TSN's Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the unfortunate injury of Eric Bledsoe, the growth of Gordon Hayward, the future of LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee's rebounding ability and the suspension of Andre Miller.
1. ERIC BLEDSOE (Suns): What a shame. Another injury to a very good player. He's played terrific ball for his team this year and the idea of playing two point guards together along with Goran Dragic worked out beautifully for their team. Tough road ahead for this squad without him. He's the guy that sets the tone defensively for them and his toughness was impressive. The move to Phoenix was a perfect landing spot for him. Hopefully, he gets back sooner rather than later and in good health.
2. GORDON HAYWARD (Jazz): Did you see him the other night vs. OKC? Awesome. 37 pts, 11 rebounds and seven assists. A young player whose game and confidence has grown and, considering that he decided not to accept Utah's contract offer in the off season, it will be a very interesting and fruitful negotiation for him with his current employer and he'll have lots of interest in the open market.
3. LA MARCUS ALDRIDGE (Blazers): His team has had a great run so far this season at 28-9 and now, for the first time, he's given indications that he'd consider signing an extension to stay in Portland after expressing his frustration with playing there this past summer. What a difference winning makes. The addition of Robin Lopez has taken lots of interior heat off him and being surrounded by terrific 3-point shooting and a wonderful young lead guard in Damian Lillard has a way of opening your eyes to the fact that the grass isn't always greener. Awesome fan base and a market with a nice tradition. Good place to consider staying.
4. DAVID LEE (Warriors): This guy gets hammered a lot for his sketchy defence, and I understand it sometimes, but this guy can score and board effectively. Look at what he's done in the last 12 games while his team went 11-1. 22 points and 10 rebounds a night is impressive and I'd say most teams could handle that from their power forward. Is he perfect? Far from it, yet he's better than most. I still think he contributes more to the winning than being the cause of the struggles.
5. ANDRE MILLER (Nuggets): I've always been a huge fan of his game and quiet leadership. He's been a very good pro and, in my opinion, could still start for a bunch of teams in the league. Unfortunate situation right now with his suspension in Denver. I like head coach Brian Shaw a whole lot and it's a shame that it looks like he'll be parting ways with the team at some point. If I'm a team in need of a guy who will make all the smart plays and give you solid D as well, I'm in the market for him, that's for sure.