Sooooo, Grizzlies fans… let’s direct our attention away from what went down last night and see what the week was like out East.
Virtual daps: Arron Afflalo
For the second straight week, I’m going to have to run with a member of the Orlando Magic, and more specifically another component of the D12 trade, as recipient of the honors of “virtual daps” for the week. The team may not be translating individual successes into wins all that often, but last night’s performance against the Clippers by Arron Afflalo managed to do so, and would have warranted mention in its own right even in the absence of a W. Afflalo completely imposed his will upon the game with a Lebron-like statline of 30 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while shooting an efficient 52.6% from the floor, 3-3 from the land of plenty, and amassing only one turnover. In addition to last night’s virtuoso performance, he’s dropped 20+ in three of his last four games, on 50% or better shooting in each of them. Big ups.
Who’s lookin’ rad:
– Atlantic division rivals, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, are enjoying respective five game win streaks at the moment. The Nets are still undefeated to start 2013, and managed to take care of business against a clearly lesser level of competition this past week. Regardless, they’re enjoying the payoff of adding workhorse power forward, Reggie Evans back into the starting lineup. An honorable mention for “daps” for the week, Evans has been rebounding like a madman, reeling in 23 boards in only 27 minutes of action against the 76ers. The C’s on the other hand
– Contingent with this week’s apparent theme of win streaks, it bears noting that the Indiana Pacers have begun to establish some ground on the Bulls for the division lead, which figures to be a battle that will rage on over the course of the season. Winners of four straight, the Pacers have been reaping the benefits of third year swingman, Paul George’s continued stellar play, as he averaged a double-double on the week. He missed last night’s game with the flu, but on his home floor against Miami and New York, he poured in 29 and 24 points, respectively, coupled with 11 rebounds in each. To add to it, he was an absolute thief in the Knicks game, walking away from the contest with six steals in his name.
– John Wall made his season debut last night with a 14 point, 4 assist night, and in his return, his Washington Wizards triumphed over the Atlanta Hawks for their second straight win. Not too shabby, with the first half of the win streak being against Oklahoma City. May he stay in good health going forward. The fan base needs it.
Who’s just lookin’ bad:
– The New York Knicks are reeling at the moment, as they’re beginning to feel the effects of the loss of point guard Raymond Felton due to a finger injury. The Knicks are winless on the week, having been losers of three straight, albeit against pretty good opposition. Friday night’s loss pegs them at 0-3 vs. the Bulls on the year, so the matchup just is not a good fit for them there. They better hope they do not face Chicago in the playoffs.
– The Charlotte Bobcats are a team that I said I’m going to take it easy on and keep out of this section until they finally broke free of the 7-win curse. Well, they did so, and regrettably find their way back here shortly thereafter. They’re the only team outside of the Knicks that really had a memorably bad week, so they left me no other choice. They won against the Pistons in OT to start the week, on some strong guard play complements of Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon, and Ramon Sessions, which was nice, but there’s still no dancing around the fact that they lost three straight since and are still winners of only two of their last twenty-four games.
– If I had to pick another team that’s been on the downslope, it would have to be the Philadelphia 76ers. They found themselves in my “bad” column last week, and came out of this week with another net-negative. In spite of the amazing all-star conversation worthy play of fourth year point guard, Jrue Holiday, they have not been able to get things going as a team. They did, however, manage to snap a five game losing streak last night with a W against Houston, and should be able to take the upcoming week as a chance to regroup and get some solid practice time in, with the only games on the horizon for the week being home matchups against the Hornets and Raptors.
Some of the week’s sweet reads by our TrueHoop brethren:
– In what was a heated meeting between their respective teams, Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony got into a bit of a spat, which I would rather not get into on here, but if you care to dive into it, Celtics Hub looks at Garnett’s response to the situation.
– Over at Queen City Hoops, the writers take a look at exactly what types of opponents their Bobcats have been able to pull off their elusive wins against.