FIVE QUICK NBA THOUGHTS
Things are starting to take a bit of shape now in the NBA and a bunch of story lines are developing. Here's a quick look at a few players who are catching my eye.
1. MIKE CONLEY (Grizzlies): Team is off to a terrific start and his improved play is a big factor. He makes good decisions and is a stabilizing factor when it comes to their offence. He make sure others are involved (6.4 assists per game). Liked him at Ohio State and thought he came out a bit too soon. Finding his way as a pro and is an efficient and heady player.
2. GORAN DRAGIC (Suns): He's no Steve Nash but the fact that he's averaging 16 points and over seven assists per game is at least softening the blow. Has gotten better and better every year as a pro. Changes speeds quite well and is a crafty player. Has good shooting range and knows how to run a team. His best days are ahead of him.
3. DION WAITERS (Cavs): I've been impressed with how he and Kyrie Irving are figuring things out in the backcourt. Shoots it well (46 per cent on threes) and has good overall scoring instincts. Quick to the basket and is creative. Young guard will make a bunch of mistakes but he and Irving will be fun to watch as they mature.
4. OMER ASIK (Rockets): Second-leading rebounder in the league (13.2 rpg) right now. Thought it was a stretch for Houston to give him a big contract considering his inconsistent offence but he does get after it every game. He's a big rugged guy who goes after it and has gotten better at staying out of foul trouble and earning the referee's respect. Can he keep it up? Not sure but he'll get lots of nightly minutes to show whether he can.
5. CHRIS PAUL (Clippers): Second in assists in the NBA. I don't know about you but I watch him and he makes it look so easy that sometimes I take for granted how special he is. He controls the pace/flow of the game beautifully and makes his teammates better. Holds everyone accountable. Dynamic in pick-and-roll play and is a coach on the floor. The Clips are getting it done right now with an improved second unit. Keep this guy healthy and you'll have a chance every game.