NBA Weekly Recap: Jan 22

Story posted January 22, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Justin Ciavolella

The NBA continues to excite fans with thrilling upsets, dazzling performances and shocking buzzer-beaters. This week in the NBA was no different.

The Golden State Warriors were on the verge of going to overtime with the worst team in the Western Conference when Steph Curry sank a two-pointer at the buzzer. The first buzzer-beater of Curry’s career helped lead the Warriors to a 105-103 victory.

The Warriors have been struggling of late and have fallen behind the pace of first place Phoenix Suns. The runner-up from last season currently holds the longest winning streak in the NBA heading into Saturday night at five games to help build a three-game lead over Steve Kerr’s team.

Devin Booker’s 24.6 points per game and Chris Paul’s 10.0 assists per game are leading the way for Phoenix. The Suns had commanding victories over the Pistons, Spurs and Mavericks this week.

One of those teams, the San Antonio Spurs, is struggling for its third consecutive season, something that has not been seen in the Greg Popovich era. The Spur’s performance this season has been nothing short of lackluster, posting a 16-28 record thus far.

The Spurs began to move pieces this week when they completed a three-way deal with the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. They shipped Bryn Forbes to the Denver Nuggets while acquiring Juancho Hernangomez from the Celtics.

Forbes will look to help Denver’s shooting from beyond the three-point line this season. He is shooting nearly 42% from three-point land this season. Hernangomez will hope for more opportunities during the rebuild in San Antonio.

The Nuggets sent Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier to the Celtics in the deal. Dozier is out for the season after tearing his ACL back in November. Bol is out indefinitely after undergoing foot surgery. Denver was looking to move on from Bol Bol as this is the second trade he has been a part of, the first one being with Detroit which fell through after Bol failed his physical.

The Nuggets seem to be in win-now mode, while the Celtics look to be preparing for their future.
Boston has disappointed this season sitting at 10th in the Eastern Conference at 23-24.

Staying in the Eastern Conference, the star-studded Brooklyn Nets moved past the Chicago Bulls this week for sole possession of first place. The Bulls have held that spot for the majority of the season, but have fallen in six of their last ten games.

The Bulls lost both Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso this week. Ball is out 6-8 weeks following knee surgery. Caruso was lost on Friday night after fracturing his wrist on a flagrant foul by Milawakuee Bucks’ Grayson Allen.
DeMar DeRozan, who is enjoying the best season of his career, will need to elevate his game even more if Chicago wants to remain near the top.

Brooklyn lost a star of their own this week when Kevin Durant went down with an injury. Durant, who has battled several injuries over the past few seasons, is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.

James Harden will be the only of the three stars that are on the court regularly for the Nets, as Kyrie Irving’s status remains in limbo. Irving returned in early January but is not allowed to play home games for the Nets due to New York City’s vaccination requirement.

With Chicago and Brooklyn battling through injuries, this provides a chance for the Miami Heat to become the best team in the East. Miami has rebounded from their poor start and now sits just half-a-game out of first place.

The Eastern Conference has proved to be the more competitive conference this season as seven teams sit within four games of the top spot.

Justin Ciavolella is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jtc5751@psu.edu.