BDCi’s NBA Weekly 2.28.14
(BDCi) — It was an interesting week in the NBA. Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in one of the four major sports. The Brooklyn Nets needed a big man and signed him to a 10-day contract on Sunday. Overall, the feedback has been very positive and even his jersey is selling quite well. As if things could not get any worse for the New York Knicks, their point guard Raymond Felton was arraigned on two felony weapons charges. A lawyer for his wife turned in the gun because the wife claimed she no longer wanted it in the house. Since Felton was released on bail, he was free to return to the team and he insists it is not a distraction. We will have to wait and see how the team plays. Several players were bought out of their respective teams so that they could sign with a playoff contender. Teams must buy out those players by March 1 in order for the player to be playoff eligible. Those players are Danny Granger who got bought out by the Sixers after his trade from the Pacers and he is slated to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Caron Butler was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks and it is rumored that he is headed to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He does not clear waivers until Saturday but these two players are certainly going to make the West that much more competitive. Some other players who were released but no teams are interested yet are Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih from the Knicks and Jimmer Freddette from the Sacramento Kings.
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Indiana Pacers (44-13) — winners of three in a row so that trade for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen is working out
2. Miami Heat (41-14) — winners of six in a row as LeBron has to play with a mask
3. Toronto Raptors (32-26) — lost by five in triple overtime to the Wizards in their last game
4. Chicago Bulls (31-26) — winners of two in a row and Derrick Rose has started running
5. Washington Wizards (30-28) — winners of five in a row but lose key player Nene for a while
6. Brooklyn Nets (27-29) — rolled over Denver in their last game
7. Charlotte Bobcats (27-30) — winners of four in a row
8. Atlanta Hawks (26-31) — losers of two in a row and getting killed by injuries
WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-15) — losers of three in a row but could be getting Caron Butler
2. San Antonio Spurs (41-16) — defeated Detroit by ten in their last game
3. Portland Trailblazers (40-18) — winners of four in a row
4. Los Angeles Clippers (40-20) — winners of three in a row and getting Danny Granger
5. Houston Rockets (39-19) — lost to the Clippers by eight in their last game
6. Dallas Mavericks (36-23) — winners of four in a row and Nowitzki still has it
7. Golden State Warriors (35-23) — were blown out by 20 by the Bulls in their last game
8. Phoenix Suns (33-24) — losers of three in a row and Dragic is out with a sprained ankle
NBA Player Stats
Points-the top five scorers are: Kevin Durant-OKC (31.5), Carmelo Anthony-NYK (28.3), LeBron James-MIA (27.0), Kevin Love-MIN (26.6) and James Harden-HOU (24.5).
Rebounds-the top five board crashers are: DeAndre Jordan-LAC (14.0), Kevin Love-MIN (13.2), Andre Drummond-DET (12.8), Dwight Howard-HOU (12.5) and Joakim Noah-CHI (11.5).
Assists-the top five passers are: Stephen Curry-GSW (8.8), Ty Lawson-DEN (8.8), John Wall-WAS (8.6), Ricky Rubio-MIN (8.5) and Brandon Jennings-DET (7.9).
Brazilian Player Watch
Tiago Splitter-Center, San Antonio Spurs. 8.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. In his last
game on February 26 against the Pistons, he scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had six assists in 30 minutes of play.He only had one foul in that game plus shot 54 percent from the field. He also was passing quite well for a big man and his team got the victory. On February 21st against the Suns, he only played six minutes, did not start and scored just six points. In that game, head coach Gregg Popovich seem to be playing most of his bench and Phoenix is a run and gun team so Popovich instead started Boris Diaw at center with Patty Mills and Matt Bonner getting Splitter’s minutes. It was strictly a matchup thing as the Spurs wanted their three-point shooters out there as the Suns are also a good three point shooting team. Splitters’ minutes should be just fine going forward.
Leandro Barbosa-Guard, Phoenix Suns. 7.8 points and 1.7 assists per game. Barbosa has sat out all four games this week due to a left toe injury. He has not practiced since Saturday and it is unclear when he will return. He last played on February 19 against the Celtics playing just seven minutes in a win.
Anderson Varejao-Center, Cleveland Cavaliers. 8.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Varejao continues to be out with a sore back. He missed all four games this week for a total of eight consecutive games he has missed. It’s a good thing the Cavs got Spencer Hawes because they really need him now. It is unclear when Varejao will return. The Cavs next game is Friday against the Utah Jazz.
Nene-Forward-Center, Washington Wizards. 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. On February 22 against the Pelicans, he scored 30 points, grabbed seven rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes of play. He also had the game-winning dunk for his team. It was his best performance of the season. However, in his last game on February 23 against the Cavs, he injured his knee in the third quarter. An MRI the next day revealed he has a sprained MCL in his left knee which is a huge blow to the Wizards who are trying to make a playoff push. It’s a shame for Nene after having such a great performance against the Pelicans but Nene has a lengthy injury history and this is the one thing that could hold him back from having a great season. The injury will put him on the shelf for six weeks, which means most of the rest of the regular season. Hopefully, the Wizards can win without him and he can try to contribute in the playoffs.
Vitor Faverani-Center,Boston Celtics. 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Faverani sat out all four games this week due to a knee injury he suffered while playing with the D-League Maine Claws on February 5. It was thought he was going to be able to return for Wednesday’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks but his knee is not getting better and he is going to seek a second opinion. Faverani has not played in an NBA game since January 28 as he is on a team with too many frontcourt players and his skills need to be improved on the defensive end so he went to the D-League where he could get the minutes he needed. Unfortunately, now he is hurt and it is unclear when he will return.