We are in the final stretch of the regular season and the playoffs are inching closer and closer by the day. It was another big week in the NBA so let’s take a look at some of the top stories from this past week.
Cleveland’s Issues on Defense
Defense has been a major issue for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, who currently rank 22nd in defensive rating. As the season has gone on, they haven’t gotten much better either.
Since the All-Star break, the Cavs have the 2nd worst defensive rating in the league — only ranking ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Cavs have been giving up a ton of points per game — 106.9 to be exact. The only teams giving up more per game in the East? The 76ers, Knicks, and Nets.
On 1/8, CLE was 28-8. Gone 19-17 since adding Korver, DWillX2, Sanders & Bogut (gone in 58 secs). Also, JR returned & Love missed 14 games
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 26, 2017
Part of the issue for the Cavs has been there lack of roster consistency, having dealt with so many injuries this season. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Andrew Bogut could have helped a lot on the defensive end.
Meanwhile, LeBron is still recording an enormous amount of minutes — the second most per game in the NBA.
Moving forward the Cavs will need to pick up their defense, and that’s something you can expect them to do in the playoffs. They finished in the top 10 for defensive rating in last year’s regular season, and if they can get back to that level for the playoffs, they should be just fine.
Booker’s Big Night
Prior to Friday night, Klay Thompson held the record for most points in a game during the 2016–17 regular season with 60. But on Friday, the 20-year-old Devin Booker poured in 70 points against the Celtics.
The Suns weren’t able to come away with the victory, but Booker put on a show making 21 of his 40 field goal attempts, while converting on 24 of 26 attempts from the free throw line.
Booker’s 70 point game was the first time anyone has scored 70 since Kobe Bryant dropped 81 against the Raptors back in 2006.
Booker has now scored more in an individual game than any active player in the NBA, and more than Michael Jordan ever scored in a game. Not bad for someone who couldn’t legally purchase a beer after the game.
If you somehow missed the highlights, here they are:
Rumors, Injuries and Updates
- More people around the league are reportedly starting to believe Blake Griffin will consider leaving the Clippers in free agency for the Celtics or Lakers.
- Clippers players still reportedly feel Austin Rivers is being favored as Doc’s son.
- Joakim Noah will be suspended 20 games for violating the league’s drug policy.
- The Timberwolves announced they will reveal a new logo at their final home game of the season.
- Paul George would reportedly love to play with Gordon Hayward, who is a free agent this summer.
- Paul Millsap will reportedly opt out of his contract and explore free agency this summer.
- Jerry West is reportedly discussing a contract extensin with the Golden State Warriors.
- The Nets will reportedly target Kentavious Caldwell Pope this summer.
- Ryan Anderson will be out for two weeks with a sprained ankle.