Bring on the warm weather!

With both the All Star break and trade deadline behind us, we shouldn’t be too far away from just that. But that feels funny typing that out in the middle of Indiana right now. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the trade deadline deals and the next few match ups in the NBA Mascot Fight. Shawn is along again for some help with covering this mascot beatdown.

Also, before we get too far in we want to express that our thoughts are with Derrick Rose and Bulls fans. It has to suck to have this stuff keep happening. Rose is an exceptional talent and by all accounts, a stellar person. We wish him a speedy recovery.

NBA Mascot Tournament
Today we'll look at the final results of week one.
Moondog – Cavaliers  vs. Rocky the Mountain Lion – Nuggets


The age old rivalry of Cats vs. Dogs took center stage in this battle between the mascots of the Cavs and Nuggets. Neither competitor wanted to bring shame to his respective species but both knew that there could be only one winner. Rocky began by trying to exploit his strength advantage over Moondog with a couple of wicked swats to the nose. Moondog was able to roll with the blows, however, lessening their effect but still selling the powerful impact of the blows. Moondog was applying the rope a dope technique and it would prove most effective. Moondog was able to wait out the attack and struck just as Rocky had worn himself out. Dogs everywhere celebrated as Moondog stood victorious over his feline foe.
G – Wiz – Wizards vs. Hooper the Horse – Pistons
This match up pits a horse up against… something else. Is he a bird or what? Whatever he is, his magical abilities make him a formidable opponent for anyone in this tournament. In an effort to counter this advantage Hooper came out of the gates on fire. He immediately threw combinations of lefts and rights to the head and body of G-Wiz punctuating his opening assault with a swift back kick to the ribs that sent the Wizards mascot flying. To the amazement of Hooper, G-Wiz never hit the ground. Instead, he began levitating and righted himself in mid-air. This stunned amazement left G-Wiz with just the opening he needed. He stretched out his hands and began shooting lightning from his fingertips. Hooper was unable to recover in time to avoid the crackling bolts of electricity and fell to the ground in a heap. G-Wiz moved on to the next round standing with his arm (wing?) Raised in victory.
Stuff the Dragon – Magic vs. The Raptor – Raptors
This fight never felt fair. From the start of the bout, ferocious reptilian strikes tore away at the defense of Stuff. Stuff tried to counter with theatrics, causing an array of pyrotechnics shooting forth from his starred, floppy horns. This effort only served to confuse his own goofy, still grinning face. The dinosaur didn’t need to see his foe to press the attack. After a particularly brutal flurry, Raptor stared down his opponent, knowing the win was his. Stuff could only must a choked up laughter as he brought his hands up to bring up the crowd noise. Stuff fell soon after. Raptor moves on.
Bango – Bucks vs. Crunch – Timberwolves
Years of dealing of the cold harshness of the northern forests hardened both of those opponents. The battle was the longest lasting of the first round, each mascot trading blows and blocking the other from taking a clear advantage. Crunch spotted a quick opening when Bango lunged forward, seizing that to break off a piece of Bango’s horn. Bango simply drove forward, pinning Crunch to the ground and finally pressing the attack. The bout then became a ground battle, which favored the heftier buck. It still drug on a while, but victory was eventually Bango’s.
All Star Weekend.

All Star festivities in New York were pretty standard fare. One of the best shooters of all time catching fire in a three point contest and winning it. Oh, and Zach LaVine had the best dunk contest in years and one of the best ever. I mean, just look for yourself.

While Zach LaVine certainly made a name for himself for the average viewer, what will have an impact on this season and those to come is the flurry before the trade deadline. Today we’re going to take a look at some winners and losers of the deadline.


Trade Deadline


Oklahoma City Thunder. While, this could end up being a loss if Durant bolts for another team, I think most of that damage was already done in the James Harden trade.They took a pass on getting Sideshow Bob’s brother and chose to take a player on in Kanter, that provides quality big man minutes for them and with better defense for a much cheaper price. In Singler and Augustin they got shooters unafraid to take big shots. The kind of players the Thunder should be stocking up on with the dynamic talents of Westbrook and Durant attracting attention. Still, if they don’t make enough of a splash, the pressure will soon build on a team that has yet to reach its championship aspirations.

Miami Heat. Getting the best player moved during the deadline activity is a big plus. Dragic is a terrific ball handler and will take a lot of pressure off of Wade if he can ever stay on the court. Getting the news shortly after concerning Bosh certainly puts a damper on this season. And the Heat will still have to pay Dragic. Still, they netted their guy. We hope the best for Chris Bosh.

Portland Trailblazers.   I really like Afflalo. I especially like him in more of a spot up situation and extra ball handler. He’s a tough defender and good character guy. The Blazers made a good move here.

Phoenix Suns. I know we just listed the Heat as a winner for getting Goran Dragic off of the Suns roster. But Phoenix has picked up a player in Brandon Knight that is not as good but is much cheaper and will be a nice trade chip. The young roster should develop and by the time it does, Dragic would be exiting his prime years. The move has to be hard to swallow for now Suns fans, but your front office probably made the right move. Especially after Dragic’s public push to leave.


Boston Celtics. I’m not really sure what Ainge is doing here. Isaiah Thomas is a decent player but plays the same position as their best young player. It’s a little puzzling unless Thomas is being used as a trade chip in the near future.

Philadelphia 76ers. They already attract a ton of attention for the bold style they’re using to try and improve their team. The moves today may actually improve their chances to keep along that same path. But the fan base won’t wait forever and they’ve insured that games this season in which they were fun to watch won’t keep up. MCW may not have been the franchise centerpieces, but losing KJ McDaniels all because of their cute contract maneuvering has to hurt.

Milwaukee Bucks.  The Bucks have made defense their calling card under coach Jason Kidd. (Which is finally maybe not weird to say.) Michael Carter Williams will fit right along with the rest of the long armed onslaught the Bucks throw at opponents. But losing Knight makes it that much harder to find a ball handler able to find others and take it upon their self for tough buckets late in games.

A bonus winner of these deals may be Danny Granger playing in Phoenix. Their training staff is the stuff of legend. As a Pacers fan, I hope they can do for him what they did for Grant Hill, Steve Nash, and others. Good luck Danny.

Thanks for checking out another edition of The Backdoor Cut. Have a great week.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s