Today marks the beginning of the second portion of the pro basketball season. Here are my thoughts on some of the NBA’s more interesting teams and situations with thirty games left before the playoffs.
It’s the story that won’t die- will the Lakers pull it together before it’s too late? They are three and a half games out of the playoff picture today but have battled serious injuries and inconsistency. Honestly, I don’t think they will get healthy at any point this season. They might luck into a low seed in the Western Conference, but their slow starting lineup would stand almost no chance against a team like the Spurs or the Thunder in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics have somehow improved significantly since losing star guard Rajon Rondo for the year. Veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have turned back the clock and kept this team in the race, although coach Doc Rivers must be careful not to wear them out before the playoffs. I could see this team sneaking into the second round of the postseason- not bad for a team that seemed down and out after Rondo’s injury.
The other team to watch is the Chicago Bulls. Former league Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose has not played a single minute, yet Chicago sits in fifth place in the East. This is a credit to coach Tom Thibodeau- he has masterfully balanced playing time and resurrected the careers of Carlos Boozer and All-Star Joakim Noah. If Rose can make it back this season, which is no certainty, this team will get a big boost. With three games in the next four days, Chicago will need to play well coming out of the All-Star break to secure a good position going into the playoffs.
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