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Five things I’m thankful for in the NBA today

Nov 28, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

Chris Paul AP

I’m thankful for a lot of things today.

I’m thankful for a job that lets me watch as much basketball as I want. I’m thankful to live in a country where this is possible (and I’m thankful for the people who defend it). I’m thankful for a family that is the best part of my life and is understanding about the crazy hours that can come with my job and passion. I’m thankful for a really good Pad Thai. I’m thankful for all of you readers and commenters who make this site both fun and entertaining.

But this is an NBA blog, so I should be thankful for some NBA things, too. Here are five.

• Watching Chris Paul be a floor general. For me it’s not about the assists, it’s not about the midrange jumpers or the crossovers, it’s the way CP3 orchestrates the offense that is a thing of beauty. He is a maestro. This year Doc Rivers has CP3 making his decisions quicker, earlier in the shot clock rather than just surveying everything, and it has taken Paul’s game and the Clippers’ offense to another offensive level. He’s playing chess when most point guards are playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. It is just a joy to watch as a basketball fan.

Kevin Love outlet passes to Corey Brewer. This was a masterful pairing by Flip Saunders — take the king of the outlet pass in Love and pair him with the NBA’s leak-out king in Brewer and you end up with some touchdown passes. It’s a threat every game and you anticipate it every time Love comes down and starts scanning up court. A full season of this is just a beautiful thing.

• The NBA twitter community. No pro sport has taken to twitter the way the NBA has — not only are all the best media members (and myself) active on twitter there is fun interaction with a massive fan base. Every night during games it’s like a huge live chat with updates, analysis, jokes and endless commentary. It makes game nights so much more entertaining.

• Watching Anthony Davis blossom into a superstar before our eyes. So often hyped players come into the league with the tag “they just need a couple of years to develop” but they never do. Maybe it’s because the player was overhyped, maybe because they didn’t work hard enough to reach their potential. Anthony Davis is neither of those — he had a good rookie season but one that was almost subtle. He is athletic and long but his game is about being smart on the court. This season he has shown marked improvement in his faceup game, his awareness on defense, and with that has started to come a confidence that he is the Pelican’s best player and can take over games… when his guards remember to get him the ball. Davis is second in the league in PER right now (behind LeBron James) and he is still just scratching the surface of how good he can be. This is going to be a fun ride.

• NBA Summer League. It’s not about getting to spend a week in Las Vegas — my in-laws live in Las Vegas, my entire family including my elementary school age daughters come out for the week. Trust me, if you ever want to suck the fun out of Vegas, marry somebody from there. But what I love is he basketball, raw and flawed though it is, and the sense of this as a convention for all things NBA. The superstars are not there (unless it’s before their rookie year, or they are in street clothes watching), but mostly it’s guys fighting to get noticed and get a spot on the end of an NBA bench. Or, more likely, get noticed by a European scout and get a job getting paid to play the game. It’s a big job interview and it has all pressure that can come with that. Plus everyone is there — GMs, coaches, agents, media (including bloggers), die-hard fans — in a setting where mixing and mingling is part of the course. Put it all together and you have a great experience, if not always great basketball.

  1. legend30 - Nov 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Do you mean 4?

  2. MyTeamsAllStink - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I’m thankful the Charlotte Hornets will be back in 2014!!

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Thankful for Anthony Carter’s agent
    Thankful the Pistons chose Darko
    Thankful LeBron chose us.
    Thankful Ray hit that shot.
    Thankful that I have enjoyed this once in a sports-fan’s lifetime experience of watching, enjoying, celebrating this wonderful Miami Heat franchise

  4. mat9844 - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I’m thankful Chris Paul has such a terrific team surrounding him, including Blake Griffin! It makes it work.

  5. legend30 - Nov 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I’m thankful for Pat Riley and Dwayne Wade for creating this tremendous team. I’m also thankful for this Miami weather.

  6. asimonetti88 - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I’m thankful for a computer with spell check. jk, happy Thanksgiving Kurt and pBT.

  7. jimeejohnson - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Thankful the Knicks won a few games.

  8. wwttww - Nov 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I’m thankful Atlanta continually provides us a joke of a franchise. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a sense of humor.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      Weird that you’d choose to rag on the third-place team in the East there.

  9. edwardemanuelson - Nov 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I’m thankful for the example that the San Antonio Spurs provide both on and off the court.

  10. pacers24 - Nov 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I’m thankful for Larry Bird drafting Paul George & Lance Stephenson in the same year!

    Indiana has a team to be proud of once again

  11. dannymac17 - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    im thankful New York basketball is all around terrible.

  12. fearthehoody - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    All of California is grateful for CP3! Clipps own SoCal, NorCal next!

  13. 00maltliquor - Nov 28, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I’m thankful for this site and all the regular cast of characters that come on here and make this place a fun place to shoot the (stuff) with and all the hilarious back and forths.

  14. notinmyhouse56 - Nov 29, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Thankful that Mike D’Antoni will end his journey with the lakers one day…

  15. peddealer - Nov 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I’m thankful for Rap Game Larry Bird

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