It’s been some time since our last roundtable, so this week we’ve decided to bring in a couple of new contributors as well as a familiar face or two to discuss some of the recent hot topics in the NBA. We’ll be looking at everything from the Warriors playoff hopes, the Thunder’s challenge without Westbrook, The Knicks chances of taking the East, the Boston Celtics troubles, injures and Jason Collins’ recent news. To kick things off we welcome back Tom Read from the #BelieveTheHype podcast, as well as SidelineAgenda.com contributor and all round sports nut Alex Young, and Houston Rockets/NBA social media commentator Terry Goldfain to the party along with regulars from NBA Nation Australia Nick Caro and Sam Monaghan. Lets go!
The 2012/13 Sixth Man of The Year Award has been a bit of a two horse race for the majority of the season. Jamal Crawford made a fantastic case to take out the honor, having had a career year playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at the Los Angeles Clippers, however it was New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith who voters felt contributed most off the bench for his team during the season. Smith, who has also had a career best year with the Knicks was instrumental in helping the Knicks claim the number two seed in the East behind Miami and has provided serious spark for a team that was looking down the barrel only a season ago. Smith has always been one of those players that has the ability to be as brilliant as he can be disastrous, but 2012/13 told a different story. While averaging a career best 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, Smith also held his opponents to an average of 12.3ppg while on the floor. His shot selection is something that has always been questionable and hindered his ability to score with fluidity, but he changed that during the course of the season and improved his overall shooting percentage to 47.3% in an average of 30 minutes per game with the Knicks. Going forward it will be interesting to see how Smith progresses, whether he can continue to play at this elite level and where he ends up. Former 6th man James Harden famously left the Thunder for a starting role at Houston before this season started after claiming honors at the end of last season. Will we see something similar in the case of J.R.? It’s hard to tell, but what we do know is that the Knicks have plenty to thank him for considering the success in season 2012/13.
Above: J.R. Smith shot chart 2012/13
A new season, a new feature over at NBA Nation Australia!
Each week, we will share the 5 things we learned about the NBA from that week’s pool of games. A light hearted yet serious look at the good, the bad and the random that the NBA throws up at us each week.
Five random things that have us talking here at NBA Nation Australia HQ and Five things we think you guys will enjoy reading about…every week.
So here we go. The first list goes like this.
Amare Stoudemire has reportedly punched a fire extinguisher casing outside the Knicks locker room immediately following his sides loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Playoffs today. It’s been said that Stoudemire left the venue with his left hand heavily bandaged and the news that he had received stitches.
Anthony, Stoudemire, Lin, Davis and Chandler. These are some of the names that dominate headlines around the world of basketball. They are some of the faces and figureheads of the world’s greatest game. They play their hearts out night after night for one of the NBA’s most famous and respected ball clubs. But for all their mightiness, are the New York Knicks the leagues most disappointingly dysfunctional team? Should they, for all the time and money invested in building a championship team, be performing at a higher or more consistent level?
The New York Knicks have confirmed Amare Stoudemire will miss at least 2 possibly 4 weeks of action. With a month left in the regular season and the Knicks playoff hopes hanging by a thread this is a huge blow.
Amare will undergo non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation for bulging discs in his back. New York Coach Woodson has said of Stoudemire “He’s a big piece of this puzzle,” the coach said. “But I want him to be healthy when he comes back and not (to) come back trying to play hurt. That’s the most important thing.”