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NBA Stock Report

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Myles Ma is the newest contributor at Hickory-High. He’ll be dropping by regularly with the NBA Stock Report, and whatever else comes to mind. Draw a circle around him on Google +, or follow Myles on Twitter, @LameMyles.

Ah, another week of NBA action. Once again, I bring you, the NBA stock report, where I rate each team a buy, sell or a hold, like a Wall Street analyst. In case you’re interested, the Dow Jones is up 1.43% this week. Not interested? OK. For the record, these ratings are based on the teams’ performance through Tuesday night.

Record: 5-13 (2-8 in last 10)

This team seemed so promising to start the year. Dwayne Casey was going to make them play defense, even Andrea Bargnani.

Well, the Raptors are playing defense. They’re ninth in the league in opponent eFG%, but they’re bad at pretty much everything else.

Bargnani is giving his best effort, on pace to put up his best season shooting and rebounding, but aside from Jose Calderon, his teammates have been miserable, especially DeMar DeRozan, a tantalizing talent who has seemingly taken a step back in the first few weeks of the season.

Rating: SELL. Things will get even uglier if and when Bargnani goes cold.

Record: 16-3 (9-1 in last 10)

The Bulls have shown how ridiculously deep they are over the last week or so, with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah both missing time with injuries. Every single person on the roster has taken advantage of the opportunity, including the veteran Mike James, who started his NBA career when “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

They will have to continue to persevere, as Luol Deng will miss two weeks, and perhaps much more if he needs surgery for a torn ligament in his wrist. The Bulls will still be one of the strongest teams in the East without him, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they (finally) slowed down in his absence.

Deng is an incredible wing defender, and Chicago will definitely miss his all-around play.

Rating: SELL

Record: 13-5 (8-2 in last 10)

This team is off to a great start, but the Hawks were recently dealt a greater injury blow than the Bulls: Atlanta will lose the services of Al Horford for at least three months. The Dominican is their best player, and was well on his way to becoming one of the best big men in the league.

The Hawks have benefited from efficient (for him) play thus far from the $119 million man, Joe Johnson. Zaza Pachulia, owner of one of the best first names in the Association, has taken some of Horford’s minutes, and has posted the best TS% of his career thus far, but it’s only a matter of time before the Hawks start to suffer in Horford’s absence.

Rating: SELL

Record: 14-3 (9-1 in last 10)

Is this the season the Thunder go from loved to feared? The nice boys from Oklahoma are growing up and getting paid, as heady point guard Russell Westbrook earned a new $80 million contract.

Hopefully they have enough money left for James Harden. Harden, the “biggest hipster in the NBA,” has shown himself to be a lethal pick and roll player, and has gone from good bench player to straight up baller. Soon he’ll be too mainstream for his fan base.

They lost Eric Maynor for the season and Kendrick Perkins still doesn’t quite fit, but the OKC core is too talented for the team to suffer anything more than a minor hiccup as a result.

Rating: HOLD

Record: 5-11 (3-7 in last 10)

Despite the installation of Mark “HAND DOWN MAN DOWN” Jackson as coach, the Warriors are still not a very good defensive team. It doesn’t help that Monta Ellis and David Lee are on the roster.

Nate Robinson has been a surprising pickup with Stephen Curry dealing with ankle issues. But any Knick fan will tell you that Kryptonate is as streaky as they come.

Curry will improve as the season continues and he learns to cope with his injury. But Ellis is still going to be an inefficient chucker, no matter how much “better than that” Jackson says he is.

Rating: HOLD

Hmm, pretty downer week. Here are my ratings from last week, measured against actual performance. Like real stock brokers, I am not beating the market.

76ers – Last week’s rating: Hold (10-3), 2-2 since
Magic – Last week’s rating: Buy (10-3), 2-2 since
Hornets – Last week’s rating: Buy (3-10), 0-4 since
Pacers – Last week’s rating: Hold (9-3), 2-2 since
Jazz – Last week’s rating: Sell (9-4), 1-1 since

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