We’re down to just a week to go in the regular season of the NBA, and that means things are getting juicy. And with no dominant team this year, everything is up in the air going forward. So, what better place to get yourself caught up each week than right here?
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
Russ Gets His
Russ keeps lighting up the scoreboards, and his feats are getting more and more ridiculous. Russ is putting up some insane numbers, and they have been translating to some Thunder wins, with OKC locking up a playoff berth this week. As gaudy as Russ’ stats have been this year, this whole thing is about the championship, and Russ is looking for some revenge come playoff time.
Noel Changes the Mavs
Despite the rampant talk we heard around the trade deadline, we may have a different winner of the trade deadline than we all thought: the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs dealt a conditional first round pick for Nerlens Noel from Philly, and Noel has transformed everything about the Mavericks. He’s turned into a young Tyson Chandler, and his anchoring defense led the Mavs to a 13-6 surge before injuries finally bit the team this week.
Mavs are 8-5 with Noel, would be 9-5 if they win tonight
— ᴘʀɪᴍᴇ ᴛɪᴍᴇ (@ViewsFromMarcus) March 30, 2017
Blazers are Blazing
The Trail Blazers struggled mightily most of the year, looking like one of the NBA’s biggest flops for the season after the All-Star Break. Damian Lillard had regressed hard and quickly, and the shooting of the roster wasn’t cutting. Add in trade deadline move with the Nuggets for Nurkic, however, and the Blazers have gained steam. They’ve since passed the Nuggets for the last playoff spot, and don’t look like they’re giving it up anytime soon.
The TNT Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have fallen short of every bit of expectation they’ve had before the season started, most of them put on themselves. But the Bulls are coming on at the end of the season, and have been sparked in the most peculiar way: they can’t be beat on TNT. The Bulls have won 23 straight home games on TNT, and got their most recent one by dismantling the Cavs in front of a sold out crowd.
— ChicagoBullsNews (@ChiBullsRumors1) March 31, 2017
Curry vs. The Best
Stephen Curry has been perceived to have a down year, and most of that hasn’t been fair. Nonetheless, with Durant’s injury, Curry has stepped things up to a new level. Namely, Curry has outplayed the likes of Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the last few weeks.
Harden’s Record… Turnovers
James Harden has been the truth this season, competing for the MVP and leading the Rockets to one of the top records in the West. But there’s one record Harden probably doesn’t want: the NBA record for turnovers in a season. Harden set the record this past week, and I doubt he can use that one on the MVP resume he’ll have prepared for the coming weeks.
Turnovers this seasons
James Harden 440
Russel Westbrook 415
LeBron James 286
Kawhi Leonard 146
— Eric Trogden (@Eric_Trog) April 5, 2017
The Pistons have been in that weird sport for a team that we always get out of one team every year. The Pistons surprised last year and looked to be heading on to the next step of contending, but they’ve fallen down hard, struggling to maintain .500 and any semblance of a playoff chance. Those dreams are all but dashed this week, with the Pistons latest three-game skid putting them out of the playoff spot for good, and contemplating their future.
Noah Suspended, Worst Contract Gets Worse
Joakim Noah got one of those eye-popping contracts that only the Knicks can offer during the offseason, ending up with a four-year deal worth bunches of money, and it’s only looking worse toward the end of the year. A few days after being ruled out for the year due to injury, the NBA announced Noah will serve a sizeable suspension at the start of next year due to PEDs.
How are you on PEDs and somehow worse? Hope you get your money back @JoakimNoah
— Ron Swanson (@_MylesHigh) March 27, 2017
Clippers Sliding Down
The Clippers are in a weird spot: they’ve got the record to lock up a trip to the postseason, and the stars to make some noise. But the end of the season hasn’t been kind, as they flirt the line of not hosting a playoff series. They’ve got a rough end of the season on top of it, and a losing record against their potential second round matchup: the Warriors.
Butler Comments on Defense
Smart guy, that Jimmy Butler.
J. Butler on if LBJ is toughest guard: “If I say he is, then next time I play Durant he’s going to try to score 60. You’re not gonna get me”
— NBA News (@NBABBGAMETIME) March 29, 2017
Russ Game Winner
Brodie gets it done again.
Le game winner de Russell Westbrook !!! pic.twitter.com/8NDXehtcr5
— #WeAreThunder Fr (@Fr_ThunderFans) April 6, 2017
Rubio to Rush
How about that dime?
Rubio, the magician! pic.twitter.com/My0xRocWfs
— NBA (@NBA) March 25, 2017
Whiteside Wins It
Even big guys get some clutch buckets.
Miami Heat bench reaction to Whiteside game-winner 😂😂😂
(via NBA Reddit) pic.twitter.com/YVXPgXzbsq
— Hoops Tribune (@HoopsTribune) March 29, 2017