Thursday, February 21, 2013

2/21: The 1st Trade!, etc.

Greetings everyone! On the morning of the NBA trade deadline, we have a lot to get to, so let's go.
  • On the eve of the deadline, there was a bit of a shocking deal in the NBA. Sacramento sent Thomas Robinson (the #5 pick in this year's draft) to Houston as part of a 3-team trade. This was surprising for two reasons. #1 is that the Kings are effectively bailing on the 5th pick after just a half-season of evaluation, and #2 is that they didn't really get value in return. Patrick Patterson is the "prize" acquisition for Sacto, but he is probably just a league-average power forward at this point, as he averages 12 and 5 in that uptempo Houston system. The Kings also receive Toney Douglas, Cole Aldrich, and cash, but it's just a weird match for Sacramento. For Houston, they effectively turn Patterson and Marcus Morris (who was shipped to the 3rd team, Phoenix) into Robinson and some future monetary flexibility. It's a buy-low on Robinson, but I firmly believe that he'll be, at worst, a really good energy guy/rebounder in the league and I like the move. For Phoenix, they pair the Morris brothers together as Marcus joins Markieff, and they only sacrifice a 2nd-rounder to do it. A rare, positive move for the Suns.
  • On the court, the NBA had a full night as well. Miami scored 40 4th-quarter points in a 103-90 come-from-behind win in Atlanta. It was the 8th straight win for the Heat, who were led by 24/6/11 from Lebron James and 17 bench points from Shane Battier (including 5 threes). The story of the night for Atlanta was 19 turnovers, and it was a mess down the stretch. James Harden exploded for 46 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in Houston's 122-117 over Oklahoma City. This looks just like a case of a player abusing his old team, but Harden is a monster in this league at this point. Thabo Sefolosha had 28 points (randomly) for OKC, but it wasn't enough here. Indiana hung 125 points on the blindsided Knicks in a 34-point home win. The Pacers dominated the glass (54-39), shot 53% from the field, and basically dominated from the jump. The Lakers got a 113-99 win over Boston as they played their first game following the passing of Jerry Buss. Dwight Howard led 6 Lakers in double-figures with 24 points and 14 rebounds, but it was a 49-34 rebounding edge that keyed the win for LA. Finally, Golden State got 20+ points from Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Jarrett Jack in a 108-98 home win over Phoenix. This snapped a six-game losing streak, and the Warriors desperately needed the W.
  • On the college hardwood, Kansas and Oklahoma State played a barnburner in Stillwater. Kansas escaped with a 68-67 win in double overtime, but this was a wild one. First of all, the score (in the 60s) is indicative of how bad the offense was, as both teams shot 41% or lower, and the combined three-point output was 5-32. Eesh. Marcus Smart (2-14) and Ben McLemore (3-12) struggled mightily in a battle of sure-fire NBA lottery picks, but the Jayhawks stole the win.
What to watch for on Thursday...
  • 3:00 - NBA Trade Deadline! - Okay, this isn't an "event" to watch for, but it had to be mentioned. As the afternoon goes along, there are sure to be deals, and all eyes are focused on the Josh Smith chase as the highest-profile player on the market. It'll be fun.
  • 8:00 - NBA - Heat @ Bulls (TNT) - This is a road back-to-back for Miami so that's an interesting spot. Also, I'm covering this game for Fansided, so check that out when it comes (shameless self-promotion). 
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - #6 Duke @ Virginia Tech (ESPN) - This isn't a great game, as VT has taken a significant step back this year, but it's still a road game inside the conference.
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - Cal @ #23 Oregon (ESPN2) - If you're looking for a more "even" match-up at 9:00, this is it. 
  • 10:30 - NBA - Spurs @ Clippers (TNT) - Will both teams be unchanged? A lot of rumors have surrounded both rosters, but it's certainly possible. 

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