TSN's Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the Terence Jones' steady and emerging play for the Houston Rockets, Kawai Leonard and the returning health of the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James as a team-first player, and the sad news that Steve Nash may be out for the year.
1. TERENCE JONES (Rockets): Nice win for the Rockets vs. the Heat Tuesday and a nice story that's developed this year for their team is the steady play of Jones. He's averaging close to 12ppg and 7rpg at the power forward spot. He has the motor and gives it his all each night and is one of those guys you don't have to run a bunch of plays for and is consistent. He compliments Dwight Howard quite well and has been one of those quiet players who doesn't get lots of publicity yet and does his job effectively in a winning environment.
2. KAWAI LEONARD (Spurs): With Leonard back in the lineup you look at the Spurs experiencing good health and start asking yourself how far they can go. He's a very good all-around player who they really missed. He guards and rebounds and can make all the shots. With him in the lineup, it seems when I watch this team that everyone is settled again in their roles and they look like a team that is gearing up for another run. Amazing what good health does to the chemistry of a team.
3. KLAY THOMPSON (Warriors): Thomas had a tough game on Sunday in Toronto yet had a wonderful bounce back effort against the Pacers and hit the game winner to compliment his 25 points for the evening. I love his shooting ability and he rebounds pretty well for a 2 guard. He has great size and incredible range and has gotten more comfortable creating his own shot off the bounce. Still a bit inconsistent here and there but if he was a stock, I'd say buy! His best days are ahead of him.
4. LeBRON JAMES (Heat): Congrats on the 61 points he put up on Monday vs the Bobcats. I was a bit surprised it came against them, they're a very good defensive team. Honestly, he could get 40+ points every night if he really just focused on that part of his game. Thankfully, he's a top-notch team player and makes all the smart/winning plays. More importantly, I caught his comments about wanting to return to Cleveland for the jersey retirement ceremony for his former teammate, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. It was a class gesture and I hope it happens. Whatever you want to say about his departure from Cleveland and it was poorly handled; he does get it as far as the value of team and his relationships with teammates. He respects the game and respects that everyone is in it together.
5. STEVE NASH (Lakers): I heard the news that it's not looking good for his return the remainder of this season. Sad news. You look at the growth of basketball in Canada right now and it's a joy to watch. Nash, as we all know, has done so much and will continue to do a great deal for the growth of the sport across the country but it's kind of a bittersweet moment in time right now watching the sport explode with so many talented young players yet watching such a great player and proud man at the end of his career. It ends for everyone at some point and fingers crossed, he leaves on his terms. He deserves that and a whole lot more. Class act.