With only four games on the schedule for Saturday, the first two matches provided a wealth of excitement in an overtime battle and a shocking upset. The Nets stunned the Derrick Rose-less Bulls thanks to stellar play by Kris Humphries and Deron Williams. By knocking off the Clippers in overtime, the Spurs notched their 10th win in a row, but not without paying a hefty price. Let's take a look around the league to see what's going on with All-Star Weekend less than one week away:
- The Cavaliers have a trio of former players believing in the long-term success of the franchise, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mark Price, a former guard for the Cavs, says the combination of Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving will be a strong foundation for the team as they continue to mature as NBA players. Pluto says the franchise is attempting to build itself in a manner similar to the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Thanks to strong play at home (13-1) and now on the road with an impressive overtime victory over the Clippers, the Spurs would secure the #2 seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today. Unfortunately for the Spurs, the squad lost two key contributors today in Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili, who both left the game due to injury and did not return, writes Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation. The Spurs have already lost Ginobili to injury this season as he missed 22 games after breaking his left hand.
- Tommy Dee of SheridanHoops.com put together his predictions for how he sees the top 10 picks of the 2012 NBA Draft unfolding. Dee has Tar Heels small forward Harrison Barnes slated to go #1 which would most likely be to the Bobcats based upon current standings. North Carolina and Kentucky are well represented on the list with two players from each school predicted to be picked in the top 10 in the upcoming draft.
- Jerry Zgoda, Timberwolves beat writer for the Star Tribune, says 76ers head coach Doug Collins has finally found the perfect fit for his coaching style as he has his squad atop the Atlantic Division. Zgoda points to strong drafting by 76ers in concert with Collins getting the most out of his players as a major reason why the team has enjoyed such a successful start to the season. The team won 20 of its first 29 games for just the second time since 1986.