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Texas’ three NBA teams seeking spark for second-half of season play

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Texas’ three NBA teams seeking spark for second-half of season play

Luke Doncic

Luke Doncic

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Luke Doncic

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Luke Doncic

Frank Bilancio, Sports Writer

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As the NBA season is just 10 weeks away from being over, the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are gearing up to make a run at the playoffs. Meanwhile, the

Dallas Mavericks are currently in an interesting position as of right now and Mark Cuban has some important choices to make in the upcoming weeks with the seasonal trade deadline approaching next month.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Current standing: 29-20, fifth in the Western Conference

When it comes to the Rockets, you’re always in for an fun game when reigning MVP James Harden is on your team. Starting the year off to a disappointing 5-7 record, the Rockets have turned it up by then winning the next 22 of their 35 games: propelling them to fifth seed in the West.

With injuries to key players like Chris Paul and Clint Capela, Harden has had no choice but to play at an unearthly level. At one point this month, Harden averaged an astronomical 52.5 ppg in five straight games.

His season averages have also increased  his 36.3 ppg leads the NBA in scoring. The leading MVP-candidate is also leading the Rockets in assists (8.2) and steals (2) per game. Being able to keep pace with the rest of the West while having two key pieces on the bench bodes well for Houston and the team can do some damage once fully healthy.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Current standing: 29-22, sixth in Western Conference

The Spurs find themselves in the middle of the pack currently after a subpar 5-5 record over the last ten games. Averaging a modest 111.6 ppg as a team offensively, while allowing 109.5 opp ppg on the defensive side forces them to have to play many tight games.

In addition, star guard DeMar DeRozan has been dealing with injury issues while also seeing dips in both ppg (15.3), shooting percentage (39%) and turnovers (3.8) in the first three weeks of January. If DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge start to feel fatigued with having to shoulder the load for the Spurs, they could find themselves on the outside looking in down the stretch.

There is one glimmer of hope however for the Spurs though. Their strength of schedule the

rest of the way is only 23rd out of 30 which can benefit the Spurs greatly and keep them within striking distance of a playoff spot. With coaching and sharp veterans on their side, the Spurs will look to add more wins to their season before playoffs.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Current standing: 27-22, 12th in the Western Conference

Rookie sensation Luka Dončić is everything as advertised. At just 19 year old, Dončić currently leads all rookies with 20.5 ppg and is not only changing the recent losing culture of the Mavericks, but he is now the definite franchise player they’ve been waiting for.

Dončić’s contribution to the team has shown glimpses of the team being contenders, but they are clearly a piece or two away from giving contending teams a run for their money. Owner Mark Cuban must choose between tanking to give Dončić another high draft pick to team up with or try to grab a stud at the deadline to make a run at the eighth seed.

 

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Texas’ three NBA teams seeking spark for second-half of season play