The NBA season is now past the halfway mark, with teams across the NBA quickly rocketing up the standings, or heading straight into tank-a-polooza!
Each week, I’ll be taking a look around the NBA and look at some things I like (Ball Don’t Lie), some things I don’t (Ball Lies), and some highlights, lowlights, and upcoming matchups. It’ll be a small spreadsheet for everything you may have missed in the NBA. Without further adieu, let’s get things going.
BALL DON’T LIE
Raptors Get Their Piece
Just before the buzzer of the All-Star Break, the Raptors were finally able to add a piece they’ve talked about adding for the last two seasons. It turned out to be Magic forward Serge Ibaka, in a move to get some added rim protection and someone to help shore up the lacking defense. It doesn’t make them a contender off the bat, but it certainly helps their chances.
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) February 14, 2017
Denver Finds Warriors’ Weakness
Don’t let my headline fool you: the Warriors found their weakness on the road against the Nuggets. And it was the Nuggets hitting a record number of threes to beat them. The Warriors have been rocked in some games this season, mostly by teams using their own game against them. Still, if it takes a record performance to give them a beating like that, the Warriors will take their chances.
— Nugg Love (@Nugg_Love) February 14, 2017
Jokic Is Unreal
So, speaking of the Nuggets, it appears they’ve found someone to build around. Nikola Jokic, the young center the Nuggets took a chance on, has found his groove and is absolutely feasting. He’s putting up historically good numbers for someone his age. Jokic is hammering out big stats for a team that’s currently good enough for a playoff spot, and the Nuggets finally have someone to move forward with.
Oakley’s Drama May Be Over
The NBA’s longest-running drama got a new part as the week drew to a close. Yeah, Adam Silver and Michael Jordan had to force it, but James Dolan finally met with Charles Oakley, and it resulted in the Knicks great’s ban being lifted. And while that’s great news, it’s far from the end of this drama. Still, at least it got it out of the news for a little bit.
The Knicks have lifted the ban on Charles Oakley. 🙌🏻
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 14, 2017
Batum Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot
The Hornets have been on a nice slide lately, losing to every team not named the Brooklyn Nets in the month of February. So what better way to rally the troops than to guarantee a win against the bumbling Sixers? Only one problem: the Sixers aren’t bumbling anymore and they promptly smacked the Hornets in the mouth, letting poor Nic know all about it. Talk your mess, Sixers.
Nic Batum: “I guarantee we win tonight”
— Sports Are Philly (@SportsArePhilly) February 14, 2017
So, Damian Lillard Kind of Sucks
This gets sort of ignored, and maybe it’s because Portland don’t play in a big market. But the Blazers have been pretty poor this year, and have regressed badly. But the biggest regression has been Damian Lillard. Lillard is shooting the worst percentages of his career, and he’s falling off a cliff. The Blazers are tumbling down the standings…I’m not sure how it happened so quickly.
OKC Sets the Wrong History
So, the ones arguing that Russell Westbrook gets no help got some added fuel to their talking points this week, as the Thunder set some history right as we headed into the All-Star Break. They missed TWENTY FOUR straight shots in the middle of a game, which is the longest streak since at least 2008, which is a sad stat in of itself. Poor Russ, man.
Wizards up 91-57 and outscoring OKC 24-3 in the 3rd Quarter. Thunder have missed 23 shots in a row. It’s somehow worse than it sounds.
— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) February 14, 2017
More Bathroom Drama
The NBA already smacked the city of Charlotte over some dumb bathroom bill that didn’t need a debate. They added another to the list of threats, with politicians in Texas threatening to draw things out even more and institute their own bathroom bill. Seriously, why even make a law like that? The NBA says they will be harsh and potentially move the next All-Star game from Houston as a result.
Jimmy’s No Foul
This one is pretty bad, not gonna lie.
— OffTheMonsterSports (@OTMSportsBOS) February 17, 2017
Well, at least Cousins got a new team out of this..
Demarcus Cousins to the ref: “He grabbed my nuts!” Buddy Hield was later ejected.
📽: (HOH) pic.twitter.com/TnSmrztDYb
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) February 13, 2017
Come on man, you gotta do better than this.
This guy just keeps making a case for the best at everything.
LeBron with a dime😳 pic.twitter.com/HRmQjZ83Mo
— HoopMixtape (@HoopMixOnly) February 15, 2017
WHAT TO WATCH
Pelicans @ Rockets – Friday (AEDT)
All-Star MVP Anthony Davis and new signing DeMarcus Cousins head to Harden’s Houston.
Raptors @ Celtics – Saturday (AEDT)
Will the Ibaka trade help the Raptors swing things near the top of the East?
Heat @ Pacers – Sunday (AEDT)
Key East clash – the sixth-placed Pacers are in a slump, the 10th-placed Heat are on the rise.