Atlanta Hawks: 43-11
Like Golden State, Memphis and Toronto the Hawks made no moves at the trade deadline marking the top two teams for each division deciding if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Moving forward tonight offers a big game to launch the final portion of the regular season as the Hawks face the team directly behind them in the standings.
They’ll be marked competition, but unlike the first 54 games now teams looking to contend for a championship will up their defensive intensity and measure how successful they are by their ability to beat the Hawks. Though I predicted their top seeded placement I never expected them to rank first and while they hold a commanding lead they can be caught (unlikely but possible).
My main concern is seeing Al Horford sporting a padded vest which signifies he is having issues again with the shoulders which took him out for significant periods in two different seasons (torn pectoral muscle, on opposing arms in different seasons).
Whether he can stay on the floor won’t be the only problem because a strong defensive team who imposes their size on the undersized combination of Paul Millsap and Al Horford could be a potential problem. Still, who can blame them for not making any major changes to the team who went on a 19 game winning streak.
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) February 19, 2015
Washington Wizards: 33-21
The Wizards move Andre Miller to the Kings to be reunited with George Karl and receive a capable back-up point guard in Ramon Sessions. Not a huge move, but it does make them younger at the point off the bench and Sessions can also play at the shooting guard if required. They’ve had one of the more easier schedules of the contenders and will be tested in their final 28 games.
Of all the top East teams they were flailing the most entering the break and now with the Heat having added Dragic it’s likely concerning. Fortunately they hold a 10 game pad over the Heat which should easily keep them ahead of their inter-division rivals. Unfortunately they also trail the division leading Hawks by 10 points.
The Wizards have a team built for the playoffs, however how the team plays with All-Star John Wall off the court speaks equally to his prowess as it does to issues with the squad on a whole. Sessions isn’t likely to make that dramatic of a difference, but he’ll help.
— All Over The Hill (@AllOverTheHill) February 20, 2015
Charlotte Hornets: 22-30
I have to admit the one team I expected to make a couple of moves at the deadline was the Hornets. Sure, they’ve been dealing with injuries, but to make no moves was baffling especially when it appeared they were eager to move this summer’s acquisition of Lance Stephenson
Their current seventh rank is now in jeopardy especially when the team just below them has exactly the same wins and losses. Much will depend on how long Kemba Walker takes to return from his knee injury and whether big Al Jefferson can remain healthy. Still, it doesn’t feel like this team will play much more than spoiler should they make the playoffs.
The Hornets wanted to make NBA trade deadline deals, but an unnamed suspect kept Rich Cho away from his phone. pic.twitter.com/N6ksqW2gZ8
— brett thompson (@brettlive) February 19, 2015
Miami Heat: 22-30
Other than Oklahoma and arguably Portland the Heat made the biggest and most beneficial trade of the day. Sure they gave up some future draft picks, but Pat Riley has never really been someone who built through the draft except via Dwayne Wade. The addition of brothers Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic should pay immediate dividends and adds something the Wade era Heat have never had: a quality starting point guard.
With the addition and sudden break through of Hassan Whiteside the Heat become an immediate threat to join the top teams. Their record to date will likely hold them back from a top seed given the distance between fourth seed and Miami is ten games. However you can bet none of the top teams will be thrilled to face them in the first round. To that end, as I highlighted in the Cavaliers review I’ll be pulling for a first round match-up between the Heat and Cavs.
What the Heat need to concern themselves with at this very moment was news Chris Bosh was hospitalized for tests to his lungs.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 20, 2015
UPDATE: Apparently Bosh is undergoing tests on his lungs to determine if he has a blood clot(s). This is serious and the team will take every precaution to make sure their franchise star is completely healthy prior to playing again. This news is topical given Jerome Kersey’s death which is suspected to have died from a blood clot in his leg.
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) February 20, 2015
Report: Suns trade Goran & Zoran Dragic to Heat for Granger, Shawne Williams, Jordan Hamilton & two first-round picks pic.twitter.com/R7JrykBCrT
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 19, 2015
According to @numberFire, Miami's playoff chances went from 46.6% before the trades to 56.26% after them (+9.66%).
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2015
Orlando Magic: 17-39
The Magic didn’t make any moves and unlike some lower seeded teams I feel they were wise in that decision. They have a solid youthful core who’ve actually been in quite a few games. They’ll need to use their final 26 games to learn how to close out games, play spoiler and build their chemistry further.
The Orlando Magic stood pat at the trade deadline. Here's the major takeaway: http://t.co/RlvWmCRWJk
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) February 19, 2015
That’s the full round up of the massive amount of trades that seemed to occur all within 3 minutes on Thursday. Lets us know what you think. Who are your winners and losers on the day and what was the best/worst move made on the day.
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