Now that March Madness is out of the way, we can get down to the best-of-sevens. Many of the matchups are still undecided, but these last few games of the regular season can set up what should be a very tough playoff schedule. Here are some of the top NBA headlines from this past week and a peek into what’s coming up.
- Patrick Ewing has accepted the job to be the next coach at Georgetown University. After being an assistant for 15 years in the NBA, many were wondering when Ewing would get his shot at being the head guy. Everyone thought that shot would come in the NBA but when the Georgetown job became available, it seemed like a natural fit being his alma mater. Ewing left the Charlotte Hornets’ bench Monday to take over as head Hoya.
- When I say Derrick Rose, you say knee injury! Derrick Rose! The former league MVP has suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee that will require surgery. The injury is set to take about six to eight weeks to recover from, which should be no problem for Rose considering the fact that the New York Knicks are not at all a threat to make the NBA Playoffs.
- In the MVP race, Russell Westbrook has tied Oscar Robertson with 41 triple-doubles on the season and was just one rebound shy of 42 on Wednesday versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, James Harden recorded his 61st double-double of the season as he led Houston to a 110-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. It appears that the Oklahoma City Thunder may match up with the Houston Rockets in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. At that time, the MVP race may be over, but it will make for one hell of a duel to start the postseason.
- We are still watching to see how things will shape out in the East with the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat. One of those teams will find itself on the outside looking in at the playoffs. On April 12, the Hawks are set to travel to the Pacers in what could be a necessary win to get in for either team. Chicago point guard Rajon Rondo will be out against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday and it is not sure when he may return. The Bulls, however, will be looking for Dwyane Wade to return when/if they get in the playoffs. Miami probably has the toughest schedule to conclude the regular season. The Heat have to face the Toronto Raptors, the Cleveland Cavaliers and face the Washington Wizards twice. Again, these positions are not only important to make the playoffs but also to get a seed that does not immediately face the Cleveland Cavaliers who have made it known that they are focused on the postseason.
- The Golden State Warriors are eyeing a return for Kevin Durant this Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. He has been participating in scrimmages during Warrior practices and has been cleared by team doctors to participate more in full-team practices. KD has missed Golden State’s last 19 games with an MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise.
It has been a long regular season, but the big show is about to start. This is the moment where legends are made and every year a new player emerges. Who will it be this year? Feel free to follow me on twitter @GRobinsonSports and on Instagram @Grobinson_Sports.