By Andrew Rosario
This past sports week saw a star basketball player traded, a player suffering a season ending injury and a team making a roster move in hopes of righting their struggling season.
The Los Angeles Clippers traded star guard Chris Paul to Houston before the start of the season sending a signal to their fan base they may be rebuilding for the future. Even with Paul, the team would have had a hard time making the playoffs in the stacked western conference.
Now with them trading Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, they all but sealed their post season fate in a move that caught the NBA landscape by surprise. On the flipside, it gave Detroit a legitimate shot at making the playoffs if Griffin can fit into the system run by Stan Van Gundy. The team is also hoping that adding Griffin would help with the fan base as they struggle to put fannies in the seats. They are currently 19th in the league in home attendance. The Pistons have lost 8 games in a row but are only 4 games out of the last playoff spot. Van Gundy will have his work cut out for him integrating Griffin into their system. As President of basketball Operations, Van Gundy’s job status could be in jeopardy if they fail to make the playoffs…
Injuries are a part of what teams have to deal with during the 82 game schedule. The New Orleans Pelicans are that team as Demarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles Tendon last Friday and is done for the year.
This time last year, Cousins was informed after the All Star game in that city that he was traded by the Sacramento Kings pairing him with Anthony Davis. The team struggled as both adjusted on both sides of the ball. Now the front office has to decide what they will do with Cousins as he will be an unrestricted free agent. Do they offer him a max contract or lose him without getting anything in return. Other players have suffered the same injury and have come back. Only time will tell how Cousins he will respond. Picked by Le Bron James to be an All Star starter, Cousins is replaced by Paul George who many felt was snubbed in not getting selected.
The game will be played in Los Angeles next month…That struggling team, James’ Cleveland Cavaliers have been trying to figure out a line-up that can be consistent. Head coach Tyron Lue has been at a loss as the team lost 10 of 13 games recently. Players called out Kevin Love recently in a players meeting after losing to Oklahoma City. Love claimed he was ill and returned home after the loss. Last Thursday, Lue looked to shake things up by benching starter Jae Crowder and put Tristan Thompson back in the starting line-up. The move puts Love back in his natural position hoping he can return to All Star form.
The organization shocked the basketball world when they traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas who did not play until December. He has been coming off the bench but has not provided a spark to the struggling offense. After taking out the Pistons at home Sunday, Cleveland traveled to Detroit Tuesday night facing Blake Griffin in his Pistons debut. Currently in third place behind Boston and Toronto, the Cavaliers are hoping the change in the line-up will turn their season around.