With only a few short weeks before the NBA Playoffs begin, USSDU looks at some interesting stories in the upcoming week.[caption id="attachment_15211" align="aligncenter" width="613"] Photo Credit: Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images[/caption] With the circus of record breaking win streaks finally over the NBA can get down to the serious business of beards, fighting and dunking.
Dallas Really Don't Like BeardsLike a C grade footy team from the Lower West Ballarat Regional League, the Dallas Mavericks decided enough was enough a while ago and they would not shave until the team was above .500. It has proved to be a good way of bonding this group of short term contractors together while making an attempt at playoff basketball. Currently they stand 1.5 games off of the 8th placed Lakers and are one game off reaching that .500 milestone. By the time this is published they would have played Indiana and either got to .500 or sit two games back of their mark. While getting rid of the beards is a nice milestone (they have even invited a barber to Indiana), the real story is the fact they are so close to that 8th spot after a long time out of contention. Can the Mavericks put together a mini-streak and wrestle that 8th place off the surging Lakers? I know there are a few teams that won't want to face them in the playoffs.
Rookies Time to ShineThis is the awkward time of the year for the NBA where games of importance are few and far between and there seems to be a holding pattern until playoffs. While some say this period of the season should be cut and the playoffs should begin sooner, I quite enjoy this last stretch of the season as it gives the fans of the eliminated teams some hope. A prime example of this was today's game between Orlando and Charlotte where the total number of rookies and sophomores numbered 12 of the 18 players who received minutes. As a result the game was a high octane affair and an entertaining example to the Bobcats faithful that they might have some hope for the future. If you can't make the playoffs the next best thing is to provide a good show and develop the younger players for the future and that's exactly what they did. Tuning the League Pass in to a Charlotte, Orlando, Cleveland or New Orleans game in the next few weeks will not disappoint a true hoops fan.
It's Almost Time to Talk AwardsMVP, MIP, ROTY, COTY and SMOTY. All these acronyms means nothing to regular folk but NBA fans will recognise these as the coveted awards dished out at the end of the season. While some awards might seem like a lock (MVP - LeBron James, ROTY - Damian Lillard) others are still up in the air and will draw plenty of discussion. Over the next few weeks there will be countless stories written on the various awards as the season dwindles down and topics become harder to find. Here at USSDU we will have a barrage of articles coming with our predictions, insight and thoughts on the prestigious trophies handed to individual brilliance for season 2012/13. Stay posted and favourite USSDU to your bookmarks to keep updated on things NBA.
Who are your favourite rookies to watch in the NBA? Do you have your own thoughts on the NBA Awards Season? Post your thoughts in the comments below.