Welcome back to NBAHawks! The past month has seen a couple of Jayhawks switch teams at the trade deadline, but otherwise, outside of Andrew Wiggins highlights, things have been relatively quiet. As always, hit any of the NBA-inclined RCT-ers with questions in the comments and we'll try to answer them. Let's get to it!
Cole Aldrich - LA Clippers
Cole has seen minutes in each and every Clippers game in this block, typically seeing minutes in the teens off the bench. He's averaging 4 points, 5 rebounds, a block, an assist, and a steal per game in those minutes while staying neutral in the plus/minus despite playing with the bench unit. Yeoman's work, but necessary for a Clips squad that at 41-21 would like to be able to cause either the Spurs or Warriors trouble in the postseason... Good luck with that though.
Cliff Alexander - Portland Trail Blazers
Portland has been one of the surprise teams of this NBA season, they are now 34-31 in what almost everyone had pegged as a rebuilding year. Their contending has meant Cliff remains in the inactive column just about every night.
Darrell Arthur - Denver Nuggets
A quad injury meant a 5 game absence for Arthur at the beginning of February, but since returning he has returned to playing 20-odd minutes a game off the bench. There's little more to say about this string of games other than that Shady has maintained his solid shooting, hitting 36% from 3 and 46% overall with over 40% of his shots coming from deep.
Tarik Black - LA Lakers
Tarik Black is good at basketball. Byron Scott is bad at coaching basketball. Black has been used incredibly sparingly, this despite maintaining a positive +/- as the Lakers are consistently blown out. That's quite the feat, and a referendum on their current rotation of Bigs. I wonder when people will start yelling about the Lakers tanking?
Mario Chalmers - Memphis Grizzlies
The three-point-shot has deserted Mario once again. After shooting 40% from distance in our last edition, Chalmers has cooled and is now hitting just 28%. That cooling has not impeded his ability to score inside the arc, however, as he's hitting 46+% there, and getting to the line regularly, attempting 4.5 free throws per contest in his 24 minutes. Mario was called upon to start and played 40 minutes against the Cavaliers in Cleveland this past week and contributed 17 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals in a shocking upset with Memphis down 3 key contributors.
Nick Collison - Oklahoma City Thunder
Minutes have been sparse for Collison of late (8 mins per game, 6 DNP's). Sparse enough that the numbers are just about meaningless, so I won't bore you.
Joel Embiid- Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid has been working out with the team since returning from a rehab facility in Qatar where he got some ridiculous therapies from what I've read... He's still on track to take the rest of the season to rehab and get in game shape, hopefully we'll see him next season.
Drew Gooden - Washington Wizards
Gooden is playing minimal minutes except for in blowouts. I would expect for this to continue as it has for the last several seasons with the veteran bump in the playoffs so long as Washington can make the push to get there this season (they currently sit in 10th place.)
Kirk Hinrich - Atlanta Hawks
Kirk was traded from the Bulls to the Hawks where he is intended to mentor the young corps of guards on the Atlanta roster. He has not yet contributed on the court for his new squad.
Sasha Kaun - Cleveland Cavaliers
Did Not Write- Coach's Decision.
Ben McLemore - Sacramento Kings
McLemore picked up a fractured finger this week which puts him in doubt for the next couple of games, but he has been used for fewer than 20 minutes per game despite starting 11 games in this block. He looked to be headed elsewhere before the trade deadline but the Kings couldn't make a deal they liked, which is unfortunate for Ben. He has had a rough go of things these past couple years. He's hitting almost the same from within the arc as without it at 37% and 36%, respectively, and has found it difficult to get to the line, only 1.5 attempts per game, though he is hitting 85% from there. Silver-lining reminder: Ben is younger than Hunter Mickelson.
Marcus Morris - Detroit Pistons
Morris continues to start every game for Detroit, but he has been something less than impressive with his shooting, hitting just 44% from 2 and 32% from three for this stretch of games. He has continued to contribute on the rebounds and assists front (4 and 3.5, respectively) but the shooting has to improve if he's to continue seeing the 35 minutes per contest that he has been.
Markieff Morris - Washington Wizards
Mercifully, Markieff was traded to the Washington Wizards for their first rounder in the upcoming draft. If the Wizards can use the trade to make a playoff push then I find it hard to call that anything other than a win, but that remains to be seen. Sadly, since the trade Markieff has been ice cold from three, shooting just 3 for 19, but he has maintained his efficiency from 2 at 47%. He has also increased his rebounding rate while decreasing his turnover rate in the move from Phoenix to The Nation's Capital.
Kelly Oubre Jr. - Washington Wizards
As I mentioned in the last edition of this column, as the wing position has improved health-wise for the Wizards, Oubre has seen his minutes dry up, this isn't helped at all by the fact that the team is in a dogfight for the 8th seed and can't afford rookie mistakes. It may take the Wiz falling from the race to see an increase in minutes for K.O.
Paul Pierce - LA Clippers
Pierce has continued to start each and every game that he has been a part of for the Clips, playing around 20 minutes a game and taking nearly 70% of his attempts from 3 as a floor spacer. It's debatable how much space Los Angeles is actually gaining as he is hitting only 32% from range, but that's a question for another time. It will be interesting to see what happens as Blake Griffin returns to the lineup as the Clippers have fared well without him.
Thomas Robinson - Brooklyn Nets
Robinson has seen middling minutes for the Nets as they toil in mediocrity. However, I will note that in the one game in which Robinson started due to injuries, he played 40 minutes, went 7 of 14 from the floor, earned 10 FTA's (making only 4, tsk tsk), put together 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. So yeah, the numbers could be there moving forward. Time will tell.
Brandon Rush - Golden State Warriors
Rush's shooting has fallen off as have his minutes, though it's tough to tell which is the causal change. Of late Brandon has been a member of the blowout brigade, and with the number of close games against Western Conference contenders, that has meant fewer minutes overall. The minutes will likely trend with the strength of the opponent for the remainder of the season as Golden State pursues the mark for the greatest regular season of all time.
Andrew Wiggins - Minnesota Timberwolves
This block of games has been very very solid for Wiggins, he has hit 40% from deep, 47% from inside the arc, has earned 7 FTs per game, and has maintained a 20+ point scoring average. He also puts up a highlight reel play or three each game, so keep an eye on your twitter when there's a T-Wolves game on. Andrew just turned 21 in February, and already looks to be a serviceable 20 point per-night scorer in the league. The sky is the limit.
Jeff Withey - Utah Jazz
Did Not Play- Coach's Decision :( #FreeWithey