*Having traded away Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic assembled a roster devoid of star power, but one laced with team players. Through two games, coach Jacque Vaughn's team played a sharing is caring style of ball and surprisingly emerged undefeated. Last night in Chicago, Orlando (2-1) couldn't pull off the winning trick because they couldn't stick to the unselfish plan. (Orlando Sentinel)
*Perhaps the most impressive part of Atlanta's win at Oklahoma City on Sunday was the Hawks did so without springy forward Josh Smith, out with a sprained right ankle. That's a trick they might have to pull off again Wednesday against the Pacers with Smith in the uncertain day-to-day scenario (cue the "aren't we all" joke here). Seeing as the Hawks (1-1) shipped All-Star guard Joe Johnson this offseason, pulling off another win over a legitimate playoff team without their two best players from last season would show just how much depth Atlanta has on its current roster.
*As this NBA.com headline says, "It's never too soon for snap judgment" and no team gets put under the microscope more than defensing champ Miami (3-1). As much as the side of me that sill loathes all that went down in "the decision", can't refute this take on you know who and his now deeper squad.
"That post-hurricane blackout in N.Y. notwithstanding, this is all still a race where everybody else is chasing the defending champs. Now that LeBron James has made his breakthrough for his first championship, it’s almost like we’re watching a different player, someone who had been held underwater for so long and finally came up for air. Now the Heat appear intent on going back-to-back, knowing it is the real measure of greatness in today’s league. The additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis create matchup problems and decisions for opposing defenses that are simply cruel. If there is one thing we know for sure after just one week it’s that its still all about Miami."
*Rare that a diagnosis of missing 2-4 weeks with a foot sprain is considered a glass half full diagnosis, but that's how Charlotte (1-1) guard and co-captain Gerald Henderson is viewing the world. The Bobcats leading scorer last season suffered the injury, according to the Charlotte Observor, in the second half of Saturday's blowout loss at Dallas. Painful as the ex-Dukie says the injury is, it beats torn ligaments, so there's that. Ben Gordon, a bigger role awaits you.