Five Early Playoff Considerations on the NBA
2. The Knicks are going to be in Playoff Limbo for a long time: I know, I know, they have injuries up the wazoo (Shumpert, Lin) and Amare Stoudemire never had a chance to get to 100% during the regular season (see 1) . Next year, it will be another excuse: Carmelo Anthony and STAT can't work together, Lin failed to develop as a point guard, the Knicks have no bench at front court. Even if the Knicks do have a (gasp!) 50 win season for the first time this decade, they'll still have to contend with Chicago, Miami, and what should be an even more impressive Pacers squad next year once Paul George becomes a major scoring threat.
3. Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard: I know, I know, Howard is the better rebounder and defender, but Bynum will get there defensively, and his low post game is easily more versatile than Howard's and with room to develop. Does anyone think that the pounding he's inflicting on Denver, with a reasonably strong front line, is going to stop next round against (presumably) OKC? Also, as petulant as Bryant has been reputed to be, at least he is "OK" with being the #2 option on a championship level basketball team. Howard wants to be "The Man" while shooting an abysmal % from the line and having an underdeveloped offensive skill set.
4. Mike Brown deserved more Coach of the Year votes: Yes, the Lakers underperformed this year, but Brown did two things correctly by the end of a short season. He developed chemistry between Kobe Bryant, Bynum, and Pau Gasol, and he has slowly gotten Bynum to play like a legit #1 option in the league. This leaves open a reverse 80s throwback situation, with Kobe taking place of Kareem, and Bynum Magic. OK, that analogy has problems, but it's a nice idea.
5. Tyson Chandler's Defensive Player of the Year Nod will Change the Culture of the Game: He wasn't in the top ten in steals, rebounds, or blocked shots, and yet Chandler won Defensive Player of the Year honors, and will quite possibly be an All NBA 3rd Team player. The award is a nod to the media's increased focus on the importance of non-statistical devices to assess the quality of a player over simple statistics. This mentality is huge, and owners across the league would be best served to take heed to it. Would you rather have Chandler at his current contract of 10 million / yr., or Dwight Howard at a max. contract?