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Scores and ATS Results:
Toronto 94 – Chicago 105 (Chicago +6)
Cleveland 116 – Minnesota 108 (Cleveland -3.5)
Sacramento 97 – LA Lakers 96 (Sacramento +1)
BIG NEWS. HUGE NEWS.
Within the span of eight minutes yesterday morning, the NBA dropped two major bits of breaking news on our heads:
1) Kevin Love will be out a minimum of 6 weeks to have his Knee Scoped. The Cavaliers will be without Love until at least April 1st — just two weeks before the start of the NBA Playoffs (April 15th).
2) Serge Ibaka has been traded to the Toronto Raptors. In exchange for Ibaka, who is on the last year of his contract, the Orlando Magic got back Terrance Ross and the lesser of Toronto’s two first round draft picks this season.
I wrote about both stories yesterday and the impact they’ll have on the entire Eastern Conference. Smash that hyperlink baby.
Have A Night Boogie Cousins
You know what we don’t appreciate enough? Boogie’s passing. Even as a Boogie fan, we focus so much on his rare combination of sheer force and pure talent that, at least personally, I tend to forget how great a passer he is. He doesn’t have the touch of Marc or the flair of Jokic, but he doesn’t have to. He understands when the doubleteam is coming and and where it’s coming from and always seems to hit that guy with a perfect pass. Maybe he’s not the best passing big man. But no big creates more easy open shots for his teammates than Boogie. Those cross court passes to the corner when he see’s the baseline double? Absolutely beautiful.
It’s a sign of how much his game has developed that people who hate him never want to acknowledge. He loses his temper so he’s just immediately hit with the “selfish” tag. Yes, of course he has to stop getting himself thrown out of games. But that doesn’t overshadow the development of his game as a playmaker for teammates. It’s just too bad he’ll never have any good ones.
Have A Night Lebron James
As I mentioned yesterday, the Cavs are at a bit of a crossroads here. Kevin Love is gone for what basically amounts to the rest of the regular season. And while they have talented guys there to fill in (Channing Frye will move up in the rotation, newly-acquired Derrick Williams will come off the bench), it’s still an impactful loss. Washington is scorching hot, Boston is just two and a half games back and still has a move to potentially make, and Toronto just go exponentially better with the addition of Ibaka. The two seed isn’t even a lock for the Cavs, let alone the one.
Last night was of those “I’m just gonna go to the hoop and there’s nothing you can do about it” games from Lebron. The Cavaliers very very very rarely lose when he does that.
The issue is, that takes a lot out of a player. Lebron is Lebron, but he’s not in his mid twenties anymore. He’s not Russ or John Wall or Kawhi who can run and run and run night in and night out. Those games take a toll.
Which raises the question – how often does Lebron want to do that the rest of the regular season? Does he want to go for the MVP? Does he want to take it easy and risk losing home court? Or does he make it clear to the front office that he wants them to go out and get someone in order to lighten the load until the Playoffs?
You might hate all that. You might think “Lebron already has help, stop complaining”. Okay, you’re entitled to that opinion. But those questions I raised above are how Lebron is thinking.
The Cavs front office just said yesterday they’re willing to take on more money. That’s a direct result of Lebron’s comments last month. What Lebron wants, he gets. And if Lebron decides over the next week that he wants more help, they’re going to go get Lebron more help.
Have A Night Andrew Wiggins
Third forty point game on the year for Wiggins, who has quietly picked his game back up over the last month or so. That’s 14 straight games of twenty-plus points, a stretch where he’s shot exactly 50% from the field and 38.5% from three.
The Baby Wolves still aren’t winning games. An short of a monster second half run, they won’t make the playoffs. But maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. They need a real playmaker at Point Guard – one that can bump Wiggins to the role of third banana. And this draft offers that. If Wiggins can keep this level of efficiency while sacrificing some shots, he’ll find his perfect niche in this league. If not, he’s destined to be Rudy Gay 2.0. Interesting to see which route he takes.
Around The Association
You know what, nevermind. I take back that Have a Night from Andrew Wiggins. You could drop 82… if you get nutmegged on a baseline cut from a no-look pass, you lost. You lost the night. You get nothing. Sorry, them’s the breaks Wig.
Kosta with the HAMMER
Schedule for Wednesday, February 15th
Indiana – Cleveland (-6) 7:00 ESPN
San Antonio – Orlando (+10.5) 7:00
Dallas – Detroit (-5) 7:30
Milwaukee – Brooklyn (+5.5) 7:30
Philadelphia – Boston (-10) 7:30
Charlotte – Toronto (-6.5) 7:30
Miami – Houston (-9.5) 8:00
New Orleans – Memphis (-8) 8:00
Minnesota – Denver (No Line Up) 9:00
LA Lakers – Phoenix (-4) 9:00
Portland – Utah (-8) 9:00
New York – Oklahoma City (-7) 9:30 ESPN
Atlanta – LA Clippers (-2.5) 10:30
Sacramento – Golden State (No Line Up) 10:30