Blog: NBA Recap - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Blog: NBA Recap

Posted:
By Peter Lancaster

NBA Weekly Recap: Week 4

The first full month of the NBA season is now in the books and the Memphis Grizzlies own the league’s best record. The Grizzlies and Spurs squared off this past Saturday night in San Antonio. The Spurs made a strategic decision earlier in the week by sending four players home instead of playing in the Miami game. This decision caused quite a stir in the NBA and was the talk of the league. Gregg Popovich has never been one to back down from the NBA’s brass but this was his biggest statement yet. Popovich sent Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green back home to rest his key players before a big matchup with the division leader, Memphis Grizzlies. Popovich challenging the league was a bold but necessary choice on his part, because teams rest their starters at the end of the season. So, why is it wrong to rest his starters after a long road trip a day early to prepare for a key division game? Most teams do not rest starters in the first month of the season but that is part of Popovich’s genius. Popovich led the rest of his players to a close game against the Heat. The Spurs were leading at one point in the 4th quarter but they faltered late without having a go-to player in the clutch. The Spurs won against the Grizzlies and are just one game out of the division lead. Popovich definitely made the right decision and his team benefitted.

The Lakers are now under .500 this season. The team has incredible talent and difficult matchups for their opponents. But they cannot seem to find the right combination and balance on either side of the ball. Kobe Bryant has been very vocal about his disappointment. Kobe has made a point to jolt his teammates with threats of kicking their tails. I do not believe this method will result in much action (see Pau Gasol) but they definitely have received the message. The Lakers are a storied franchise and demand a higher standard than the current product on the court. This team needs to make a trade and find some young players that can give this team some energy and excitement. Pau Gasol has been on the trading blocking for over two years now. A trade for Gasol might be beneficial to his career and give him a chance to play without Kobe’s criticism and blame. The Lakers will have a hard time getting quality in trading Gasol but he has the most value on the Lakers’ roster in the trade market. The big picture for the Lakers is in trouble too, they are not giving Dwight Howard many reasons to re-sign and become the future cornerstone of this franchise. Howard only has this year on his current contract and he could decide to leave the Lakers after this season. The Lakers knew this risk while making the blockbuster trade this summer but they assumed their record would be one of the league’s best. Also, the Mike D’Antoni hire might play into Howard’s decision too. If Dwight is not a featured piece on the offensive side of the ball, chances are he will begin to complain (see Orlando) and start talking about leaving Los Angeles in the off season. The Lakers are in deep turmoil but this can all be corrected if they start winning. It was expected that they would struggle initially while they adjust to D’Antoni’s upbeat style of basketball but that decision to change coaches should have been made during the off season. Mid-season coaching changes rarely turn into playoff winning teams.

The Nets & Knicks are both playing great but the Miami Heat are still leading the Eastern Conference. The Nets play three home games this week and the key matchup will be against the Thunder. The Knicks will have a three game road trip this week and finish it up at home against the Nuggets on Sunday. The Knicks will play the Heat during that road trip and that matchup might decide who is leading the Conference by this time next week. The Heat have a light schedule in between their matchup with the Knicks and should still be leading the Southeast division. The Miami Heat are starting to gain steam after realigning their new pieces to their roster. Miami definitely has the deepest team in the East but the Nets & Knicks will battle throughout this season to get that Conference championship.

The Grizzlies, Spurs & Thunder lead the Western Conference in the standings. The Grizzlies have three games this week and their key matchup will be against the Hawks. The Spurs play three games this week too and their key matchup will be against the Rockets. The Thunder have three games this week against tougher opponents. They will play the Nets & Lakers during the week and those are two games that will either help or hurt their current standing. The Clippers are another team that is starting to mold together now that veteran Chauncey Billups has returned from injury. The Clippers are leading the Pacific division and will be playing in three games this week. The Clippers are a dangerous team and they are still waiting for Grant Hill to join their roster from injury. The Clippers have the depth to make a late season run and could be leading the Western Conference by the All-Star break. The Grizzlies, Spurs, Thunder and Clippers are truly the strongest teams in the Western Conference and have emerged as title contenders.

 

Key Games this Week

Tuesday

Thunder vs. Nets

 

Thursday

Knicks vs. Heat

 

Friday

Lakers vs. Thunder

Rockets vs. Spurs

Celtics vs. 76ers

 

 

 

 

Saturday

76ers vs. Celtics

Knicks vs. Bulls

Hawks vs. Grizzlies

 

 

NBA Regular Season Standings as of December 4th, 2012

EastWest

1. Heat 1. Grizzlies

2. Knicks 2. Thunder

3. Nets3. Spurs

4. Bulls4. Clippers

5. Hawks5. Warriors

6. 76ers6. Nuggets

7. Celtics7. Rockets

8. Bucks8. Jazz

 

 

Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.