With the start of February, all teams are well over the 50 game mark. Now is the time in the season where players look forward to the All Star break, executives look forward to the trade deadline, and fans look forward to the Playoffs. Meanwhile, we (mostly being I) still have a lot of storylines and moments to enjoy from the past week!
1) Zach LaVine to miss rest of season with torn ACL
Starting this weeks list off with some sad news; Zach LaVine will miss the rest of the season with a tear in his ACL. This is one of the most devastating injuries for an athlete, especially an explosive athlete like LaVine. Luckily he’s only 21 years old, and ACL injuries are much more detrimental to older players, but there will still be a lot of rehab for the young Timberwolf. Wishing the best for you Zach, get better and we’ll see you back on the court next season.
2) Cavs/Wizards potential game of the year
This game was absolutely insane. If you asked me after the first week of the season which Eastern Conference mid-season matchup I was most excited to see, this wouldn’t have been my first choice. The Wizards started the season off incredibly slow, but have rebounded ever since, good enough for the 4th seed in the East. LeBron’s amazing outside shooting down the stretch, his fadeaway to send it to OT, and Kyrie’s clutch gene showing up in the overtime period was just enough to topple John Wall and the surging Wizards. Oh, and LeBron finished the night with a career-high 17 assists. Yup, this would make a great Eastern Conference Final’s matchup.
3) Khris Middleton announces his return from injury
For a Bucks team that is 4-12 in their last 16 games, this is the best news possible. Middleton has recovered faster than was expected after tearing his hamstring, and now the Bucks have their best shot maker back to make a run for a Playoff spot. Can’t wait to see how this team plays now, be prepared for a lot of big shots from Middleton to round out this season.
4) Yogi Ferrell, this year’s version of Linsanity
The Mavericks have been a dumpster fire for the majority of this season, and have been operating with a roster built of D-League signees; one of which being Yogi Ferrell. Upon first glance you might think, cool name, but I’ve never heard anything about this guy. Not many had, but Mark Cuban struck gold when he signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract. In five starts, Ferrell averaged over 17 points a game, and 5 assists, more than enough for him to secure a multi-year deal. Yogi and Seth Curry, Mavs backcourt of the future?
5) Milwaukee and Charlotte make a big-man trade
Miles Plumlee for Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes…yup, that’s the trade. It makes sense for both sides, the Hornets get a younger big man with half-decent potential, signed long term, and the Bucks get expiring contracts in order to rid themselves of Plumlee’s long deal. Boring trade, but let’s hope for an exciting trade deadline.
6) James Harden’s jump on Michael Carter Williams’s back
I defend Harden, I like his game, but this one is too tough to explain. It did work, but that’s just poor officiating on the referee’s part. Harden literally jumped on MCW’s back to force him into his 6th foul, and should’ve been called for an offensive foul, along with a technical. It was a childish move, but if the refs aren’t going to call it, might as well exploit it.
7) Heat have won 11 in a row
The Heat are literally, no pun intended, the hottest team in the league right now. Dion Waiters is playing like a true number 4 pick, Goran Dragic is back in his dragon groove, and Hassan Whiteside is blocking/catching balls out of midair. As of now they’re 2 games out of a Playoff spot, but I still remain skeptical. If they make this win streak stretch to 15, I may change my mind.
8) Lance Stephenson signs 10-day contract with Minnesota
Lance-a-make-em-dance! Congratulations to “Born Ready” for managing to stick around in the league, and he may have found the perfect situation to stick around for a while. With LaVine’s injury, Stephenson will soak up a lot of minutes at the 2-guard, and as long as he plays defence then Coach Thibs will love him.
9) Wilson Chandler wants out of Denver
This is slightly odd seeing as how the Nuggets are in the 8th spot out West, but it does make sense. He’s going to turn 30 this year, and can really help a contending team, or a team that hopes to contend within the next couple of years. The Thunder, Pelicans, and Clippers are just a few teams that need an upgrade at the small forward position.
10) Nets haven’t won a home game this year
Yeah, this is a bit of a cop out seeing as how 2017 just started, but it’s kind of funny. The Nets situation is bleak for their absence of future assets, and their fans still have to endure watching their terrible basketball product. At least when Philadelphia was getting destroyed the fans had the hope of future draft picks, Brooklyn fans have Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, and a bunch of guys who should probably be playing over in Europe. If the Nets win over 30 games within the next couple of years I will eat an entire carton of raw eggs.