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My apologies, but the flight of our “Eastern Connections” was delayed by my semi-impromptu trip to Triona’s bar in Manhattan to hang out with GM, Chris Wallace, and some crazed and awesome Grizz fans.  A gentlemanly tip of the hat to Chris for being so down to earth and in touch with the fan base (and the non-local one, at that!).  Thus, the arrival of our weekly check-in on all things Eastern Conference comes a day removed from the norm.  Anyways, getting back on track, here’s a peek at what’s doing out east:

Virtual daps: *new to Eastern Connections!  Each week, we’ll give some virtual props to a single player who has either had a great game or solid week.

Larry Sanders, Milwaukee –

The third year big man posted his first career triple double, with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and an astounding 10 blocks against Minnesota, on Friday.  Fluke?  He thinks not.  Sanders followed up the career game with a more than respectable 18-16-5 (points-reb-blocks) line the very next night in Boston.

What’s heating up:

– Tempers in Boston.  Well, they’re probably cooling off now, but Rajon Rondo earned himself a two-game suspension for his role in escalating a “brawl” of sorts by initiating a shoving match with Brooklyn Nets four-man and Kardashian family cast-off, Kris Humphries.  I guess he’s at the point now where drama follows him.  As is the case with most NBA “brawls,” no real punches were thrown and nothing of real notability manifest, but anything that can be latched onto in order to perpetuate the notion of some sort of rivalry in the Atlantic Division, will be.

– Speaking of, the Nets had themselves a pretty darn good week, as they were a game against the Heat away from going 5-0 in the past 7 days.  Offensively, things are beginning to click, as roles are beginning to carve out, and Andray Blatche’s improved play is softening the blow of losing Brook Lopez for a few games.

– And speaking of, it’d be fair to note that the Miami Heat are still rolling, even though they had a real softball of a week, with 4 straight days to kick back and sip daiquiris.  They’re still riding their winning streak, which now sits at six games. They relied on another late-game dagger three from the ageless Ray Allen, to swipe a victory from the Spurs’ B-team, but as I said with them last week, wins are wins.

– The Wizards got a win.  So there’s that…

Who’s been put in the fridge:

– My favorite team to talk about in this series, the Charlotte Bobcats.  The number seven has historically been a tough one for them to eclipse in the win column, taking last year into account, and their three game skid suggests that history tends to repeat itself.  I’m being facetious of course, as they played some tough opponents, but going winless on the week doesn’t go unnoticed.

– Orlando has been semi-decent this year, relative to expectation, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been very good.  They’ve been 1-3 since we’ve last checked in, with the win coming from a big revenge game against Dwight Howard’s Lakers, last night.

– Cleveland.  Spearheaded by Brazilian big man, Anderson Varejao, there is a whole lot of fight in the roster.  However, that can only go so far in their attempts to get over the absence of Kyrie Irving.  To make matters worse, potent rookie Dion Waiters is a bit hampered by a recently sustained ankle sprain.

A few sweet reads by our TrueHoop brethren:

– A couple weeks back, Celtics Hub took on the matter of the team’s pick and roll defense.  This week, they took a look at the C’s defense of the three point line, which they theorize to be a function of how they’ve been guarding the ‘p’ and ‘r’.

– Over at Raptors Republic, there’s a fun but raw sketch of one of the writers’ take on offensive/scoring efficiency, or as he calls it, “the PRIMO,” or, “points rated in my own (way),” method.

– Earlier in this post, I mentioned the feisty Anderson Varejao.  At Cavs Blog, they’re looking at the issue of whether to sell high, or hang onto the wildly productive veteran center.

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