Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 2.2.16

Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 2.2.16

This may be a week for another sport but it will always be business as usual here at Hoopscritic.  With a few weeks away from All Star Weekend, it is a good time to check into the season as we prepare for the playoff push and seeding watch.  In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out the Mid-Season Awards by the staff at Hoopscritic. Three Positive Things Here Come the Thunder No it is not a storm brewing, or maybe it is? The Thunder are coming together at the right time, poised to make a fight for the 1st or 2nd seed ( currently sit 4 games out of 2nd and 8 games out of first).  In fact, it seems their chemistry is coming together as we learned that Russell Westbrook went over to Enes Kanter’s house, ate some Turkish food and destroyed him in video games because what else would Westbrook do besides win?  The Thunder struggled in the beginning of the season as they dealt with the return of Durant and a banged up Westbrook.  When judging a team in the NBA you have to look at how a team is performing lately and how they are performing when healthy, the Thunder pass this test with flying colors as they are 34-9 with Durant this season.  They have arguable the best two man tandem in the league (yes, Golden State would probably trade Klay/Steph for Durant/Westbrook).  In fact, every team would trade their two best players to get Westbrook and Durant.  One thing is for sure, the Thunder could be the healthiest and strongest they’ve...
The Backcourt Nobody Is Talking About

The Backcourt Nobody Is Talking About

With media attention focused on the record setting Warriors in their chase of 72 wins, other NBA stories have continued to fight for publicity. Furthermore, when the Warriors segment ends, the Spurs, Cavaliers and Clippers have spurred plenty of headlines to fill a show. Consequently, in the Eastern Conference, the vast majority of teams are flying heavily under the radar, even the team located furthest North. Toronto has quietly ripped off 11 straight wins to finds themselves comfortably in the two seed just 2 games behind first place Cleveland. Fueled by the similarly underrated, but dynamic, backcourt of All-Stars, Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan, Toronto should be in both the conversation to contend for the Eastern conference and title of “best back court in the NBA”. I’m not ready to declare Toronto’s back court better than Golden State’s by any means, but DeRozan and Lowry average 23.2 and 21 points per game respectively, both boasting PER rankings over 21. Along with the Splash Bro’s of Curry and Thompson, they are one of two backcourts in the NBA to be represented in the All-Star game together. Surprisingly, if you compare the two duos, while it may seem obvious that Steph would win the point guard battle, DeRozan actually has a leg up on Klay in the stat sheet. He is over a full assist and rebound better than Klay while averaging two more points per game accumulating to a PER that is three points better. Still, Steph’s statistics are so amazing that he can carry Klay’s averages to comfortably surpass Lowry and DeRozan. Last year the new “back court of the future”...