If you told me after 23 games that we were going to be 4th in the East, and already lost 4 more games then the Lakers, I would have started hyper-ventilating. Even after beating Portland last night I was a bit on the ledge that even the Hawks have surpassed us in the standings. Albeit it's early, I needed some type of reason to step back off the ledge.
Luckily, I found it in examining our schedule and comparing it to the rest of the league's elites:First off, we've played 8 back-to-backs already, going 5-3. Meanwhile, the Elder C's and Orlando have only had 5 to contend with in the opening months. Second, we've played well vs. the other good teams in the NBA. We are currently 6-2 vs. teams with winning records, while Boston is 4-3 and Orlando is just 3-4. Atlanta truly surprised me though in this category, posting a 7-2 record vs winning ballclubs. Third, LA has only played 4 games outside the Staples Center in their first 21. Seriously?? I can't understand how this is even possible, but look for LA to fall back to the pack a bit as they finally venture out into the world for their next 5 games. More on LA, they have only played 3 back-to-backs and the so-called unstoppable champs are a mere .500 against winning teams at 3-3.
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