Weekly Dimes (Feb. 15 – 22)

Yep, I extended this week to 8 days to include the last day of the trade deadline. This week we saw very little actual basketball action, but it was still a very entertaining and exciting week. With the All Star game and the deadline, there were many headline-worthy stories, so let’s just get into my top 10 from the week!

 

1) DeMarcus Cousins is finally free from the Kings dumpster fire

I’m both relieved for him, and still surprised that this trade actually happened. But it’s very on brand for the Kings organization; owner Vivek Ranadive apparently thinks incredibly highly of another shooting guard in Buddy Hield, referencing him as the next Stephen Curry. Good luck to you Buddy, these next few years will be tough. The main story out of this is the Pelicans however, because they now possess arguably the best power forward and center in the game. It’ll be tough for them to fight up to the 8th seed this year, as great as it would be to see them face the Warriors in the first round, so look out for the team from New Orleans next season as a real threat.

2) Kyrie Irving believes the Earth is flat

I’m not going to go long on this, Kyrie, I know you were a one-and-done, but c’mon dude. You know the Earth is round, you can question all the real conspiracy theories, but don’t say the Earth is flat.

3) Nerlens Noel traded to Dallas

This was one of the best deals of the deadline as the Mavericks acquired their center of the future, Nerlens Noel. The Mavs only had to give up Justin Anderson, who doesn’t seem like he’ll be much more than a 10 minute a night guy, and a pick. Great move by Mark Cuban and company.

4) 500 thousand dollars donated to the Sager Strong Foundation

This was the feel good story of the All Star Weekend, (honorary mention to Jarrius Robertson) when a mix of NBA All Stars, retired players, and celebrities had a shootout to raise money for the late great Craig Sager’s foundation. It was capped off with Sager’s son throwing down a dunk to raise the donation to $500,000.

5) McDermott/Gibson traded to Oklahoma City

Another great trade at the deadline, with OKC only really giving up Cameron Payne. Taj Gibson is an upgrade to Joffrey Lauvergne, and McDermott is a huge upgrade to Anthony Morrow. Another great move for Sam Presti and the Thunder.

6) Durant throws lob to Westbrook at All Star Game

Don’t get it twisted, the feud between the two is real, but it was somewhat nostalgic to see Durant throw it up for his old pal Russ. Pretty funny as well when the West bench got up to give them a standing ovation, it even made Kawhi smile.

7) Dunk Contest leaves little to be desired

Was there ever a chance this contest would be as good or better as last years? Nope, but this one was really sad. The drone dunk took the air out of the arena, and with little star power the contest was abysmal. It’s tough to see when it’ll rebound, we’ll just have to remember 2016 fondly.

8) Magic Johnson becomes President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan are all executives (along with MJ being an owner) in the NBA, and they could potentially trade between eachother. That’s pretty crazy, makes you wonder who from this generation will take leadership roles in an organization. Magic made a quick move upon his hire by sending Lou Williams to Houston for an expiring deal and a pick. The Lakers look primed to build up quickly, especially with the rumour of Paul George in 2018 floating about.

9) Giannis puts Curry on a poster

Best moment of the All Star game, and even better were the reactions from Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan. Giannis played hard throughout the game, and didn’t let up when the possibility of a tip-slam over the two-time MVP Curry arose. Steph, welcome to your Kodak moment.

10) “Uncle Drew” movie coming with Kyrie Irving as star

This and Space Jam 2, the NBA stars are breaking further into the world of entertainment. Who knows what the premise of this will be, but what will be interesting is which NBA players, and potential legends, join the cast. Also once again, Kyrie, the Earth is round. End of story.

Weekly Dimes (Feb. 8 – 14)

Valentines Day means absolutely nothing in the NBA landscape, but this past week has altered this NBA season more than almost any other week so far. We saw major injuries, a huge trade, and other, some almost unbelievable, storylines. Dive in with me and let’s break down this past week.

 

 

1) Ibaka traded to the Raptors

Ultimately I chose this as the top story because it affects the NBA landscape on the court, instead of off. This trade was huge for the Raps, they finally got an above-average power forward. While Serge Ibaka is not the Ibaka of past years, his outside shooting and rim protecting skills open endless realms of possibilities for the team from the 6. Small-ball lineups with Lowry, Powell, DeRozan, Carroll, and Ibaka would have high defensive potential, and a ton of spacing for DeRozan and Lowry to drive. With Kevin Love’s injury (spoiler, this is in my list) and the Cavaliers faltering slightly, if the Raptors can play to their new found ceiling, there could be the slightest chance that a Canadian team plays in the NBA Finals.

2) Oakley v. Dolan at MSG

This story did not end up smelling like roses for the Knicks organization. Everyone has heard what transpired at Madison Square Garden between Oakley and security, and I still can’t believe it happened. Charles Oakley is best known for his time in New York, and for an organization to turn its back on an ex-player, it’s just sad. The Knicks are now at the bottom of my personal organization rankings, tied for last with Sacramento.

3) KD’s return to Oklahoma City

It seemed early on like this was going to be a good game, but unfortunately OKC’s bench let them down. Durant played decently, but definitely appeared rattled by the Thunder fanbase. A chorus of “cupcake” chants and boos rained down on him every time he touched the ball, and there was no other way the fans would react; those fans won’t be forgiving him anytime soon, and neither will Russ.

4) Jabari Parker to miss the rest of season with torn ACL

Absolutely devastating news out in Milwaukee, especially with Khris Middleton just returning from injury. Middleton adds so much to their system, and they had a good chance to make a late surge for a Playoff spot. But now without their starting power forward, it’ll be a much tougher path for the Bucks. Maybe, it would be best to just tank this season, get another good, young player, and make strides next season.

5) Kevin Love out for 6 weeks

The other power forward injury in the East, Love will miss up to 6 weeks after knee surgery. This comes as a huge blow to the conference favourite Cleveland Cavaliers. He’ll be back just in time for the Playoffs, but returning from injury can be a challenge. Does this injury make them potentially look to move him? The Cavs are a weird organization to read, we’ll have to just wait and see what happens.

6) Nurkic traded to Portland

Denver finally makes a decision on what young, international center they are rolling with, and it was an easy choice. Nikola Jokic (more to come in the next dime) has been outstanding, and Nurkic was clearly playing second fiddle. Getting back Plumlee and a pick is a decent return, Plumlee offers a different role off of the bench for the Nuggets than Nurkic could provide. And for the Trail Blazers, they now have their number one starting big man. Seems as if this trade is a win-win for both sides.

7) Nikola Jokic’s big week

Jokic had some outstanding performances this past week, starting with his 40 point night in New York, a night that made him only the 4th player aged 22 or under to score 40 in MSG. He then followed that performance up with a ludicrous triple double in a win against the Warriors; 17 points, 21 rebounds, and 12 assists. His outside shooting is incredible, and a ranking of the top NBA unicorns might have to be done soon.

8) Buddy Hield goes below the belt on Cousins

This was the WTF moment of the week. Cousins was setting a run-off screen on Hield, and as Hield was ran into Cousins, he reached down and grabbed Cousins between the crotch. The play was instantly called to a halt, and Cousins made it clear what had just happened. Hield was assessed a flagrant foul and was tossed from the game. Even better about this situation? Teammate Anthony Davis posted a photo of Buddy asleep on the team plane, holding himself below the pants, further insinuating that Buddy likes to, ahem, hold balls.

9) Draymond Green becomes only player with triple double and less than 10 points

Draymond is one of only a couple players in the league that realistically could achieve a quadruple double, and the fact that he came so close to the feat while only scoring 4 points almost doesn’t seem real. Really Draymond, couldn’t get three more buckets? I mean, he did a ton else in this game; 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals, but the fact he couldn’t score 10 points is just plain weird.

10) D-League becomes G-League

The NBA Development League has now been re-branded as the Gatorade League, and I think that’s a huge improvement. The league is clearly trying to make their lesser league better, improve it so it becomes the ideal pathway to making the NBA. Personally, D-League sounds like a bad thing, think getting a D on a paper in school, and now it’s been renamed G-League? Yeah, you know what I’m thinking, that’s pretty gangster.

 

Weekly Dimes (Feb. 1 – 7)

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.

Weekly Dimes (Jan. 25 – 31)

As we enter February, there are only a few short months left of the 2016/2017 NBA season. And with that, the stories and moments are only getting more intense, so much so that there was a lot from this past week that I had to omit from my top-10 list. But, without further ado, the 10 stories and moments that DID make the list!

 

1) All Star reserves are announced

West: Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol

East: Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Kevin Love, Paul Millsap

I don’t have too many complaints here, I’m happy that Hayward and Walker made it, but Klay’s spot I don’t find to be deserved. Mike Conley and Damian Lillard have had better seasons, and I’m not a fan of the thought process, “well the Warriors are the best team in the league, they should have four All Stars”. Out East everything makes sense, Paul Millsap has played well, and is averaging career highs for an Atlanta team that is firmly in a Playoff spot. Joel Embiid just missed out, but if Kevin Love’s injury is serious enough where he has to miss the game…who else would be selected to replace him? #TrustTheProcess

2) Immigration Ban could impact NBA

Who would’ve thought that Trump’s presidency would impact the NBA and other major sports leagues, other than seeing how awkward the championship teams would act when visiting the White House. Trump’s immigration ban has been implemented, and 7 countries have been banned from entering the United States; one country being Sudan, a country that has given the NBA Luol Deng and Thon Maker. When the news first came out, it appeared as if these two players would have problems when going to play in Toronto, or across the sea, and then coming back to the U.S.A., but it appears so far as if they both will be exempt. This will be an interesting story to follow.

3) Stephen Jackson shares stories of smoking weed before NBA games

This was a great story to come out of the past week, Stephen Jackson has never been one to hold his tongue, and this continued when he discussed how he would smoke weed before playing in NBA games. The best part? He told a story to Michael Rappaport about one of his last drug tests of the season, where he and Baron Davis were stoked to be able to smoke weed for the rest of the season. As he and Davis were walking down the hall, his then head coach, Don Nelson, came running to them with high-fives, excited as well that his players could play while high.

4) Enes Kanter breaks forearm punching chair

Oh boy, this was the dumb-ass move of the week. Enes Kanter, one of the best 6th men in the league, and a key cog to the Thunder’s offence, broke his forearm when slamming his fist down on a chair during a time-out. Did I mention this happened in a game where the Thunder were winning? Yup, now Kanter will miss 6-8 weeks, and the Thunder need to think about where they will replace his offensive production. Well done Enes.

5) Dion Waiters is the Eastern Conference player of the week

Waiters Island is absolutely bumping right now, and if you kept your property the price has never been higher. Dion is averaging 23 points per game, and has lead the Heat to a 4-0 record this past week. Toss in a game winning three against ex-teammate Kevin Durant and the Warriors, this might be the best week of Dion Waiters young life.

6) Jimmy Butler and the Bulls drama

Jimmy Butler has played like a top-10 player this season, however the Bulls front office issues have made him a topic of trade rumours. Ever since it came out that a Bulls executive threatened to supplant him in the roation with Tony Snell, Butler has shown clear resentment of GM Gar Foreman and the Bulls office. The Celtics seem very keen on acquiring him, and have more than enough assets to do so. Maybe it would be for the best to just let him go.

7) Orlando Magic shopping Serge Ibaka before the deadline

Ha. Ha. Haha. Sorry, had to get that out. Clearly the Magic are regretting their decision to give up Oladipo, Sabonis, and Ilyasova for the expring Serge Ibaka. There’s no way they recoup those type of assets, but they should be able to get a solid player and a pick for him from a team that desperately needs floor spacing from their big men.

8) Larry Sanders works out for Boston

This a heartwarming story, Larry Sanders was one of the best up-and-coming centers in the league before leaving the NBA behind due to his anxiety and depression issues. If he still has what it takes, and Boston signs him up, he would be a perfect fit next to Al Horford, who would much rather man the 4-spot.

9) James Harden drops 51, 13, and 13, second 50+point triple double of season

Fear the Beard. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, James Harden is the MVP this season. Point Harden is an absolute monster, and getting his second 50 point triple double in the same season is incredible. If the Rockets can stay healthy, (knock on wood) look out.

10) Knicks/Hawks game goes to quadruple-overtime

68 minutes, that’s how long it took for this game to find its winner. Even though Carmelo Anthony fouled out, he lead the Knicks with 45 points, while All Star Paul Millsap lead the way for the Hawks with a near triple double; 37 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 assists. Courtney Lee hit a couple clutch buckets to keep the game going, but the Hawks came away with the 142-139 win. The best part about this is that the Warriors scored 144 points on the same night, in only 48 minutes.

Weekly Dimes (Jan. 18 – 24)

It’s officially the dog days of the NBA season. The teams are all tired, the countdown to the All Star break is on, but that didn’t stop this past week from providing us with some exciting, and crazy moments. There was a crazy slate of games on Monday, teams are sliding and rising, so here are my ten “dimes” of the week!

 

1) All Star starters announced

Russell Westbrook not starting is a travesty, but that’s the only problem I have with the voting outcome. Anthony Davis is amazing, and Jimmy Butler making it out East is well deserved.

2) Cavaliers are struggling

Whoa, what’s going on in Ohio? LeBron is speaking out, they’re losing bad games (against the Pelicans sans-Davis), and there need of another playmaker is a real problem. The Cavs need a break for All-Star Weekend more than any other team, and hopefully they can bounce back for the last stretch of the season.

3) 76ers have won 8 of last 10 games

Trust the process. Embiid and Saric are two of the top 3-4 rookies this year, and the team is really coming together. Okafor hasn’t played more than 8 minutes in any of the last 10 games, and if they get something for him at the deadline, this team has a chance of moving further up in the standings.

4) Waiters game-winner against Golden State

Waiters Island became densely populated during his performance against his former teammate, Kevin Durant, and the Warriors. His outside shot was en fuego, and him saying “This is my city” was just a great Dion moment.

5) Westbrook with the worst travel of all time

Nothing much to be said about this, just have to ask..why? Did you forget you were playing on live television Russ? That will be one of the best Shaqtin’ A Fool moments of the year.

6) Slam Dunk participants starting to get announced

According to multiple sources, Glenn Robinson III of the Pacers, Jonathan Simmons of the Spurs, and Aaron Gordon of the Magic have accepted invitations to participate in this year’d Slam Dunk Contest. That leaves one spot left for Zach LaVine to go for the three-peat, but it seems as if he’ll bow out. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see who fills the last spot. Jaylen Brown of the Celtics has declined, along with Larry Nance Jr.

7) Lakers lose to Mavs by 49

On the anniversary of Kobe dropping 81 points, the Lakers failed to surpass that point total as a team, losing to the Mavericks by 49 points in the process. The Lakers have taken a step back, and that’s probably for the best. Continue to build through the draft, and try and put this performance behind you L.A.

8) Wizards wear all-black-everything to game against Celtics

This one I didn’t quite understand. In the last meeting between the Celtics and Wizards, John Wall and Jae Crowder confronted each other after the game, exchanging pokes and slaps. The Wizards as a team decided to show up to the arena in the rematch wearing all black. The Celtics laughed it off, but maybe they should’ve taken it more seriously because the Wizards came away with the victory.

9) Rudy Gay out for season with torn ACL

This is tough for both him, and the Kings. It was clear that he was going to be traded during the trade deadline, and now there’s no way any team will take him. Unfortunately for Gay, he’s also an unrestricted free agent this summer, and will have to rehab his stock after this major injury. Good luck Rudy, and come back better than ever.

10) Carmelo Anthony would waive his no-trade clause for the right situation

Could it finally happen, will the Knicks trade away the face of their franchise, the guy they mortgaged their future for, and allow the rebuild to full commence around Porzingod? Please, find a team that needs a scorer come Playoff time (…Celtics? maybe Grizz? I don’t know, I just want him off the Knicks).

 

 

Weekly Dimes (Jan. 11 – 17)

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.

Weekly Dimes (Jan. 4 – 10)

This past week was full of big moments, including the first All Star fan vote return and the first major trade of trade season. As we near the halfway point of the season, things are starting to ramp up and the exciting moments will continue to materialize. Let’s get into the ten most interesting things from the last week.

1) First All Star fan vote returns are in

Oh the fan vote, the reason why All Star voting was changed this season to allow for half of the vote to be accounted for by media and the players. Some players, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kawhi Leonard, are deserving of such votes. However, then there are players like Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, and, ugh, Zaza Pachulia. Yes, the entire country of Georgia has voted for Zaza a staggering 439,675 times, giving him more votes in the Western Conference frontcourt than Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins to name just a few. This is the problem fans, and the reason why we don’t deserve to vote for this game, even though it is for us, the fans.

2) Kyle Korver traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Looking back now, this seems like an odd trade. At the time, it appeared as if Atlanta was tearing it all down, and was set on trading Paul Millsap. However, it has now come out that they play on contending and will not be trading their star power forward. This may still change, but this trade was a clear win for Cleveland, they bring in one of the best shooters in the league, even though he is aging, and give LeBron and Kyrie another weapon to kick it out too.

3) Derrick Rose saga, leaves team without any notification

This was the weirdest story of the week, Derrick Rose skipped out on a game against the Pelicans and didn’t inform anyone in the Knicks organization. Rumours swirled around the matter, and what came out was that it was a family issue and it was unspecified. Later on in this saga, it was reported that Rose thought about leaving basketball behind for good, an odd thing after a somewhat bounce-back season for him. Then, even later on, it was reported that Rose will be seeking a max deal this offseason. Oh boy, how the mighty have fallen.

4) Rockets are 23-4 after Patrick Beverly returns from injury

Currently the Rockets are playing up to their namesake; they are red hot. Eric Gordon is putting up All Star-like numbers, Harden is clearly the MVP (with the Thunder being 7th in the West, he has to get the edge over Russ), and D’Antoni’s 7-seconds-or-less offence is built perfectly for this squad. Odd to think that Beverly is the key cog to the success, but he is the ideal guard to play alongside the ball-dominant Harden.

5) Matt Bonner retires

Congratulations to the Red Mamba on a great career, players like him typically don’t last long, and fade out quickly from the league. But his strong shooting, unorthodox release, and just overall likability will not be forgotten.

6) Everyone on Miami is available for trade

It has come out that they plan on not listening to trades for Hassan Whiteside, but honestly, I kind of doubt that. Everyone is on the table, make your best offer rest of the NBA. With Winslow’s season-ending injury, it’s finally time for the Heat to embrace the tank, and try to get as many first-round picks in this loaded draft as they can.

7) Anthony Bennett is out of the league

Sad news, but not surprising in the slightest. He never should have been taken first overall, even in a draft as bad as that one, but it set Bennett up for failure. His odd size and game style left him position-less, not good enough of a shooter to play the 3, not tall enough and lacking the post moves to play the 4. Good luck to you Anthony Bennett, I hope he can eventually make it, but maybe for now it would be best for him to go play overseas.

8) Lucas Nogueira drops his drawers to distract Derrick Favors at FT line

Funniest moment of the week. When I first read this headline, I thought his pants might have fallen down accidentally,but upon review of the video, he clearly pulls them down on purpose. Sweet move “Bebe”, unfortunately it didn’t work and Favors hit the free throw, but this could be a sly distraction technique others could implement into their game.

9) DeMarcus Cousins will drop R&B album if voted an All Star

Look, I am not a fan of Cousins, I’ve never hidden that, and I don’t think he deserves to start the All Star game, but I am interested in what this album would sound like. If I were to picture Cousins doing anything musically, I’d picture a more hard rap style, but an R&B album would definitely be…something.

10) Boban Marjanovic with 15 points, 19 rebound in 22 minutes

Joel Embiid is my favourite of the unicorn players, followed by Porzingis and Antetokounmpo, but Marjanovic is definitely up there. His dinner plate hands, overall stature, and his actual ability to play basketball make him so intriguing, and this performance showed that he has real potential to be an impact player.