First-quarter NBA assessments

AnotherViewsquareIt’s too often said that an NBA season is a marathon. “I think the season is a work in progress all throughout the year,” states Detroit Pistons television analyst Greg Kelser. “Most people [think] the quarter-point gives you an idea of what a team might be about.”

If this is the case, since we are now at the end of the first quarter of the NBA regular season,  here are some quick impressions:

Pistons Coach Van Gundy, seated at left, is surrounded by reporters including Greg Kesler standing at right holding a Fox Sports mic.
Pistons Coach Van Gundy, seated at left, is surrounded by reporters including Greg Kesler standing at right holding a Fox Sports mic.


Golden State competes unselfishly

What makes Golden State so good? The Warriors lead the NBA in defensive rating and second in offensive rating — this measures either the points allowed by a team per 100 possessions or the points scored by a team per 100 possessions. However, according to forward Draymond Green, the open secret to their success is their unselfishness.

Green told the MSR, “We are unselfish and we don’t care who scores. We don’t care who takes the shot. We don’t care who get the spotlight. We don’t care about any of that. We have one type of goal — that is to win.

“We move the ball around, and that is one of the things that make us tough to guard. We have a lot of weapons, and we utilize every one of them.”

Green also disclosed perhaps Golden State’s most overlooked trait: “Our competitiveness.  It’s no secret. You look at the competitive nature of this team. We might have a night or two that shots are not falling, but we compete.

“It’s the competitiveness is what we are. That’s the most important thing about this team. We’re competitive as hell,” said Green.

“Our guys are always pulling for each other,” adds Interim Head Coach Luke Walton. “It doesn’t [matter] who scores points for us. We are concerned that as a team we’re scoring points.”


Youth at the heart of things

Philadelphia notwithstanding, the Wolves and Detroit are two of the league’s most youth-infused clubs. “They have talent and optimism. They’ve had some big wins, so they are not that far away,” says Golden State guard Stephon Curry of Minnesota.

“We’re both very young,” says Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy of both Detroit and MN.  “Those kinds of teams unfortunately tend to be up and down. It’s really hard to be consistent. You are not going to have consistent performances.”

Adds Kelser, “I like the Minnesota team.” He really likes rookie forward-center Karl-Anthony Towns’ shot-blocking ability: “His knowledge and feel for the game is definitely there. You don’t get two and a half blocks if you don’t have that,” says Kelser.


Thirty years and counting

“I did my first game back in January of 1986. We are coming up on that anniversary,” notes Kelser on his 30-year broadcasting career. “I still have great passion for it.

“There are two things I really, really wanted to do when I was a young man. One was to be a professional athlete, and that happened. Soon after I became a professional athlete, I started to chart toward a [post-athletic career] path, and broadcasting is what I chose to do. That too has been a dream comes true.”


Globe-tracking the Lynx  

Sylvia Fowles (Beijing) in action on Thursday against Shanghai at 5:30 am Central time.  Seimone Augustus (Dynamo Kursk), Janel McCarville (Abdullah Gul Uni), Devereaux Peters (Wisla Can-Pack Krakow) and Tricia Liston (Perfumerias Avenida) all played games Wednesday morning, and Fowles played Tuesday morning as well.


Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to