Yesterday we told you the NBA silly season has already begun. Any lineup is possible for any team; logic and past performances, while never infallible predictive tools, mean less and less each week until the playoffs begin.
Eight games were on the NBA schedule during the Tuesday of Championship Week 2013 as three more teams secured their place in the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile in the NBA, the Heat continued to inch closer to NBA history with their 19th straight win, the Lakers continued their march toward the postseason, the Celtics were treated very poorly by the Bobcats and Timberwolves showed everyone “that’s why you play the game”. Welcome to the latest Championship Week edition of Five Fast Facts.
Note to coaches who wish to employ the Hack-A-Dwight strategy: if the man starts making his free throws – and he is capable of making them if you send him there frequently enough – ditch the stubborn tactic and go to something else. For some reason, Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn kept going to this play, despite Howard’s gradual increase in success rate. The Los Angeles Lakers center eventually made 16 of his final 20 attempts at the line, finishing 25-of-39
The theme of the night Tuesday in the NBA was superstars returning home. Dwight Howard made his long anticipated return to Orlando, while Pau Gasol may soon be returning to the Lakers lineup. Meanwhile Carmelo Anthony is returning to Denver Wednesday night and the return of Derrick Rose to Chicago is still in question.
It’s been a very interesting week in the Association. Aside from the obvious jostling in our weekly free agent rankings, the Miami Heat have now won 18 games in a row and have our very own Chris Sheridan wondering whether or not they can challenge the NBA’s all-time winning streak of 33 consecutive games. That record belongs to the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who began their championship season by winning every game they played in November and December.
It’s that time of year in fantasy hoops. When a player gets injured, there’s a risk of them being shut down entirely. I happened to be at the game where Kyrie Irving got hurt, and after he shot two free throws — using only his ‘wrong’ hand — stood to applaud his exit without knowing that a sprained left shoulder will keep him out for the next month, if not the rest of the year.
Whenever Dwight Howard talks to the media these days, something seems to go wrong. This has been especially true when the topic is about the Orlando Magic. The Los Angeles Lakers center raised plenty of eyebrows last week after bringing up how he led a group of guys no one wanted in Orlando. Howard, of course, backtracked from the comments, stating he was misunderstood and that it was blown out of proportion. Truth be told, there really wasn’t a whole lot to
Less than three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were mourning the death of owner Jerry Buss, refuting rumors that Dwight Howard would be traded and staring down the draft lottery. With his team mired in ninth place in the Western Conference, Kobe Bryant defiantly told Sports Illustrated, “It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone – Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have