Around the NBA: 5 Up, 5 Down Week 2


5 Up:

Mar 4, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) carries the ball during the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Heat defeated the Timberwolves 97-81. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

  1. The Surging Heat: The obvious stat here is that the Miami Heat are winners of 15 straight. Their recent streak is reaching way up high in the stratosphere of NBA winning streaks. With 4 out of the Heat’s next 5 games being very winnable, with the other being an Eastern Conference showdown against the Indiana Pacers, there is a decent chance that the streak will even reach as high as 20. The hardest part to believe this last week was the fact that the Heat beat the Grizzlies without a standard night from LeBron James, then beat the Knicks while missing a decent amount of open shots. When a team has the ability to beat highly ranked opponents, while being able to improve, it shows once again how special this Miami squad really is.
  2. Monta Ellis: This guy came out of left field randomly. Ellis had been playing awfully-poor this season and started to appear on the wrong end of many jokes. However, I wrote on here that there was a small chance Monta could play better if new addition J.J. Redick took the pressure off of him to shoot threes, and since then it has somehow come to life. Ellis won Eastern Conference Player of the Week and can save his reputation by continuing to attack the rim.
  3. Tobias Harris: Man, has Orlando possibly found offensive gold in this trade. Still a good deal for both sides, as Harris didn’t really fit in Milwaukee, but Magic fans have to be excited from what they have seen early on from Harris. In Tobias’ six games with the Magic he has 16.8 Points Per Game on 59.4 percent shooting. Harris has been awesome on the Magic, and hopefully he keeps it going into March.
  4. The Kings 90’s Throwbacks: I honestly don’t have any memory of the Sacramento Kings wearing these jerseys, but they are so awesomely interesting. Also love fact they have a chess/checkerboard pattern on the side, which of course is a play on the team name Kings.
  5. The Lakers Playoff Chances: Obligatory “they are only two games out of a playoff spot” reminder.

5 Down:

Mar 4, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) reacts after he was fouled by Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

  1. The Utah Jazz: So, the theory is the Jazz kept Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson through the trade deadline to get the playoff revenue. Okay, I understand why a small market team would want that kind of money. The issue with this is: Utah is 1-4 since the trade deadline. If they went through with this plan to make the playoffs, and miss the playoffs despite this plan, it’s going to look really bad on their franchise.
  2. The Charlotte Bobcats being the Charlotte Bobcats: Seven-game losing streak, and some really horrible games this week put the Bobcats in the down column. If this young (and outmatched talent-wise) squad was just losing it would be one thing. You are in completely different ballpark of bad when the Kings beat you by 36, and on top of that it never even felt that close. Icing on the cake is that Charlotte was the second team in history to be outrebounded by the margin of 62-24. Of course, the Jazz were the team that outrebounded Charlotte by that margin, in Utah’s only win since the trade deadline. Charlotte has won only five games since January 1st, 2013. At least they gave all their season ticket holders for this season free tickets for the 2013-14 season.
  3. NBA Harlem Shake Videos: Okay, so the Miami Heat came out with a Harlem Shake video and it was awesome. I loved it, so no complaints there. The issue is the Denver Nuggets tried to follow suit and the video was only marginally funny. Add in the fact that all 28 other teams will probably be pressured to make one now, and I am preparing myself for the apocalypse of Harlem Shake.
  4. Doug Collins: Collins is a guy I normally root for, so it is sad that he is gracing the worse part of this list. I usually root for coaches like Collins and Scott Skiles, because I feel like they get bad reputations for demanding a lot from their players. Only issue is Collins proceeded to throw Spencer Hawes under the bus, which is just not professional for a coach at all. Collins’ 76ers are also well out of the playoffs, even if it might be more Andrew Bynum’s fault more than Doug’s. So, don’t be surprised if he is looking for new jobs this off season.
  5. Derek Fisher: The signing was on here last week. His play and the fact he is getting minutes puts him on here this week.