Welcome to the weekly NBA stock report where we go around the league and examine whose stock is rising and whose is falling.
In this week’s edition the Toronto Raptors’ defence is looking more and more suspect and the Los Angeles Clippers’ new mascot has everyone shaking their head.
Terrence Ross:Ross has risen the level of his game of late, averaging 17.7 points per game on 46.5 per cent shooting— including 50 per cent from deep— over his last three games. This uptick in productivity was mostly the result of an excellent game last Sunday against the Detroit Pistons that saw him score 27 on 10-for-19 shooting.
This three-game span is indicative of what has been a mostly solid month of February for Ross. So where has this boost of confidence come from? Well, Amber Rose was sitting courtside on Wednesday’s game and there are more than a few rumours floating around that Ross and the model are seeing each other.
Chuck the Condor: Yes, that comeback on Wednesday was epic, but the real news is that for the first time in franchise history, the Clippers have a mascot and his name is Chuck the Condor. He’s kind of weird and no one really seems to like him so it’s not certain if he’ll actually stick around, but at least he had one heck of an entrance.
Joe Johnson: While it is a good thing for the Brooklyn Nets to be rid of Johnson, the veteran guard ultimately got the better end of the deal as he was able to sign with the Miami Heat, a playoff team that could actually make some noise this season, in addition to all that sunshine you know he’s going to love soaking up after spending nearly five years in the cold New York metropolitan area.
Raptors’ defence: Masked by the team’s respectable 7-4 February is the fact Toronto’s defence has been slipping. The Raptors are looked upon as a defensive team, yet they rank just outside of the top 10 in defensive rating, giving up 102.4 points per 100 possessions. This lapse on the defensive end was fuelled by a February that have seen the Raptors give up 109.3 points per 100 possessions since Feb. 1 (24th in the league since that date).
This is a troubling trend that’s reminiscent of last season’s defensive tumble, the main difference being the Raptors are continuing to win right now. Still, this is an area that needs to be addressed. There’s only about six weeks until the post-season arrives. The sooner the Raptors fix this the better.
The original Pierre the Pelican & the BrooklyKnight: Back to mascots now. Seriously, if Chuck the Condor can be allowed to exist then why not the original Pierre the Pelican and the BrooklyKnight? Both are equally as horrendous.
Ty Lawson: What a disaster. Lawson was supposed to be the Houston Rockets’ big acquisition in the off-season, and instead he ended up being a complete bust to the tune of 5.8 points and 3.4 assists per game in 22.2 minutes per contest for a horrific PER of 9.04. The Rockets had no choice but to buy him out, but then to essentially replace him with Michael Beasley? Talk about rubbing salt into the wound.