NBA Week in Review

Posted: 01/31/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Weekly top 5  power rankings:

#1: Chicago Bulls (18-5, last week #1): Despite their four point loss to the Miami Heat, the Bulls will stay at #1. They continue to impress, and that loss to the Heat would undoubetdly be a different story if Luol Deng, the starting SF, had played in the game. They have a +9 point differential, which is one of the top +/- in the league. However, it seems like this team’s achillies heal, so to speak, is their injuries. Nearly all of their contributers have missed games, and they should care more about getting their stars healthy than winning games. They have remained great on the boards, with the most rebounds per game, and still have the best record in the NBA, thanks to Derrick Rose and his 23 points and 8 assists per game. Look for the Bulls to get healthy, and continue to play well during the regular season. The big test, however, will be against the Heat in an inevitable matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals.

#2, Miami Heat (16-5, last week NR): The Heat have picked it up recently, winning five straight games, led by the famous big 3 in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Each of them are averaging 20+ points per game, with Bron leading at 29 per game. However, while five straight wins is impressive, only one has come against a good team, and that was by 4 points against the ailing Bulls. The Heat obviously have tremendous talent, but their are still problems in their 4th quarter, and behind the big 3 there isn’t much firepower.

#3, Oklahoma City Thunder (16-4, last week #3): The Thunder stay in the #3 spot, and continue to be the best team in the Western Conference. They won 3 easy games last week, but lost their hardest test, in the Clippers in LA. Their big 3 remains the same, and they still need more scoring from Serge Ibaka, but, although an imperfect team, Kevin Durant (27 points, 8 boards per game) and Russell Westbrook (21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game) showed that they can carry the team.

#4, Philadelphia 76ers (15-6, last week #4): The Sixers have won 4 of their last 5, with the lone loss being to the Nets and their red hot PG, Deron Williams. Most recently, Philly sent Orlando to their 4th straight loss, and probably tried to sell Philadelphia to Dwight Howard. They still have 7 players in double figures, but their C depth problem is becoming more and more apparent. Spencer Hawes is still hurt, and as is rookie Nikola Vucevic. That is the reason that Philly has recently been rumored in Amare Stoudomire talks. To get the Knicks talented big man, the Sixers would probably need to trade Hawes and Andre Iguodala, arguably the team’s best defender. They continue to have a balanced attack though, and Elton Brand showed that he can be a good defender when he shut down Howard.

#5, Atlanta Hawks (15-6, last week #5): The Hawks had a pretty nice week, but played against inferior competition, and got killed by the Spurs, by 22. Joe Johnson leads the team’s offensive attack, and Josh Smith and Jeff Teague are also major parts of the offense. The Hawks are doing as well as they could have hoped for without Al Horford, and need to get a team effort every game to stay on this torrid pace.

Fantasy player of the week:
Kevin Love, MIN PF:
In the last week, Kevin Love has put up 28 points per game, 12 rebounds, 1.5 steals, nearly 2 3’s, 58% FG, and an 85% FT. What’s not to like about that?

Fantasy add of the week:
Drew Gooden, MIL PF:
If he is still available in your league, pick him up now! With Andrew Bogut likely out for the season, Gooden will be the top big man option on Millwauke. He has been great for the last 5 games, so pick him up.

Fantasy drop of the week:

Amir Johnson, TOR PF:

Johnson has been mediocre He was at least supposed to give quality blocks and rebounds, but, recently, he hasn’t even been able to do that. He has supplied 2 rebounds per game in the last 6 games, and only 4 blocks in that time. He has also scored 4 points per game in that time. The time to drop him is now


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