The Good, Bad & Ugly Jan 20 – Feb 2 2015
- Once again the Atlanta Hawks lead the way on this list. They are not only good they are great. The Hawks won 38 games last season and this season they already have 39 wins. If you haven’t had a chance to watch them they will be on NBA TV Monday February 2nd against the New Orleans Pelicans.
This team has three All-Stars, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague. All players are deserving of this reward. Kyle Korver might even get a spot as a replacement for Dwyane Wade. They are still number one in points allowed and second in assists per game.
The league might need to change the playoff format soon. The Hawks have won 19 games in a row and the eighth seed Charlotte Hornets only have 20 wins on the season.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers are back on this list. After a six game losing streak they have won 10 games in a row. Their defense has been really good during the streak, holding their last seven opponents under 100 points. They are holding teams to 93.2 ppg during that span.
LeBron James has been great during the streak but recently Kyrie Irving has taken over games. He scored 38 points against the Pistons and then the next night with LeBron out he scored a career high 55 points on the Blazers.
It is still a work in progress in Cleveland but the team is getting healthy and is playing better team basketball. They still need to find ways to get Kevin Love involved offensively.
- The Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors get all the attention but the Memphis Grizzlies are on a six game winning streak and have a 35-12 record. That is good enough for second in the Western Conference.
They have won 10 of 11 game including wins over the Blazers, Mavericks, Raptors and Thunder. Zach Randolph has been a beast since returning from injury. In his last five games he is averaging 19.8 ppg and 13.8 rpg.
They have the league’s best defense and are averaging over 100 points per game. This is the first time the Grizzlies have averaged over 100 points since the 2009-10 season.
- The Orlando Magic have dropped eight games in a row. They are at the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. There have been reports that Coach Jacque Vaughn is on the verge of being fired. At 15-34 the Magic have won more games than last season but the organization expected them to be better.
They have a young core of promising players. Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo are three young guys that can lead this franchise. Aaron Gordon is also a young guy that will help this franchise going forward. Tobias Harris will be a free agent so it remains to be seen if he will stay with the Magic.
It is not clear when the Magic will fire Vaughn. It might be this week or next week. He might be fired by the time you read this article.
- The Chicago Bulls are 4-6 in their last 10 games and are on a two game losing streak. They are 30-19 but something is not right with this Bulls team.
In their last six games they beat the Spurs at home and the Mavericks and Warriors on the road. The Bulls are a really good road team. However they dropped a game at home to the Miami Heat and two road games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
They have three games left on their six game road trip. This is not the same Bulls defense we come to expect from a Tom Thibodeau coached team. They are 17th in points allowed and ninth in points scored. So they have offensive firepower now but don’t always play great defense.
Their next game is against a good Rockets team and then an improving Pelicans team. They close out the road trip against the lowly Magic.
- Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic will miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with multiple blood clots in his lungs. He is expected to make a full recovery and has been released from the hospital. Teletovic was averaging 8.5 ppg for the Nets while shooting 32% from beyond the arc.
Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker will be out at least six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. Walker leads the Hornets in points (18.8), assists (5.2) and steals (1.4). He has knocked down some big shots for the Hornets this season.
At 20-27 the Hornets are holding on to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets are still looking to move Lance Stephenson; they have been targeting Nets’ guard Joe Johnson.
Kobe Bryant’s season is over after suffering a tear to his rotator cuff in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Bryant had a successful surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be back when training camp starts.
This is the third straight season that has ended in an injury for Bryant. He will be 37 this summer and is under contract for $25 million next year, the final year of his contract with the Lakers.