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- The New Orleans Pelicans have some figuring out to do. After CJ McCollum disclosed he needed surgery but continued playing for the good of the team, his teammates had to be wondering about Zion Williamson‘s not believing he would be at his best if he played. Teams have been fractured for a lot less. I think management needs to have a discussion with Zion in the off season about this.
- Speaking of the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram is definitely becoming a star. He averaged over 27 points with 7 assists a game after March 1st. His true shooting percentage was over 69%. The only thing keeping him from being recognized for the star player is his missing games, 27 for a toe injury. Over the last three years he has played 61, 55 and 45 games in a season.
- What to make of the Lakers? After a 2-10 start they went 41-29. Are they that team or the one that struggled to beat a Minnesota team in the play-in game? Minnesota was playing without three rotation players, Rudy Gobert on team suspension, Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels out with injuries.
- Speaking of the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns is a really good player. He is a big that is a good three point shooter, can play inside and is a good passer. The only negative is he doesn’t appear to be in good shape. You have to give him a slight pass because he was coming back from an injury this year.
- When you break it down you realize Miami is too small, not good defensively and not a consistently good shooting team. They were, as Bill Parcells says, “…what the record says you are“. I think we all fell for the Miami Heat mystique. They have a group of players they developed who weren’t drafted playing key roles , Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. Though they played well for the most part it is a star’s league and Miami doesn’t have enough of them.
- Many people are calling the Knicks vs Cavaliers series the most competitive series in the first round of the playoffs. There are some good story lines in the series such as what would have happened if the Knicks got Donovan Mitchell last summer and now he is playing that team. To me the most important story line is if Julius Randle is healthy. If he is, I think the Knicks win a tough series.
- Toronto, as I wrote last week, seemed to have checked out on Nick Nurse. They also seemed like a team that wasn’t connected. Masai Ujiri has a great deal of decisions to make this off season. The first one is the coach, do you bring Nurse back or not? The second is personnel. What do you do about Fred VanVleet who probably will opt out of his contract, Jakob Poeltl, a free agent and on free agent Gary Trent Jr who also has an opt out clause in his contract. This team definitely has not played up to its potential so changes need to be made.