Ricky Rubio returns. Thunder and Clippers streaking. Bobcats in a funk.

The return of the Spanish wonder, win streaks and losing skids. Here are the highlights of Week 7 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Ricky Rubio returns to action.
Photo ©NBA/Timberwolves.com
After a horrific ACL and LCL injury on his left knee last March that cut his rookie season in the NBA short. The Spanish sensation returns to action for the first time in his sophomore campaign. Ricky Rubio made a rousing return with the Minnesota Timberwolves in today’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Target Center. Rubio dished out the rock like he never got hurt dishing out 9 assists with 8 points and 3 steals in 18 minutes of action as the Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks in overtime 114-106. Rubio’s return gives a much needed boost to a Timberwolves squad who have been riddled with injuries all season long to players like Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Josh Howard and even Kevin Love who is suffering from the flu. The Timberwolves though have remained competitive all-season long as they are in 6th place in the Western Conference at 12-9, and that is a testament to head coach Rick Adelman who has made teams riddled with injuries competitive each season as seen when he was the coach for the Houston Rockets a few seasons back. With “La Pistola”back in the mix, and Love’s impending return to the lineup, the Wolves are ready to make a lot of noise out West.
Thunder and Clippers, stroking hot with win streaks.
Photos ©NBA/Thunder.com, Clippers.com
In the Western Conference, two teamsare having their own this season with win streaks of their own. The reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder have now put up a 10 game winning streak as they have now taken the top reigns of the Western Conference at 19-4 as well as holding the best record in the NBA so far this season. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers have also put up a winning streak of their own, they have now won 9 games in a row and are sitting in third place in the Western Conference behind the Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at 17-6. Both teams have dynamic duos with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the charge for the Thunder while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the Lob City crew. These two teams are ready to contend for a shot at the championship. Who knows when their winning streaks will end?
Bobcats in a losing skid once again.
Photo ©NBA.com
Last season was a disastrous year for the Charlotte Bobcats, they finished with the worst record in NBA history 7-59 (10.6%). However, fortunes changed at the start of the new season with the Bobcats garnering 7 wins in the first 12 games of the season and the Bobcats are in the mix for a spot at the playoffs. Unfortunately, after their good start, the Bobcats have gone back to their losing ways. The Bobcats have now lost 11 straight games and are now in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 7-16.  The Bobcats despite having promising players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are a very young team. There is always room for improvement. For now, the Bobcats have to find a way to get out of the funk and start winning games again if they want to make some noise in the East.
Meanwhile, Josh Smith becomes the second Atlanta Hawks player after Al Horford to be awarded the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in Week 6 of the season. While Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers becomes the 5th recepient of the Western Conference Player of the Week award this season on Week 6 of the season.
Here’s how the teams are faringacross the association:
Western Conference:
1. Thunder (19-4), 2. Spurs (19-6), 3. Clippers (17-6), 4. Grizzlies (15-6), 5. Warriors (16-8), 6. Timberwolves (12-9), 7. Jazz (13-12), 8. Nuggets (12-12), 9. Rockets (11-11), 10. Mavericks (11-13), 11. Trail Blazers (10-12), 12. Lakers (10-14), 13. Suns (9-15), 14. Kings (7-15), 15. Hornets (5-17)
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (18-5), 2. Heat (15-6), 3. Hawks (14-7), 4. Bulls (13-9), 5. Nets (13-10), 6. Bucks (12-10), 7. Pacers (13-11), 8. 76ers (12-11), 9. Celtics (12-11), 10. Magic (10-13), 11. Bobcats (7-16), 12. Pistons (7-19), 13. Raptors (5-19), 14. Cavaliers (5-20), 15. Wizards (3-18)
There has been plenty of changes on top and in the middle of the standings with teams rising at the same time teams falling in the standings. 22 of the 30 teams have picked up at least 10 wins this season.
Stay tuned as a new edition of my NBA weekly blog comes out next week.
El Niño from El Masnou is back!

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