The Good, Bad & Ugly Jan 6-Jan 19

The Good

A league best 12 game winning streak. The Atlanta Hawks have the best defense in the NBA.

  • The Atlanta Hawks are the NBA’s hottest team. In terms of records they have more wins (33) than the Warriors (32) but a lower winning percentage because they have lost eight games compared to the Warriors six.

Atlanta has won 12 games in a row. 12 wins is more than three NBA teams. They have won 12 straight on the road and are 26-2 in their last 28 games. No longer can we just say they are good because they play in the weak Eastern Conference.

In terms of consecutive road wins they beat the Rockets, Mavericks, Blazers, Clippers, Raptors and Bulls on the road. They are one of two teams to beat the red hot Pistons since they released Josh Smith. The Hawks are sixth in points per game, second in assists per game and first in points allowed.

There are five players that average double figures but none more than 17 points. They have no real superstar but they have some deserving All-Stars this season. Kyle Korver is a guy who is only averaging 13 points but he is looking to become the only guy to have a 50-50-90 season. Korver takes about six three pointers a game and makes 53% of them.

The Cavaliers are 2-1 since LeBron's return. He is averaging 33, 7 and 5 in those games

  • Although the Cavaliers are still struggling it is good to see LeBron James back on a basketball court. The Cavs are 2-1 since he return and the rest seems to have really helped James. In the three games LeBron is averaging 33 ppg, 5 apg, and 7 rpg. The Cavaliers have a four game home-stand coming up which should allow this team to continue to play well together.
  • The Memphis Grizzlies were 4-5 without Zach Randolph. When he returned he had a double-double but the Grizz dropped the game on the road to the Pelicans. Since then the Grizz have won four in a row including quality wins against the Suns and Blazers. Z-Bo has averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds in his last five games including a 20-15 game against LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Grizz are the third seed in the West and play six of their next seven games at home.

The Bad

  • A week ago the Blazers were on a four game winning streak. After a lost to the Grizzlies Saturday night they are on a three game losing streak. All three losses were against playoff teams in the West; Clippers, Spurs and Grizzlies. It marks the first time all season that the Blazers have failed to score 100 or more points in three straight games.

 

DeMar DeRozan returned for the Raptors but the Raps have dropped seven of their last nine games.

  • The good news for the Raptors is that DeMar DeRozan returned from his injury. The Raps were 12-9 without DeRozan. He has scored 20 points in both games since his return. The bad news for the Raptors is that they have dropped seven of their last nine games.

Their two wins come against the Celtics and Sixers. They dropped home games against the red hot Pistons and got blown out at home by the East’s best Atlanta Hawks.

The Raptors are still third in the East and with DeRozan back they need to get back to their winning ways. They have nine games in January but six of them are on the road. They are currently 10-7 on the road.

The Ugly

Carmelo Anthony returned for the Knicks but they still lost. They have dropped 16 in a row.

  • Well of the course the Knicks are here again. They haven’t won a game since December 12 of last year. They are on a 16 game losing streak. Playing a game in London didn’t help as the Bucks beat the Knicks 95-79. Carmelo Anthony returned to that game to score 25 points but he had eight turnovers as well.

The Sixers are trying to lose games and they have eight wins while the Knicks were trying to compete and have five wins on the season.

  • Injuries continue to plague the league. Bucks point guard Kendall Marshall is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Bucks are 21-19 this season and are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference.