Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
What player or team has impressed you the most, two days into the season?
Steve Aschburner: Hope we’re going alphabetically (as usual) so I don’t seem like I’m jumping on a Miami Heat bandwagon. But c’mon, even with the lofty expectations many of us had for Wade, James and crew, the Heat have transcended those in this sliver of a sample of a season. The pace at which they’re playing, in particular, should scare opponents, especially those coming off back-to-backs or, worse, back-to-back-to-backs. Feels like a wire-to-wire season for Miami.
Fran Blinebury: How can you not be impressed by Kevin Durant and the Thunder? They’ve picked right up where they left off in June and appear ready to lead the charge in the Western Conference. But for pleasant surprises, how about Eric Gordon taking over the starring role from Chris Paul in New Orleans and leading the Hornets to a win at Phoenix? Hmmmm, does this make commissioner David Stern early candidate for Executive of the Year?
Scott Howard-Cooper: How can it not be Miami? Not just 2-0, but with wins over the defending champions, Dallas, and one of the better teams in the East, Boston. The talent has been there. Now this looks like a group that is particularly motivated and focused.
Shaun Powell: Eric Gordon. He could’ve complained all the way from L.A. to New Orleans, tweeted about some injustice, then pouted upon arrival, stuff like that. Instead, he’s been professional and determined and sank the big shot to help beat Phoenix in the opener. Great attitude and solid leadership from a promising young player. Hornets are lucky to have him.
John Schuhmann: They’ve only played one game, but you have to be impressed with the Nuggets. We all saw what George Karl was able to do after the Melo trade last season, but we had to wonder if his team could sustain that level of defense over a full season, especially with one of his best defenders, Kenyon Martin, no longer on the team. We’re still wondering, but holding Dallas to 93 points in a fast-paced game is a great start.
Sekou Smith: Since it’s freshest in my mind, I have to admit that Norris Cole showed me some things I wasn’t expecting from the Heat rookie guard. His 14 points in the fourth quarter in the win over the Celtics were revealing and probably made Mario Chalmers feel the heat immediately. If this is just a preview of what’s to come from Cole, the Heat might have found that other clutch performer they’ll need during crunch time to go along with Dwyane Wade.