In the first official edition of "While You Were Grinding," we take a look at a good week for the Southwest, the Pacers rising, and thoughts on Memphis hosting the Olympics.
It's been a nice week for the Grizzlies, going 4-0 in the week following the All Star break, improving their win streak to 7 games. They started out with an impressive routing of Detroit, followed by a hard fought battle against the Rudy Gay's of Toronto. The next two games were won by a final score of Bleh-Sheesh in two glorified high school shootouts. Despite the rough box scores, the Memphis now sits just a game and half out of third place in the Western Conference and only 6.5 back of the first place Spurs. All in all, it was a great week for Memphis, but they weren't the only ones enjoying life in the NBA. Here's a look at some of the things you may have missed while you were grinding...
In the Southwest Division- It was a pretty good week for our division, with everyone finishing with a combined record of 12-5 (8-5 if you don't include our wins). The Spurs kept Spurring, winning 3/4 this week, with their only loss being to the Golden State Warriors on the second night of a back to back, and they also picked up a huge win by pummeling the Clippers. Tony Parker continued his impressive season, and should indeed get serious consideration for MVP. The Mavericks were having a pretty good week, until Mark Cuban decide to rattle the snake that is Kobe Bryant. Amnesty that, indeed. Even still, they are sitting at 25-30, and will have some serious questions to answer this offseason, one that will start pretty early for them, one would have to imagine. The Rockets picked up a really impressive victory over OKC, and another nice one over Brooklyn before falling prey to the sneaky Wizards. It wasn't all just on the court this week of Houston, as they picked up Thomas Robinson, the 5th overall pick in this years draft. Robinson hasn't lit the world on fire just yet, but he was the 5th overall pick for a reason, and he makes a surprisingly upstart Rockets team even more formidable. The Hornets are patiently waiting to become the Pelicans next year.
The rest of the West- With the Nuggets and Warriors scuffling a bit as of late, a combined 10-10 record over the last 20 games, not only have they created space for us to breath, but its also creating quite a log jam towards the last few playoff spots. Just 4 1/2 games seperate the 5th and 8th place teams, and the Lakers are only two and half out of the final spot, though still a game under .500. It's going to be a crazy few weeks to see how it all plays out, and one bad week could knock some teams right out of contention. Speaking of teams out of contention, I feel really bad for the Timberwolves. The team has talent, but they just cannot stay healthy. I find it hard to believe that if Love, Rubio, Pekovic, and the rest of their guys were healthy all year, they wouldn't be right in the mix for a playoff seed. They picked up just one win this week, and 3 total in February, the team has too much talent and too good of a coach for that. The Lakers are within a game of .500, and that makes them a playoff contender. That's depressing.
The Eastern Conference- The Heat are good. Really good. Scary good. JJ Redick got traded after being told he was safe, and Josh Smith, who's name has been in trade rumors seemingly since the day he was born, did not. Kyrie Irving had a 35 point game earlier this week, and is quite literally getting better every day, and we are all witnesses. Ooooh...sorry Cleveland. That's my bad. Also, the Bobcats FINALLY have some highlight footage to play before games aside from Kemba Walker's UCONN clips and shots of Michael Jordan golfing. If this doesn't light your fire, your woods wet. No word yet on how long Greg Monroe will be out. The Pacers have been on an offensive tear this week, averaging 109 per game this week. When a team known for its defense starts putting it together on the offensive end, that team becomes very, very scary. I'm a huge Paul George fan, to me, he's everything Rudy Gay should have been, and its great to see him leading the Pacers charge to the top of the East. Remember when Bill Simmons wrote these guys off early this season? Whoops. I mentioned the sneaky Wizards, who have been a very tough win since John Wall returned. He and Bradley Beal, who is going to be really good, are a great 1-2 punch in the backcourt. Need to add some other pieces to be a threat for the playoffs next year, but things are definitely looking up in Washington. Unlike in Orlando, who, despite having a few rookies that I like very much, continue to lose every time they step onto the court. One win in February. Go home Magic, you're drunk. Dennis Scott said that Joakim Noah has surpassed Marc Gasol for the best big man behind Dwight Howard. I understand Noah is talented, but I refuse to hear any arguments in his favor until he washes his hair. I'm sorry.
Other Things you May have Missed: One thing you may have missed was the preview to the Nets matchup last night, partially because I totally spaced and forgot I was supposed to have it up. I was in Nashville all day and attended an Oscar party last night, so I most of the game, including the abysmal 3rd quarter. If you got a chance to check out the Oscar's, you saw Seth MacFarlane bring down the house. He may be crude, he may be more comfortable behind a cartoon, and he may rely way to heavily on gay jokes, but there is no denying the guy is supremely talented, and I for one, am a huge fan. Something in particular that I seem to be missing is the deal with Jennifer Lawrence. If someone can explain to me what the appeal is, I'd really like to know.
Incase you missed it, earlier this week it was suggested that Memphis submit a bid for the 2024 Olympics. This is not a joke. A lot of people don't think its a possibility, but I could see it happen. The Opening Ceremony would include a nice parade down Beale Street, complete with the Beale Street Flippers getting everyone pumped with their crazy flip skills. All of the swimming competitions could take place inside of the new Bass Pro Shop/Pyramid. The track competition would take place on Orange Mound, because the extra fear would be sure to make everyone run faster. Records would definitely fall. You thought China had a great fireworks show? Wait til you see what Jerry "The King" Lawler has in store for us at the Closing Ceremony. Sure, there's a great chance that all of the athletes leave in terrible shape from overeating BBQ and too many stops at Gus's, and yes, I understand we're bound to get most of the medals stolen before they are able to be awarded, but wouldn't it be worth it to have Tony Allen on the sideline for every competition, white towel in hand, making even the long jump more exciting? I submit to you, Olympic Committee, we can handle this. It won't be pretty, but if we've learned anything from watching these Grizzlies, its that nothing ever is.