3-Ball, Corner Pocket: 9 November

3-Ball, Corner Pocket is your weekly look at the league’s leading MVP candidates, most outstanding rookies and best and worst performing teams.

We’re a couple of weeks in now, things are a little bit clearer than last week, but there’s still too much time left in the season for anything to be set in stone. Who, though, are looking good? Let’s find out.

MVP Watch

1. Chris Paul, 18.7ppg, 6rpg, 10.2apg: The Hornets are still undefeated, and was there anyone who would have thought the Hornets would be sitting atop the Western standings after 6 games? Anyone? Anybody at all?

2. Pau Gasol, 24.1ppg, 10.9rpg, 5apg: The Lakers are 7-0 and the big man just keeps doing his thing. He had a triple-double in the Lakers last outing, a 25-point drubbing of the Trailblazers.

3. Dwight Howard, 23.2ppg, 11.3rpg, 1.5apg: Orlando has risen to the top of the East, losing just one game so far. He had 18 points, 16 rebounds and 8 blocks against Minnesota last Thursday and was just named Player of the Week.

4. Rajon Rondo, 11.1ppg, 5.5rpg, 14.8apg: He set the record for most assists by any player through the first 5 games on the NBA season, and his Celtics are sitting 2nd in the East at 6-2.

5. LeBron James, 20.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 7.9apg: With all due respect to Kobe Bryant, he’s most talented player in the league right now.

On the bubble: Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose

Eye on ROY

1. Blake Griffin, 18.1ppg, 11rpg, 1.9apg: As I mentioned a couple of days ago, they’re all-star numbers. Even at this early stage, the award is his to lose.

2. John Wall, 19.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 9.6apg: He had 29 points, 13 assists and 9 STEALS in his home debut last week. The kid’s legit, he’ll threaten to be the best point in the league sooner rather than later.

And then everyone else: Seriously, it’s already a two-man race for Rookie of the Year. No doubt about it.

Power Rankings – who’s hot

New Orleans, 6-0: They continue to defeat quality teams, taking down the Miami freak show courtesy of a late dagger three from Trevor Ariza.

L.A. Lakers, 7-0: They look like they could win every game of the season at this point, if they really wanted to. The bench is (still) much improved.

Orlando, 5-1: The Magic are just cruising, winning by an average of 20 points per. Dwight Howard is a monster.

San Antonio, 5-1: The Spurs are just quietly going along their business, taking advantage of a somewhat soft schedule (the Clippers, Suns, Rockets and Bobcats) to win 4 in a row. Richard Jefferson is averaging 18 points on 60% shooting thus far. Last season? 12.3 points and 47% shooting.

Boston, 6-2: Nice start to the season for the aging Celtics, who look to be going after a good record rather than resting some guys. Still, Doc’s got a solid 9-man rotation going on, which is cool.

Power Rankings – who’s not

Minnesota, 1-6: The Wolves are just awful right now. Their last 5 losses have been by an average of 26 points per game, and their best player isn’t even getting 30 minutes a night.

Toronto, 1-6: They had a tough trip out West, losing to Sacramento, Utah, the Lakers and Portland. Still, there’s no measure by which 1-6 is good.

L.A. Clippers, 1-6: It seems that they’ve finally had enough, benching Baron Davis in favour of the rookie Eric Bledsoe at the point. What now indeed. At least they have Blake Griffin.

Washington, 1-4: It seems that the coach has had enough of the poor attitude in practice and has started cancelling them. At least they have John Wall.

Charlotte, 1-6: Stephen Jackson was fined a nice chunk of change for verbal abuse of the referees. At least they have……Sherron Collins?

Thanks for reading, as always.

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