NBA 2 Up 2 Down Report (January 2024)

By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr

Headline Photo Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports


New York Knicks

Feb 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles against Memphis Grizzlies forward Tosan Evbuomwan (18) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There is nothing better than making a deal and seeing it pay off for you in the end. That was the case for the New York Knicks. They were already a solid team that was destined for the playoffs. The one-two punch of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle has been something the Knicks have been needing for a very long time. RJ Barrett was solid, however, trading for O.G. Anunoby has vastly improved the Knicks! He has already logged a lot of minutes thus far in his tenure there. The Knicks are getting the most out of him and he is getting the most out of them. He is the perfect guy for Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. They are much more consistent and everyone seems to know their roles too. O.G. Anunoby has taken a lot of pressure off of Randle and Brunson. The Knicks appear to be a team no one will want to play in the playoffs.

LA Clippers

Feb 5, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) reacts with a fan after being fouled and making a three point shot against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When they first acquired James Harden, the feeling in the room was this is the typical James Harden situation. This is the typical James Harden team. He seems and looks lazy, doesn’t play hard on either side of the ball, gives up defensively, and looks old and out of shape. The famous saying of it’s not how you start but rather how you finish is proving true for the LA Clippers. They needed time to figure things out. With that time, they seem and look to have figured out everything they needed to look into. The Clippers may not have the best record in the league. However, they are the best team in the league. The team has been close to 100% healthy all season long when it comes to the important pieces to the puzzle. Everyone is clicking and playing their roles. There is no ego here, they are playing together, and anyone can beat you any given night. They’re a lot like the Lebron – Wade – Bosh team where it was all about sacrifice. James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George have done what they needed to do. However, there is no greater sacrifice than that of Russell Westbrook. He is a big part and reason for their success too now that he has opted to come off of the bench. The LA Clippers may be primed for a NBA Finals appearance this season.


Miami Heat

Feb 6, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) looks to pass the ball as Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) defends during the first half at Kaseya Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The month of January has been a month the Miami Heat would want to forget about as they went 6-10. It was a really ugly losing streak for them as they went on a seven game losing streak. One of those losses was one from the Boston Celtics as they got blown out by 33 points at home. The Heat are a work in progress team even after going to the NBA Finals last season. Jimmy Butler looks old. He hasn’t been fully healthy this season either. Bam needs more of an opportunity within the offense as a lot of things are falling on him due to injuries from the team. Also, they just traded their team and locker room leader and veteran in Kyle Lowry. Now the return value is an upgrade with Terry Rozier but there are growing pains and a bit of an adjustment period. The clock is ticking as we get closer to the NBA Postseason. Hopefully the Miami Heat can fix their issues by then because they don’t seem to be quite in rhythm just yet.

Draymond Green

Feb 10, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center Draymond Green (23) reacts after he is called for a foul against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

There are times in life where you say enough is enough. You may get tired or get fatigued with a situation. Some things tend to go on for too long and something is finally done about the situation. Draymond Green has grew and earned the title of being a dirty player. This is something no one will ever admit to. But deep down inside, they know the real answer to the situation. Not only do they know it, but the team and the rest of the league knows it as well. The Warriors window has seem to have closed. It feels like there is no repair work to get it back open either. As great as Steph Curry has been, he is now not even a starter for the NBA Allstar Game. The feeling around the league is that the run is over. This dynasty by the Golden State Warriors was fun while it lasted, but is now over and done with. Draymond Green has been suspended for his antics this season. Now, with the Warriors run being over, his tenure there may be over too. Former GM Bob Myers left at the perfect time. Curry and Klay Thompson will be highly coveted players. However, Draymond Green probably won’t especially with the money he is making. His averages are lower than ever now as well too. The days of Draymond Green being in the NBA may soon be coming to an end.