kevin durant celtics january 2014What a week in the NBA! Trades, a variety of comebacks, one truly epic fail, and a candidate for the dunk of the year.

Here's this week's NBA recap!

Rajon Rondo Returns

rajon rondo january 2014The big NBA news early last week was that Rajon Rondo would be returning to the Celtics to play his first game since injuring his knee on Jan. 25, 2013.

On Friday, after 51 weeks, Rondo returned to his home court against the arch-rival Los Angeles Lakers. To Rondo’s surprise, he was announced as the team captain, becoming only the 15th Celtic to be named captain in the franchise’s illustrious history.

Rondo returned with a minutes restriction. Head coach Brad Stevens held Rondo to 20 minutes during his first game back, allowing him five minutes of continuous action in each quarter. Between stints, Rondo stayed fresh by pedaling on a stationary bike.

Rondo finished his first contest with eight points — all coming in the second quarter — on 4-9 shooting from the field to go along with four assists and two rebounds. Despite the emotional return, the Celtics fell to the Lakers, 107-104.

On Sunday, the Celtics went to Orlando to face the Magic, and though the minutes-limit remained Rondo was able to get into more of a groove in his 21 minutes of action. Rondo finished with a very Rondo-ian line of six points (on 30 percent shooting), four assists and six rebounds.

For the first time since his arrival in Boston, this is now Rondo’s team. Given the severe lack of talent on the roster, Rondo’s ability to lead by example will be tested.

That is if he remains on the roster past the trade deadline.

Celtics Trade Away Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 4.45.41 PMOnce Rondo's return became imminent, the Celtics had to make some room on their roster.

Just as Rondo was being assigned to the Maine Red Claws for a brief stint in the D-League prior to his return, guards Jordan Crawford MarShon Brooks were traded away as part of a three team deal with the Heat and Warriors.

Crawford and Brooks were sent to the Warriors while Golden State sent guard Tony Douglas to Miami. In return, the Celtics got Joel Anthony, a second-round pick and a protected first-round pick. If the pick protections fall the Celtics way, it is possible that they will have 10 first-round picks over the next five seasons.

Douglas is sure to boost a Miami squad that has been looking for viable alternatives to Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers. The addition of Crawford gives the Warriors the Celtics leading scorer coming off their bench while the

The Celtics are in no hurry to get better soon and this deal is further proof of their desire to build through the draft. The Celtics will have a ton of cap room to play with when Joel Anthony's contract expiring at years end so a free agent signing is not out of the question.

What remains in question is just how newly-minted captain Rajon Rondo fits into Boston's future.

Nerlens Noel May Actually Play This Season

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 5.38.23 PMRondo was not the only high profile player to make his return to the court this week. On Wednesday, Nerlens Noel was cleared for limited on court workouts. The news comes as somewhat of a surprise, given the Sixers' declaration in October that Noel would be held out for the season.

None other than the orthopedist to the stars, Dr. James Andrews gave Noel his seal of approval to return to on court workouts. Dr. Andrews also said that he thought Noel might be ready to return to game action in 4-6 weeks.

Though the good doctor has verified the progress Noel has made, expect the Sixers to remain cautious with their No. 6 overall pick from last June's draft.

If the Sixers continue their downward trajectory, Noel could be joined by another high lottery pick later this fall and that temptation may prove to be too much for the Sixers to try to get better in the short term.

Marc Gasol Returns

Marc-Gasol-Injury-November-2013Marc Gasol also made his return to the court this week after missing the previous 23 games to a left knee injury.

On Tuesday, the Grizzlies got back the former Defensive Player of the Year in their tilt against the Thunder. Though limited to only 24 minutes, Gasol made his presence known contributing 12 points in the Grizzlies win.

Greg Oden Plays First NBA Game In Five Years

greg oden january 2014On Wednesday Greg Oden came in off the bench to score six points in eight minutes in the Heat's loss to the Wizards. It was Oden's first regular season points since 2009.

In line with his previously stated commitment to not play Oden in consecutive games, head coach Erik Spoelstra held the big center out of their Friday game against the Sixers. Oden did play briefly on Saturday, logging just five minutes with a solitary point and three fouls to show for his effort.

It is expected that, should he stay healthy, Oden figures to play an important role for the Heat in the playoffs should they/when they face the Indiana Pacers.

Clippers Sign Hedo Turkoglu

NBA: New York Knicks at Orlando MagicHedo Turkoglu fell back into NBA relevance when it was rumored that the Clippers’ Doc Rivers was interested in the sharpshooter's skills.

Turkoglu played in only 11 games for the Magic last season due to a variety of injuries and a 20 game ban for performance-enhancing drug use. This year, he was basically told to stay away from the team though he wasn’t formally waived until Jan. 3.

On Thursday, the Clippers signed the Turk to a contract that runs through this season, though the terms of that contract were not disclosed.

Turkoglu gives the Clippers a stretch four man who can spell Blake Griffin and provide the shooting skill that will open up the lane for Chris Paul dribble drives when he returns.

Rockets Score 73 In First Half, Plummet To 19 In Second

dwight howard rockets thunder january 2014The Houston Rockets scored 73 first half points against the Thunder on Thursday. Houston did it through the 3-ball, going 12-20 from beyond-the-arc in the first half. That’s right 20 3-point attempts in a half.

James Harden had 16 points as the Rockets shot 57 percent from the field in the opening half. Unfortunately for the Rockets, that was all that the Thunder would allow from either beyond the arc or from Harden.

Coach Scott Brooks queued up the video of each of Houston’s 12 3-point makes and forced the team to watch each one during halftime. The video shaming worked and the Thunder played with renewed vigor on the defensive end, forcing 12 turnovers in the second half when they had only forced five in the first half.

Houston finished the game going 12-34 from distance, and Harden didn’t score in the second half. Houston shot 19 percent from the field in the final half and coincidentally managed only 19 points.

Durant finished with 36 points, five boards and seven dimes. Durant was just 8-21 shooting from the field but 18-20 from the charity stripe.

With Dwight Howard limited in the second half due to foul trouble, Serge Ibaka ran wild. Ibaka recorded 27 points, 17 boards and five blocks as the Thunder overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to win, 104-92.

With 73 first half points and only 19 in the second half, the Rockets now own the all-time NBA record for largest point differential between two halves.

Kevin Durant Was the MVP of This Week

kevin durant warriors thunder january 2014Kevin Durant scored a career high 54 points against the Warriors on Friday. It would seem as if Durant has scored more than that at some point in his career considering he has scored more than 47 three times this month.

He was also named the Western Conference player of the week averaging 39.3 points on 57 percent shooting in the week.

Game of the Week: Magic vs Bulls

jameer nelson joakim noah magic bulls january 2014Game of the Week honors have to go to the Bulls-Magic game from Wednesday. The game featured 20 lead changes and 14 ties. In the end, the Bulls edged out the Magic, 128-125, in triple overtime.

Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 26 points and 19 boards. Jimmy Butler set a new Bulls record by logging 60 minutes played in a game. Butler didn’t waste those minutes, scoring 21 points.

Magic rookie Victor Oladipo recorded a career-high 35 points to go along with Jameer Nelson’s 31-point, 10-dime performance. The Magic were without arguably their two best players, as both Aaron Afflalo and Nic Vucevic sat out.

The most amazing statistic has to belong to Moe Harkless. The young Magic forward played 46 minutes and took only one shot from the field. He made that shot and hit the only two free throws he took for 100% shooting on the night.

At the time of this publication, we were still trying to find out if anyone has played more while shooting 100 percent and scored less.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!