NBA Weekly Recap: Jan. 16
The NBA season continues to roll on as most teams crossed the halfway points of the season this week.
While many teams and players have solidified whether they will be pretenders or contenders this season, this week in the NBA provided no shortage of big stories.
Klay Thompson returned to the court for the Golden State Warriors for the first time since his first injury, the ACL tear, in the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
In three games this week, Thompson averaged 14 points per game on 35 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Warriors still have to figure out the roles for all their stars, but Thompson’s return should solidify the Warriors’ spot among the top teams in the league.
Kyrie Irving made his return for the Brooklyn Nets back in early January, but this week the three-headed monster that is the Brooklyn offense showed their potential. Brooklyn put up 138 points in a 26-point victory over DeMar DeRozan and the first-place Chicago Bulls.
Kevin Durant led the way with 27 points and James Harden added 25 of his own. While Irving did not have his best night on the court, putting these three on the court together provides problems for opposing teams. This allows for players to have big roles, such as Patty Mills who put up 21 points in the game for Steve Nash’s team.
The NBA released the second round of All-Star fan voting this week and leading the way was Steph Curry, DeRozan, Durant and LeBron James.
Three of these four have become regulars at the top of the fan voting, but DeRozan has really come into his own for the Bulls this season.
DeRozan continues to average 25.7 points per game to help Chicago hold the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. He has also hit multiple game winners including his two back-to-back to welcome in the new year.
As teams figure out what direction they are heading in this season, the trade rumors are swirling around.
The New York Knicks, who currently sit at 21-21 and 10th in the East, completed a trade to bring in Cam Reddish. Reddish will reconnect with former Duke teammate RJ Barrett, who had two big 30-point games this week.
The Knicks gave away Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick in the deal with Atlanta.
Knox and Reddish both struggled to find opportunities on their former teams. When the Hawks were short players because of health and safety protocols, Reddish really provided a spark for the depleted lineup.
Reddish will remain out of the Knicks’ lineup with an ankle injury but could help provide a spark when he returns. Knox will have to wait and see if he can get any opportunities with Atlanta.
The Portland Trailblazers, who were heavily involved in trade talks last month, lost Damian Lillard to an abdominal injury.
Lillard is out indefinitely and will be reevaluated in six to eight weeks. Portland, who was looking to surround Lillard with more talent, will now have to decide whether or not to remain active on the trade block or sit back and let itself fall further down the Western Conference standings.
With the bottom of the standings in mind, the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets are currently in line to hold the best odds for the top picks in the draft this year as they have the three worst records in the league.
On the other hand, the Miami Heat are on a hot streak of late, rallying from their slow start into the second spot in the Eastern Conference.
Justin Ciavolella is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Justin Ciavolella is a first-year student from Sayville, New York, and is majoring in broadcast journalism. Justin is involved in the sports department at CommRadio doing podcasts and articles. He plans to do play-by-play on sports schedules in the near future.