It’s been a while since we have visited the NBA and took a look at the season in review! But don’t worry, I am here to make sure that we get caught up!
Last time we spoke, we were heading into the All-Star break. And in case you missed it, I’ll give you the results in all the All-Star events that happened that weekend. I will also give you the update on the playoff picture as we start to see teams clinch a berth or be eliminated. Let’s not forget about the hot and cold teams.
But here’s a quick look at the winners during All-Star weekend in case you forgot. Team LeBron won the game with Kevin Durant picking the MVP honors. A Curry brother did not win the 3-point contest – that went to Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris. The Skills Challenge went to Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum as he shot and made it from half court to knock out Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young in the finals. I hope you got to see the Slam Dunk contest because Oklahoma City Thunders Hamidou Diallo brought it back to life.
We have also seen teams overcome injuries and continue to stay strong, while others have been hugely affected. There were also historic moments that were made too like LeBron James passing Michael Jordan for 4th most points all-time.
And then there was a fight that might hurt one team more than the other. That fight was between the Toronto Raptors’ Serge Ibaka and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Marquese Chriss as things got chippy early in the third quarter. As a result of the fight, Ibaka will be suspended for three games and Chriss for one.
But now that we are all caught up on what has happened since we’ve been out let’s take a look at the standings as of Tuesday, March 12th.
1. Bucks (51-17) 1. Warriors(45-21)
2. Raptors (48-20) 2. Nuggets (44-22)
3. 76ers (43-25) 3. Rockets (42-25)
4. Pacers (43-25) 4. Thunder (41-26)
5. Celtics (41-27) 5. Blazers (41-26)
6. Nets (36-33) 6. Spurs (39-29)
7. Pistons (34-32) 7. Clippers (39-30)
8. Heats (31-35) 8. Jazz (37-29)
9. Magic (31-37) 9. Kings (33-33)
10. Hornets (30-37) 10. T-wolves (32-36)
11. Wizards (28-39) 11. Lakers (31-36)
After looking at where each team stands in the playoff race, let’s turn our attention to the teams who have been cold and hot for over the past few weeks.
Los Angeles Lakers
Despite LeBron James passing Michael Jordan, nothing is going right for the Lakers since the All-Star break. They have continued to fall out of the playoff picture with recent season-ending injuries to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Kyle Kuzma, Lance Stephenson, and Tyson Chandler have also missed time during which the Lakers went 3-7 including a season-long five game losing streak that was finally snapped Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls! After struggling early, LeBron and the Lakers found themselves and got a much-needed win (123-107). It was also Kuzma’s first game back after missing the last three games, and he and James looked like they were having a fun time!
Like the Lakers, the Hornets have also gone 3-7 in their last ten games and have dropped from the playoffs. Fortunately, they are in the East, and they still have a small chance to get the final spot as they are only 1.5 games behind the Miami Heat who are currently 8th. This is the time where Hornets All-Star guard Kemba Walker needs to show why he deserved to be an All-Star and get himself a nice little paycheck this offseason. Hornets play the Heat this weekend as they look to gain some ground in the playoff race.
The Magic are also on the outside looking in when it comes to the NBA playoffs. They look like a team that we could’ve seen take advantage of a weaker conference as they did earlier on in the season. They were in the playoffs most of the season leading up to the All-Star break and have since dropped out. But they only fortunate to only be a game out of 8th place in conference and they are looking for a strong finish that will hopefully spark a playoff run and chance to take it to the Milwaukee Bucks!
Let’s look at if they can make a run for the hot list next time. But that’s then, let’s see about the now and who’s on a hot streak!
It’s not a super hot streak, but Miami has Heated up and look to keep both the Hornets and Magic of their way. Can the Heats continue to play well enough to earn themselves the last spot. Let’s do it Wade!
It’s been a rocky season for the Pistons, but they have been able to hold onto their spot in the playoffs. I think at this point in the season, it’s safe to that the Pistons will be back in the playoffs. They currently sit 7th in the standings and could likely get the 6th spot over the Brooklyn Nets, but the only way for that to happen is for them to remain hot. Can Blake Griffin lead them the rest of the way?
The Rockets have been led by James Harden all season long and last time we spoke, we were talking about his historic streak of consecutive 30 + point games which ended after 32 games. That is the second largest streak behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 65 game. But now that the streak is over. The Rockets can focus on being the best team in the league. After an early season struggle, the Rockets have battled their way up to the 3rd seed in the West. They are going for the top seed, but could drop back to 5th if they are not comfortably where they are. Let’s continue to watch where the Rockets and all these teams finish with about four weeks left of the regular season.
As we watch the NBA season wrap up the final month of the season, we will prepare yourselves for the exciting playoffs that will not feature LeBron James for the first since 2005. Let’s continue to pay attention to how each team in the playoff picture does finish and who could be a real test of the Golden State Warriors.
We should also keep our eyes posted on March Madness and the NFL Free Agency that have both been pretty electric so far this week! I mean if you haven’t been keeping up with it, maybe check out the grades here, and the rankings in College Basketball will also change.