1. The Heat…Way Too Early: Will Chris Bosh turn into P.J. Brown? Can LeBron James continue to score 30 a game on a star studded team? Regardless of stats of the stars, will the Heat win it all? I’m just like everyone else. I’m fascinated to see how the Heat blend three big stars and how they fit into their roles. Still, it is quite amazing to see how much has been written about the Heat so far and, frankly, drawing any serious conclusions from the first few games is ridiculous. I know every editor in the basketball world has directed his or her writers to jump on this story but let’s just wait a little. The sample size is just too small to get anything form a loss to the Celtics or a win against the Magic.
2. Number One Debuts: Another story of the first weeks was John Wall’s brutal shooting debut. As many predicted, Wall’s shooting will probably be spotty all year. The more interesting question is how Wall’s debut compares with that of other first picks. Fortunately, the great Basketball-Reference.com site has game logs back to the 1986-87 season. So, we went back the last 24 years to see how Wall’s first game compared with that of other number ones, ranked by game scores:
While the some of the best players were had the best debuts, there isn’t necessarily a ton of correlation between a debut game and a career quality going forward outside of the best of the best. Tim Duncan and Shaq weren’t great and Yao was the worst rookie on the list. In the grand scheme of things, Wall’s debut was slightly below average but isn’t an indicator of anything going forward. Griffin’s great start, however, is a nice thing, as all the other rookies with game scores over 20 on the list have been Hall of Fame-level players. Griffin might not end up in the Hall but his start certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Another interesting side note is that most of the rookies were very reluctant to shoot the three. Only AI, LeBron, and Bargnani even attempted a three (and only Iverson actually made one). One reason might be because the list is filled with power forwards and centers but Glenn Robinson, Manning, Coleman, LJ, Rose, and even Webber ended up taking plenty of threes later in their careers. Clearly, the rooks are expected not to shoot too much.