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Feb 05, 2018

NBA Weekly Review Feb 5, 2018

The landscape of the NBA has changed dramatically over the past week. With injuries to three different All-Stars and the Blake Griffin trade, a few NBA teams now look a lot different than they did last week. The most critical injury was that of Demarcus Cousins, who tore his ACL and will be out for the season. This injury obviously hurts the Pelicans as they thrive off of the Cousins-Davis big man combo. The Pelicans didn’t throw in the towel though, as they traded a first round pick and three players to Chicago for Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic is obviously not an adequate replacement for Boogie, but his 16.8 points per game this season may be enough to keep the Pelicans in the playoff picture. John Wall and Kevin Love were the other two All-Stars injured this week. Wall will undergo a knee surgery and miss 6-8 weeks, which means the Wizards are going to need to find a way to make up for his 19.4 points and 9.3 assists per game. The Wizards who are 29-22 and are tied for fourth in the East will look to tread water as they wait for Wall’s return. Kevin Love’s Injury could not have come at a worse time for the struggling Cavs. The Cavaliers have lost 12 of their last 18 games and seem to be falling apart. This seems to be the narrative every year with any Lebron team, and they always end up figuring it out. However, Love is averaging close to a double, so his presence will be sorely missed as Cleveland tries to climb out of this slump.

The biggest shakeup this week, and really of the season, was the trade of Blake Griffin. Griffin was sent from the Clippers to the Pistons for two picks, Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Boban Marjanovic. Griffin has been with the Clippers for seven years, has reached the playoffs with them six straight years, and has five All-Star appearances in that span. This trade seemed to come as a surprise to Blake as the Clippers had sold him on the idea of being a life-long Clipper and gave him a five year $171 million deal just six months ago. In the small sample size of games, Blake seems to be fitting in nicely with his new team. The Pistons had dropped eight games prior to his arrival and are now 3-0 since the trade. In his first game, Griffin put together a 24/10/5 stat line with 49.5 fantasy points, and the Clippers were plus 23 with him on the court.

The big game of the week (and really for the year for that matter) goes to James Harden, who had the league’s first-ever 60-point triple double last Wednesday. This broke the old record for most points in a triple-double (57) which was set last year by Westbrook. Harden had 10 rebounds and 11 assists and shot sixty-three percent from the field while scoring a ridiculous 98.5 fantasy points. That topped the previous season high in fantasy points set by Cousins in his 44/24/10 game a few weeks ago.  Harden is now averaging a bit over 54 fantasy points per game and has become an early front-runner in the NBA MVP race. Harden’s success has helped the Rockets keep pace with the Warriors as they sit two games out of first place in the West. 

Dan Quinn