Teams are turning their attention toward the playoffs with less than two months left in the NBA season.
In the west, the Lakers find themselves in the 11th seed despite LeBron James boldly claiming that his “playoff-mode” had been activated, James Harden’s consecutive streak of scoring over 30 points came to an end, and the Golden State Warriors are still the best team around.
In the east, the Indiana Pacers continue to play well despite a season-ending injury to All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, the Orlando Magic might make the playoffs for the first time in six years, and the Boston Celtics are struggling down the stretch as chemistry issues continue to run rampant.
Let’s take a look at how some Longhorns have fared as we near the end of another regular season:
After a combination of poor shooting and injuries to the start the season, former Longhorn big man Myles Turner seems to have found his footing.
Turner currently leads the league in total blocks, having 19 more than the second-ranked Brook Lopez, and in blocks per game, with 0.2 more than superstar Anthony Davis. Turner is also shooting a career-high from three at 40.8 percent, a five-percent increase from last year.
Despite that, Turner had a poor showing against the Detroit Pistons on Monday evening. Turner recorded just seven points and five rebounds in nearly 30 minutes of action. He struggled from the field, only making three of his 10 shots.
After signing a four-year extension in October, Turner is likely to be part of Indiana’s long-term plans, giving him an opportunity to carve out a spot as a valuable piece to the organization.
Texas alum Avery Bradley was suddenly traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this month.
Bradley struggled with the Clippers this year, failing to make much of an impact on the court despite starting for a big chunk of the season. His struggling play with the Clippers this year translated in less-than-ideal stats. Bradley had the third-worst scoring output per game of his career, the second worst field-goal percentage of his career and currently holds the second highest fouls-per-game mark of his career.
Yet, he’s seen virtually all his numbers improve since being traded to the Grizzlies. His scoring per game has nearly doubled from 8.2 points to 15.3, his field-goal percentage has increased from 38.3 percent to 50 percent, and his assists, rebounds and steals per game have all increased. Perhaps what Bradley truly needed was a change of scenery.
Bradley played decent in the five-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. He scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists with a 35.7 percent shooting night. Eight of Bradley’s 14 shots came from beyond the arc and he only made three of those.
Bradley struggled to drive into the paint after sustaining an injury during the second half. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram shot a fadeaway from the left block and landed on Bradley’s ankle. Bradley was taken out of the game, but returned with heavy tape to keep his ankle stable.
He’s currently listed as probable for the Grizzlies’ upcoming game against the Chicago Bulls.