll be.


  1. James says:

    What about New Jersey? Or the Clippers? The Nets have a good squad with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Also, the wizards have john wall, yi, arenas, blachte. they have a good squad as well and i think they are a good team.

  2. snow flake says:

    rockets i dont see contending for a championship period. they may be decent, but that doesnt matter if you dont have a chance at the championship.

    • JKryptonite says:

      I agree with how you said 6-8 games is not enough to determine how good a team is, but every team has a chance to win a championship. The question is: what are the chances, and which team is ready to face the challenges every champion must battle through to claim a championship.
      I’ll re-quote coach Rudy T for y’all once more: “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE HEART OF A CHAMPION.”

      with that in mind, I have the Lakers to win again this season. And no, I’m not on the bandwagon. I just can’t root against Kobe. He is THAT good. How can you not put your money on the most clutch basketball player in the game currently?
      Kobe’s got my vote for best player in the league until the day he retires. He’ll be forced to modify his game as he ages, but do not, i repeat, DO NOT challenge Kobe, because he’ll not only accept, but he’ll also remind us all why a basketball magazine can refer to all players by their name but must refer to Kobe as none other than Black Mamba.
      (im serious. I read a basketball magazine that addressed every player by their real name, but singled out Kobe as the one player who’s name wasn’t Kobe “black mamba” Bryant, it was just Black Mamba lol)

  3. snow flake says:

    6-8 games is not enough to tell how good a team is. just words from my experience and am not stating that this is true.

  4. JKryptonite says:

    By the way Art, I have Ishmael on my list of prospect rookies that are going to have a career in the Nba. He plays hard, has good court vision, and seems to be very coachable. Not only this, but to come in and play a starting role last minute and do it in a controlled fashion (low turnovers) shows me that he’s mature enough to tackle this task. I’m not saying he’s able to replace a guy like Aaron Brooks, I simply want to be the first to call it: Ishmael Smith is going to shock the world soon enough. Can one of you please do a segment on this kid? (I realize this isn’t fully relevant to the blog topic, but the Rockets were the main topic of discussion for the most part, so I thought I’d represent for the prospect that i have high-hopes for, you know?)

  5. Sunny says:

    WTF u serious? rocketss uck no inside presence any team can easily kill them. The best team for this topic is clippers

  6. españa says:

    Just let him rest until All Star weekend or for the whole season (if the team can make it to the playoffs) and just use Yao on the playoffs.

    Or give him some games to play during the end of the season so he can shake the rust.

  7. JKryptonite says:

    I won’t name any names, but people who respond to blogs need to take a chill pill and realize everyone is entitled to their own opinion. share yours, but no need to use hating words to tell someone how you feel about their opinion. just give your take and im sure you’ll have your supporters and your haters. for the record, i’ll back up schuhmann. the rockets, absolutely have to be on this list. This is a team that went pretty far (in comparison to all of our expectations; the haters and the fans) with respect to their feats over the past couple years without a healthy Yao Ming. Has everyone already forgotten about the 22-game win streak or is it just me?
    Coach Adelman has a difficult task at hand, and the television analysts have made an effort help cut the team some slack by pointing out this task that belongs to the entire franchise. If you want to help Yao Ming with his comeback this season, help the rockets. I’m talking to all the rockets fans who might be doubting what their team can do this year. Yao’s main focus and goal is to help this team out. I don’t need to sit down and do an interview with him to know that he’s dying to get back to being the star he once was. All he must care about right now is about helping the team win basketball games. It’s clear that the guy has the heart of soldier, and the attitude of a professional. he makes no excuses even though most of us aught to understand that it isn’t easy to be injury-free when you’re a seven-foot big man running up and down the court as hard as he does. If it were any other big man in his situation, most nba teams would probably waive an injury-prone player or look to trade them away; especially if the player has a hefty contract. But Yao isn’t any ordinary center. He’s far from it. He’s a revolutionary athlete. The most obvious reason for this being because he’s the first player from China to receive this kind of attention, not to mention that he’s clearly the most talented player to come out of China to play for the Nba.
    With all this in mind, whoever your team may be, if they’re not doing as well as you expected or hoped, don’t give up. They need you the most when they hit times of adversity, and being a Toronto Raptors fan my whole life, i’ve always heard that Toronto has one of the most supportive crowds, but I know it can be better. This could very well be the most challenging year for the Raptors (fans, players, coaches alike) because we’re trying to establish a new culture of playing as a team and putting defence before anything else. I don’t get the privilege of watching other teams for full games, but you can make an argument for a lot of teams. I’ll side with my raptors because I know this team is capable of making some noise. At the beginning of last year’s season, if there was anyone who could’ve predicted Oklahoma City to test the Lakers the way they did in the playoffs, everyone would blog about how crazy those people are, but coach Rudy Tomjanovich said it best: “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE HEART OF A CHAMPION.”
    this is probably my favourite basketball quote; simply because it paints a picture of success for every athlete who aspires to become better than anyone can imagine. You see the passion in every champion, and the last two nba championship teams have produced some amazing basketball. When KG screamed out “anything is possible!” or when Kobe sprinted to the other end of the court at the end of game 7 out of sheer joy in knowing that the title was theirs once again, this is what it’s all about. The journey is what it’s all about. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. Your team just has a flat tire, and you are like CAA. Highly underestimated, but you can count on them to be there for you when you need them most.
    Try to think about how talented each team is deep-down. These guys are professional. The bobcats are in town tonight facing our raptors, and they’re tied for last place in the east. I wouldn’t be surprised if either of these teams make the playoffs this season. It’s 7-8 games into the season people, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played. All of the “not-so-good” teams got better. The clippers are no longer a team worth joking about, because they have a kid who will dunk on just about anyone in Blake Griffin. Washington got wall, and look for coach Avery Johnson to drastically change the way the nets play this season. I have them for most improved team this season: isn’t it a given?
    last but not least, the bucks will certainly miss the services of Luke Ridnour. He isn’t a star, but he’s consistent and i’m pretty sure most coaches in the league wouldn’t mind having him come off the bench or start games. Look for OKC to make another run in the playoffs (Kdiddy is destined to do some special things in this league). I could talk about every single team into greater depth, but i don’t want bloggers to have to spend their whole day waiting for this blog to upload due to my lengthy entry. I’ll leave it at this: the best team with the worst record is the team who doesn’t let the early slump get to their heads. I’m going to stick with my group in Toronto. I have SO MUCH respect for coach P.J Carlesimo and I believe he will be an instrumental part of the cultural change for the raptors. GO RAPS GO! I got your back. Been a fan since day 1 of the inaugural season in ’95, and it won’t change until the day I die.

  8. Adam Kralic says:

    The Bulls. 10 new players, new coach, big FA acquisition gets injured and is out another 3 weeks so they have a 3-3 record. Rose, Noah and Gibson are looking really good. Deng is still streaky. Boozer is absolutely crucial to the Bulls success as it gives the Bulls another scorer when Deng is having a disappearing night.

  9. the truth says:

    Sekou Smith is wrong — partially. For the time being the Rockets play better without Yao Ming than they do with him. But their potential once Yao hits his stride limitless. Take these early season bruises, Rockets. Once everything gets cooking, you’ll be a tough team to beat.

  10. Balla Balla says:

    The rockets are nice but they gonna take another L tonight from my Wiz

  11. ken says:

    Yao is not the same.

  12. andy chen says:

    I am a HUGEEEEEEE rockets fan, i think that when the season goes on, they will do a better job of defending and they will win against lakers or the heat. The talent they have on that roster…chase, chuck, brad, kyle, jordan, and even Jamine, and now they added erick, i think they are going to shcok the world on how they are going to perform this season

  13. James says:

    So Schuhmann, let me get this straight. Because the Rockets have been better in statistical categories than some other teams with 3 wins (say, the Cavs who actually have 4 wins going into tonight’s game with NJ), that’s the reason the Rockets are higher in the Power Rankings than the Cavs? Dude, they didn’t win the freaking games regardless of their stats. That’s enough to drop them at least a couple spots. You can raise the Rocket when they win games, but you’re grading the PRs on your PROJECTION of their season saying, Oh don’t worry they’ll win eventually, and not grading them on their merits thus far. Instead you keep them in exactly the same spot and keep the Cavs below them!

  14. Ernesto says:

    i agree with all the comments about the rockets i am a huge rockets fan and i think we can do better, the losses that we have have been for like 3 or 2 points and theres too much talent in this team i really believe they can make the playoffs

  15. Lakers4life says:

    i like the Bucks What they need is to give Sander more playing time he gots defence and a 15 foot jump shot.

  16. Dylan says:

    I agree with everything they have to say. The Bucks i thought were going to be a much better team this year, but so far they haven’t done much to prove it. Reading game analysis, the Rockets first 5 losses were against teams whose combined record at the time was 25-0, and then they thrashed the Timberwolves. Its still too early to say who will get how far in this league.

  17. Miguel H says:

    I agree with Sekou Smith, I’m a huge Lakers fan and I root for the Rockets as well. I told all my buddies that Houston is playing too fast and bringing in Yao just messes up their style of play. They have to slow down to get him adjusted. I’m glad i’m not the only person who realized that the rockets are better of without yao ming.

  18. Roger says:

    What about the Bulls? does 3-3 count as a bad record? You guys mention the Bucks, who have a few new players in key positions, but they still have a steady coach and system to build around. Not only do the Bulls have what? 10 new players more or less in their rotation, but they have a new coach and a completely new system(thats assuming they had an old one). They’ve struggled for sure so far, but they have also shown the ability to be one of the top defensive teams in the league as well as showing they have the desire and drive to get a tough win, and already have quality wins against the then undefeated Blazers and Nuggets(though the loss to the Pacers the next night makes me think twice about putting this in the “quality” win group, and took an eastern conference favorite, the Celtics, to OT after struggling to find their rhythm. They’ve shown that they are buying into what Coach Thibs is selling, and are only going to get better as the season goes on, and all this is with Boozer not even having stepped onto the court yet!