Let’s take a look around the NBA and discuss some of the hottest stories.
The playoffs are around the corner and teams are fighting for position. Pay special attention to the bottom spots in the Eastern Conference and those middle slots in the West. I have a feeling that they will create some very interesting playoff matchups.
Now let’s check out what is going on around the NBA:
A big hubbub is being made about coaches who decide to rest players on a given night with the coach’s thought being that you want to ensure that a player is healthy when you get to the playoffs. The fan’s argument is that they spent a lot of money for tickets and they should get a chance to see the marquee players. The NBA may want to do something about this because it sometimes falls on days when they promote and broadcast this grand matchup for television only to have the game watered down with role players.
I think that a coach has a right to withhold his players, whether it’s due to rest or strategy. A fan has to look at this situation just as they would if that featured player had gotten injured the game before. The NBA has to suck it up and figure that it would rather have a game or two where a team’s best players don’t suit up or it can have a playoff series where the ratings stink because LeBron James or Stephen Curry got burnt out and lost.
The fact remains that no one can do anything about this other than accept it as part of the game. The NBA can do a better job with the television schedule and fans should pay attention to their favorite team or player’s news and schedule to make sure that they get their money’s worth. The NBA Commissioner has issued a statement to express his concerns about the situation and has threatened that teams will be penalized for sitting players without giving advanced notice. But how far in advance will be considered okay?
In purely petty news, the guys from the 2008 Boston Celtics decided to get together, go on vacation and celebrate what is about to be the 10 year anniversary for winning the NBA championship. That Celtics team included Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, but the guys decided to not invite Ray Allen.
To many of you with short memories you might say, “Why can’t Ray join in on the fun?”
Well in 2012, Allen decided that he had had enough in Boston and he joined LeBron James and the Miami Heat. He would go on to win another ring and be celebrated in Miami, but apparently he was dead to everyone in Boston. Thinking back on it, I remember a slight beef between Allen and Rondo where Rajon was trying to get Ray benched in an effort to get more time for Avery Bradley. How can you do something shady and then get mad at a guy for going where he feels that he is wanted?
These guys need to grow up, invite Allen to the vacation and talk about their differences like men over some drinks with umbrellas while listening to the sound of the ocean breeze.
There are a handful of guys in the NCAA tournament right now that are raising their draft stock.
Duke is out of the dance, but freshman Jason Tatum has really turned some heads and gotten some NBA GMs to take notice.
Do yourself a favor and watch UCLA play in the tournament against the Kentucky Wildcats. In that game, you will have the pleasure of watching about five future NBA players go head to head. You should already know about Lonzo Ball, but the Bruins also feature TJ Leaf, a skilled big man with a nice inside-outside game. On Kentucky’s side, you have probably heard about Malik Monk, but you should also keep an eye on De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo. Fox is a super-quick point guard who usually will get the defender on skates and Bam is a raw, powerful player who can be a force around the boards.
Watch Kansas play and enjoy Josh Jackson who is a tough two-way player on the wing. Arizona has a big man who can stretch the floor in Lauri Markkanen.
These young men are more than likely going to fill out the NBA lottery come draft night. Hopefully, your bracket isn’t busted and you are still enjoying The Big Dance just as much as I am.