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Around the NBA: Spanning the league for this week’s best stories and links

by Anthony Slater Published: November 13, 2012
Things haven't gone as planned for Andrew Bynum / (Howard Smith/US Presswire)
Things haven't gone as planned for Andrew Bynum / (Howard Smith/US Presswire)

By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater

The drama-filled NBA is stuffed with knee-jerk reactions and definitive statements. Many are extreme (Mike D’Antoni will be the Lakers savior), while others are warranted (Mike D’Antoni’s offense is likely an upgrade from what Mike Brown was running). But either way, we love to hear and dissect those league-wide opinions. So here’s a (hopefully) rational and weekly place to follow the ongoings across the NBA:

Stock Report – Who’s up? Who’s down?

Rising – LaLa Land
As expected, it’s been a circus. And the Mike Brown firing, only five games into the season, seemed like a massive overreaction. But things are on the upswing. The Lakers have won two straight since the firing, in pretty convincing fashion, and the general mindset of the team seems to have eased a bit. Plus, Mike D’Antoni and his transition system fit the Laker personnel (Steve Nash in particular) and the players have publicly endorsed the hire.

Falling – Andrew Bynum
The key piece Los Angeles gave up in the Dwight Howard trade has as many points and rebounds this season as I do. And it’s going to be like that for a while. Philadelphia’s big-bodied center hasn’t practiced since the 76ers acquired him and, earlier this week, it was announced Bynum would be out until at least January with a bone bruise in his right knee. Not exactly how they envisioned this marriage starting.

Rising – New York hoops
The Knicks are the last remaining unbeaten team in the NBA, playing only four games but winning them all easily. Enjoy it while it lasts, Knicks fans. Because it won’t.

Falling – Washington/Detroit hoops
The Wizards and Pistons are the last two winless team in the NBA. Even the Bobcats have picked up a couple W’s.

Player of the week – Kenneth Faried

Denver’s undersized energizer bunny is having a breakout sophomore season, dominating the paint despite a small-by-NBA-terms 6-foot-8 frame. Last week, Faried averaged 16.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, nearly two blocks and a steal, sparking the Nuggets’ current four-game win streak.

Stat line of the week

Greg Monroe: 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in Detroit’s 105-103 loss at Sacramento. That gives the Pistons’ big man one more career triple-double than Kevin Durant.

Quotable

Miami’s Shane Battier on being an undersized power forward: “I’m undersized every night, but I like to think I’m quicker in the mind. If we’re playing Jeopardy, I like my chances against any power forward in the league. Print that.”

Story of the week

An inside look at the hours before and after Phil Jackson learned the Lakers decided to go with Mike D’Antoni as their next coach. The legendary coach seemed genuinely interested in the job, with Los Angeles players and fans clamoring for him, but before he could commit, the Laker brass he’s battled with in the past spurned him.

Caption this

Robot, engage passing mode.

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat passes against Chandler Parsons #25 of the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center on November 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat passes against Chandler Parsons #25 of the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center on November 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Video of the week

The Warriors’ Andris Biedrins has missed plenty of free throws in his time (a career 50 percent shooter from the line). But this one, wow. Like a Tim Tebow out route.

Game of the upcoming week

Wednesday – Memphis at Oklahoma City
Both in the midst of five-game win streaks, this will be a good barometer for the young squads, particularly OKC. Continuing to implement Kevin Martin and build chemistry, the Thunder looked better in the season’s second week, but still haven’t beat a high-level NBA team. Memphis would qualify.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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