Good Week/Bad Week – 25/2/13

Now we’ve had a week to get over the extremely exciting and nail-biting events of the trade deadline (sarcasm on standby), and it’s time to get back down to business. There have been a few telling match-ups, some more Kobe drama, and the unfortunate passing of one of the games true legends. And don’t even get us started on 50th birthdays…

Lets take a look at this week’s (belated) winners and losers…

Good Week

LeBron_James_Heat

Miami Heat

Here at uknba, we’ve tried to avoid stating the obvious as much as possible. Unfortunately, we cannot put it off any longer: the Miami Heat are good. They’re really, really good.

The Heat are currently on an eleven game win streak, and it shows no sign of ending any time soon. Since the 3rd of February LeBron James and company have beaten the Raptors, the Bobcats, the Rockets, the Clippers, the Lakers, the Trail Blazers, the Thunder, the Hawks, the Bulls, the 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’re only 3 wins away from a franchise record, and are playing some of their best basketball of the season.

On a personal level, Dwayne Wade is back to the top of his game after a few shaky starts, and a benched fourth quarter last month . Ray Allen is chipping in, and Chris Bosch is doing what Chris Bosh does (although he needs to learn to close his legs – see the All Star Game if you haven’t already). However, as good as the team have been, the King has been a whole lot better.

In the past week, LeBron averaged 23.5 points, 9.3 assists and 7.8 rebounds. On top of that, he has one triple-double and two double-doubles in the four games he’s played. Last years MVP is unquestionably this years MVP-in-waiting, and, barring a massive effort from any of the other main contenders before the end of the season, this one doesn’t even look close. As for those rumours about LeBron going back to Cleveland? We’ll file that away in the long-shot pile.

So we’ll finally say it: The road to the Finals definitely looks like it’ll run through Miami. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

Honourable mentions: Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Tony Parker.

Bad Week

JJ

.Orlando Magic

Far be it from us to kick a dog while it’s down but, unfortunately, on this occasion we’ve been left no choice. This Magic team isn’t just down; it’s dead.

This time a week or so ago, there seemed to be a little light at the end of a very long tunnel, when they beat the Blazers to end their previous skid. Let’s just say it was short lived. Since then the abysmal Magic have lost another five in a row, and show no sign of heating up any time soon.

Losing JJ Redick (arguably their best player) on deadline day showed exactly what this teams aims are. Especially with the relatively low return they got as a result. 3 relatively average players and a 2nd round pick? It’s like the D12 saga all over again.

To be fair to them, on Saturday night the new additions looked to display a hunger on the court that’s been severely lacking in recent weeks. The bad news? They still lost by more than 20. Hunger is as hunger does, but it’s not gonna keep the fans entertained. After losing the battle of the worst teams in the league just under a week ago, the Magic play the Kings on Thursday to show how far down the NBA pecking order they’ve really slipped.

Look on the bright side Orlando. At least you’ll have a team next year…

Honourable mentions: Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, The Fans (seriously, did you see the trade deadline?).   

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All Star Match-ups: Blake Griffin vs. Carmello Anthony

WEST – F – Blake Griffin (LA Clippers) 

Blake

Advantages: Dunking, rebounding, reaching things on the top shelf.

Disadvantages: Shooting outside the paint, shooting three throws, defence, .

EAST – F – Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

Melo

Advantages: Versatile, can score from anywhere, good clutch play.

Disadvantages: Defence ,hotheaded, honey nut Cheerio’s

Verdict – OK, so we know that Melo is the more complete player. But for sheer flair (and for flair, read height) we’ll take Blake on this one. Also, the advert below wins him major kudos. Bingo… 

WEST 3 EAST 1 

All Star Match-ups: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James

WEST – F – Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) 

KD

Advantages: Scoring, scoring, scoring.

Disadvantages: Doesn’t get many rebounds, doesn’t get many assists, and… um, steals? (we’re kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel here).

EAST – F – LeBron James (Miami Heat)

The King

Advantages: Scoring, rebounding, assists, NBA champion, regular season MVP, finals MVP, youngest player to 20,000 pts, ONLY player ever to score at least 30 pts and shoot at least 60% from the field. There’s a lot more we could say, but running out of room…

Disadvantages: Umm…

Verdict – If KD was up against anyone else he would walk it. Time is on his side, and he may yet eclipse James in years to come. But right now, it’s got to be the King… (See also: last year’s finals) 

WEST 2 EAST 1 

All Star Match-ups: Kobe Bryant vs. D-Wade

WEST – G – Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) 

Kobe

Advantages: 5x NBA Champion, 15x All-Star, 2x Gold Medalist, youngest player ever to reach 30,000 pts,

Disadvantages: Transition defence, best days are behind him, Dwight/Shaq/Women.

EAST – G – Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)

D Wade

Advantages: 2x NBA Champion, 9x All-Star, 1x Gold Medalist, Miami Heat all time leading scorer.

Disadvantages: 3 point conversion, injury prone, overshadowed (and will continue to be overshadowed by LBJ).

Verdict – Black Mamba is one of the best of all time. If Wade was up against anyone else, he may have a shot. Unfortunately for him, as MJ might say, 5 is better than 2 DW….

WEST 2 EAST 0 

All Star Match-ups – Chris Paul vs. Brook Lopez

So, with the All Star Game little under a week away, it’s time for some predictions. And while we’re not going to be bold enough to come up with a score, all this week we’ll be concentrating on the starters for each conference. First up? Chris Paul vs. Brook Lopez.

WEST – G – CP3 (LA Clippers) 

CP3

Advantages: Speed, agility, passing. Six time All-Star.

Disadvantages: May struggle rebounding, been out for a while,

EAST – G – Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets)

Brook Lopez

Advantages: Freakishly tall (7ft), top 4 in NBA in PER, street cred (BROOKLYN).

Disadvantages: He’s not Rondo, he’s not Rondo, he’s not Rondo.

Verdict – Lopez is having a great season for the nets, but we’ll take CP3 all day long in this one.

WEST 1 EAST 0