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Around the NBA: All-NBA selections, playoff races & Warriors history-chasing update

This week Around the NBA we make our All-NBA Selections, quickly update the playoff races and check in of the Warriors suddenly sputtering pursuit of history.

ALL-NBA SELECTIONS  

Some very deserving players will be left off the ALL-NBA teams this year. There are only 15 spots, some positions are deeper than others and you have to reward winning as much as possible. With all that being said here are my picks.

1st team

 G Steph Curry,             Warriors

G Russell Westbrook    Thunder

C Draymond Green       Warriors   

F Lebron James            Cavaliers

F Kevin Durant              Thunder

2nd team

 G Chris Paul                 Clippers

G Kyle Lowry                 Raptors

C Demarcus Cousins    Kings

F Kawhi Leonard           Spurs

F LaMarcus Aldridge     Spurs

3rd team

 G James Harden         Rockets

G Damian Lillard          Trailblazers

C Andre Drummond     Pistons

F Paul Milsap               Hawks

F Paul George               Pacers

I took some liberties putting Draymond at Center. I think he’s played enough of it to be eligible but I’m honestly not 100% sure and wasn’t able to find out the exact voting rules. Otherwise Cousins would have to be first team and with the Kings record being what it is this feels justified. You can’t measure what Draymond means to Golden St simply with numbers. He’s absolutely had a first team all-NBA quality season. Hardest guys to leave off in no particular order were Jimmy Butler, DeAndre Jordan, John Wall, Klay Thompson, Isiah Thomas and Kemba Walker. Wade and Dirk got some consideration also. 

Playoff Update

 With exactly one week remaining in the regular season things are still very fluid in the playoff race. In the East Cleveland and Toronto will finish one and two while Atlanta, Boston, Miami and Charlotte continue to sort out three through six. Hawks are 46-32 followed by Boston and Miami both at 45-32 while the Hornets sit at 44-33. Indiana (41-36) and Detroit (41-37) round out the last two spots. Bulls are barely breathing in the nine spot at 39-39.

Mavs/Rockets meet tonight in a huge game out West. Along with the Utah Jazz those three teams are still battling it out for the last two spots. Utah lost a heartbreaker to San Antonio last night that really would have helped their cause. As it stands now Dallas is in the seven spot at 39-38, Jazz are eighth at 39-39 and the Rockets, in the nine spot, are still alive at 38-39.

The top of the West is basically locked up one through four with Golden St, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Clippers. The Grizzlies are the fifth seed right now but just a half game up on Portland. Here are the current playoff matchups courtesy of ESPN. COM http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/matchups 

Warriors In Trouble?

 There is a reason only one team in the history of this league has won 70 games or more. It’s really really hard. The Warriors lost at home to the Timberwolves last night, their second home loss in three games. Boston got them at Oracle on Friday. This pursuit of 72 was always going to come down to the final days of the season. The Warriors are 69-9 with four to play and will need to win all four to break the record. The schedule goes home Spurs, road Memphis, road Spurs and they’ll finish up a week from tonight at home against Memphis. My best guess is they’ll wind up tying it but no matter what happens it will have no bearing once the playoffs begin. When the postseason tips off Golden St will be ready to defend their title 73 or not. Mentally they are probably a little tired and as Draymond Green was quoted as saying they are probably a little bored. That’s all to be expected at this point in the season. Head coach Steve Kerr knows a thing or two about exactly what Golden St is dealing with. He’ll push all the right buttons and the champs will be fine. As a matter a fact it’s highly likely they’ll be champs again.

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