NBA Talking Points

NBA Talking Points

The All-Star Weekend has come and gone and attention now shifts to the remainder of the season with the playoffs the ultimate goal. There are so many questions to be answered as we kick into the race towards the postseason, with availability, durability, skill and commitment the watchwords. Injuries are playing a big part in the overall landscape of the playoff places and no team can afford to take it easy. Form will also be the factor that determines who can dream of a deep run in the playoffs and who has a reality check coming their way. Champions are crowned in June, but championship contenders are moulded from today. This is where we see who is going to truly earn their salary.

Is the Chris Paul Injury a Massive Blow to Phoenix’s Seeding?

Chris Paul’s importance to the Suns cannot be understated or undervalued. He is one of the key catalysts to their success and any time he goes down with an injury then panic alarms start sounding. That’s what that sound you keep hearing is, it’s panic stations in Phoenix. Paul suffered a fractured right thumb in a win over the Rockets just before the All-Star break and he’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks of the season. That means most of the remaining portion of the regular season. The Suns are staying calm on the outside and saying the right things about how the team can get through this, but it’s a tough ask. CP3 is currently averaging 14.9 points per game and 10.7 assists per game. He leads the league in assists too. This is a massive loss to the team as his experience and calmness under pressure will be sorely missed. Devin Booker has filled in before and can definitely give the team the needed lift, but for how long?

Has Steph Curry Shot Himself Into Form in the All-Star Game?

The NBA All-Star Weekend was a bit of a damp squib by all accounts, but then Stephen Curry went nuclear and shot an incredible 16 3-pointers in the All-Star game and finished with 50 points to hand Team LeBron another All-Star victory. Curry broke the all-time 3-point scoring record earlier in the season and then entered into a form slump. However, his showing in Cleveland, amongst that bevy of stars, was sensational, breaking the previous All-Star game record in the process. Some are saying he single-handedly saved the entire weekend. This will be scary for the entire league to see. How do you stop someone that can shoot like that? Not many have. The Suns will be hoping and praying that they’ve built enough of a buffer at the top of the Western Conference standings to ensure that they don’t get pipped at the post in the battle for the No. 1 seed out West. Curry might be going big game hunting soon.

Is the Battle for Top Seeding Wide Open in the East?

The Miami Heat are sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference, but they can’t rest on their laurels with very little margin for error, as the chasing pack breathes down their necks. The Bulls have the same record as the Heat, though Miami has a better head-to-head record. Just a couple of games behind those two on the standings are the Bucks, 76ers and Cavaliers. It is very tough at the top and no one can be discounted. The Celtics and Nets will also feel that they can still clinch the No. 1 seed. Anything is still mathematically possible, though unlikely for the 6th, 7th and 8th seeds to claw their way back up the standings. Any of the top 5 teams could realistically take the top seed and have homecourt throughout the playoffs. That could turn out to be critical down the stretch. The battle is definitely on.

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