The season has come to a conclusion, and with that comes the end of the 2016/2017 Weekly Dimes. This season has been incredible, filled with amazing storylines and historic moments, and those should continue on into the Playoffs. Now to the Dimes; this week determined who made the final Playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, provided further MVP-fodder for the Westbrook MVP case, and saw an athlete from another sport suit up for an NBA team. I want to say that I enjoyed writing this weekly post throughout the season, it gave me more reason to follow the season closely, and it did not disappoint. Stay tuned for Playoff matchup previews, and other post/offseason articles, along with the 2017/2018 Weekly Dimes next October!
1) Russell Westbrook gets 42nd triple double, surpasses Oscar Robertson
MVP. That is all I have to say.
…Alright, that isn’t all I have to say. Russell Westbrook’s incredible season was capped off with the 42nd triple double, and even better it came in a clutch come-from-behind victory over the Denver Nuggets; capped off with a game-winning deep three from Russ, eliminating Denver from postseason contention in the process. It’s been said my many media members; Russ won this regular season, and that game-winner will be a focal point of any 2016-2017 regular season highlight reel for decades to come.
Nets Celtics secure top lottery odds
The Brooklyn Nets cemented themselves as the worst team this season, therefore giving themselves a 25% chance of winning the top spot in the NBA Draft lottery. This means the Nets will be able to draft their franchise cornerstone player…wait, the Nets traded what for Pierce and Garnett? Oh, well this Nets season was a waste. Boston fans rejoice, the Celtics (thanks to a horrible deal) have a 1 in 4 chance of landing the #1 pick in the draft! Yes, a team that has a viable chance of making the NBA Finals this year could draft first overall. The Celtics are in an enviable spot, however with the consensus top-two prospects being point guards, they’ll have to make a decision this offseason regarding Isaiah Thomas’s future within the organization. How the team fares in the Playoff’s will help to make this decision; if they make a deep run while being lead by Thomas, there’s no way they move on from him. However, if they were to be bounced early, I could see them trading Isaiah and moving forward with Smart as the starting guard, with either Fultz or Ball being the future starting guard. The Celtics are the most intriguing team to follow this summer in my opinion, it’s rare in sports to see a team this good have as many options as they have.
3) Bulls and Pacers secure last Playoff spots in East
The 7th and 8th seeds out East came down to the final day, with the Bulls, Pacers, and Heat vying for the final two spots. The Bulls and Pacers held their own fate, both just needing to win to continue with their season. Meanwhile Miami needed to win, and have at least one of the other two teams lose. Unfortunately for Miami, the story of the second half of the season, the Bulls and Pacers both finished the season with a W. The Heat have to be incredibly happy with how their season turned around; they started out 11-30, and finished 30-11 in the second half. Coming into this season if you had asked me if the Heat would be in the mix for a Playoff seed on the final day of the season, I would have laughed in your face. But with Goran Dragic having a comeback season of sorts, Hassan Whiteside continuing to grow, and the average value of a property on Dion Waiters island going through the roof, they have a pretty bright future ahead.
4) Waiting until the NBA Awards Show to learn who the MVP is
While learning about who wins all the awards is interesting, none is better than the MVP, especially this season. This would be a topic of discussion no matter what, because the awards won’t have the same appeal being announced after the Playoffs have come to a conclusion. But on top of that, the top two candidates are facing off against each other in the first round. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to watch Westbrook and Harden go at it knowing which one was deemed the MVP of the league, especially if that MVP is Harden? Russell Westbrook, who goes balls-to-the-wall every single time he steps on the court, would somehow crank it up another notch and play with an incredible intensity. Instead, the topic of who the MVP is will continue for another couple of months, somewhat overshadowing the Playoffs themselves.
5) Jerry West doesn’t want to be featured as the logo anymore
Jerry West isn’t scared to speak his mind, and he made headlines when he came onto ESPN’s The Jump, and said that he didn’t want his likeness to be featured on the NBA logo anymore. It’s an interesting discussion, no other league logos have a clear resemblance to a past player. Personally, I think that being chosen as the logo that represents the league would be an incredible honour, however West stated that he does not like having attention drawn to him. Adam Silver and the league office have a dilemma to deal with, and if they were to find a new player to model the logo after it would be intriguing to see who they consider.
6) Cavaliers blow back to back double-digit 4th quarter leads
Coming down the stretch, teams hopefully have their rotations sorted out, and are feeling good coming into the postseason. This is not the case for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs ended their season with four straight losses, including two straight overtime losses to Atlanta and Miami; both games in which they had double digit leads coming into the fourth quarter. Betting against LeBron is a fools errand, the guy has made six straight NBA Finals, and even with this recent losing stretch, they are still the favourites to make it out of the Eastern Conference. However, it will be interesting to see how LeBron and company show up in the first round against Indiana, Paul George is a tough matchup to deal with.
7) Brook Lopez becomes Nets all-time leading scorer
If the Nets hadn’t traded every pick they own for the next century to Boston, getting 25% of the ping pong balls would be the best part of their season. But, they did make that trade, therefore Brook Lopez, perennial trade rumour bait, becoming the franchises all-time leading scorer is the success of their season. Sorry Nets fans, must’ve been a tough year. At least Caris LeVert looks good?
8) Tony Romo suits up for Dallas Mavericks
If it hadn’t been for Adam Silver not honouring Romo’s contract, there’s a good chance that he would’ve played in the Mavericks final game. Tony Romo did a lot for Dallas in his time as the Cowboys starting QB, and now with his move to broadcasting Mark Cuban and the Mavs decided to honour Romo. When I first read this I thought it was the dumbest PR move ever, however upon further reading I learned that Romo was actually a fantastic high school basketball player, and he had offers to play Div. 1 basketball. Commissioner Silver clearly saw this as a farce, therefore not honouring the contract, and that probably was the best option; can’t set a precedent for other teams to honour people who don’t belong on a professional basketball court.
9) Timberwolves rebranded logo
Minnesota’s season ended a few weeks back once they were eliminated from Playoff contention, but this past week they announced plans to rebrand the team, and released the new logo. The only problem is, the new logo isn’t all that different from their old logo. It appears like the same colour scheme as the Seattle Seahawks, and I’m not a big fan of the lime green on an NBA jersey. The Twitter-verse ripped the logo apart, quite appropriately, and besides the great hype video that came with the announcement, it does not add much excitement to their great future.
10) Cavaliers cut Larry Sanders, sign Edy “Walter” Tavares for Playoffs
You’re on a team with a very good shot at reaching the NBA Finals, and on the last day of the season the team cuts you. Is there anything worse than that as an NBA player? Apparently the decision was made when Sanders missed the team bus the day before, which is fair for a player who was clearly going to be on a short leash. It’s a sad story for Sanders, a player who just a few years ago appeared to have a bright future ahead. Hopefully for him this isn’t the end of his story, and another team takes a swing on him in the offseason, but it doesn’t seem highly likely.