In our second-last Weekly Dimes post of the season, we see high scoring games, the return of a key player out East, and another laughable Sacramento Kings story. The eight seeds in both conferences are still up for grabs, and by next weeks post we’ll officially know the Playoff matchups. Next week will be the last regular post of the season, however there will be lots of stuff to write about come the postseason, along with the offseason and draft. Stay tuned for more!
1) Russell Westbrook gets 41st triple-double of season, ties Oscar Robertson’s record
Four games left, two against Denver, and one each against Phoenix and Minnesota. Four chances to beat what seemed to be an unbreakable record, set back in the 1962 season by Oscar Robertson. Seven times this season Russell came either one rebound, or one assist short of a triple-double, and if he had capitalized on half of those he would’ve made history about a week and a half ago. Love him or hate him, it’s hard to find a basketball fan who doesn’t want Russell to succeed and break this record.
2) Orlando Magic’s whiteboard goes viral
NBA organizations start thinking about offseason plans way before the season ends, and big boards with such plans probably exist for most teams. What does not happen for any other teams, however, is a photo of such a board being tweeted out accidentally. This is exactly what happened in Orlando, when an international player who had just signed for the Magic, had his photo taken in front of a whiteboard covered in different names. The whiteboard included players the Magic could trade for, or sign in the offseason, along with a breakdown of hybrid and big targets. The Magic’s season has been abysmal, and this won’t give their fanbase any hope for a competent product in the near future.
3) Tracy McGrady elected to NBA Hall of Fame
13 points in 33 seconds, that’s what I instantly think of when I see the name Tracy McGrady. But that doesn’t tell his whole story. Two time scoring champion, seven time All Star, seven time All NBA, and the 2001 Most Improved Player award. T-Mac had an incredible career, and I do wish we could’ve seen him and Vince Carter take the Raptors to new heights at the time.
4) Derrick Rose tears meniscus
Fourth knee surgery since 2012. Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds. Unrestricted free agency will be interesting this season, for many reasons, but one of them being who offers Rose a contract, and for how much. It’s hard to see the 2011 MVP starting for many teams in the league today, and this draft is introducing at least four quality starting point guards. I hope this isn’t all she wrote for D-Rose, but next season will probably be make-or-break.
5) Patrick Ewing accepts head coaching job at Georgetown
Ewing as a potential NBA head coach has been talked about profusely over the past couple of years, and no teams gave him a call. Now his alma mater is giving him a shot, and it’ll be interesting to see how they do under his tutelage. Ex-NBA players-turned coaches are generally point guards, but he is spoken about highly around NBA circles. Congratulations to the “Hoya Destroya”, hopefully some of that can rub off on your players.
6) Lance Stephenson’s late-game antics
Indiana-Lance is back to his old ways. Late in a blow-out versus the Raptors, Lance decided to take a lay-up with time winding down, breaking the unwritten rule of dribbling out the clock. This did not impress the Raptors players as they let him hear it as he walked back to the bench, but in typical Lance fashion, he calmly walked between them and didn’t seem to give a crap. Got to give him props somewhat for that.
7) Kyle Lowry returns
Raptor fans rejoice! Even though the Raptors have been playing better lately with Cory Joseph starting than before, having Lowry at the helm gives them a shot to go deep in the postseason. Now Lowry will have about 5 games to get back into game shape, and as long as there are no setbacks, the Raptors will be full-strength come Playoff time.
8) Four 40 point games on Sunday
Russell Westbrook: 40 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
LeBron James: 41 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists
Paul George: 43 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists
Stephen Curry: 42 points, 8 assists, 9/13 3PTM
Sunday night basketball did not disappoint this week; Stephen Curry got his rhythm back, Westbrook added to his triple-double tally, and the battle of LeBron/George was incredible. Remember when 40 point games were outrageous? Welcome to 2017.
9) Chicago Bulls have won 20 straight home games when featured on TNT
This is the craziest stat I have ever heard, I’m dead serious. The Bulls are not good, they are fighting for the final Playoff spot, and yet they dominate games that are televised on TNT. In the TNT games this season, the Bulls have victories against Boston (twice), San Antonio, Golden State, and Cleveland. Yeah, they beat arguable the top four teams in the league. Maybe this is a 2007 Warriors/Mavs situation, but instead the Cavs will be upset by the Bulls.
10) Vivek Ranadive tried to reach out to Cousins two weeks after trade
Vivek, once again you’re showing the world why you are a terrible owner, and professional. He told the media, along with Cousins, that he was not being traded just days before trading him, all without telling him! Cousins found out during a post-game interview, and now Vivek thinks he can reach out and talk to him? Even if this was one of the nicer players in the league, there’s a good chance that player doesn’t pick up the phone. Get a clue Vivek, or else nobody will want to come play for you.