NBA Weekly Recap: Jan. 15
The Brooklyn Nets started the week with some unfortunate injury news as Kevin Durant was diagnosed with an isolated MCL sprain and is expected to miss a month.
Before his injury, the Nets were dominating and managed to get to the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Boston Celtics are still at the top of the conference, where they have been for most of the season.
They are riding a six-game win streak and have been one of the most consistent teams in the league.
The other top teams in the East include the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers. These top-tier teams of the East have stayed relatively the same and they will continue to fight for seeding for the rest of the season.
The Milwaukee Bucks have some cause for concern with Khris Middleton still missing games.
With Middleton healthy, the Bucks were able to win the NBA Finals in 2021 and looked like potentially the best team in the league last season.
After starting the season on an eight-game winning streak, the Bucks have been good, but not great.
The key for them will be for Middleton to return fully from his knee injury, and with Giannis Antetokounmpo playing as well as ever, the Bucks can hope to make another Finals run.
In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies are tied for the first seed with identical 29-13 records.
Memphis is currently on the longest current winning streak of nine games and Desmond Bane returning from injury has been a large part of their success.
The rest of the West is in a close battle, with the Los Angeles Lakers as a 13th seed only two games out from the seventh seed.
Parity has been a main theme of the season with so many teams feeling like they are close to contending, but this has also led to fewer trades.
There has only been one trade this season, which was a minor deal as the Celtics traded Noah Vonley and cash to the San Antonio Spurs for a protected second-round pick.
The trade deadline is Feb. 9, and the next few weeks can see a lot of movement. Many teams look one player away from contention, and with a promising draft class coming in, it will be interesting to see what teams tank and what teams compete.
The biggest targets for trades include Bojan Bogdanovic, Jae Crowder, John Collins, Eric Gordon and more solid role players who can fill a team’s needs.
Scoring this season has also been a key theme all season, especially this week.
There are currently five players averaging at least 30 points per game, which is a drastic increase from just two players doing so in each of the last two seasons.
There have been numerous individual high-scoring performances this week, with eight players scoring at least 40 points in a game.
The eight players to do so this week are Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, Nikola Vucevic, Julius Randle, Jaylen Brown and Kyle Kuzma.
The NBA is more entertaining than ever with all the talent and high-scoring performances, which was definitely the case this last week.
Christopher Reynolds is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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