It’s crazy to think that the NBA season is just over one week old. We’ve already seen triple-doubles by Rajon Rondo and Brandon Jennings, as well as two 40-point games courtesy Monta Ellis and Luol Deng, who were making more buckets than a KFC drive-thru crew.
While the elite teams are off to good head starts in the standings, a lot of star players are compiling their cases for All-Star and other award consideration. (Chris Paul for MVP?) Some of them will be going head-to-head this week in some exciting games to talk about at the water cooler. Here are the top 1-on-1 matchups, one at each position, to look forward to in Week Two:
PG – Brandon Jennings vs. Rajon Rondo
On Nov. 3, we get to see a battle of the two triple-double performers of this young season. There is no debating that Rondo is the hottest point guard in the game right now. He’s leading the League in assists (16.8 apg) and has been Boston’s best player through their 3-1 start. Jennings, meanwhile, is developing into a true winning point guard. He’s known for his flashy play, but under coach Scott Skiles he is perfecting the fundamentals of the position really well. Another subplot to this matchup is that Jennings made public that he was upset at not getting invited to try out for Team USA this summer, while Rondo gave up his USA spot voluntarily. BJ should have something to prove to the USA Basketball committee.
SG – Brandon Roy vs. Kobe Bryant
The Blazers are starting off really hot this season following Roy’s lead. With a 4-1 record, this Portland squad gets the chance to measure just how good they are in their Nov. 7 matchup with Kobe and the undefeated Lakers this week.
SF – Luol Deng vs. Carmelo Anthony
Deng’s stock is high after his 40-point performance against Portland this past Monday. Deng is also one of the players who was routinely mentioned in the Carmelo trade rumors this offseason. On Nov. 8, he could be out to prove he deserves to stay with the Bulls, whereas ‘Melo might be auditioning for his future employer.
PF – Luis Scola vs. Kevin Love
Arguably the two best below-the-rim power forwards in the NBA. Scola (27.3 ppg, 14 rpg) was dominant this summer with Argentina at the World Championship, and currently ranks third in the NBA in scoring and rebounding. K-Love (15.5 ppg, 11.3 rpg) was expected to shine with Al Jefferson leaving Minnesota, but his season has so far been defined by playing-time disputes with coach Kurt Rambis. Scola and Love won’t make for a lot highlights on Nov. 7, but they’ll put on a show for those who really appreciate the game.
C – Andrew Bogut vs. Roy Hibbert
These are two underrated true centers in the East. Both are members of the double-double club so far. Bogut is putting up 12.3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, while Hibbert is putting up 18.3 points and 10 boards a night. On Nov. 5, this is a nice battle of the bigs to look out for in the Central Division.