This Week in the NBA

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press
There are only two games in the NBA this evening, and they’re both on television for the whole world to see, but before you watch Boston @ Orlando—in what might be a revenge game for the Magic—followed by Memphis @ the LA Clippers—a game that’ll be fun, hopefully all the way to the finish—read this as a sort of preface to the NBA action.

The Lake Show Slide. The Lakers of Los Angeles went on a little losing streak, of the three game variety, losing to both teams in Florida, on their home courts; and then, when the Lakers came back to the Staples Center, they gave a game away to the Pacers from the hangover.

LA shares the same problem as the Spurs: They disappear on the road for some reason. They just like it better at home, and the records are undeniable. Funny thing is that to break the losing skid, they beat the Clippers—the team leading the Pacific Division.

So the problem isn’t really something obvious; they just need to play at the level of which we all know they’re capable; then—and only then—will all be well.

Streaking Houston & Memphis. Both of these teams ended their winning streaks at seven, and they did it on back-to-back nights. And, as the records show, Houston at 10-8 and Memphis at 10-7, they both desperately needed it.

Both teams have balanced attacks thanks to the systems put into play by coaches Kevin McHale and Lionel Hollins. Plus, with players like Kevin Martin and Rudy Gay taking care of the scoring, Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley living it up as point guards, and unsung heroes Samuel Dalembert and Marc Gasol playing garbage men—there’s little reason to think either of these teams won’t be vying for playoff contention.

Utah and Denver Looking Good. There’s little that needs to be sad here, for the results speak for themselves, yet you have to just watch these teams, if at all possible, to see what I truly mean.

The Jazz have Paul Millsap leading the way like an All Star, but why isn’t he getting the votes people? Do I have to start a campaign to get that man invited to All Star Weekend? I hope not. Utah, also, appears to be getting the better end of the Devin Harris/Deron Williams deal, and I’ll be the first to admit that I had that one wrong.

That’s part of what makes the Utah Jazz so much fun; they constantly prove the skeptics wrong—something we all can appreciate.

Denver has one of the most versatile guards in basketball in Ty Lawson, and an offensive juggernaut known as Danilo Gallinari; he dropped 37&11 last Saturday, and I think he’ll go north of 30 a few more times before the years out. And to make the Nuggets even scarier, they have (in my opinion) the leading candidate for 6th Man of the Year in Al Harrington; he’s playing out of his mind.

Random Notes. The Chicago Bulls went 3-1 without Derek Rose proving they’re a phenomenal basketball team, not just a team with good players; the Clippers went 3-2 without Chris Paul, and Mo Williams has emerged as a legitimate role player during that stretch; the Knicks have lost 7-of-8 ballgames, and the problem lies in their flashes of brilliance instead of consistent play.

I hope that filled in the blanks, or at the very least, I hope it was informative. There’s plenty more basketball to be played, so let’s enjoy it together…

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