BDCi’s NBA Weekly 12-20-13
(BDCi) — Another week in the NBA filled with injuries and players returning from injuries. The biggest news this week is another tough break for Kobe Bryant. He was just getting back his sea legs after being out eight months with a torn Achilles. Now, he has a fracture in his left knee that will keep him out six weeks. The Lakers are now down to their fifth-string point guard as Xavier Henry will start Friday against the Timberwolves. The Knicks and Warriors got some uplifting news when Tyson Chandler returned for New York and Andre Iguodola started for the Warrirors. In other news, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers played round two in their physical rivalry this week. This time Miami came out on top by three in their home court. These two teams do not meet again until March but they most likely will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Indiana Pacers (20-5) — losers of two in a row including a close one to Miami
2. Miami Heat (19-6) — winners of three in a row including big win over Indiana
3. Atlanta Hawks (14-12) — winners of two in a row including a blowout win over Sacramento
4. Boston Celtics (12-15) — lost to the Pistons by one in their last game
5. Detroit Pistons (13-14) — winners of two in a row
6. Charlotte Bobcats (12-14) — winners of two in a row including a narrow victory over Toronto
7. Washington Wizards (11-13) — winners of two in a row including winning by six over the Nets in their last game
8. Toronto Raptors (9-14) — lost to Charlotte in their last game
WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-4) — winners of eight in a row
2. Portland Trailblazers (22-5) — lost by 11 to Minnesota in their last game
3. San Antonio Spurs (21-5) — winners of two in a row including a two point victory over Golden State in their last game
4. Los Angeles Clippers (18-9) — winners of three in a row
5. Houston Rockets (17-9) — defeated Chicago in their last game
6. Dallas Mavericks (15-10) — winners of two in a row
7. Phoenix Suns (14-10) — lost to San Antonio by seven in their last game
8. Denver Nuggets (14-10) — lost to Oklahoma City in their last game
NBA Player Stats
Points- the top five scorers are: Kevin Durant-OKC (28.7), Carmelo Anthony-NYK (26.4), Kevin Love-MIN (25.2), LeBron James-MIA (25.2) and Stephen Curry-GSW (24.5).
Rebounds-the top five board crashers are: Kevin Love-MIN (13.7), Dwight Howard-HOU (13.0), DeAndre Jordan-LAC (13.0), Andre Drummond-DET (12.7) and Nikola Vucevic-ORL (11.5).
Assists- the top five passers are: Chris Paul-LAC (11.3), Stephen Curry-GSW (9.3), John Wall-WAS (9.1), Jrue Holiday-NOP (8.1) and Ty Lawson-DEN (8.0).
Brazilian Player Watch
Anderson Varejao- Center,Cleveland Cavaliers. 8.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Varejao had a tough week given that his team was playing against two terrific teams in the Portland Trailblazers and the Miami Heat. In his last game on Dec 17 against Portland, Varejao had just five points and nine boards. He did manage to not commit any fouls which is a testament to his good defense and the team only lost my three. Against Miami on Dec 14, Varejao scored six points, grabbed eight boards and had four assists. The Cavs only lost by seven by Varejao helped in a variety of ways. Varejao is coming off the bench now as Andrew Bynum has taken his place as the starting center. Hopefully that will not hurt Varejao’s production and he will be able to stay out of foul trouble and be fresher. Even though, he is not starting he is still getting plenty of minutes.
Tiago Splitter- Center, San Antonio Spurs. 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Last week, Splitter missed time with injury but this week he was back. On Dec. 16 against the Clippers, he scored two points, grabbed three rebounds in 19 minutes of play. On Dec. 18 against Phoenix, he scored eight points and grabbed four boards in only 13 minutes of play. I think Splitter only played 13 minutes because coach Popovich went with what was working and other players such as Patty Mills were producing more on the offensive end. The Spurs won the game anyway. On Dec. 19 against Golden State, he scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, had two assists and two steals. He did not commit a single foul in that game. The Spurs were playing without their big three of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Splitter did not start and came off the bench. Splitter is not a flashy player but his main job is to grab rebounds and play good defense. The scoring comes from others.
Nene- Forward-Center, Washington Wizards. 14.9 points and 6 rebounds per game. Nene has been out the past four games while nursing right foot tendinitis. He returned on Dec. 18 against the Nets and scored 17 points, grabbed three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes of play. That is very efficient and the Wizards won that game. Clearly, Nene is an asset to his team on the floor and this season he is averaging a career high in points per game. The only knock against Nene is his ability to stay healthy for an entire season. It seems the Wizards are depending on him more on the offensive side as a nice complement to John Wall but if he cannot stay healthy, it could hurt the Wizards chances of making the playoffs and making some noise.
Vitor Faverani- Center, Boston Celtics. 5.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Last week, Faverani was hardly playing at all but this week has minutes have increased slightly. On Dec 13 against New York, he scored six points, grabbed four boards and had one block in 14 minutes of play. He did not start but he did have two fouls. On Dec 16 against Minnesota, he scored six points, grabbed five boards and one block in 12 minutes of play. On Dec 18 against Detroit, he scored four points and grabbed one rebound in 11 minutes of play. Faverani is just a rookie and is having to learn the ropes. He is not putting up big numbers but that will come with time.