I'm gonna try a departure from the normal power rankings setup and focus more on interesting developments since the downrankings guys really have very little going on and writing their updates is laborious. I'd appreciate feedback on which format you guys prefer or what you'd like to see changed moving forward.
More of the same for Thomas Robinson in Portland:
Many a Portland fan hoped this would be a springboard for Robinson to absorb more minutes and give consistent performance, especially considering LaMarcus Aldridge's absence. Naturally, Thomas picked up an injury THE NEXT GAME. ON A DUNK. REALLY, WORLD? I just don't know why Thomas can't have nice things. On the positive side, the injury didn't look too terrible, as Thomas tried to play a bit more after halftime of the same game, however, he clearly looked bothered and was quickly subbed. He was a gametime scratch on Wednesday but I'd imagine he will be back soon.
Ben McLemore adding aggressiveness to his game:
In the three games following the trade of Marcus Thornton to the Brooklyn Nets Ben has played 27, 35, and 38 minutes in two wins and a loss, respectively. His shot is still a little off, for many of the same reasons profiled here over the course of the season. Ben has, however, upped his aggressiveness a bit, and hit all of his shots from the charity stripe since the trade. Our Sacramento counterpart Sactown Royalty has noted that Ben has a tendency to get hacked on the drive without picking up a whistle, much like our situation with Andrew Wiggins, a problem which will likely resolve with continued aggressiveness and a higher profile. Adding a driving aspect to his game will only serve to open up the three for him, and should lead to more consistent numbers.
Drew Gooden back in the League with the Wizards:
Gooden has now signed a 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards, who are currently sitting at the 5th seed in the East, 3 games back of the 3-seed, and 6.5 games from missing out on the playoffs. I have no idea what will come of this... A hungry Gooden could help the Wiz move up a seed or two or he might not see the floor for the duration of his 10-day and be cut. More on this next week.
Chalmers on a hot streak:
I thought you'd enjoy that one. What do you mean you're "just not that into puns"? I think we need to have a talk that ends with "it's not me, it's you." ANYWAY. Mario has averaged 30 minutes in his last 10 games while shooting 49.3% from the field for 10 points per game while adding 5.3 assists and nearly 2 steals. Chalmers sits at 5th on the Heat in Win Shares with 3.6, .1 behind Birdman for 4th and 1.4 in front of Ray Allen who resides in 6th (Norris Cole is 2.2 back, if you were wondering). With Free Agency looming it will be interesting to see whether Mario and the Heat see a future together.
Nick Collison primed for increased minutes after Perkins injury:
Kendrick Perkins is expected to be out for about 6 weeks with a groin injury sustained on the 20th against the Heat, causing mildly-tasteful celebration in all corners of the internet basketball community. Brooks has been criticized for overusing Perkins for the past two years as his production has flagged and minutes have stayed high. The injury will likely translate into more minutes for Nick Collison, Steven Adams, and Serge Ibaka in some combination. Collison has gone 2-3 from the field and 1-2 from the line in both games since the injury as the Thunder have struggled in losses against the Clippers and the Cavs.
Morrii continue their good play:
This may be a bit of an empty headline as the Suns are on a three game slide, but the losses against the Rockets and Timberwolves were always a possibility, while a poorly timed injury to star guard Goran Dragic looked to contribute directly to the loss Wednesday in Salt Lake City against the bottom-feeding Jazz. Regardless, Markieff has put up 18, 21, 21, 24, and 11 in his last 5 games while Marcus has added 11, 13, 8, 9, and 5 on his typical diet of fewer minutes than his twin. If Dragic is out for any length of time then the Morrii will likely have to maintain or improve upon that production to keep the Suns in the playoff picture as Memphis and Minnesota are closing the gap.
Here's a fun Morrii hiighlight.
Xavier Henry nearing return:
Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me. Fool me thrice; very funny. Fool me quarce; stop it guys. Fool me quince; you guys are jerks. Fool me sence; *tries to hide tears and put on a brave face*. Anyway, I'll believe Xavier is actually coming back when I can see him on the court. NO WAY AM I GONNA BE FOOLED SEPTENCE.