Tag Archives: oklahoma city thunder

Grizzlies dethrone the Kings of the West.

These two teams battled each other two years ago and fought a nail-biting seven game second round series. This year, the fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies get their retribution as the knock off the top seed in the West as well as the reigning Western Conference Champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Grizzlies also avengetheir loss in 2011 against the Thunder in empathic fashion taking four straight wins after dropping Game 1 on the road.

 Photos ©NBA
The Thunder who rode out the loss of their All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook in their first round series against the Houston Rockets managed to get into the second round after defeating the Rockets in six games. The Thunder had to rely more on Kevin Durant to score the basketball with Westbrook out for the rest of the playoffs. They managed to win Game 1 on their home floor with a clutch jumper by Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, it ended up as their only win of the series as the Grizzlies took the next four games including two games on their own home floor in Loud City. Their quest for redemption comes to a bitter and early end.
As for the Grizzlies, after getting redemption against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. They continued to play their style of Grit ‘n Grind in their series against the Thunder as they continued to play physical for the entire course of the series. After dropping Game 1 on the road, they responded emphatically as they won the next four games on their way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. They also kept themselves undefeatedat “The Grindhouse” FedEx Forum as they are 5-0 at home in the NBA Playoffs. With a mix of defensive stalwarts like DPOY Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince as well as an offensive boost from Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless to name a few. These guys play great defense, and as quoted by Bruce Bowen once “Defense wins championships.” Now, the road to the championship continues for this team that loves to grind and play tough defense.
The Grizzlies will face the winner of the series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs currently have a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors and they got a shot of winning the series tomorrow.
As for the Thunder, their quest to return to the NBA Finals comes to an end. They will have Russell Westbrook back healthy next season. However, this team could undergo personnel changes along the way, as an eery silence will loom in Loud City as their off-season begins earlier than most people expect.
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
GAME 1 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 91-93 Thunder
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Gasol 20, Randolph 18, Conley 13, Pondexter 13
Rebounds: Gasol 10, Randolph 10, Conley 5, Pondexter 5, Prince 5
Assists: Gasol 3, Conley 3, Pondexter 3
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 35, Martin 25, Jackson 12
Rebounds: Durant 15, Martin 7, Perkins 7
Assists: Durant 6, Perkins 3, Jackson 2
GAME 2 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 99-93 Thunder
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 26, Gasol 24, Randolph 15
Rebounds: Conley 10, Randolph 8, Allen 7
Assists: Conley 9, Gasol 5, Randolph 3
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 36, Fisher 19, Ibaka 11
Rebounds: Durant 11, Perkins 6, Ibaka 5, Jackson 5
Assists: Durant 9, Sefolosha 3, Jackson 2
GAME 3 @ Memphis: Thunder 81-87 Grizzlies
Thunder leaders: 
Points: Durant 25, Jackson 16, Ibaka 13, Martin 13
Rebounds: Durant 11, Ibaka 10, Jackson 10
Assists: Durant 5, Jackson 2, Sefolosha 2

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Gasol 20, Conley 14, Allen 14
Rebounds: Randolph 10, Gasol 9, Conley 7
Assists: Conley 6, Gasol 4, Randolph 2, Bayless 2
GAME 4 @ Memphis: Thunder 97-103 (OT)
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 27, Martin 18, Ibaka 17
Rebounds: Ibaka 14, Durant 7, Martin 5, Sefolosha 5
Assists: Jackson 8, Durant 7
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 24, Randolph 23, Gasol 23
Rebounds: Randolph 12, Gasol 11, Allen 6
Assists: Conley 5, Prince 5, Randolph 3, Bayless 3
GAME 5 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 88-84 Thunder 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 28, Conley 13, Allen 11
Rebounds: Randolph 14, Conley 7, Gasol 7
Assists: Conley 11, Randolph 2, Allen 2, Bayless 2
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 21, Ibaka 17, Jackson 16
Rebounds: Jackson 9, Durant 8, Ibaka 8
Assists: Durant 6, Jackson 5, Fisher 3
Grizzlies win series 4-1

West champs survive Rockets scare.

Two of the youngest teams in the NBA went to war as the top seed in the West and the reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder survive a late push by the eight seeded Houston Rockets after a series which saw the Thunder up 3-0, the Rockets winning two straight before the Thunder wrapped them up in six games on the road.

Photos ©NBA
The Rockets came into the season as the youngest team in the NBA with the players averaging 25 years of age. They also underwent a major roster overhaul during the off-season and during the regular season itself. Coming into the playoffs, Only two players remained from the Rockets roster last year. Chandler Parsons who have stepped up big during his sophomore campaign this season and Greg Smith who have become servicable throughout the season. Talking more about the major overhaul, they brought in a big fish in James Harden who has turned himself from a sixth man in Oklahoma City to the face of the Rockets franchise. They also brought in Jeremy Lin coming off from his Linsanity days in New York. As well as other players like Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia, Aaron Brooks (Brooks, a relic from the Rockets’ last playoff run in 2009) and Patrick Beverley. Down 0-3 in the series, everyone else thought it would end in a sweep. However, they pushed the series to six games before bowing out at home in Game 6.
As for the Thunder, who are gunning for a season of redemption after losing to the Heat in the NBA Finals last season, their road back to the Finals hit a roadblock during this series as their spark plug All-Star point guard in Russell Westbrook went down with an injury after Game 2 that put him out of commission for the rest of the playoffs. Now, the focus is now on Kevin Durant who scored well in the series and is the leading scorer in this year’s playoffs so far. But Durant can’t do it alone, he must find other options on offense. Players like Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher should step up offensively if the Thunder would have a shot on winning the championship. Aside from the usual defensive presence of Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha and Nick Collison. The Thunder may have survived this series, but their road to redemption will get tougher with each game that come along.
The Thunder will face the fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies who stunned the Los Angeles Clippers in six games setting up a rematch between the two teams in the second round who last fought in 2011.
As for the Rockets, though their season ended in a bitter defeat, with a lot of cap space this off-season, the future looks bright for these “Youngbloods” as they will look to catch another big fish come the off-season, and work on the development of their young but already potent team. Watch out for them to make a ton of noise come next season.

Now here are the scores from all games of the series:

Game 1 @ Oklahoma City: Rockets 91-120 Thunder

Rockets leaders:

Points: Harden 20, Beverley 11, Delfino 10
Rebounds: Jones 8, Asik 7, Harden 6
Assists: Lin 4, Beverley 4, Brooks 3

Thunder leaders:

Points: Durant 24, Westbrook 19, Ibaka 17
Rebounds: Westbrook 8, Ibaka 7, Durant 6
Assists: Westbrook 10, Durant 4, Jackson 4, Collison 4

Game 2 @ Oklahoma City: Rockets 102-105 Thunder

Rockets leaders:

Points: Harden 36, Parsons 17, Beverley 16
Rebounds: Asik 14, Beverley 12, Harden 11
Assists:Harden 6, Beverley 6, Lin 3

Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 29, Westbrook 29, Ibaka 12

Rebounds: Ibaka 11, Sefolosha 7, Perkins 6
Assists: Durant 9, Westbrook 4, Jackson 3
Game 3 @ Houston: Thunder 104-101 Rockets

Thunder leaders:

Points: Durant 41, Ibaka 17, Jackson 14
Rebounds: Durant 14, Ibaka 11, Sefolosha 9
Assists: Durant 4, Jackson 3, Martin 3

Rockets leaders:

Points: Harden 30, Parsons 21, Garcia 18
Rebounds: Harden 8, Asik 8, Parsons 7, Jones 7
Assists: Parsons 7, Harden 6, Delfino 4
Game 4 @ Houston: Thunder 103-105 Rockets
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 38, Jackson 18, Martin 16
Rebounds: Durant 8, Collison 6, Ibaka 5, Liggins 5
Assists: Durant 6, Jackson 3

Rockets leaders:

Points: Parsons 27, Asik 17, Beverley 16
Rebounds: Asik 14, Parsons 10, Beverley 4, Delfino 4
Assists: Parsons 8, Harden 3, Beverley 3, Delfino 3
Game 5 @ Oklahoma City: Rockets 107-100 Thunder

Rockets leaders:
Points: Harden 31, Asik 21, Garcia 18
Rebounds: Asik 11, Harden 8, Beverley 8
Assists: Parsons 4, Garcia 3, Harden 3, Brooks 3
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 36, Jackson 20, Ibaka 14
Rebounds: Ibaka 9, Sefolosha 8, Durant 7
Assists: Durant 7, Sefolosha 6, Jackson 3
Game 6 @ Houston: Thunder 103-94 Rockets
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 27, Martin 25, Jackson 17
Rebounds: Collison 9, Durant 8, Jackson 7, Ibaka 7
Assists: Jackson 8, Durant 6, Martin 3

Rockets leaders:

Points: Harden 26, Parsons 25, Asik 13
Rebounds: Asik 13, Parsons 7, Harden 6, Garcia 6
Assists: Harden 7, Garcia 5, Parsons 3
Thunder win series 4-2

Back in the PLAYOFFS for Red Nation.

 Photo ©facebook.com/houstonrockets

After three seasons of settling forwinning seasons but only good fort 9th place in the Western Conference standings. Red Nation, the Houston Rockets are back in the NBA Playoffs, and yeah as a member of Red Nation for over 10 years now since a 7’6” center from China named Yao Ming joined the Rockets and with the players that have come and go like Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Rafer Alston, Luis Scola, Kyle Lowryand Kevin Martin to name some, I’m excited to blog about the Rockets’ playoff run this year. Though there‘s the huge possibility it will be a short one. However, it‘s been four years since I wrote about the Rockets in the playoffs. I‘m gonna make this count.

In the First Round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Rockets are seeded #8 in the Western Conference after suffering a final game defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. to bump up to #7 in the standings. The loss still bites me, especially I suffered the wrath of rants by the Laker Nation here in the Philippines. Anyway, they will face the reigning Western Conference Champions and this year’s top seed in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It will be a fun matchup as last season’s Sixth Man of the Year and now the face of the franchise in James Harden will battle his former teamin the Thunderwhich are led by his  good ol’ buddies and co-Olympic gold medalists in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The spotlight may be on these three men. However, there is more to this match-up as both teams are two of the highest scoring teams in the NBA this season and both teams have very young rosters.The Thunder will have an advantage defensively as they are second in field goal defensebehind the Indiana Pacers and have more playoff experience than the Rockets. The Rockets will look to use their high-pace offense where they light up the scoreboard every game and look to make use of theirthree-point as they are among the league leaders in three points made as a team in the NBA.

The focus of this series may be the matchup between Harden vs Durant and Westbrook. But there are other players on both sides to watch out for.

For the Rockets, the first man to watch out is Jeremy Lin which will get a taste of the playoffs for the first time in his young but already storied NBA career, as he was unable to play for the Knicks during the playoffs with an injury, Lin played all 82 games this season as the starting point guard and has put up decent numbers, though a little low than his Linsanity numbers, he’s gotten better defensively as his steals went up and his turnovers went down. Also taking a first taste of the playoffs would be sophomore forward Chandler Parsons who is the only guy left from the Rockets roster last season, Parsons is the second best scorer for the Rockets after Harden and will be a factor for the Rockets chances in the playoffs. Omer Asik, one of the league‘s top rebounders has playoff experience, however his minutes were limited in Chicago serving as the backup center for the Bulls to Joakim Noah. Now, he’ll get starters minutes in the playoffs as the starting center of the Rockets. The rest of the Rocketsare making their first playoff appearance with the exceptions of Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia, James Anderson and a relic from the Rockets 2009 playoff run in one-time Most Improved Player Awardee Aaron Brooks who was instrumental in the Rockets playoff push in that season.

As for the Thunder, they’ll be looking to get back to the NBA Finals after a bitter conclusion last season at the hands of the Miami Heat. Aside from Durant and Westbrook, Serge Ibaka who has improved offensively to complement his great defense will also play a part in the Thunder’s playoff push. Harden’s replacement as The Sixth Man in OKC Kevin Martin will be the X-Factor for the Thunder as he has a polished offensive game but with a significant letdown on his defensive game. The Thunder will also look at Thabo Sefolosha and Ronnie Brewer who are two great wing defenders in the NBA today.

Season series recap: Thunder wins series 2-1
*Dates in Philippine time

Game 1, November 29, 2012: Rockets 98-120 Thunder
HOU: Points: Patterson 27, Rebounds: Asik 12, Assists: Lin 8
OKC: Points: Durant 37, Rebounds: Ibaka 9, Assists: Westbrook 9

Game 2, December 30, 2012: Thunder 124-94 Rockets
OKC: Points: Westbrook 28, Rebounds: Ibaka & Collison 10, Assists: Westbrook 8
HOU: Points: Harden 25, Rebounds: Asik & Smith 8, Assists: Lin 7

Game 3, February 21, 2013: Thunder 119-122 Rockets
OKC: Points: Westbrook & Sefolosha 28, Rebounds: Durant 12, Assists: Durant 11
HOU: Points: Harden 46, Rebounds: Asik 10, Assists: Lin 7

Series schedule:
Game 1: Rockets at Thunder, April 22, 9:30 am PHT

Game 2: Rockets at Thunder, April 25, 7:00 am PHT
Game 3: Thunder at Rockets, April 28, 9:30 am PHT
Game 4: Thunder at Rockets, April 30, TBD (Birthday game)
Game 5: Rockets at Thunder, May 2, TBD*
Game 6: Thunder at Rockets, May 4, TBD*
Game 7: Rockets at Thunder, May 6, TBD* 

This will be a fun series between the two high octane teams. I’ve been reading through the web about how this series will go. Majority will say the Thunder will win in 5 games. It’s true to say that the Rockets will be the underdogs in this series, because of the fact that the Thunder has more playoff experience and has better defense. However, despite all of these things and pundit talk about the playoffs, I’ll keep on rooting for the Rockets, as well in the history I have of being an NBA fan, most of the times, I eventually root for the underdog. Dating back in 2009 when the Rockets battled the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Most people were rooting for the then Brandon Roy led Trail Blazers squad to win over the Rockets. However, the Rockets would take the series in 6 games which included a Game 1 victory in Portland which is also a tough city for opposing teams and it was the first time the franchise got out of Round 1 since 1997. So yeah, all I can do now is hope for the best and hopefully this will be a great series.

In victory or defeat, Red Nation for life!

NBA Christmas 2012: Heat defeat Thunder in Finals rematch. Clippers win 14th straight game. Lakers clicking at home. Rockets and Celtics rout opponents on the road.

On this special edition of my NBA blog, we look back at the games held on Christmas Day in the NBA. There were five games on tap for that day, teams went it in with their special  Christmas jerseys and they put on a show for fans on hand. Let’s get to it.

Heat knock off Thunder in Finals rematch.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
187 days ago, the Miami Heatcap off their quest for a second championship as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals in front of their home crowd at the American Airlines Arena. It was also the time when LeBron James fulfilled a dream to become a NBA Champion, as well as a Finals MVP trophy to complement, at the same time proving his haters and criticswrong. On Christmas Day, these two teams meet for the first time this season, and the game proved to be a scoring parade. The Heat would prevail over the Thunder 103-97.
The Heatnowlead the Eastern Conference at 19-6, while the Thudnerdrops to second in the West at 21-6.
James led the Heat with a near triple-double 29 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds with 2 steals on 12-20 shooting from the field. Dwayne Wade added 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Mario Chalmersscored 20 points. Chris Bosh added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Also, Mike Miller made a career milestone by reaching the 10,000 point mark all-time in his career.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 33 points and 7 rebounds on 11-21 shooting from the field and 2-4 shooting from 3 point range. Russell Westbrook finished with a double-double 21 pointsand 11 rebounds. Kevin Martin off the benchand Serge Ibaka each scored 15 points.
Clippers win 14th straight game.
Photo ©NBA/Clippers.com
7 and half hours after the Lakers played a game inside Staples Center, their co-tenants and the hottest team in the NBA came out to begin their own Christmas Day game. The Los Angeles Clippers battled the Denver Nuggets, on the line was a 13 game winning streak, things went well for the Clippers as they defeat the Nuggets 112-100 for their 14th straight victory.
The Clippers now lead the Western Conference at 22-6, while the Nuggets drop to 8th place tie with the Utah Jazzat 15-14.
Jamal Crawford off the bench led the Clippers with 22 points on 9-21 shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from 3 point range. Matt Barnes added 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Chris Paul added 14 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Blake Griffinadded 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Lamar Odom grabbed 10 rebounds.
Kosta Koufos led the Nuggets with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds on 8-8 shooting from the field. Jordan Hamilton off the bench also scored 16 points with 4 rebounds. Ty Lawson added 15 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Andre Miller added 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Lakers defeat the Knicks at Staples.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
The drama around Laker Nationis starting to fade as the Los Angeles Lakers have now found their groove and are now starting to make some ground in the Western Conference as they picked up their 5th straight win and go at .500at the expense of the New York Knicks at the Staples Center 100-94.
The Lakers are now at 14-14, tied for 10th place with the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Knicks drop to second place in the Eastern Conference at 20-8.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points and 5 rebounds on 14-24 shootingfrom the field. Metta World Peace off the bench added 20 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out in the 4th quarter. Steve Nashfinished with a double-double 16 points and 11 assists with 6 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. Dwight Howard also finished with a double-double 14 points and 12 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Pau Gasol added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 34 points and 7 rebounds on 13-23 shooting from the field. J.R. Smith off the bench added 25 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 10-23 shooting from the field. Raymond Felton added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Rockets blow out Bulls in Chicago.
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
The team with the fastest pace in the NBA today have picked up another win by another scoring rampage on another defensive-oriented team, the Houston Rockets led by as many as 35 points, were able to keep their composure despite a late challenge in the fourth quarter as theyblew out the Chicago Bulls on their home floor at the United Center 120-97.
The Rockets are in 6th place in the Western Conference at 15-12, while the Bulls lose their lead in the Central Division to the Indiana Pacers at 15-12, in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
Four Rockets players finished with more than 20 points with James Harden leading the way with 26 points, 6 assists, 5 reboundsand 2 steals on 7-13shooting from the field and 11-13 shooting from the free throw line. Chandler Parsons added 23 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-15 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from 3 point range. Omer Asik who made his return to Chicago finished with a double-double 20 points and 18 rebounds with 3 blocks on 9-13 shooting from the field. Jeremy Lin also finished with a double-double 20 points and 11 assists on 8-12 shooting from the field.
Nate Robinson off the bench led the Bulls with 27 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-16 shooting from the field. Marco Belinelli added 15 points and 3 assists on 5-10 shooting from the field. Luol Deng added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Celtics take Atlantic showdown in Brooklyn.
Photo ©NBA/Celtics.com
Defense was the key to this game as the Boston Celticswith their stifling defensetake the Atlantic Division showdown against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center 9376. The Celtics forced the Nets to 20 turnovers and 40% shooting from the field.
With the win, the Celtics tie the Nets for 7th place in the Eastern Conference at 14-13.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals on 8-16 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from 3 point range. Rookie Jared Sullinger off the bench added 16 points and 7 rebounds on 6-7 shooting from the field. Jeff Green scored 15 points. Jason Terry added 11 points and 4 assists. Paul Pierce dished out 10 assists with 8 points while Kevin Garnett grabbed 10 rebounds with 8 points.
Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace led the Nets with 15 points each. Lopez added 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Wallace added 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Joe Johnson added 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Deron Williams added 10 points and 6 assists.
Watch out for my NBA weekly blog, the last one for 2012coming out this Sunday.

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!

Kobe Bryant reaches 30,000. Knicks retake control atop the East. Rolling Thunder.

History was made to mark the week in the association. Here are some of the happenings from Week 6 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Kobe hits 30,000 points!
Photo ©Getty Images
In their December 6 (December 5, New Orleans time) game against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant shot himself to the history as he reached the 30,000 point mark in his illustrious NBA career, making him the youngest player (34 years, 104 days) in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, all of which donning the purple and gold. He also becomes the 5th player in NBA history to reach the mark joining the likes of Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers capped of the game with a win over the Hornets 103-87. However, the Lakers went into a slide after losing to the reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz, as the Lakers are outside of the playoff picture out West in 11th place at 9-12.But for a player like Kobe Bryant who is always on a mission to win it all, a lot of work needs to be done in Tinseltown these days.
Knicks once again on top of the East.
Photo ©NBA/Knicks.com
In a very intense competition atop the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks have once again retook control atop the Eastern Conference as they stand at 15-5, a full game ahead of the reigning NBA champions Miami Heat who are at 13-5. While the Atlanta Hawks have made their way up the ladder and are now sitting in third place in the East at 12-5. While the Chicago Bulls lead the Central Division at 11-8. The Knicks have remained unbeaten athome in Madison Square Garden where they are 8-0. Carmelo Anthony has shouldered the load for the Knicks as he won the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award for Week 5 of the season. Things are looking bright in Manhattan, they arewell in contention for a shot at the NBA championship, if their friends from South Beach or down the East River in Brooklyn have anything to say about their chances of winning the title this season.
 Eight in a row for the Thunder.
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com
The reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder have made it eight straight wins in a row picking up wins this week against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn and against the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers at home. The Thunder are currently tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA at 17-4. Once again, Kevin Durant has been leading the way for the Thunder bagging his second Western Conference Player of the Week award in Week 5 of the season, and he has been backed up well by the entire Thunder roster with players like Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins to name a few helpingout Durant this season. Indeed, these guys are ready to contend for another shot at the NBA title.
Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Miami Heat was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October-November. James for the month finished with averages of 25.0 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game and 6.5 assists per game on 53% field goal shooting
While Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was crowned the Western Conference Player of the Month. Durant for October-November finished with averages of 26.5 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, 4.4 assists per game and 1.6 blocks per game on 51% shooting from the field, 43% shooting from 3 point range and 89% shooting from the free throw line.
Also, the first Rookie of the Month selections of the season were named. For the month of October-November, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers took the honors in the Western Conference. Lillard stands out among the rookies alongside top pick Anthony Davis as he led all rookies in scoring (18.4 PPG), assists (5.9 APG) and steals (1.4 SPG) for the month.
While Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Charlotte Bobcats took top honors in the Eastern Conference. Kidd-Gilchrist finished the month with averages of 10.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.3 BPG.
The first Coach of the Month awardswere also given. Out West, the awardwent to Lionel Hollins who led the Memphis Grizzlies to their best start in franchise history at 12-2 for the month. While Avery Johnson took the honors in the Eastern Conference as he led the Brooklyn Nets to also their best start in franchise history at 11-4 for the month.
Here’s how the teams are faring across the association:
Western Conference:
1. Spurs (17-4), 2. Thunder (17-4), 3. Grizzlies (14-4), 4. Clippers (14-6), 5. Warriors (13-7), 6. Jazz (12-10), 7. Timberwolves (9-9), 8. Mavericks (10-10), 9. Nuggets (10-11), 10. Rockets (9-10), 11. Lakers (9-12), 12. Trail Blazers (8-12), 13. Kings (7-12), 14. Suns (7-15), 15. Hornets (5-14)
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (15-5), 2. Heat (13-5), 3. Hawks (12-5), 4. Bulls (11-8), 5. Nets (11-8), 6. 76ers (11-9), 7. Celtics (11-9), 8. Bucks (10-9), 9. Pacers (10-11), 10. Magic (8-12), 11. Bobcats (7-12), 12. Pistons (7-15), 13. Cavaliers (4-17), 14. Raptors (4-17), 15. Wizards (2-15)
17 of the 30 teams have picked up 10 wins this season, on both sides of the standings, things are looking clear and tightly contested on top of both conferences, at the same time in the middle of the standings, it is a log jam of teams trying to gain a better footing in the standings.
Stay tuned as a new edition of my NBA weekly blog comes out soon.

Spurs fined $250K for sitting out 4 key players, Thunder getting their groove, Heat on a hot streak.

Five weeks into the 2012-13 NBA season, here are some of the happenings from Week 5 of the season

Spurs fined $250,000 for resting 4 key players
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com
The San Antonio Spurs have been fined by the NBA $250,000. The fine came as the Spurs decided hours before their 100-105 road loss against the Miami Heat to sit out their three star players + 1 player on their roster namely Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green. It all came to a decision by head coach Gregg Popovich who decided to sit out his star players after the Spurs underwent a grueling early-season road trip. Fans had mixed reactions about the fine, some say the fine is well played, while others think that the team should had not been fined. After the fine was imposed though, the Spurs came back home and responded with a 99-95 overtime win over the West leading Memphis Grizzlies. Parker scored 30 points and 6 assists, while Duncan added 27 points and 15 rebounds. Life goes on in the Alamo City as the Spurs continue to challenge for control of the Western Conference.
Thunder getting their grove out West.
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com
The reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder are riding on a 5 game winning streak and are tied for second place at 14-4 with the San Antonio Spurs. Their wins include against teams like the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia, Charlotte Bobcats at home, Utah Jazzat home, New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans and a win at home against the Houston Rockets in which guard James Harden returns to Oklahoma City after being traded to Houston before the season began. The reigning scoring champion Kevin Durant has currently dropped his scoring averages averaging 26.2 points per outing which is 2nd best in the NBA, but has improved other assets of his game averaging 8.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per outing on 51% shooting from the field, 44% shooting from three point range and 90% shooting at the line. Russell Westbrook who has been dubbed a “selfish” player last season has dropped more assists so far this season averaging 8.7 assists per outing to go along 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds ans 2.1 steals per outing on 41% shooting from the field. The Thunder had also gotten help from players like Kevin Martin who arrived from Houston in the Harden deal is now embracing his role as the 6th man coming off the Thunder bench, Serge Ibaka has also improved his numbers while maintaining his great shotblocking ability. As well as role players like Thabo Sefolosha, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison to name a few. This team had so far learned it’s lesson after a bitter defeat in the NBA Finals last season. This team is once again ready to compete for one more shot at the NBA championship.
Champs on a hot streak.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
The defending NBA champions Miami Heat are riding a hot streak, currently riding the longest winning streak in the NBA right now at six wins. The Heat are also leading the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-3, a game ahead of the New York Knicks. Their wins include against the Nuggets and Suns on the road, the Bucks, Cavaliers, Spurs and recently against the Nets at home. Their win against the Spurs involves another big shot by Ray Allen late in the fourth quarter and it was a close call for the champions as they played the game with the Spurs sitting out their Big 3 in Parker, Duncan and Ginobili. In today’s game, the Heat came back from a 14 point first half deficit to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 102-89. Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 34 points and 7 assists while LeBron James added 21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Ray Allen scored 13 off the bench, while Norris Cole added 12 points. The Heat are looking good early in the East, the question is can they hold their ground and contend for a back-to-back this season. That we will have to see.
Meanwhile, last week Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Duncan is the 4th player this season to be awarded in the West. While Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Horford is the 3rd player this season to be awarded in the East.
Here’s how the standings look like in the NBA today:
Western Conference:
1. Grizzlies (12-3), 2. Thunder (14-4), 3. Spurs (14-4), 4. Warriors (10-6), 5. Clippers (10-6), 6. Jazz (9-9), 7. Lakers (8-8), 8. Rockets (8-8), 9. Nuggets (8-9), 10. Mavericks (8-9), 11. Timberwolves (7-8), 12. Suns (7-10), 13. Trail Blazers (7-10), 14. Hornets (4-11), 15. Kings (4-12)
Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (12-3), 2. Knicks (11-4), 3. Nets (11-5), 4. Bucks (8-7), 5. Hawks (9-5), 6. 76ers (10-7), 7. Bulls (8-7), 8. Celtics (9-8), 9. Pacers (8-8), 10. Bobcats (7-8), 11. Magic (5-10), 12. Pistons (5-13), 13. Cavaliers (4-13), 14. Raptors (4-13), 15. Wizards (1-13)
Once again, the race out West has been tightly contested. 13 of the 15 teams have picked up at least 7 wins. With the Warriors and Clippers contending for the lead in the Pacific Division and the Lakers coming off the heels of these two squads.Meanwhile out East, the Hawks and 76ers have better records against the Central Division leading Milwaukee Bucks, and finally the Wizards have picked up a win this season.
Keep in touch for a new edition of the weekly NBA blog, next week.