Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
The Rebounds(Best) & Blocks(Worst) of the 2015-2016 season as we are going into 2016 from 2015 & lets take a look below from Weeks 5-11, also thanks to ESPN.com for stats & articles also.
- Eastern Conference Looking better going into 2016– The Eastern Conference has for years have been the lesser conference in the NBA than the Western Conference, but times have changed.The record between the two conferences through Wednesday games is 96-93 this season compared to 101-55 last season and 91-43 in 2013-14 in the West’s favor.Eleven teams in the East are .500 or better compared to just six teams at this point last season and seven in the West this season.Just three East teams had a positive net efficiency rating against the West at this point last season; nine have a positive rating this season. Also the East has more Teams with a Point differential(10) than the West(5).The Western Conference has had a winning record against the East in 11 out of the past 12 years. Teams often miss the playoffs in the West with above .500 records while bad basketball teams in the East are still qualifying. Some have pitched conference realignment while others have said the best 16 teams should make it regardless of your conference. However, the best idea has been the 2015-2016 season.
Last year, only six teams in the Eastern Conference were .500 or better while nine in the Western Conference were .500 or better. Oklahoma City missed the postseason at 45-37 while Brooklyn made it in the East at 38-44. This season, there are 11 teams at .500 or better in the Eastern Conference while there are only 7 in the West. One can make the argument that Golden State’s 28-1 record makes the West look worse while Philadelphia’s 2-30 record makes the East look better, but the East actually has a winning record verse the Western Conference so far.
The current eight seed in the West is Utah with a 12-16 record. Meanwhile, Washington is the 11th best team in the East right now at 14-16. Conference imbalance may finally be switching due to the quality of basketball being played right now in the East. Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana and Orlando are all teams over .500 that many predicted to have losing seasons.
- Kobe Bryant continues his retirement Tour– Since Kobe Bryant announce his retirement, Bryant has played better as Bryant has averaged 17.3 Points a game & December has averaged 18.9 Points per game, 3.9 Rebounds, 3.4 Assists & 1.0 Assists a game. Kobe Bryant had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles in likely his final game in Boston, leading the Lakers to a 112-104 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.Bryant played 33 minutes and recorded his first double-double of what he says is his final season. Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points and Lou Williams had 19 as Los Angeles stopped a four-game slide. It was Bryant’s 173rd career double-double. The crowd chanted “Kobe! Kobe!” in the final minute.It was still a two-point game before Bryant hit his second 3-pointer of the quarter, making it 107-102 with 1:40 left.
Los Angeles (6-27) appears to be headed for another poor finish in Bryant’s last season. But the Lakers put together a solid effort against the Celtics, using a 21-4 run in the third to turn a one-point deficit into an 83-69 lead.
The Lakers led 89-78 entering the final quarter.
In the first half, Bryant scored on consecutive drives 22 seconds apart — after missing his first eight shots from the floor and a free throw — to give the Lakers a 51-44 edge.
Los Angeles led 58-56 at halftime.
Bryant received a huge ovation when he was announced for the starting lineups and touched his chest before waving to the fans.
But those cheers quickly turned to boos the first time he touched the ball, with many of the fans reminding him that he remains a big part of perhaps the NBA’s best rivalry. There were loud cheers when he missed the free throw after a Boston technical foul.
The 37-year-old Bryant played in the NBA Finals against Boston in 2008 and 2010. The first one ended with a blowout win by the Celtics in TD Garden. Los Angeles captured the second at Staples Center in a seventh game.
Before Wednesday’s game, Bryant said losing in 2008 helped him discover the leader he needed to become.
“For the second half of my career, it’s the most important piece,” he said. “Because when we lost in 2008, that was the turn. That was when I said, `I have to figure this leadership thing out. I can’t go through this.”
- Golden State being 29-1 (before Stephen Curry didn’t play on Wednesday Night & the Warriors loss in Dallas)- Curry scored his first 17 points in the final 3:16 of the first half and went on to record his sixth career triple-double as the Warriors won for the 29th time in 30 games this season, 122-103 over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Stephen Curry had 23 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and 10 assists, Klay Thompson scored 29, and Draymond Green had 25 for the Warriors, who have won 33 straight regular-season home games.Warriors coach Steve Kerr, sidelined since training camp because of complications from back surgery, addressed the team at halftime in the locker room about the sloppy play in the first half.”He basically said this was like a summertime game and we just rolled the ball up and it’s what it felt like,” center Andrew Bogut said. “We fell into that trap, and they played us into it a bit.”
Stephen Curry made three of the four free throws to start a 15-0 run that turned a two-point deficit into a 79-66 lead for the Warriors. His 3-pointer just before the third quarter ended put Golden State up 90-75.
After trailing early, the Kings went on a 28-7 spurt to build a 41-30 lead on one of Casspi’s seven first-half 3s. But Casspi’s sharp shooting seemed to wake up Stephen Curry, who missed his first six shots and was scoreless for the first 20:44 of the game.
He ended that drought with a 3-pointer that started a stretch of him scoring 17 straight Golden State points in the final 3:16 of the half. He hit five 3s and a layup during that span, to the delight of the home crowd.
“I just found a spark and shots started to fall,” he said. “All the ones before felt pretty good, most of them were just in and out. I never lost confidence. Thankfully a couple went in.”
- Suns looking Cold– At 12-22, the Phoenix Suns is one of the more disappointing Teams in the NBA right now. With Eric Bledsoe being out for the season after left knee surgery. The Suns lastest loss was in San Antonio Wednesday Night, when the Spurs blow out the Suns 112-79. Phoenix, which has lost six straight, had season lows for total points, first-half points (33) and points in the opening quarter (12). Phoenix’s previous low for points in a quarter was 14 on Nov. 6 against Detroit. The Suns also give the Sixers on Saturday Night only their 2nd win losing at home to the Sixers 111-104. The Suns are a -2.7 in Point Differential & the Suns are tied for 25th in total defense & 22nd in assists. Also their is word that Jeff Hornseck job is on the line also.
- DeMarcus Cousins loses his cool, gets ejected & could cost him– Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac said Monday night that he expects DeMarcus Cousins to be suspended by the league after his latest outburst at referees.Cousins was in foul trouble early and often Monday night against the Golden State Warriors, getting whistled three times in the first quarter.
After sitting out most of the first half with foul trouble, Cousins was upset when he was called for his fifth foul in the third quarter. Monty McCutchen then called Cousins for a technical, setting him off on a tirade that led to another technical called by Mitchell Ervin and an ejection. Cousins had to be restrained by teammates before being escorted off the court.
Cousins was not available to the media after the game, a 122-103 win by Golden State, which went on a 15-0 run after the technicals to pull away.
Divac said he spoke with Cousins after the game.
“He said he understands what he did, but he didn’t do anything wrong in my opinion,” Divac said, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Kings coach George Karl also didn’t think Cousins’ play merited whistles.
“It just seemed to me there were cute, soft fouls called on DeMarcus and he got his fifth and he lost his cool,” Karl said.
According to Stats & Information, Cousins has been ejected 10 times, assessed 77 technical fouls and issued six suspensions (five by league/one by team). The 10 ejections and 77 techs are most in the league since Cousins’ rookie season in 2010. The only other player to be suspended at least six times in that span is current Kings teammate Rajon Rondo (five league/one team).
The Kings, losers of two straight, host the two-win Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday which the Kings loss 110-105.