In the latest NBA News and Notes, John Wall is back with the Wizards, Brooklyn is streaking, there’s drama in South Beach and much more.
1. The Bench Heard Round the World- Sports fans love to blow things out of proportion as much as possible; especially when it’s a team you can’t stand. On Monday, the Heat lost to the Utah Jazz in a game that looks closer on paper than it was. That’s not the headline though, the headline came from coach Erik Spoelstra’s decision to bench (recently named All-Star Starter) G Dwayne Wade for the entire 4th quarter as well as playing F Chris Bosh for only 40 seconds in the 4th. On the flip side, LeBron James played all 12 minutes of the 4th as the Heat came up short on the attempted comeback. Everyone involved denied any controversy but the team has lost 6 of their last 10 games, which could have fans more nervous than they may want to admit.
2. Golden State Worriers- The season so far for the Warriors has been shocking to many and has given much deserved coverage to not only players like Stephen Curry, David Lee and rookie Harrison Barnes but also coach Mark Jackson, in his second year helming the team. Their great run has finally hit a skid as G Curry twisted his ankle yesterday before their game against the Heat. Curry has been plagued by ankle injuries throughout his 4-year career and had emerged as one of the best young PGs in the NBA. Hopefully the injury doesn’t keep him out for an extended period of time as Curry and the Warriors are one of the most exciting and best teams of the young season.
3. Brooklyn’s Interim Coach- On December 27, Nets coach Avery Johnson was fired and assistant P.J. Carlesimo took over. Since then, the Nets have gone 9-2 and have begun to look like the team Jay-Z wants us to believe they are. That said, the teams they’ve beat in that stretch include; Sacramento, Charlotte, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto and Phoenix so take that with a modest grain of salt.
4. John Wall’s Back, But Wizards Are Still the Wizards- On January 12th, John Wall made his season debut with 14 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in a win against the Atlanta Hawks. In the 3 games he’s played this year, the team is 2-1 and Wall has averaged 13 points and 6 assists in just 20 minutes playing off the bench. Washington fans should be optimistic that the season won’t be a total loss now but still, just be cautiously optimistic; just because a triple-fudge brownie with icing and sprinkles is good for one bite doesn’t mean you’re going to want to eat the whole thing. Don’t get greedy on me Wizards fans, this season is going to have to be enjoyed one bite at a time.
5. LeBron Back to Cleveland in 2014?- The rumor mill has begun to churn and speculation has arisen that, when LeBron is able to opt out of his current contract, he’ll choose to return to his hometown Cavaliers. Cleveland is also apparently already preparing to clear cap space to sign him. The thought of James and Kyrie Irving together gives me NBA fan goosebumps but considering Dan Gilbert wrote this about LeBron after “The Decision” we’ll just have to wait and see. I leave you with the fans reactions to LeBron leaving Cleveland, which oddly has yet to get old.