All Star starters will be announced tomorrow, followed by the reserves the week after. These festivities are dominating the headlines, but there were still some interesting things to arise this past week; Martin Luther King Day games, major injuries, and the trade block heating up. Cheers to the mid-way point, and lets’s get into the Dimes.
1) Officially hit the mid-point of the season
All teams have played at least 41 games by this point, and this season has been both exciting, and expected. Exciting: lots of young, up-and-coming players, over 30 players averaging at least 20 points per game, and parity within the mid-tier teams. Expected: the Warriors and Cavs are amazing, Brooklyn sucks, and Russell Westbrook is a beast as a lone star. Here’s to another amazing half-season!
2) Warriors crush the Cavs on MLK Day
This was the most exciting matchup on Martin Luther King Day, but unfortunately it didn’t pan out. A 35-point defeat is tough for the Cavs to take, but luckily for them the Warriors won last year’s MLK-day matchup as well, and we all know what happened in the Finals. So shall I bet on a Game 7 Championship win after being down 3-1?
3) Speeding up NBA games is back in the news
Look, I’m a huge NBA fan, therefore the length of games doesn’t really bother me. Yes, taking back-to-back timeouts is annoying, and sometimes the final minute of a game can take fifteen minutes, but the games are still exciting. This is not a problem for the die-hard fans, simply for those who tune in occasionally, and changing the history of the NBA by trimming games down by a couple minutes will only cause damage.
4) Knicks are spiralling out of control
The Knicks have lost 11 of their last 13 games, Carmelo Anthony is clearly annoyed (see his look of anger and disgust after losing to a T.J. McConnell fadeaway), and Derrick Rose’s random absence put a big spotlight on the team. Apparently Coach Hornacek is planning on starting Porzingis at the 5, and ‘Melo at the 4, but that’s not going to stop this runaway train. Trade Carmelo, fall back, get some picks, and build around The Unicorn.
5) Chris Paul out 6-8 weeks
Big loss for the Clippers, a team who consistently has to deal with injuries; notably their current injured star Blake Griffin. Without Griffin this Clippers team is still pretty good, but Paul is their leader and backbone. Raymond Felton has played well, but he can’t play at a high level for 36 minutes anymore. Look out for the Clippers to fall back in the standings a bit.
6) Russell Westbrook has 20 triple doubles through 42 games
Take Russell Westbrook off of the Thunder, they are in play for a top-5 pick in the 2017 draft. He has singlehandedly thrown his team onto his back, leading them in points, assists, rebounds, and steals. A little more than halfway through the season he is averaging 30.7 PTS, 10.3 AST, and 10.5 REB, and there’s no reason to think he won’t keep it up.
7) Ricky Rubio is on the trade block…again
Once Kris Dunn was drafted, Rubio was immediately placed on the trade block. However, early in the season Tom Thibodeau stated that they weren’t planning on trading Rubio, at least not this season. However, according to Woj, the Spanish point guard has found himself back on the block. Good for both him, and the T’Wolves is that he’s played well this season, and his draft stock is decently high. They should be able to get something for him this year.
8) James Harden hasn’t had a game with less than 7 assists
Point Harden, one of the best offseason changes within a team. His numbers are out of this world, and halfway through the season he’s the clear MVP. Not one game with even 6 assists!
9) Doug McDermott scores career-high 31 points
Dougy McBuckets, I’ve been waiting for this type of scoring outburst ever since his time at Creighton University. The Bulls need his outside shooting, he is an integral part of their rotation that is hoping to make the Playoffs out East.
10) Robin Lopez with the face-pass assist
This was the funniest moment of the week. Robin Lopez doesn’t exactly run like a gazelle on the floor, and he somewhat looks out of place at time. So when he got the best assist of the week by inadvertently making the assist of of his face, it just fit him perfectly as a player.