NEW YORK — Each season around this time extremist fans and militant members of the media corroborate it’s never too early to overreact.
One shrill loss by the New Jersey Nets and already one local columnist theorizes Vince Carter’s contract will be easier to move than Richardson Jefferson’s.
Dragged down in Boston on opening night by a strong overtime undertow and one Garden regular straight away second guessed Larry Brown’s continued use of Stephon Marbury, who missed seven of 12 free throws.
In all fairness to Marbury, TV replays show, on three of four consecutive misses from the welfare line in the fourth quarter, he was clearly fouled in the act of shooting.
Why wait 82 games to assess the association when you can load the Luger and jump the gun in less than 82 hours?
In fact, long before the Kings had officially disgraced themselves in their first outing, losing by 26 to the Hornets in Oklahoma City, educated speculation had Rick Adelman on target to become the earliest coach to be disowned.
A subsequent setback the very next night in Houston, lowlighted by Mike Bibby replicating the previous evening’s 2-11 shooting display, and I was starting to understand why the Clippers choose Michael Olowokandi No. 1 overall in the 1998 draft instead of Bibby.
The Bucks, 7-34 on the road a year ago, began with nervy victories down and up the New Jersey Turnpike, averaging 113.5 points against the 76ers and Nets. A number of definitive conclusions were immediately drawn:
For starters, the Sixers will never recover from their clock mismanagement and slippage of sanity against Milwaukee.
They committed several mortal sins in the final 1:02 of regulation, but their most grievous was not fouling T.J. Ford in the last frantic seconds as he zipped in and out traffic looking to find a teammate free beyond the 3-point line; Michael Redd promptly extended proceedings by five fatal minutes.
“That depressing loss will be a microcosm for this season,” a Philly Phanatic professed the day after that disaster. “They were fragile at best before that choke. Now they’re really questioning themselves.”
Later that day the Pistons punished the visiting 76ers by 20 points.
Their two opponents shot a scant better than 52 percent. The 76ers’ defense is so porous Patrick Fitzgerald has begun an investigation.
Meanwhile, the Bucks have ascended into the Eastern Conference’s tippy top tier alongside the Pistons, Pacers and Heat.
Two straight successes and Deadly Redd, perplexingly uninvited to be Larry Bronze’s lone zone buster in Athens, is expected to be named to the 2008 Olympic team any moment now . . . T.J. Ford, soon to be known as T.J. Bentley, projects John Lucas is the leading candidate to win the Most Improved Award and Andrew Bogut is a living lock to earn elite rookie honors.
Having the No. 1 pick of last June on board couldn’t have worked out better for Jamaal Magloire. With Bogut around to rebound (26 in two games) and run the floor and find the open man with precision passes and stick mid-range jumpers, the All-Star center isn’t under any pressure to try to exceed his limitations, should he ever recognize them.
The Nuggets obviously ought to can two-game interim Scott Brooks and bring in Scott Hastings from the broadcast booth the next time George Karl gets suspended for watching his son work out during the offseason with other college players.
Losses to the Spurs in San Antonio at home in OT to the Lakers and it’s plain to see the Nuggets are flawed offensively inside when Carmelo Anthony is resting, in foul trouble or not shooting particularly well.
Nene, sidelined two minutes into his season with an torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, may or may not have filled that void.
That Nene/Marcus Camby-Antonio McDyess trade from two summers ago doesn’t look half as bad as it once did. The good news is, it’ll be easier for Isiah Thomas to get the rising free agent when he decides to over pay him this summer.
Get carried away?
Not this jaded journalist.
As soon as Troy Murphy picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter and was forced to take a seat, the Warriors went on something like a 27-2 run to squash Atlanta, which led at the half by 10, 122-97.
No wonder Chris Mullin offered Murphy and a No. 1 pick to the Hornets for Magloire.
Afterward, David Stern quarantined the Hawks, citing bird flu.
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