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Blog: NBA Weekly Recap

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By Peter Lancaster

NBA Weekly Recap: Week 6

The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 11 straight games and now have the best record in the NBA. The Thunder shared the league’s best record with the Spurs last week but the Spurs lost three games last week, including a loss to the Thunder. The Spurs have another tough week ahead with games against the Nuggets and Mavericks. The Thunder have grown this year with the improved play of Serge Ibaka on the offensive end. Ibaka has always been a terrific defensive player but he truly has improved across the board with his shooting stats. Ibaka now averages 14.5 points a game and has an 85% free throw percentage. Ibaka has made it difficult to sit him late in games, especially now that he is a threat on both sides of the court. The Thunder will play against two quality opponents on the road this week in the Hawks and Timberwolves. Kevin Durant has been consistent all season and is third in the league in scoring 27.5 points a game. The Thunder once again have established a strong sixth man with the emergence of Kevin Martin. It took a couple of weeks for the new players to find their niche’ but the Thunder are again the team to beat in the West.

The Clippers are right on the heels of the Thunder with their own 10 game winning streak heading into this week’s games. The Clippers have an easy three game stretch this week against the Hornets, Kings and Suns. If they want to gain any ground against the Thunder, they will need to win all three.  Blake Griffin had a great week and led the Clippers in scoring during their four game stretch last week. DeAndre Jordan’s development this year in the low post has made the Clippers that much more dangerous. The Clippers already had strong play from the point guard, Chris Paul, but now with Griffin and Jordan playing better it adds a new wrinkle to this talented team.

The Knicks continue to lead the Eastern Conference in the standings. The Knicks had a four game winning streak going into their home game against former Knick, Jeremy Lin. But the Knicks lost to the Rockets last night with Jeremy Lin returning to Madison Square Garden with a big game.  The Knicks have two big home games this week against the Nets and Bulls. The Knicks have an opportunity to beat the Nets twice in little over a week and to put more space between them in the division standings.

The Indiana Pacers are a team to watch this week. Last week, I mentioned the Golden State Warriors but this week I look to the Eastern Conference for a team that is gaining some momentum. The Pacers lost Danny Granger earlier in the season and that set the team in a tailspin. But since then Paul George and David West have stepped up their play. The Pacers have a real opportunity this week of overtaking the Bulls for the division lead. The Bucks have four games this week against the Bucks, Jazz, Cavs and Hornets but the Bulls have three games this week against the Celtics, Knicks and Hawks. The Pacers have won three straight and they have a chance to further that streak this week.

Key Games this Week

Tuesday

Celtics vs. Bulls

Spurs vs. Nuggets

 

Wednesday

Nets vs. Knicks

Thunder vs. Hawks

 

Friday

Bulls vs. Knicks

 

Saturday

Bulls vs. Hawks

Grizzlies vs. Rockets

 

 

NBA Regular Season Standings as of December 18th, 2012

East                      West

1.  Knicks              1.  Thunder

2.  Heat                 2.  Clippers

3.  Hawks              3.  Spurs

4.  Bulls                4.  Grizzlies

5.  Nets                5.  Warriors

6.  Bucks              6.  Timberwolves

7.  Pacers             7.  Nuggets

8.  Celtics             8.  Jazz

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