Time For Some Backyard Ball!

My interest in the In Season Tournament has dwindled mostly because my hometown Bulls have not been playing well this season. As a result, here are more stories to watch over the coming weeks as we draw closer to Christmas and the trade deadline approximately a month later.

Atlanta Hawks

Earlier this weeks the Hawks played on back-to-back nights and scored a total of 299 points. They were at home for both games and split the two games. They lost by 5 on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers, 157-152. Then on Wednesday they would win by 2 against the New Jersey Nets, 147-145. That’s total of 601 points scored in both of those games.

At 7-7 the five game road trip the Hawks go on starting Saturday night will definitely be a big test since they will be playing against the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Sitting with the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference as I write this article they will play the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Milwaukee Bucks all over the next eight days before returning home.

It is not expected that after two nights off the scoring rampage from earlier this week will continue against the lowly Wizards. However, we should not be one bit surprised if the scouting rampage returns in full force once they get to Boston on Sunday and continues once they hit Cleveland on Tuesday for their In Season Tournament game.

Next Three Games:
at Washington Wizards (Saturday)
at Boston Celtics (Sunday)
at Cleveland Cavaliers (Tuesday)

Washington Wizards

The story around Jordan Poole has been something to follow so far this season and will continue to be the one to follow as the Wizards are now 2-12 and Poole is not adjusting to his role as lead guard very well. Having played one less game than the Detroit Pistons the Wizards are essentially tied for last in the east with Detroit. There is not much of a story to watch in our nations capital and likely won’t be for a long time.

Next Three Games:
at Milwaukee Bucks (Tonight)
Home vs Atlanta Hawks (Saturday)
at Detroit Pistons (Monday)

Miami Heat

Shortly before I started writing this article it was announced that Miami will be without Guard Dru Smith for the rest of the season due to the ACL sprain he suffered on Wednesday against Cleveland. While he is only in his second year and was not their top most Guard this is still expected to be a big enough blow to them. The question that comes to mind is could this be a big enough blow that we see them dance with the Bulls on a trade to send Zach LaVine out of town to play with, another former Bull, Jimmy Butler?

Next Three Games:
at New York Knicks (Tonight)
at New Jersey Nets (Saturday)
Home vs Milwaukee Bucks (Tuesday)

Milwaukee Bucks

The stories to watch with the Bucks have been the same basically all season and are somewhat linked. At the end of the summer right before the pre-season started Damian Lillard was traded to the Bucks. They had a rough start to the season following the trade especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, it would appear things are starting to fall in place. Therefore, the stories to watch with the Bucks are the same as they have been since opening night. Does the defensive find its new form and was trading for Lillard the right move by management for the team to take the next step towards a deep playoff run and another championship?

Next Three Games:
Home vs Washington Wizards (Tonight)
Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Sunday)
at Miami Heat (Tuesday)

With that… it is almost time for tip in Milwaukee and New York.

If you cannot play with them, root for them.

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