With the All Star circus now won and done USSDU looks ahead at the next stage of the NBA Season.[caption id="attachment_14502" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo Credit: Paul Buck/EPA[/caption]
Trade FalloutWith the NBA Trade Deadline set at 1am Friday the 22nd of February 2013 (AEDT), any number of crazy deals and optimistic moves can be made. By the time this is published there my have been some trade action involving any number of players (Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Pau Gasol come to mind) Typically these trades are used as salary dumps or a last ditch efforts to get some assets for a player that is going elsewhere in free agency, this year there could be something more. Rumours are swirling around that the Clippers are looking to make a move to obtain another big in the form of Paul Millsap (likely) or Kevin Garnett (a dream). A move to get a proper rebounder might just make the Clippers a legit threat in the West and put the rest of the league on notice.
Progress Of Returning StarsThe NBA All Star break is a date that teams love to mark down as the return of injured players. Two big name stars that come to mind are Derrick Rose and Andrew Bynum, both having played 0 minutes in 2012/13. Rose has been reported as participating in 5-5 practices but he has come out in the media saying he is fine with missing the whole season (not very believable). With the Bulls still well placed in the East even though their starting 5 for stretches included Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli. The return of Rose should give the Bulls the spark they need to finish off the season strong but when will it happen? Bynum on the other hand has stated that he would like to return this season but 76ers doctors aren't so sure he will be able to. Something tells me he is going all kinds of crazy after he showed up with this hair. Is this really the future star and max contract guy that the 76ers want?
Last Chance to Make an ImpactThe next week or so marks a tragic part of the NBA season as mathematically teams realise that their season is over. For teams like Charlotte, Phoenix, Washington and Orlando this was a certainty a while back but there is still hope for Toronto, Lakers, Portland and Dallas. If those teams play hard for a week then they get to keep their playoff chances alive, lose and all attention is diverted to the lottery draft. Watch out for the Lakers to make one final go of their season after long-time owner, Jerry Buss, passed away earlier in the week. Mark down their games on the league pass and prepare to see some Mamba strikes.
What are your thoughts on the trades that have happened? Will Kobe lead the Lakers into the promised land?