Nets May Trade for Hawks’ Smith, Heat Grabs Fifth Straight Win and Wizards to Play the BucksBy Debbie B.
With the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline looming, change is coming and this may happen for the Atlanta Hawks. The Brooklyn Nets are in hot pursuit of Josh Smith with talks already taken place between the two teams but a deal is not imminent.
For the Southeast-division leading Miami Heat (34-14), a fifth-straight win came on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers (24-28), 107-97. LeBron James had a record-setting game while the Lakers were doomed by turnovers in the fourth quarter.
On Monday, the Washington Wizards (14-35) will play the Milwaukee Bucks (25-24) and look for a fourth-consecutive win.
Josh Smith to the Nets?
On Sunday, ESPN reported the possible Smith trade to the Nets but he’s not the only player being pursued by the team: They are also interested in trade with the Charlotte Bobcats, swapping Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon.
For Smith, the Nets would give up Humphries and guard MarShon Brooks but the Hawks will likely want more and this could also include a first-round pick from the Nets.
One scenario is the Hawks’ Anthony Morrow, who was with the Nets the last two seasons, to return, while Atlanta has said hey’d like a center in exchange for Smith.
Another scenario is involving a third team.
This summer, Smith will be a free agent and the Hawks need to decide if it’s better to trade him prior to the deadline or they’ll see him go without anything as Smith is asking for the maximum or close to it in money.
Lakers vs. Heat
Besides the team grabbing a fifth straight win, James also likes the number five. On Sunday with his 32 points (12-for-18 shooting), this represented his fifth consecutive game with a minimum of 30 points—a team record. He joins Adrian Dantley in 1979 and Moses Malone in 1982 as the only league players to have scored at least 30 and shoot a minimum of 60 percent in five consecutive games.
Dwyane Wade added 30 points for the Heat along with Mario Chalmers contributing 13 points and Chris Bosh scoring 12 points (11 rebounds).
For the Lakers, again Kobe Bryant carried the weight of the team on his shoulders with 28 points (nine assists). Earl Clark added 18 points while Dwight Howard and Steve Nash each contributed 15 points.
But for the Lakers, their eight fourth quarter turnovers sealed their fate for the game.
The Heat are now 2 ½ games ahead of the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference and are +180 to win it all.
Washington vs. Milwaukee
The Wizards will travel to the Midwest with hopes of leaving with a four-game win streak—a first for the season.
Last week was a good one as the team defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at home. Against the Nets, the Wizards held them to a season low in shooting (39.2 percent) and slashed their average points allowed from the last eight games to 87.8, down from 96.8 in their first 41 games.
But on the road, the Wizards don’t fare as well.
Offense has been a problem, averaging 86.2 points for a 3-21 record. These are NBA worsts and the team’s shooting isn’t much better: 41.0 percent for four straight road losses.
As the Wizards hit their stride, the Bucks are in a slump, losing their last five of six games and trying to avoid a fourth straight loss on Monday.
Defense has been a problem as three consecutive opponents have hit 100-point games. The Bucks have been cold in shooting, not moving past the 40 percent mark in their last two games.
The Wizards don’t play well at the Bradley Center, losing four consecutive games and on Monday, this will continue as the home team gets the win (-4, 197 o/u).