Myles Ma is here every Thursday with the NBA Stock Report. Draw a circle around him on Google +, or follow Myles on Twitter, @LameMyles.
So close you can almost taste it! The end of the NBA season.
This week I take a look at two teams that have fallen out of the race, the Nets and the Timberwolves, two teams near the top of the pack, the Pacers and the Clippers, and the Magic, who are a huge mess.
This week’s NBA Stock Report, in which I rate each team as a ‘buy’ ‘sell’ or ‘hold’ is based on play through Tuesday night.
NEW JERSEY NETS
Record: 21-38 (6-4 in last 10)
I don’t mind the Gerald Wallace trade. They got a solid player for a top-three-protected pick, and a solid player isn’t always a guarantee even with a pick that high.
New Jersey has picked itself up off the mat a bit since making the Wallace trade. They’re about to hit a wall schedule-wise, so it likely won’t last, but maybe they’ve given Deron Williams enough of a glimpse of what could be.
Record: 35-22 (7-2 in last 10)
Indiana played well of late, leap-frogging the endless nightmare that is the Orlando Magic to take the third seed in the east.
Danny Granger overcame a rocky start to put together one of his best seasons. He’s on fire from distance, shooting 47.9% over his last 10 games.
If the Pacers keep hold of their favorable seed, who knows? They might make a splash in the playoffs.
Record: 34-24 (4-6 in last 10)
Dear Dwight Howard,
Have you no shame?
It seems like all of Dwight Howard’s talk is finally coming back to haunt him. For the Magic, it’s been hard to focus on basketball, but all the tumult surrounding Howard’s future had yet to hurt their play until this Van Gundy fiasco.
And now Howard’s back is missing time with back spasms. The Magic will limp into the playoffs and if Dwight is healthy, they will be a tough out.
But unless they win a championship and Dwight tattoos “Orlando” on one arm and “Stan” on the other, the Magic are going to be this annoying until at least 2013.
Record: 25-33 (2-8 in last 10)
Minnesota has been a huge bummer since Ricky Rubio went down. Aside from admiring Kevin Love’s brilliance and gawking at the monstrous Nikola Pekovic like some medical museum specimen, there’s not much to see in the Gopher State.
Love isn’t rebounding at the ridiculous rate he put up last season, but he should be in MVP discussions, blind or not, for the load he’s borne this season. Love is averaging more than 30 points a game over his last 10 games.
All we can do for now is dream of the day when he is again setting screens for our favorite floppy-haired Spaniard.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Record: 34-23 (8-2 in last 10)
A few weeks ago, we were talking about firing Vinny Del Negro. Now the Clippers have won eight of their last ten.
This is officially a streaky team. Despite all that has been made of Blake Griffin’s stare, the success of this team depends on its role players, especially on the defensive end.
Chris Paul can run the pick and roll with a mannequin, but the Clippers are going to need to make stops and keep opponents off the line or they’re going to have a rough go of it in the ultra-competitive west.
Here’s how I did last week:
Sixers – Last week’s rating: Buy (29-24), 1-3 since
Cavaliers – Last week’s rating: Sell (17-34), 2-2 since
Bobcats – Last week’s rating: Sell (7-44), 0-5 since
Thunder – Last week’s rating: Buy (40-13), 2-2 since
Warriors – Last week’s rating: Sell (20-32), 2-2 since