What Gives? Pac Div – Warriors fight on, Clippers break down
Random thought: you have to wonder whether any experts were able to predict the Warriors-Hawks match-up to be one of the most highly anticipated match-ups in the NBA this season. If anyone put their hand up, here’s a tip of the hat to you.
Now, back to the team recaps.
Golden State Warriors (40-9, 1st in West) – Well, you never want to be down by 17 after the first quarter, but who better to get you out of that situation than the Splash Brothers? Andrew Bogut is back (again) and Golden State has all of its rotational players back and healthy. If only David Lee is able to contribute more in his new role off the bench.
Small forward was a position that many expressed concern over, but Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala have been holding the fort well, providing approximately 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists a game together along with solid defense.
Losing to Atlanta in what was possibly one of the best regular season games so far was a bit of a surprise. Atlanta’s climbed into the #1 spot now, and beaten the best of the West.
On a side note, how fun would it be to see Curry or Thompson win the 3-point contest? They have to get past that Korver guy in Atlanta though.
Los Angeles Clippers (33-18, 6th in West) – The Clippers suffered an epic meltdown in the face of the Brooklyn Nets, blowing a nine-point lead with less than two minutes left of game time. “We just lost it,” said Chris Paul after the game. “I mean, not trying to take any credit away from what they did and the shots they made, but we gave the game away.” This triggered a three-game losing streak, making them 4 of 6 on the current road trip.
With J.J Redick now questionable for future games as a result of back spasms, the question remains for the Clippers: do they trade for a 2 or a 3? If so, who do they give up: will it be a key bench player in Jamal Crawford or Spencer Hawes, or will it be one of the incumbent starters in Matt Barnes? If they don’t make a trade, can they persuade a player such as Ray Allen to bolster their rotation?
Phoenix Suns (29-23, 8th in West) – Tough losses to the Warriors and the Grizzlies and a good win over the Bulls concludes a tough week for Phoenix. Losing to Portland was tough, and a Utah victory negligible in the grand scheme of things. It would have been difficult to envision them earning victories over Golden State and Memphis, and that alone speaks more about the differences in talent level in the rosters than the effort Jeff Hornacek’s men are putting in.
Isaiah Thomas continues to put in work over a limited amount of playing time (approximately 15 points in 25 minutes), but with Gerald Green’s role diminishing, one has to wonder whether it would be worth trading Thomas for an upgrade in the 3 position to replace P.J Tucker, whose greatest trait is his energy. They need another scorer.
Sacramento Kings (17-32, 13th in West) – With the trade deadline looming and the results no longer important for Sacramento, it’s time to start showcasing trade assets. First up: Derrick Williams in a 2 points and 3 rebounds effort in 21 minutes in a loss against Golden State. He might have been better coming off the bench.
The Kings do not have the best reputation in developing draft picks (see Whiteside, Hassan) and Nik Stauskas appears to be the next victim, with trade rumors swirling around him. Let’s hope he will get playing time, whether that be with the Kings or with another team. They can really only keep either him or Ben McLemore, and right now it appears that the latter will be favored.
Los Angeles Lakers (13-37, 14th in West) – After losing Jordan Hill to a strained hip, the Lakers are down to this starting five:
- Jordan Clarkson (second-round pick who was not in the rotation at the start of the season)
- Wayne Ellington (late free-agent pick up who was not in the rotation at the start of the season)
- Ryan Kelly (who played in the D-League one day, and immediately inserted into the starting line-up the next)
- Tarik Black (mid-season pick-up after Houston waived him to make room for Josh Smith)
- Robert Sacre (who is the best cheerleader in the NBA and also the recipient of the best theme song in the NBA)
Yes, it’s bad Lakers fans.
Have any thoughts with regards to the teams? Want to rant about the Kings or rave about the Warriors? Send in your comment or drop me a message!
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR