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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.

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. Amazon’s revenues were disappointing this last quarter, making the Internet company an easy sell. Oops, that’s from my regular stock report.

This week, I take a look at the Knicks, Cavs, Kings, Heat and Rockets. This latest week in the NBA saw the deadline for casting an All-Star ballot come and go. That ballot is secret and my votes were extremely personal, but I will nudge the curtain open and allow you a brief look into my thought process: Spencer Hawes, Spencer Hawes, Spencer Hawes.

In case you’re interested, the Dow Jones is down 0.33% this week. Not interested? OK.

For the record, these ratings are based on the teams’ performance through Tuesday night.

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

I will do my best to not be hysterical about this. The Knicks’ struggles have been well documented.

Last year, the Knicks were a bomb squad, surrounding Amare Stoudemire with gunners. They were never out of a game, even against the best teams in the league.

Their struggles this year hinge on a lack of ball movement and the severe drop in performance from Stoudemire. Once a cornerstone of the team, he now looks like the odd man out in the Knicks’ offense.

Rating: HOLD. They played well against Detroit, but I’m not convinced a turnaround is coming soon.

Record: 8-12 (3-7 in last 10)

What a gem Kyrie Irving has turned out to be. His quickness and decision making may help the most depressed NBA city in the league recover from the departure of fallen deity LeBron James.

Barring a setback, Irving should lead the Rookie of the Year discussion all year. But aside from Anderson Varejao, the talent isn’t there in Cleveland.

They’ve surprised thus far, hovering right on the edge of a playoff spot, but if I were the Cavaliers, ostensibly a rebuilding team, I wouldn’t want to be in that no man’s land between contention and a high draft pick. So not only is there no incentive for the Cavaliers to do well, but they have a rough February, with games against Philadelphia and Dallas on the docket, and two tilts against Miami.

Rating: SELL

Record: 12-9 (8-2 in last 10)

The Rockets remind me of the Pacers and the 76ers, two deep teams that have found success in a compressed schedule. The Rockets didn’t start quite as hot, but they have been on a tear in their last 10 games.

Unlike Rockets’ teams from the Rick Adelman era, this Houston team is winning with offense. The only guy who really hasn’t met expectations in that department is Luis Scola.

He has a lot of mileage, but he’s been consistently effective in his career, and you have to expect him to pick it up. The Rockets are in a tough division, but they play the Suns twice in the next week, which is always nice for a team looking to continue its good results.

Rating: HOLD

Record: 16-5 (8-2 in last 10)

This team is somehow even more terrifying than it was last year. They’ve has weathered an extended absence from Dwyane Wade, and has had strong performances thus far from Mario Chalmers and Joel Anthony, the Pips to LeBron’s Gladys Knight. James is having a career year, and that’s saying something. The improvement seems to be more than a statistical fluke, the result of more discerning shot selection.

Even if he cools off a little, this Heat team is finally healthy, and they’re poised to go on a tear.

Rating: BUY

Record: 6-15 (2-8 in last 10)

Ian already did a great post on this team’s troubles, so I’ll try not to retread too much. The problem is simply too many Indians and not enough chiefs.

The leading candidate for chiefdom, point guard Tyreke Evans, is responsible for organizing this team of gunners. But he’s a gunner himself, and a pretty inefficient one at that.

The Kings have suffered some injuries, but the return of Marcus Thornton probably only exacerbates the problem. This team has talent, but until they get a chief, they’ll keep losing.

I hope this metaphor wasn’t too racist for anyone.

Rating: HOLD

Here’s how I did last week:
Raptors – Last week’s rating: Sell (5-13), 2-2 since
Bulls – Last week’s rating: Sell (16-3), 2-2 since
Hawks – Last week’s rating: Sell (13-5), 3-1 since
Thunder – Last week’s rating: Hold (14-3), 2-1 since
Warriors – Last week’s rating: Hold (5-11), 2-1 since

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