On the same day that it was announced San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili will miss what will most likely be six to eight weeks thanks to surgery on his left hand, it was also revealed Zach Randolph’s bruised knee is actually a slight MCL tear.
The Grizz then went out and traded 2010 first round pick Xavier Henry to New Orleans in a three team deal that netted Maurice Speights from the Philadelphia 76ers.
With Darrell Arthur out, Speights would’ve been a nice pick up if Randolph weren’t out for two months. Either way, in the last 48 hours two of the four or five best teams out west took major hits to their teams.
It probably doesn’t mean either team is going to miss the playoffs, but it does probably mean teams like Denver and Portland now have a really good shot at finishing ahead of the both San Antonio and Memphis in the West.
Could you imagine three of the four best records in the West coming from Portland, Oklahoma City and Denver. Would we have included any of these three teams as top teams in the West even two seasons ago?
Closer to home, the Southwest Division is only going to get even more unpredictable. Dallas has looked like the worst defending champion since the ’99 Bulls, Houston looks like a playoff team one night and one of the ten worst teams in the league the next. New Orleans is bad but maybe not as bad as we think.
Memphis looked like they’d be in prime position to run away with the division before their second best healthy big became Maurice Speights and their third best big is Hamed Haddadi.
So maybe the Spurs aren’t in a terrible amount of trouble over the next two months because no other team looks like it’s in a position to pull away with the division.