NBA Weekly Blog: Brown fired as Lakers coach. Undefeated Knicks. Spurs atop the West once again.

From firings to the early leaders in the standings. Here are some of the stories for Week 2 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Fired! Mike Brown out as Lakers coach.
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After spending a lockout shortened season and five games into the new season. Mike Brown has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Brown, took over as the coach of the Lakers from Phil Jackson last season where he led them to a 41-25 finish during a lockout shortened season which saw them advance to the second round of the playoffs before falling in five games against eventual Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers started the season flat at 1-4 before Brown got the boot. Assistant coach and former Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff takes over as interim head coach for the Lakers as the franchise begins their search for a replacement. After Brown’s departure, the Lakers came out with a victory against the Golden State Warriors yesterday at Staples Center. A favorite for most Lakers fans would be to bring back “The Zen Master” Phil Jackson as head coach. The Lakers are also considering former Suns & Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and another former Lakers coach in Mike Dunleavy, Sr.; With Brown out, who will call the shots for a Lakers team with a lot of hype coming into the season but has to find it’s calling in order to compete a top the Western Conference? A lot of uncertainties for franchise with a rich history and a devoted fan base which spans all over the world.
Knicks remain undefeated.
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The New York Knicks, are the only team left in the NBA this season who has yet to taste a defeat are playing inspired basketball to start the season, especially for a city which has been recently battered with extreme weather for the past couple of weeks. The Knicks are at 4-0 in the standings and are on top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the defending champions Miami Heat at 5-1. It also happens that one of the Knicks four victories came at the expense of the reigning champions when these two teams met at Madison Square Garden on opening week. Carmelo Anthony has been leading the charge for the Knicks currently averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per outing on 44% field goal shooting. He has also been getting help from every guy on the Knicks roster from players like J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, and even Rasheed Wallace. So the Knicks are doing well so far to start the season, the question is, can they sustain it until the end of the season. That we will have to see as the season progresses.
Once again, the Spurs are atop the West.
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A recurring theme for the last two seasons, the San Antonio Spurs this season have maintained their hold atop the Western Conference. These veterans under the long-time mentorship of Gregg Popovich have kept themselves competing year after year, and now are sitting in ahead of the Western Conference early into the new season at 6-1 ahead of the second running Minnesota Timberwolves at 4-1. They picked up huge victories against teams like the team that booted them out in the Western Conference Finals the Oklahoma City Thunder on a Tony Parker game winner on opening week as well as victgries against the New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers and the Portland Trail Blazers. Their lone defeat came at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers in a dismantling defeat in Los Angeles. A balanced Spurs attack has been crucial for the team led by “The Big Fundamental” Tim Duncan who leads the Spurs averaging 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals on 53% shooting from the field. Duncan is well backed up by players like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Gary Neal, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Stephen Jackson to name a few. Consistency has been the name of the game for these Spurs. They may have a veteran-laid lineup, but they find ways to win games. Will it translate to another championship. Too early to tell, but these guys will be on the hunt this season.
Meanwhile, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks won the first Player of the Week awards of the season for the Western Conference and Eastern Conference respectively.
Here are the standings across the league:
Western Conference:
1. Spurs (6-1), 2. Grizzlies (4-1), 3. Clippers (4-2), 4. Thunder (4-2), 5. Timberwolves (4-2), 6. Hornets (3-2), 7. Nuggets (4-3), 8. Mavericks (4-3), 9. Rockets (3-3), 10. Jazz (3-4), 11. Warriors (3-4), 12. Suns (3-4), 13. Trail Blazers (2-4), 14. Lakers (2-4), 15. Kings (2-4)
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (4-0), 2. Heat (5-1), 3. Bulls (4-2), 4. 76ers (4-2), 5. Bucks (3-2), 6. Nets (2-2), 7. Celtics (3-3), 8. Hawks (2-2), 9. Pacers (3-4), 10. Bobcats (2-3), 11. Magic (2-3), 12. Cavaliers (2-4), 13. Raptors (1-5), 14. Wizards (0-5), 15. Pistons (0-7).

So teams have played a minimum of 4 games and a maximum of 7 games. Still early within the season, we have seen a ton of surprises both on top and the bottom of the standings. Some teams who struggled early getting their grove back, while some teams who started well have suffered setbacks. Others see no change in their fortunes. Days in, we’re in for a great battle in the coming weeks. Watch out for a new edition my weekly NBA blog next week.


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