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Trade deadline winners

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

Four teams came out big when the NBA trading deadline came.  Except for the Denver Nuggets who didn’t tinker with their roster, the rest made some moves to up their chances for the post season or perhaps the next season.

NEW YORK KNICKS – After trading for OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa, the Knicks won 12 of their next 14 assignments.  After Julius Randle went down with an injury, Achiuwa was a perfect fill in.  They recently added Bojan Bogdanovic and the returning Alec Burks who contributed a combined 33 points in their Knicks debut last Saturday.  The latter two boosted New York’s offensive firepower from the bench.

The four additions significantly improved the Knicks’ chances for a strong playoff run and could contend for the Eastern Conference title.

LA CLIPPERS – Many were skeptical when James Harden switched location but after a so-so start, The Beard was a seamless fit for the Clippers.  We are seeing the Kawhi Leonard that we had known before and at 32-years old, the possibility of getting his third NBA title is very high.  LAC currently is running second to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference standings.

Russell Westbrook had accepted his role off the bench.  In limited minutes, he submitted averages of 11 points, 5,5 rebounds and 4 assists.

The other LA team?  It would be a major miracle if they make it past the first round of the post season.  Currently, they sit at 9th in the WC and are in the company of Golden State (10), Dallas (9) and Sacramento (8) in the play-in for the 7th and 8th playoff spot, if the post season were to begin today.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS – Because Philadelphia opted for Buddy Hield, and the possibility of having Kyle Lowry in a buyout, Patrick Beverly became expendable.  The Bucks jumped on him, thus drastically improving their perimeter defense.  It would be interesting to see these two Eastern Conference rivals battle.  Pat Bev is 35 but he’ll always be a pesky defender and a solid contributor off the bench.

BOSTON CELTICS – The Celtics needed back-up help in the middle as Kristaps Porzingis is injury prone and Al Horford perhaps is good for at most two years.  Favorites to win the NBA title this season, Boston added Xavier Tillman from Memphis to their roster.  Undersized for a center-forward at 6-7, Tillman is a strong defender and could be Boston’s x-factor in their title chase, considering Porzingis and Horford couldn’t be fully relied on in the playoffs.

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