houghts from around the NBA

Chris Frangolini  Journal Staff

Are the Clippers Taking Over LA?: The basketball season has been underway for almost a month now. There have certainly been some surprises like the Los Angeles  Lakers abysmal 1-4 start. But have the reins been passed down to the Clippers?

The Staples Center, which both the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers call home court, sells out every night to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. The Lakers have been through rough waters the past couple of weeks, firing Mike Brown after just five games into his second season as the Lakers head coach. The Lakers have signed Mike D’Antoni as the new skipper who will try to right the ship. D’Antoni coached in Phoenix and New York, and was an assistant on the new school “Dream Team” under Mike Krzyzewski. But it is still the Lakers division. Despite the aging Kobe Bryant and injured Steve Nash the Lakers are even at .500. Dwight Howard still struggles to create his own shot, taking less than 12 shots in 12 of 16 games. But when Nash is back look for Howards shots to increase. Howard had 28 points and 20 rebounds Friday vs. the Nuggets, he even knocked one down from beyond the arc (2-33 career from three point range). Look for Howard to be more aggressive and help Kobe will this team to another division title.

Melo Stays Hot for New York: Carmelo Anthony is single handedly willing his team to victory night in and night out. Anthony is averaging 26.3 points per game, tying his second best points per game average of his career. Despite never getting past the first round of the playoffs, Anthony is keeping focused on the season and taking it one game at a time. The real test still lies ahead; five of the next seven games are away from the Garden, and after that the Knicks take on a six game homestand.

Harden Ignites Rockets: A lot of people were questioning the head-scratching trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, sending James Harden to Houston. We all knew the reigning 6 man of the year, Harden, could play, but he is putting up career numbers this season averaging 24.1 (13.5 career average). He started the season dropping 37 in Detroit and 45 in Atlanta. The Rockets play in a tough division, dominated by the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzles, and Dallas Mavericks, so the Rockets will most likely not make it to the playoffs. However, the Spurs and Mavericks are two of the oldest teams in the league, so the future is bright.