Random NBA Thoughts #5

  1. The Toronto Raptors are another team that needs to decide if they are in or out. Currently they are 13 – 18 and sit in tenth place. If the playoffs began today they would be in the play-in game, they expected more. Their problems are numerous, poor shooting from the three. Fred VanVleet is only shooting 33% and Gary Trent Jr. is at 33% also. They are 29th in opponents effective field goal percentage. These are guys they rely on to hit threes. Pascal Siakam is their only player that is playing to his potential. Scottie Barnes, a player most teams wanted in the off season has plateaued. His shot has not improved. Look for the Raptors to make some changes if things don’t improve.
  2. The Boston Celtics have struggled winning only one of their last five. The ball suddenly doesn’t move like it did and the open shots they got earlier in the season haven’t been there. In the last five games they are shooting only 29% from three. An indicator of Boston’s success is their assist to basket ratio. When Boston is moving the ball they are over 70%. Over the last five games it is just 60%.
  3. Anyone notice that Miami lists many of their players on their injury report before games. The other day in Mexico they listed fifteen players. Obviously most end up playing. If anyone know why they do this please let me know.

NBA Parity?

  1. Parity has hit the NBA. Look at the recent winning streaks of Houston and Orlando. I guess the Webanyama sweepstakes isn’t as important to the players as it is to management.
  2. Kudos to their Knicks for their winning streak. The Knicks coming in to this season tried to be more of an offensive team. This isn’t Tom Thibodeau’s forte as a coach. During the streak Cam Reddish, Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose, three offensive players haven’t seen much action. Instead Thibs is using Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride, good defenders, more. Also, Mitchell Robinson has taken his defense and rebounding to another level. It hasn’t hurt that Julius Randle is beginning to look like he did two years ago and Jalen Brunson has become an All Star.
  3. The Western Conference has become wide open. Look for the team that makes the best acquisition by the trade deadline to become the favorite. Acquiring a Demar DeRozan type player could change everything.
  4. Orlando just lost their first game after a six game winning streak. The loss was by one point in Atlanta. They have a nice future. Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are becoming a solid tandem. Banchero is easily the lead candidate for Rookie of The Year. Put those two with Wendell Carter, Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fault, Bol Bol and Cole Anthony and you have a team on the rise.




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