Saturday, May 2, 2015

Random NBA Observations: April 2015

NBA Observations April 2015

Ricky Rubio can not catch a break

Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who sprained his ankle in November and missed 42 games while recovering, was shut down for the remainder of the season with six games left in their regular season. He averaged 10.3 PPG and 8.8 APG in 22 games. I really hopes he opts out of the Spanish National Team to focus on healing up and being injury-free next season. Next year his brand-new 4-year, $65 million deal kicks in.

Chris Copeland stabbed

Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed outside a New York nightclub. Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were arrested because they "refused to move when police tried to set up a crime scene". I wish him a speedy recovery.

Hall call

Kentucky coach John Calipari, 8-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo and 3-time WNBA NBA Lisa Leslie are among this year's inductees for the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2015 also includes Celtic greats Jo Jo White and Tommy Heinsohn, as well as Spencer Haywood, NBA referee Dick Bavetta, Louie Dampier, John Isaacs, Lindsey Gaze, and George Raveling.

No Love

After a rocky year in Cleveland, struggling power forward Kevin Love, who was actually doing well through Game 3 (18.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG), dislocated his left shoulder. He will be out for 4-6 months. Love will thus not only miss the Playoffs, but also the  start of next season. He has a $16 million player option for 2015-2016.

Brooks out, Donovan in

Following the dismissal of Scott Brooks, the Oklahoma City Thunder have hired Billy Donovan, the winningest coach in Florida Gators history, as their new head coach for the next five years. Donovan has previously been courted by the Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Pistons, but his relationship with Sam Presti and he chance to have immediate success convinced him to finally make the jump from college basketball to the NBA. With 2013-2014 MVP Kevin Durant and 2014-2015 scoring champion on the roster, the pressure to win is on.

Who wants Rondo?

Rondo's short-lived tenure with the Mavericks is a well-documented mess. The player and the team have "made a mutual decision to part ways", with Rick Carlisle going as far as saying that he didn't expect Rondo "to ever wear a Mavericks uniform again". It will be interesting to see where he ends up. Will the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks be put off by his antics? Time will tell.

Second round shaping up

The Celtics, Raptors and Pelicans were swept in the First Round by the Cavaliers, Wizards and Warriors, respectively. The Rockets defeated the Mavericks (4-1), The Grizzlies bested the Trailblazers (4-1), The Hawks defeated the Nets (4-2), and the Bulls sent the Bucks fishing (4-2), all punching their ticket to the Conference Semifinals. The Spurs and Clippers are currently 3-3, with Game 7 up tonight. In what has been a terrific series so far, Tim Duncan's Spurs have outscored the Clippers 615-605, fellow Wake Forest alumn Chris Paul surely won't go down without a fight.

By the way, have you seen Paul Pierce's taunt of the Raptors? So cold.

No surprises so far

With Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player still to be handed out, there have been no surprises in the other categories. Mike Budenholzer was named Coach of the Year, Lou Williams hauled in Sixth Man of the Year, Kawhi Leanord won Defensive Player of the Year, and Andrew Wiggins won Rookie of the Year. Hopefully I can go for the sweep this year.

Milwaukee Bucks rebranding

The Milwaukee Bucks have revealed the first stage of their redesign. The team's makeover was executed by Brooklyn design firm Doubleday & Cartwright and looks awesome. New uniforms will follow in June.

Milwaukee Bucks redesign 2015

Curry spicing it up

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who had an insane regular season and is still in the running for MVP, kicked his play into another gear in the Playoffs. He averaged 33.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 7.2 APG in four games against the New Orleans Pelicans, and I fully expected him to go HAM on the Grizzlies. With Mike Conely's status uncertain and little-known Portland guard C.J. McCollom able to drop 33 on Memphis, Curry is going to light things up.


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