28. January 2011 00:02
Time to update the records from games played between the top contenders in the NBA this season...
I've decided to add in Denver. They were a borderline team back when the first dozen squads were selected (6 per conference). And, rumors were rampant that their best player would be leaving soon. Seemed like a gamble to put them in when there was a chance they'd turn into an afterthought down the stretch.
*Carmelo Anthony DIDN'T leave, and it looks like he may stick around awhile (a classic jinx set-up if I've ever seen one).
*Denver is 27-18, which is obviously a quality record.
*Denver will be favored to win most or all of their next 8-9 games, meaning it would look really dumb to leave them out if they were sitting at 35-20 or so in a couple of weeks.
*Denver has a better record in the Superleague than a few teams who have been in it all along.
The only strike against putting them in? Denver still ranks last of the Western teams. They're better than a few teams in the East. The Nuggets could still just be an afterthought when it's all said and done.
For now I'll stick them in, making it a lucky 13 teams in our elite group.
West: San Antonio, LA Lakers, Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Utah, and Denver.
East: Boston, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York.
Here are the standings this year based ONLY on games where these teams have played each other. The records are updated through Thursday Night, which means New York's 93-88 victory over Miami is included.
San Antonio 16-6
LA Lakers 7-6
New Orleans 11-10
Oklahoma City 10-11
The Spurs are still playing the most impressive basketball in the league. They're even dominant in the Superleague. That 16-6 record equates to about 60 wins if they maintained the winning percentage through an 82-game Superleague schedule. The Lakers have seen their schedule toughen up recently, but they're still way behind everyone in games played. From low to high, games played in the Superleague in the West are 13-18-18-20-21-21-22. That means the Spurs have the best record, against the toughest schedule!
New York 7-11
Some eye-openers here. Miami and Orlando have yet to establish the kind of consistency vs. quality you need to win in the postseason. Embarassing lower division teams just doesn't matter much once you're playing upper division teams. Only Boston is thriving in playoff style basketball vs. playoff caliber opposition.
Upcoming Superleague games:
Friday: New York at Atlanta, Orlando at Chicago
Saturday: Atlanta at Dallas
Sunday: Miami at Oklahoma City, Boston at the LA Lakers (an ABC doubleheader)