BDCi’s NBA Weekly 1.10.14
(BDCi) — It has been quite a week in the NBA. More injuries as it seems this season more and more guards are getting hurt. The Pelicans Jrue Holiday is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right tibia while the Suns Eric Bledsoe is also going to miss significant time with knee surgery. Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets is in a walking boot due to his injured ankle. In other news, Brazilian Leandro Barbosa was signed to a 10 day contract with the Phoenix Suns, the team he had some much success with earlier in his career. The Suns were looking to bolster their lineup after losing Bledsoe. Two significant trades happened during the week with the Bulls trading Luol Deng to the Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and some draft picks. After the trade, the Bulls released Andrew Bynum. The Bulls wanted to save money plus Deng was going to be a free agent after the season is over and they accomplished that by saving 20 million dollars and they get draft picks which they have been pretty good with to get some younger cheaper players. The Memphis Grizzlies acquired guard Courtney Lee and sent Jerryd Bayless to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team trade that included Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies in addition to Lee got a draft pick while Boston also received forward Ryan Gomes from Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City received two draft picks from the Grizzlies. In a separate move, Ryan Gomes was waived from the Celtics.
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Indiana Pacers (28-7) — lost by ten to Atlanta in their last game
2. Miami Heat (27-9) — lost to the Knicks by ten in their last game
3. Atlanta Hawks (19-17) — had a solid win over Indiana in their last game
4. Toronto Raptors (17-17) — starting five in double figures as they defeated Detroit in their last game
5. Washington Wizards (16-17) — winners of two in a row
6. Chicago Bulls (15-18) — winners of three in a row but lost Deng in a trade
7. Charlotte Bobcats (15-21) — lost to Washington in their last game
8. Brooklyn Nets (14-21) — winners of four in a row despite missing their point guard and center
1. San Antonio Spurs (28-8) — winners of three in a row
2. Portland Trailblazers (27-9) — defeated Orlando in their last game
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (27-9) — losers of two in a row
4. Los Angeles Clippers (25-13) — winners of two in a row including a victory over Boston
5. Houston Rockets (23-13) — winners of two in a row
6. Golden State Warriors (24-14) — lost to Brooklyn by four in their last game
7. Phoenix Suns (21-13) — defeated Minnesota by one point in their last game
8. Dallas Mavericks (20-16) — lost to San Antonio in their last game and will be without Shawn Marion
NBA Player Stats
Points- the top five scorers are: Kevin Durant-OKC (29.5), Carmelo Anthony-NYK (26.3), Kevin Love-MIN (26.1), LeBron James-MIA (25.7) and James Harden-HOU (24.9).
Rebounds-the top five board crashers are: DeAndre Jordan-LAC (13.5), Kevin Love-MIN (13.2), Dwight Howard-HOU (12.9), Andre Drummond-DET (12.7) and DeMarcus Cousins-SAC (11.5).
Assists-the top five passers are: Chris Paul-LAC (11.2), Stephen Curry-GSW (9.4), John Wall-WAS (8.7), Ty Lawson-DEN (8.6) and Ricky Rubio-MIN (8.3).
Brazilian Player Watch
Anderson Varejao- Center, Cleveland Cavaliers. 8.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.Varejao
is now back and starting like he should after the Cavs got rid of Andrew Bynum. Varejao is an emotional leader and he is better served starting than coming off the bench and hopefully his numbers will improve. In his last game on January 7, he scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a win over Philadelphia. That sounds more like the Varejao we are all used to. On January 5 against Indiana, he scored seven points and grabbed 13 rebounds but had four fouls in 27 minutes of play. Varejao struggling against Indiana is no surprise as guarding Roy Hibbert is no easy task and the Pacers are the best team in the east. On January 4 against Brooklyn, Varejao scored four points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 36 minutes of play. It was another loss for the Cavs but their star point guard Kyrie Irving did not play. The Cavs are again towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings but did get a big lift with the addition of Luol Deng and Kyrie will return from injury. I think that Vareajo will continue to play at the level he should now that he is not fighting for playing time with Bynum. Maybe Deng is what the Cavs need to get to the playoffs.
Nene- Forward-Center, Washington Wizards. 13.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Nene’s team is doing not bad as they are in the playoff hunt. In his last game against the Pelicans on January 8, he scored 11 points, grabbed four rebounds, three assists but four turnovers in 27 minutes of play. The Wizards managed to win that game but Nene was not as dominate on the boards as one would hope and needs to take care of the basketball more. On January 7 against Charlotte, he scored seven points,six boards and one assist in only 15 minutes of play. His lack of minutes against Charlotte was due to the fact that he was coming off the bench and not starting. It was a win for the Wizards. On January 5 against Golden State, he scored 14 points, grabbed four boards, four assists but again four turnovers in 25 minutes of play. Golden State is a young, aggressive team that likes to run so when Nene turns the ball over against them, they will make you pay which they did since the Wizards lost. On January 3 against Toronto, he scored 15 points, grabbed four boards, four assists but four turnovers. It was another loss for the Wizards. The turnovers could be sometimes from Nene’s passing as while he has a lot of assists, he might also take chances.
Tiago Splitter-Center, San Antonio Spurs. 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. There is good news and there is bad news for Splitter. In his last game on January 4 against the Clippers, Splitter had one of his best games ever as a Spur. He scored 22 points, grabbed five rebounds and had only two fouls in 25 minutes of play. The bad news is that in the fourth quarter of that game, he suffered a sprained right shoulder running into Ryan Hollins’ chest. He will be sidelined three to five weeks. That is a big blow after he had such a great game against a quality opponent. With Splitter out, it has been starter by committee with Boris Diaw starting one game and Jeff Ayres the other since Splitter’s injury. They were both Spurs wins. The Spurs are a veteran team that can deal with this loss but Splitter was coming into his own this season and really providing the Spurs with a rim presence on defense and being more aggressive on offense. Hopefully, Splitter can come back strong and ready to help the Spurs make a deep run in the playoffs.
Vitor Faverani-Center, Boston Celtics. 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Faverani has had an up and down week. He did not play on January 3 against the Pelicans due to coach’s decision. He played on January 5 against Oklahoma City for only seven minutes, scoring zero points, one rebound and one steal. He played January 7 against Denver, scoring 10 points, grabbing five rebounds but fouling out in just sixteen minutes. He did not play on January 8 against the Clippers due to another coach’s decision. The sixteen minutes he played against Denver were the most significant he had seen in a month. Clearly, Faverani still has a long way to go as head coach Brad Stevens is not convinced of him yet.