This previous week was brimming with immense entertainment. There have been three teams who have stood out to me all week; The Heat, Knicks, and Bulls. While one team had one of the best weeks they have had all season, the other two teams’ seasons seem to be spiraling down. The Heat’s Dion Waiters hits two game winning threes in back to back games; one to defeat the star-studded Warriors, the Bulls locker room is dividing at a rapid pace, and the Knicks are finally attempting to trade Carmelo Anthony prior to the trade deadline but are having issues getting it done.
Dion Waiters had the best week of his career. He played exceptionally against the Warriors this previous Monday and hit the game winner to lead the Heat to a win against the best team in the league. Following that game just two days later he ices the game against the Nets by hitting a three to put the Heat up by four with just seconds remaining in the game. “Oh man, I love that moment. I mean, you can never shy away from that.” Waiters said after winning the game winner against the Warriors. It’s obvious he and the Heat are not intimidated by that moment as they ended this week 4-0 and are now on a seven game winning streak. I expect that streak to reach eight games before it ends this upcoming week when the play the Hawks on February 1st. The Hawks are 21-10 against teams in the Eastern Conference as the Heat are 9-17.
The Bulls’ tumultuous week seemed like it was not going to end for them. They went 2-2 through the week despite the constant drama stirring in the pot that is the Bulls’ locker room. They defeated the Magic on Tuesday although once they lost to the Hawks the following day Dwayne Wade (with Jimmy Butler echoing) called out the rest of his teammates talking to the media commenting “it doesn’t mean enough for guys around here to want to win ball games.” Rajon Rondo then responded on Instagram and Twitter by posting a picture of himself with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce when he played for the Celtics stating “If anything is questionable, it is the leadership.” The following game they lost to the Heat and the drama continued because during the game it seemed as if Jimmy Butler and head coach Fred Hoiberg were disagreeing when Hoiberg told Butler to call time out yet he seemed to ignore his demand. And then again during the postgame interviews Hoiberg stated it was their worst game of the season while Butler disagreed. I would not be surprised if the Bulls decided to part ways with Hoiberg at the end of the season due to his lack of control within the locker room. If the Bulls do not get it together and make a run heading into playoffs, expect Wade to jump ship to a title contending team.
The Knicks are in a tricky situation. Carmelo has taken a plethora of heat from the media since he joined the team back in 2011 and more so now since they have not been a playoff contender since 2013. Now, three years after Carmelo re-signed, they are making attempts to move on and trade him elsewhere. The knicks trade attempt with the cavs for Kevin Love was swiftly shut down and it seems like only the Clippers are interested in acquiring him. The Clippers may be able to get the deal done with the help of the Celtics and I hope they complete the task. The end of the Melo era in New York should have ended in 2014 before he decided to re-sign. Phil Jackson has not been able to surround Carmelo with a team that can play around his unique, slow-down isolation style of play. The only positive move Phil made since he became the President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks is draft Kristaps Porzingis. At the same time, Carmelo has not done much for the organization as well. He was selfish during the Linsanity craze by running Jeremy Lin out of New York. He lacks defensive discipline and he does not buy into offenses because he is an isolation type player. Hopefully, if any trade can be completed to get Carmelo out of New York, he can re-amp his legacy there and win a championship.