NBA Weekly Recap: Week 11
The San Antonio Spurs are playing at a high level winning their fifth straight game last night with a win against the 76ers. The Spurs beat teams like the Grizzlies, Hawks and Warriors this past week. The Spurs are playing without their key reserve player Manu Ginobili during this winning streak but it has not slowed them down. The Spurs have a lighter schedule this week with games against the Hornets, Mavericks and Suns. The Spurs have placed distance between themselves and the Grizzlies for the Southwest division lead by five games. The Spurs will know this week if their players, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, are named to the All-Star team. Both players have been consistent and steady players for the Spurs and deserve a spot on the West’s All-Star team roster.
The NBA had its fourth coaching casualty this week with the firing of the Phoenix Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry. The move was an amicable split between the two parties but the Suns are a franchise without a rudder and seem to be throwing in the towel on this season before the All-Star break. The Suns have made trades the last three seasons that have gutted their roster but they do have some young talented players. This season is definitely a rebuilding one. The Suns have named Lindsay Hunter as the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
The Celtics have been struggling this week with losses to the Hornets, Bulls and Pistons. The Celtics started strong at the beginning of this month with wins against the Pacers, Hawks and Knicks. The Celtics need to snap out of the funk this upcoming week with games against the Cavs, Knicks, Hawks and Heat or it will only add to their current agony. The Celtics are currently holding the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers, Pistons and Raptors waiting for them to slip.
The All-Star Game starters were officially named this week and they are as follows.
East: Rajon Rondo (Celtics), Dwayne Wade (Heat), LeBron James (Heat), Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) and Kevin Garnett (Celtics)
West: Chris Paul (Clippers), Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Thunder), Blake Griffin (Clippers) and Dwight Howard (Lakers)
The All-Star reserves will be named this week and I had named some deserving players to round out the rosters for both conferences in earlier blogs but here are predictions for Thursday.
East: Kyrie Irving (Cavs), Jrue Holiday (Sixers), Al Horford (Hawks), Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Chris Bosh (Heat), Paul George (Pacers) and Joakim Noah (Bulls).
West: James Harden (Rockets), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Tim Duncan (Spurs), David Lee (Warriors), Marc Gasol (Grizzlies) and Tony Parker (Spurs).
Key Games this Week
Thunder vs. Clippers
Thunder vs. Warriors
Knicks vs. Celtics
Celtics vs. Hawks
Nets vs. Grizzlies
Warriors vs. Bulls
Heat vs. Celtics
Hawks vs. Knicks
NBA Regular Season Standings as of January 22nd, 2013
1. Heat 1. Thunder
2. Knicks 2. Clippers
3. Pacers 3. Spurs
4. Nets 4. Grizzlies
5. Bulls 5. Warriors
6. Hawks 6. Nuggets
7. Bucks 7. Jazz
8. Celtics 8. Rockets