Though the headliners all withdrew from Team USA, the other performers are still making it work for the basketball team. After breaking their 78-game win streak with a 98-94 loss to Australia, Team USA finished off exhibition play Monday with a 84-68 win over Team Canada.
Basketball vs. Hockey. NBA vs. NHL. With two seasons and sports that have basically the same exact schedule, the arguments are inevitable and both sides certainly hold water. As both the NBA and NHL playoffs are now in full swing, there is no better time to break out the age-old debate about which one is better, so that is exactly what we did this week.
At the break, the Milwaukee Bucks hold the top spot in the Eastern Conference, just one game ahead of the Raptors. With the next three teams separated by just a game and some serious upset potential near the bottom of the top-eight, it’s tough to say who will represent the East in the NBA Finals. Will the Greek Freak-led Bucks hold on? Will the Celtics surge? Will the Nets shock the world? The DC Sports staff debates.
Not long after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, I texted my buddy Evan with a prediction that the future of Croatian basketball was bright, and they would pose a threat to Team USA if everyone showed up in Japan in 2020. Admittedly a weird thing to text, but hey, I like pontificating about basketball. At the time it sounded prescient, I was putting together the puzzle pieces others seemed to be ignoring. Yet as the 2018-2019 NBA season progresses, I couldn’t be more wrong and while the Olympics are over a year away, I would advise against placing down any future bets on the Croats.
The NBA trade deadline is coming up quick, and buyers and sellers alike will be scrambling up until Thursday to move their guys around. We saw the Knicks shock the NBA world by dealing their beloved star forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last week. With that first domino fallen into place, more are bound to fall as Thursday approaches. Here are three dominoes that I can see falling into place in the next few days.
This week was all Cardiac Kemba, as Walker almost single-handedly led his team to a 3-1 record to climb to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Walker was having an average week by his standards, averaging 19 points and just under four assists in his first three games before exploding against the Bulls for 37 points and 10 assists. This game was Walker’s third double double of the season, and the 37 points was his fifth-highest mark on the season, bringing his weekly averages to 23.8 points and 5.3 assists. Walker continues to do everything in his power to keep this Hornets team afloat and will have to do just that if he wants to earn his team a playoff spot for the first time since their 15-16 season.
Walker is one of the only bright spots in the Hornets abysmal offense thus far in the season. The team sits at 24-25, good enough for eighth in the Eastern Conference, but that hasn’t stopped Walker from having a career year of his own with totals of 24.7 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and a career high 3.2 3-pointers made per game.
The starters for this year’s NBA All-Star game were announced last weekend, and of course with that comes some controversy about certain players starting over others. One big example of this is Paul George being chosen to start this year over players like Anthony Davis. This week we will debate who was more deserving to be named the starter for All-Star Weekend, George or Davis?
Let’s face it, the Pro Bowl is definitely the worst of the professional all-star games, and the NHL All-Star Game isn’t much better. Since both are this weekend, there is little or no action in either of their respective leagues this week.
But fear not, as I have a list of basketball games that you will not want to miss in the upcoming days, both for college and the NBA.