Blogtable: Slow Starters In Trouble

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.

Blogtable Week 2: The Knicks | Slow starters | Too soon to panic?

Which slow-starting team will have the hardest time getting back on track: Boston, Denver or the Lakers?

Steve Aschburner: The Lakers. Let’s not forget, they’re supposed to be on a different, higher (though not necessarily faster) track than the other two. Boston has new pieces but still needs Avery Bradley healthy in order to reach its full potential. Denver knew it faced a grueling start, with its first three games (and 17 of 23) on the road. That means 35 of its final 59 at home. But the Lakers have both a huge learning curve and stupid-intense pressure (especially on coach Mike Brown) to win 60-65 games. In terms of fitting personnel, they look like they’ll be more 2010-11 Miami than 2007-08 Boston. And key guys are older and injury-susceptible.

Fran Blinebury: I’m not ready to write any of them off so quickly, but the Nuggets have the toughest task because they don’t have veteran All-Stars or the so-called institutional knowledge that comes with having been through the wars previously.

Jeff Caplan: Boston. Look, I know a lot of you think this team can crank it up one more time and compete for the East crown. After all, they were right there last year ready to knock off the Heat. But Ray Allen knows the score. That’s why he’s in South Beach. Look at the Celts’ roster. It’s old. Jason Terry peaked in the 2011 playoffs. Avery Bradley is out. I just don’t see a ton of scoring or chemistry.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The hardest time? The Nuggets, because I have to pick someone and Denver is unable to rely on the confidence from past success. They are the most unproven of the three teams. But none of them will have a hard time getting back on track. Plenty of talent, plenty of time. The Nuggets have proven to be very resilient. That is a success all its own.

John Schuhmann: I think the Lakers will continue to have the most growing pains. First of all, Steve Nash is out and Steve Blake is Steve Blake. Secondly, it will be a long time before their offense is running smoothly. Thirdly, they’re not going to be great defensively because they’ve spent most of their practice time trying to learn their offense. And finally, I think they need to find a way to get more shooting in their rotation, so that they can properly space the floor for Nash and Dwight Howard. Still, they have the highest ceiling of the three teams. And if it all comes together, they could be dominant come May and June.

Sekou Smith: The Lakers. They’re the ones trying to make the most radical transformation. New stars. A new offense. New expectations. Mike Brown‘s tenure as Lakers coach will be defined by how he and his staff manage this transition. But they should take heed of those who have tried to manage the same process before them. It took the Miami Heat a while to get things straight when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces. Once they did, of course, they were on their way to The Finals in that first season together. The one glitch is the Princeton offense and whether or not it is the system best suited to the Lakers’ personnel. I’m just not sure it’s going to work, no matter how committed the Lakers are.


  1. Rich says:

    Ebanks arrested for DUI.
    Steve Nash out for a month.
    Mike Brown is FIRED!!!!!! (Yay)

    Hell of a week.

  2. Triple Threat says:

    How can you coach a dyslexic team. Bad call by L.A.

  3. Karlo Garcia says:

    I not counting out Boston b/c of the BIG TICKET GARNETT. Garnetts energy & intensity will always make the Celtics get back on track. Nuggets i believe will have the hardest time b/c there need more depth. Lakers will get back on track b/c of KB24. Once they DH & Nash on the same page then they will get it together. Bryant will always get them focused.

  4. Celts#18 says:

    The celts are 2-2 now..seems ok for them considering they have a bunch of new guys trying to fit in and build chemistry and I would write the lakers off just yet..

  5. Troglodyte says:

    Utah killed the Lakers tonight. Now the Lakers are 1-4. Kobe’s flopping was the only reason the Jazz did not by 30.

  6. Jme says:

    Lakers will have a very tough time dealing with teams because their point guards are liabilities on the defensive end. When you take a look at the league today, almost, if not all teams have dynamic and explosive point guards. Yes, Dwight will be there to be the last line of defense but at the end of the day, everybody has to guard somebody and I don’t see the two Steves holding their own against the Westbrook, rondo,Paul, Parker the other guys. This was their main problem last year and still remains the same.

  7. mike smith says:

    Brown and jordan need to go. princwton offence has done wat for who ? use the strengths of who you have, wen ur bigger let gasol and howard do their thing, take pressure off kobe and allow him to be the jump shooting killer he can be and let him run it wen nash is on the bench. let nash be nash. get jamison confident to start shooting more, show some faith in meeks. hill can play . trade metta world war. and steve blake

  8. NO BENCH? WHAT DO YOU CALL ON MORRIS’S ROLE, ANTWAN JAMISON’S ROLE, JORDAN HILL’S ROLE, JODIE MEEKS’S ROLE, CHRIS DUHON’S ROLE, ROBERT SACRE’S ROLE?………..simple BENCH player and you tell that lakers has no bench…………….tsktsktsktsk…… your mother i very sad right now because she has a very stupid and dumb son/daugther..hahahahaha………. DUMB………….

    • Average Joe says:

      The bench production is negligible. If you can’t understand that then you’re the dumb one.

  9. hahahahaha……….I WOULD rather choose a rebuilding team(orlando) than a no true big man no true pf. and a3point shooting team(MIAmi cheats)

  10. hahahahaha……….don’t you know that Miami cHeats are the 2nd oldest team in the league NEXT to the Knick………..please watch more about basketball and Miami will lose this season because they are a 3point shooting team

    • Average Joe says:

      Miami are a three-point shooting team, yes. But the ones that set the three pointers up are good slashers and post-up players. So essentially it’s pick your poison now that the Heat has Ray Allen added to the mix. You sound like a scared Laker fanboy.

    • QuestionMark says:

      They are the improved Orlando Magic from a few years ago, Dwight Howard got doubled, he kicked it out and ball movement led to open 3s, Miami will win because of their shooting, they have the 2 of the top 5 players in the league, Lebron and Wade, and both are great at attacking and good playmakers, this leaves opposing defenses to make a choice, bring help defense when Lebron or Wade attack and leave shooters open, or guard the perimeter and let Lebron and Wade attack the rim. Prime example was Ray Allen’s clutch 4 point play, Lebron drove to the rim, Brewer came to help leaving Ray Allen open for a 3. Plus when you have the best 3 pointer shooter in NBA history along with good shooters like Lewis, Chalmers, Miller, Battier, it just makes it much more harder for defenses. This is exactly how they tore apart OKC on offense in the Finals, mainly Game 5, Lebron drove and kicked it out for open 3s.

  11. Spurs says:

    Lakers will be competitive and be a good team in the playoffs, but no ring this year. That bench isn’t going to help if Kobe has a bad night. Plus Pau, Kobe, and Nash are all over 32, and DH has the back of a 60 year old woman. When they’re healthy and gel as a team, they’ll be competitive, but the questonmis if they can STAY healthy. Boston misses the ECF this season and picks up good players in the offseason for a bigger window. Denver makes it to the second round

  12. james says:

    L.A. big problem is their bench and the prince-ton offence. They need time to jell and on top of that they have to learn this new offence they have added and when they do jell together. They still have a problem. They don’t have a bench and if they do make it far the bench is going to hurt them along the way

  13. PlayAbeat says:

    Denver has the best coach
    LA has the starters(no bench)
    Boston is in early transition for a new era

    They all are very good teams and i would be very surprised if any of these three didnt make the playoffs

  14. Erick says:

    Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s only 4 games out of 82 and people is freaking out, it’s just stupid, teams take time to build chemistry, if those 3 teams were 10 and 25, then worry a lot, but seriously… 3 games? come on people wake up! re read this article during the playoffs and you’ll feel stupid.

    • PlayAbeat says:

      I agree with Erick!

    • Game Time says:

      Laker and Boston fans were pretty confident in their teams before the season started. I saw plenty of LA vs. Boston rematch predictions. Now with the slow starts, the statements have changed to “oh, it’s only 3-4 games, and we all know they need time to build chemistry”. Granted that is true, no one mentioned it until now, so it begins to sound more like an excuse for people who know they shouldn’t have been gloating so early.

  15. Someone says:

    ’12-’13 Lakers are pretty much like ’10-’11 Heat…but they are gonna win this year because they have Kobe instead of Lebron

  16. Truthbetold says:

    Mike Brown is a poor excuse for a coach . Because of Mike Brown , LBJ wasted 7 years of his life playing for a ungrateful city, and a horrible coach. Only reason Mike Brown’s career means anything is because he had the “privilege” to coach LBJ. Lakers will loose because of their horrible coach. Also they will loose because deep down Dwight hates being in LA. Now he is basically the exact shadow of Shaq. And Steve Nash is worn down. Also after he left PHX he got that stupid haircut. Now he looks ridiculous .LOL LOL

    • MHM 35 says:

      A) Mike Brown does fine as a coach.
      B) If Lakers win a championship Dwight will stay.
      C) Have you been to LA???? It’s way better than Brooklyn.
      D) Steve Nash will be fine to lead once he recovers.
      E) it’s “lose” not “loose”. “Loose” more describes your girlfriend.
      F) They’ll lose because of Nash’s haircut? Um… nothing needs to be said here.
      G) The Lakers will be alright once they cut down on TO’s. Their players are getting good numbers. They just need to take care of the ball and the bench needs to get involved.

  17. googergieger says:

    Considering Denver has attempted more paint points than both Miami and Phili and still got shafted when it came to the whistle(hell even last night at home!), that worries me a bit. They aren’t playing great or consistent mind you, but considering they are attacking the paint something fierce, you’d expect they’d have the advantage at the line every game. And really that is the only advantage to having a “superstar” team.

  18. sdfaksldfjhafkj says:

    So Boston’s problem is in scoring? How about Barbosa, Lee and Green off the bench? Isn’t that a ton of scorers for you?!

  19. Patty says:

    The Lakers are in trouble and will have a hard time turning it around. The bench of Lakers is HORRIBLE!!!

    • dude says:

      jodie meeks man

    • Tycoon says:

      Lakers need a better bench.

      Celtics are too old to beat Miami or OKC.

      Denver just isn’t ready.

      • Imad Akel says:


      • FakirWise says:

        The Celtics haven’t gotten older and they beat the Heat 6/11 games last season. And given what age/experience can do for a team considering the blowout the Heat took against the Knicks, I’d say the Celtics remain one of the top competitors against the Heat.

        OKC is having trouble with chemistry even with a win against Toronto. They look sloppy.
        The Spurs also are proof that having an older roster doesn’t mean you can’t win against youth.

      • Game Time says:

        @FakirWise, Celtics have topped Miami in the regular season twice, and lost to them twice in the playoffs. I think you have to come to the realization at some point that Miami is the better team.

        As for OKC, are you kidding me? The game was over from the 1st quarter. In a game where they are blowing out the other team I think you’ll find more TO because of experimenting. Please stop reading into the hype because there aren’t chemistry issues in OKC.

    • I would also go with the Lakers. They have a new offense, but their starting PG is injured, they aren’t getting any bench production, and they have a huge bull’s eye on their backs; which in turn, will get them their opponents’ best effort on a nightly basis. Boston will be fine; they are in the eastern conference and don’t have to make a serious run until after the all-star break like they did last year. Denver doesn’t have the same expectations, closing window of opportunity, or pressure to get it done as L.A. & Boston with their still young, superstar-less roster, and they don’t have as many new faces to integrate into their system.

    • QuestionMark says:

      That is a horrible bench, Jamison isn’t playing as well as he should, Meeks is barely getting any time, Blake can be good and bad, Jordan Hill is the best one there, which is kind of sad. I won’t be surprised if Clippers beat them, they are loaded, Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom, Ryan Hollins, that can be a starting five there. Of course the Lakers will get better throughout the season, but I won’t be surprised if the Clippers give them a tough fight in the Playoffs, if they meet.