Thursday, February 8, 2018

NBA Trade Deadline

Game Winner...
Let's not forget about the team with LeBron James. The Lake Erie LeBron's made some solid trades to upgrade their roster, and perhaps more importantly, improve their locker room chemistry. Clarkson and Nance will help the Cavaliers on both sides of the ball, they have size at their positions and are more dynamic athletes. It's bittersweet to see Frye and Shumpert leave. (LA just shed a ton of money as they clear the decks to pursue free agents this summer and beyond.) Cleveland also acquired Rodney Hood and George Hill. Hood is an athletic wing who can provide more offensive punch than any of the players Cleveland sent out. Hill is another perimeter guy who can matchup better defensively on either guard position and shoot the three. This made-over roster looks more apt to compete. All of these acquisitions add length, athleticism and better compliment James, they also got a lot younger. Personally I'm excited to see how this team gels over the next 29 games or so. By the way, the Cavs and Wolves played one hell of an entertaining game the night prior to the trade deadline.

Houston looks legit
Elsewhere in the NBA; the two best teams I've caught (in a single game) this year are Houston and Oklahoma City. I was able to watch the Rockets absolutely destroy Cleveland. Chris Paul looked as good as he has all year and Harden did things only he's probably capable of. Houston's defense was solid and their hustle was how I wished every game looked; their role players are super solid. They won by 30 without Trevor Ariza or Eric Gordon. When Houston has Harden, Paul and Clint Capela, their record's insane. Cleveland's effort was lackadaisical to say the least, regardless, Houston showed them firsthand the competition that looms out West. The NBA has taken notice, so have I.

OKC is figuring it out
The Thunder went into Oracle and hung 70 on Golden State in the first half, eventually winning by 20. Russ was in attack mode from the jump. He puts so much pressure on a defense with his relentlessness, especially when he couples his ability to get the rim with high quality decisions. Paul George looked like the best two-way player in the NBA, guarding damn near every Warrior at some point. George's ability to play stellar defense while still dropping 30 is amazing. This game meant something to Oklahoma City, their tenacity was on full display, highlighted by their two stars; Russ and PG showed out in Oakland. Melo barely played due to a tweaked ankle. I'll go on record, Steven Adams is their third best player, dude's a beast. He owned the second half and no one on Golden State could guard him. The Thunder played exceptionally well on defense with tight, controlled rotations, that took away threes. It was a dominating win on both sides of the ball.

Only in the NBA,

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