So close yet so far
Eastern Conference - The Washington Wizards probably count themselves as the most unlucky team in all of sports as their losing streak in the NBA was extended to 11 games on Saturday. Their two most recent defeats would certainly break the heart of any coach, player or fan as they both went into overtime with glimpses of victory in sight but still out of grasp. On Wednesday they lost out to the Atlanta Hawks 101-100, with victory so close it took a post-game review to realise that the Hawks were the rightful winners and on Saturday they were victims of a 108-106 double overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Miami Heat are now the leaders of the conference with a 10-3 record. After getting past the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 in overtime, they returned with a grinding 110-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that game Ray Allen was the surprise hero for the Heat, scoring the last seven points of the game as the Heat overcame a 108-101 deficit with less than two minutes left on the clock. The New York Knicks held top position for almost a month, but an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak saw them relinquish the position. Back to winning ways, the brushed aside the Detroit Pistons 124-100 on Sunday.
The expected play-off contenders are still lagging in the standings following another week of games. The Boston Celtics barely have a winning percentage at 7-6 and if not for the exploits of Rajon Rondo they would possibly be in a worse position. The Philadelphia 76ers also have a similar record but these two teams occupy the last two play-offs spots, if the league were to end today. The Chicago Bulls at 6-6 are not in play-off position as the moment and neither are the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic with respective 6-8 and 5-7 records.
Road win at last
Western Conference - After four previous unsuccessful attempts, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally managed to record a victory on the road. Letting out all frustrations, they crushed the Dallas Mavericks 115-89 in what is arguably their best 'team performance' thus far. With the win their overall record to close the week stood at 7-7. Mike D'Antoni is still working to implement his coaching philosophy into the roster but has to wait until point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake are back to full fitness.
The Memphis Grizzlies' unbeaten run was halted but at 9-2 they still remain the best placed team on winning percentage. They got back to winning ways with a 106-98 win over the Lakers following the defeat earlier in the week. The San Antonio Spurs are close on their heels with a 10-3 record thanks to a two-game winning streak while the Oklahoma City Thunder are there amongst them with a record of 10-4.
After what was a promising start, the Houston Rockets blundered, but they appear to be finding the winning formula yet again. Thanks to a two-game winning streak they are now at 6-7 and with a 131-103 over the Knicks last Friday they could just have enough confidence to make another positive surge. The Phoenix Suns hold a similar record thanks to a similar winning streak, the most recent victory coming against the New Orleans Hornets 111-108 in overtime.
Following the loss, the Hornets lost their sixth consecutive game and now hold the final spot in the conference, replacing the Sacramento Kings who have a record of 4-9.