1) While editing my NBA preview, it became clear that I liked the Jazz more than I consciously realized. Unfortunately, I chose to leave them 5th in the West rather than move them up to 3rd because I didn't want to re-format. Sigh. I could have looked smart.
2) Isiah Thomas is already moving to dismiss Lenny Wilkens, replacing Wilkens assistant Dick Helm with Brendan Suhr. Opinion in NYC seems mixed as to whether Suhr has been put in place to succeed Wilkens or to act as associate head coach under Thomas. Knicks fans may yet look back wistfully to November 6th, the night of the 107-73 loss to Boston in the home opener, as a time when they still thought things could get better.
3) The Atlanta Hawks are unwatchably bad. Jon Barry already looks melancholy and has taken to attempting ridiculous behind-the-back passes in the first half of games just to enliven the tedium of watching guys who can't shoot (Walker, Harrington, Diaw, Josh Smith) shoot a lot. They can't be paying Mike Woodson enough.
4) On the aesthetic flip-side of that coin, the Phoenix Suns are further along than I anticipated. They're already fun to watch. They'll run bad teams out of the gym, but struggle against good teams who can control tempo and force them to play Voskuhl, Vroman, and Lampe extended minutes. Today, I'd pick them to make the playoffs.
5) Memphis will probably get better but Sacramento may not, thus, the Lakers have a slightly better chance to make the playoffs than I originally forecast.
6) Chris Wilcox will emerge as Elton Brand's sidekick this season, but could be the better player as early as next year.
7) Early returns indicate another strong rookie class this year. Okafor, Deng, Iguodala, and Howard are all doing useful things for their respective teams already. Devin Harris and Andres Nocioni have had their moments as well. Ben Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and Tony Allen have been uneven but still remain ahead of strugglers Shaun Livingston, Jameer Nelson, Nick Collison, JR Smith, Josh Smith, and Josh Childress.