Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.22.13 PMIt was a big week in the NBA with a headlining trade, a streak snapped and another streak continued, and several dynamic guards see adjustments to their roles on their teams.

Here's this week's NBA recap. 

Luol Deng Traded To Cavaliers

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.23.09 PMOn Tuesday a trade was finalized between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls that sent center Andrew Bynum to the Bulls in exchange for swingman Luol Deng. Along with Bynum, the Cavs sent the Bulls a protected first round pick in 2014 as well as one second round pick in 2015 and 2016.

Given Bynums recent problems in Cleveland, a trade was inevitable. The surprising part of this trade is that the Bulls finally traded Deng after denying that they were interested in moving the small forward.

The day after the trade was finalized, the Bulls waived Bynum in order to avoid paying the big man the $6.3 million owed to him were he to remain on their roster after Tuesday.

With this trade, the Bulls moved below the luxury tax line and were able to at least get picks back for Deng, who enters free agency at the end of this season.

The Cavs get a capable swing man, something they have been lacking this season. It seems with this trade that the Cavs are making a push for the playoffs and a chance to honor Dan Gilbert’s promise of not attending the draft lottery this summer.

One has to wonder whether it is better to be the eighth seed in the East in order to honor an enthusiastic remark from the owner or get a good pick in this upcoming stacked draft class.

Nets Snap Warriors Win Streak, Hawks Extend Theirs

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.25.40 PMOn Wednesday, a trio of streaks were on the line in NBA arenas around the league.

Heading into the week, the Golden State Warriors were the proud owners of the league’s longest win streak at nine games. On Tuesday, they were able to extend the streak to 10 by taking out the Bucks in Milwaukee 101-80.

They then took their streak to Brooklyn where they faced the surging Nets. However, Joe Johnson and his band of merry replacements including Shaun Livingston and Mirza Teletovic were able to defeat the Warriors in a back-and-forth brawl, 102-98.

Also on Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers took their traveling show to Atlanta where they faced the depleted Hawks. Without Al Horford, who is gone for the year with a torn pectoral muscle, it seemed the Hawks would be far outmatched by the defending Eastern Conference finalists.

Improbably, Atlanta was able to extend its streak of wins against the Pacers in Atlanta by besting Indiana, 97-87. The Hawks have now beaten the Pacers 11 straight times in Atlanta. The Pacers haven’t won there since 2006.

It may be high time Larry Bird institute a curfew when his team travels to the ATL.

Gerald Green Ices T-Wolves With Game-Winner


Late Wednesday , with the Suns down six with less than two minutes to play, the Timberwolves seemed to have Phoenix right where they wanted them. Unfortunately for the T-Wolves, the scrappy Suns never folded.

Gerald Green’s jumper with 3.9 seconds left capped the comeback and secured the victory for the young Suns. Phoenix scored the last seven points of the game, and Minnesota’s frontcourt of Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love combined to go 10-36 from the field.

It was Minnesota’s seventh chance to go over .500 on the season and for the seventh straight time they failed in their attempt (insert frowny face). 

Ty Lawson, Nuggets Flourishing With Andre Miller Out

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.32.16 PMThis week saw a lot of tumult at the guard position across the league. As some have ceded the starting job for the time being, some others have assumed the mantle and have lead their teams admirably.

Early in the week, Andre Miller served his suspension for a rather public confrontation with head coach Brian Shaw. Since serving the suspension, Miller has not seen the court and speculation that he could be traded shortly has abounded, including rumors that the New York Knicks could be targeting the venerable point guard.

With Miller benched, Ty Lawson saw his minutes increase and he responded in fashion. Lawson has been averaging an additional three assists per game over his season average in addition to one more three pointer made per contest.

In the five games since the Miller suspension, the Nuggets are 5-0, due in no small part to Lawson’s increased productivity.

Pelicans Suffer From Injuries

Indiana Pacers v New Orleans PelicansThe New Orleans Pelicans just can’t catch a break.

First, power forward and three point sharp-shooter Ryan Anderson was ruled out with a herniated disk. Now they were dealt another significant blow when Jrue Holiday was felled with a stress fracture in his right tibia. Holiday is said to be out indefinitely, just like his teammate Anderson.

Luckily, the Pelicans invested in free agent Tyreke Evans in the offseason, but with Evans moving into the starting lineup the ‘Cans bench is thinner than the crepes in the French Quarter.

Clippers Rolling Without Chris Paul

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.36.31 PMWhen the Clippers lost Chris Paul to injury, many suspected that the team would struggle without their floor general.

LA has won three of the four games since Paul’s injury. Four games is hardly a large sample size, but the recent stellar play of Darren Collison is reason enough to believe that the Clips will be able to weather the storm until Paul returns.

Since taking over the starting point guard role, Collison has put up almost 19 points a game and is dishing out almost seven assists all while shooting 65 percent from the field.

Time will tell if Collison can maintain those numbers through the six weeks Paul is expected to be out, but if he can the Clippers can stay on pace with the Warriors in the race for the championship of the Pacific Division.


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