January 15, 2013 10:11 AM by Dick Pepperfield
Braxton, our resident Canuck went moose hunting or something like that and never came back. So we needed a new guy for NBA. God speed Braxton, wherever you are. No seriously though, Braxton is a full time student and busy with school. With that being said, Dick Pepperfield ladies and gentlemen:
The Western Conference is continuing to spread the gap between the Eastern Conference. Ask just about any NBA fan who their top-5 teams are and odds are good they’ll give you 4 or 5 out of the West (and shockingly that doesn’t even include the Lame Show from LA). Trade rumors continue to swirl in SAC with Demarcus Cousins inability to stay on the court and off the DNP-SUSPENSION list. Talent alone Cousins is a top-5 big man in the league, but until he’s able to successfully remove his head from his ass he will continue to be connected to just about every trade. Maybe a change of scenery, to say Seattle, will do the trick.
Lines of the week:
Kevin Durant @ LAL: 42 points (16-25 FG), 8 rebounds, 5 assists, W.
Chris Paul vs. DAL: 19 points (8-13 FG), 5 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, W.
Brandon Jennings @ CHI: 35 points (5-10 3FG), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, W.
Damian Lillard continues his crazy good rookie campaign, this time with a 37-6-4 line. While his defense is still isn’t at an elite level (or really an average level for that matter), he’s making up for it with veteran scoring and great passing vision. With a core of Lillard-Batum-Aldridge, the Blazers have one of the best young cores in the NBA. Throw in the double double machine in J.J. Hickson, the Blazers are not a team I would want to face come playoff time.
The east right now is an exciting race. Not as much in terms of who’s in and who’s out, but more in regards to seeding. As it stands, the 1st and 8th seed are separated 5.5 games. 5.5 games!! OKC, LAC, and SA are currently battling over the 1st seed in the West, with a number of underperforming teams (DEN, LAL) fighting it out with some over-performing teams (MIN, HOU). Should come down to the last few games.
LeBron-Durant. Durant-Lebron. At this point, everyone else is just on the outside watching in. Harden is having a great campaign in his first year running the show in Houston. Chris Paul, as usual, is leading an unreal LAC team, but his limited minutes will inevitably keep his stats short of MVP-caliber. Carmelo is also playing great ball at the 4, but I foresee a serious issue with the Knicks lineup now that Amare’s back. As it stands, LeBron has the slight edge over Durant due to better all-around stats and plays better defense but Durant has been on fire of late, closing the little gap between them.