We are now at the All-Star break in the NBA season, where, we’ll be delighted with some of the best players going head to head in an exhibition. We’ll also see other stars compete in different competitions, such as the skills challenge, 3-pt shoot out, dunk contest and then, of course, the USA vs. World game.
I’ll tell you all about the competitors in each of those, along with where we stand in the playoff picture as of Monday, Feb. 11th.
As you can see from the last standings, there’s not much change from last time, besides the teams who have fallen continuously. Those teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves, who you can find more about in the cold teams’ section. What’s the cause of this? Trades, injuries, tanking for Zion? Let’s see what we missed over the past three weeks in the NBA, especially with the Trades and All-Star weekend.
Some of the best teams in the league made moves to get better down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs. Some of the worst teams made moves to clear cap space for the hot free agent pool that will be open this summer.
- Raptors and Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol to Raptors for C Jonas Valanciunas, G Delon Wright, F/G CJ Miles, 2024 second-round pick
- Pistons, Bucks, Pelicans: F Thon Maker to Pistons, F Nikola Mirotic to Bucks, F/C Jason Smith, F Stanley Johnson and Four future second-round picks (via Detroit) to Pelicans
- Magic and Sixers: G Markelle Fultz to Magic for F Jonathon Simmons, Protected 2019 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick
- Grizzlies and Clippers: G Avery Bradley to Grizzlies for G/F Garrett Temple and F JaMychal Green
- Kings and Mavericks: F Harrison Barnes to Kings for F Justin Jackson and F Zach Randolph
- Bulls and Wizards: F Otto Porter Jr. for F Jabari Parker and F Bobby Portis
- Sixers and Clippers: F Tobias Harris, C Boban Marjanovic, F Mike Scott to Sixers for F Wilson Chandler, F/C Mike Muscala, G Landry Shamet, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (from Miami), Two future second-round picks (from Detroit)
- Trail Blazers and Cavaliers: G Rodney Hood to Trail Blazers for G Wade Baldwin IV, G Nik Stauskas and Two future second-round picks
- Mavericks and Knicks: F Kristaps Porzingis, G Tim Hardaway, Jr., G Courtney Lee, and G Trey Burke to Dallas for C DeAndre Jordan, G Dennis Smith, Jr., G/F Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks
- Team LeBron: LeBron James (Captain), Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Klay Thompson, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Dwyane Wade
- Team Giannis: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Captain), Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Kemba Walker, Blake Griffin, Nikola Jokic, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Dirk Nowitzki, Victor Oladipo – Replaced by D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, and Russell Westbrook
MTN DEW 3-Point Contest: Devin Booker – Suns, Seth Curry- Trail Blazers, Stephen Curry – Warriors, Danny Green – Raptors, Joe Harris- Nets, Buddy Hield- Kings, Damian Lillard- Trail Blazers, Khris Middleton – Bucks, Dirk Nowitzki- Mavericks and Kemba Walker- Hornets
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Mike Conley – Grizzlies, Luka Doncic- Mavericks, De’Aaron Fox – Kings, Nikola Jokic- Nuggets, Kyle Kuzma – Lakers, Jayson Tatum- Celtics, Nikola Vucevic – Magic and Trae Young- Hawks
AT&T Slam Dunk Contest: Miles Bridges – Hornets, John Collins – Hawks, Hamidou Diallo – Thunder and Dennis Smith Jr. – Knicks
Now that we are all caught up on what has happened these past few weeks, let’s take a look at the standings as of Monday, Feb. 11th
1. Bucks (42-14) 1. Warriors(40-15)
2. Raptors (42-16) 2. Nuggets (38-18)
3. Pacers (38-19) 3. Thunder (37-19)
4. 76ers (36-20) 4. Blazers (33-23)
5. Celtics (35-21) 5. Rockets (33-23)
6. Nets (29-29) 6. Jazz (32-24)
7. Hornets (27-29) 7. Spurs (32-26)
8. Pistons (26-29) 8. Kings (30-26)
9. Heats (25-30) 9. Clippers (31-27)
10. Magic (25-32) 10. Lakers (28-28)
11. Wizards (24-33) 11. Mavericks (26-30)
After looking at where each team stands in the playoff race, let’s turn our attention to the teams who have been cold and hot for over the past few weeks.
The last time we did this article, the Heat looked like a team who was comfortably in the playoffs. Since then, they have traded away two of their better shooters for an experienced veteran, Ryan Anderson. They’ve still got Goran Dragic, but don’t have any player in the All-Star game. Well, there is Dwayne Wade, but that’s only because it’s his final season. Can Wade help lead this young team back to the playoffs?
New Orleans Pelicans
I understand being a bad team when your best player is out, but holding your best player out longer than expected doesn’t help the moral of the team and the players. That player is Anthony Davis. He was one of the biggest names talked about on the trade block, until no deal was done. Davis is now back, but the team has put a limit on his minutes and aren’t putting in enough effort in to win games.
San Antonio Spurs
For the Spurs, it’s been a rough couple of weeks of injuries that has messed up the chemistry of the team. They’re right where they should be in terms of the playoffs, and shouldn’t be on the cold list for long. But the four straight losses doesn’t help. Let’s watch over the next few weeks and see how the Spurs continue to climb.
Unless they can make a run for the hot list next week. But that’s then, let’s see about the now and who’s on a hot streak!
The Pacers are currently on a six game winning streak without their all-star guard, Victor Oladipo. The Pacers are in the third spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They recently added G Wesley Matthews to help fill the void left by Oladipo, but they’re streaking and show no signs of slowing down.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Speaking of streaking, the Thunder are winners of 10 of their last 12 games. During that time, PG Russell Westbrook has set a new NBA record for most consecutive games with a triple-double (10). He did that in Monday’s big win over Portland. Teammate Paul George also had triple-double while scoring 47 points. Both Westbrook and George will be a part of the All-Star game this weekend as teammates on Team Giannis.
The Raptors are all in this season. They made the trade to get Kawhi Leonard in the offseason and have continued to make the right moves all season long! The most recent move was the trade acquisition of Marc Gasol. The Raptors have one chance to win it all before the decision of Kawhi Leonard this offseason. We should expect to see them as one of the top two teams in the East, but can they get to the next level without having to worry about LeBron James knocking them out again?
As we watch the league continue to play great basketball, we should also remember to spend our Feb. 14th with our lovely partners to show and appreciate how much they truly mean to us. That way you can enjoy all the All-Star fun over the weekend.
What? Did you really think I would tell you to miss the most exciting weekend in the NBA for a date? That’s what restaurants with televisions are for. But also, make sure you don’t get caught looking as she talks!