In this week’s edition of DBB on 3 we talk (almost!) turkey on a few subjects around the league. It’s always fascinating to see which teams’ roles of the dice roster-wise start off well despite the best of intentions and which ones stumble out of the gate. The fascination of course continues as a few who started off fast hit parity like a Josh Smithian brick wall and which ones who looked a bit like baby giraffes start looking a bit more surehoofed. We also talked top 3 non-Piston players. Enjoy!
*Questions were asked Nov 6th and answered between Nov. 6 and 12th
1. Which team that's off to a fast start do you see as most likely to come back down to Earth?
Justin Lambregtse: I would say Milwaukee. They simply do not have enough shooting. Even with Giannis and Jabari Parker playing really well, I find it very hard to see them staying near the top of the East.
Ryan Pravato (Prava 88): As of this writing, I will say the OKC Thunder (5-1) or the Los Angeles Lakers (4-3). OKC hasn't really beaten anybody except the Clippers. Amazing Westbrook will break down eventually I would think... and the rest of the roster just isn't that deep. As for the Lakers, geez, Nick Young had been playing some good ball lately and their team is really active from what I've seen. Too early though in the Walton era for this team to be north of .500 for long.
Michael Snyder: OKC - Westbrook has been amazing but it seems severely unsustainable. Oladipo needs to pitch in more as a playmaker and while he's a three point shooter, he's not much of a three point maker.
Ben Gulker: The Thunder. Westbrook just might put up MVP numbers all season long, and that may be good enough to carry the Thunder into the Playoffs, but they won't keep winning 5 out of every 6 games. Given his supporting cast, the bottom half of the Playoffs would be a successful season.
Jordan (jdbell20): The Orlando Magic are not even a .500 team so I expect that changes. I'm surprised by the play of the Bulls and Bucks, so I think there's potential it could last or even get them closer to the playoff bubble.
Steve Hinson: How in the world are the Lakers above .500? That's not going to last.
Lazarus Jackson: If the Bulls are .500, can they "come down to Earth?" Either way, unsustainable perimeter shooting from Wade and sporadic minutes from their best big man, Robin Lopez (22.7 MPG) means I'm not quite sure this team is as good as their record would have you believe. McDermott's injury won't help matters, especially since he looked like he'd figured out his role offensively for Chicago. Also, Jimmy Butler went from loving Hoiberg when the team was 3-0 to "lamenting the lack of team effort" in their last three losses. Winning is a tonic for everything, but I don't see a lot of winning in the Bulls' future.
Devin Jones: The Oklahoma City Russell Westbrooks will not be able to sustain 82 games of punking fools by himself, but it's going to be fun as hell to watch him try.
Kevin Sawyer: The Hawks have beaten up on patsies, and I would look for them to get exposed against Cleveland on NBATV. Their point differential and record are both illusory. The easy answer would be the Thunder, but I thought before the season the team could post 50 wins, and they are looking like a 50 win team to me against solid competition. That's not as good as their 68 win pace, but hardly represents a crash.
Ben Quagliata: The Bulls. I was so low on them I was digging a grave. I see no way Wade’s shooting sustains itself and they’ll probably come back to earth.
Glenn Metzger (GM26): I'm not sure that 4-3 qualifies as a "fast start", but I can't see the Lakers being above .500 when the end of the season comes. Who knows though? Maybe the West is becoming a Top 4 conference with everyone else muddying the waters.
Ken Wallace (revken): I think OKC will slow down as the season wears on.
2. Which team that's off to a slow start do you see as most likely turn to turn things around?
Justin Lambregtse: The Denver Nuggets. I am probably in the minority with this one, but I really like the Nuggets this year. I picked them to finish as the 8 seed in the West during our season preview stuff, and I think they can still do it.
Ryan Pravato (Prava 88): Boston Celtics at 3-3. Their defense is slow to come together, to say the least. They'll figure it out soon enough with their "gritty" group and good coaching.
Michael Snyder: Boston - Brad Stevens' largest adjustment in his first couple years in Boston has been managing and creating a solid rotation. New faces this year has continued that problem; he'll figure it out.
Ben Gulker: Boston. I'm not as high on them as many are, but they are a good deal better than a .500 team.
Jordan (jdbell20): I expected it would take 15-20 games for the Boston Celtics to really figure out their rotation. Brad Stevens has been given a few new toys in his basket, and it will take him a minute to apply what he 'wants' to do vs. what he 'can' do.
Steve Hinson: Three of the Timberwolves' four losses have been coin tosses - they've looked better than their 1-4 record.
Lazarus Jackson: Quick, who has more wins: Washington or Brooklyn? If you said "Oh god it's the Nets isn't it," congratulations, you saw through my question! Washington lost a heartbreaker to Orlando in a game where John Wall didn't even play, have had the misfortune of playing teams better than them (Atlanta twice, Memphis, Toronto) to start the season, and won't get free-agent acquisition Ian Mahimni back for a while. Washington isn't a 25-win team or whatever they're on schedule for.
Devin Jones: The Golden State Warriors are way off from their 2015-16 pace, and got blown out by the Lakers and the Spurs already. But it's going to take a minute or two before that team gels like they're suppose to. And when they do, it'll be like that scene from Billy Madison where he finally decides he wants to play dodgeball with the third graders.
"Now you're all in big, big trouble."
Kevin Sawyer: The Warriors. Curry, Thompson and Green are combining to shoot 27% from three. That won't hold.
Ben Quagliata: The Warriors have lost two games…But in all seriousness I’d bet either the Celtics or Wizards to improve over their current records as well.
Glenn Metzger (GM26): I think the Celtics will end up competing for home court advantage in the playoffs, and I still could see Miami sticking around in that 7-8 range for a playoff spot.
Ken Wallace (revken): I think the Timberwolves will get better as the season matures.
3. Name your top three favorite non-Pistons in the league right now.
Justin Lambregtse: 1) LeBron James (I know, I know, hate me) 2) Damian Lillard 3) Paul George
Ryan Pravato (Prava 88): - Steph Curry - Anthony Davis - Nik Stauskas (Go Blue!)
Michael Snyder: LeBron James, James Harden, JJ Redick
Ben Gulker: Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Myles Turner
Jordan (jdbell20): This is easy, it starts with DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins. My brother and I haven't missed the Kings in the Palace in three years. We call it "Boogie Night." I also love watching Karl-Anthony Towns and James Harden.
Steve Hinson: Draymond Green and Kyle Lowry, a couple of guys who have made themselves among the best in the league at their position out of sheer orneriness. Cody Zeller, a guy who nothing he does really pops off the page, but just helps his team win. Wouldn't argue with any of these guys ever playing in Detroit.
Lazarus Jackson: 1. Damian Lillard. He's not the best point guard in the league. In a perfectly objective comparison, he might not even be a top-five point guard in the league (I've gone back and forth on Kyrie/Wall vs Dame many a time on Twitter). But DAMN is he super fun to watch when he's on. It's always Lillard time in my heart.
2. KAT. Twice a game he does something I would consider blatantly unfair for a man of his height. I mean, I'm sure Timberpups fans wish he was a better rebounder and that they weren't 1-4, but that's the price you pay for glory.
3. Devin Booker. Do I only watch Booker's highlights? Of course! Watching the Suns play basketball is a lesson in boredom and unfocused roster construction (why are Jared Dudley and LeAndro Barbossa HERE? Couldn't they be helping playoff contenders?). But Booker is so smooth and the ball looks so good coming out of his hands that every DawkIns figurine intro is completely worth it. Sometimes, I wonder what the Pistons would look like with Booker or Myles Turner instead of Stanley Johnson, but then I feel like a cheating spouse.
Devin Jones: Swaggy P., JR Smith, Russy Westbrook AKA 1st-ballot "Shooters Keep Shootin'" Hall of Famers.
Kevin Sawyer: Westbrook is averaging 33-10-9 with his best efficiency ever. That's hard not to root for. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is never going to get credit for how well he plays because points. Kawhi Leonard is trying to score too much, but still.
Ben Quagliata: Matthew Dellavedova, Ben Simmons, Thon Maker.
Glenn Metzger (GM26): Steph Curry - Zach LaVine - Karl-Anthony Towns. I live in Minnesota, so I really enjoy seeing the latter two play, and I can't help but marvel when Steph has the ball, although I haven't caught one of his games yet this season.
Ken Wallace (revken): My top three non-Pistons are Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kawhi Leonard.
What are your picks for question #1 and #2? Do agree with us? And how about top 3 players? Have at it in the comments below.