The NBA trade deadline saw two former Buckeyes get moved, and one of the moves could have a big impact on the race for the Eastern Conference title. Evan Turner was moved from Philadelphia to Indiana, and gives the Pacers another piece in what is looking like will be a showdown in the spring with the Heat. The 76ers didn't stay without a Buckeye for long, as they acquired Byron Mullens from the Los Angeles Clippers. Turner should make his Pacer debut on Tuesday night, while Mullens already played his first game for the 76ers on Monday night.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies
After missing the previous seven games due to an ankle injury, Mike Conley got back to work immediately after the All Star break. The Grizzlies welcomed the Knicks into Memphis last Tuesday night and Conley put up his highest point total of the week with 22 points. The point guard wasn't held back in his return to the court, playing at least 31 minutes in all of Memphis' games last week. While Conley did have a strong return in leading the Grizzlies to a 98-93 win over the Knicks, any rust he had showed up in the next two games. Memphis defeated the Clippers on Friday night, but Conley was only 3-10 from the field, finishing with nine points.
The major struggle that Conley dealt with in his return was his accuracy from long range. In the three games last week Conley was only able to go 1-9 from behind the arc, including a dreadful 0-5 from deep in a 92-89 loss to Charlotte on Saturday night. Even though Conley was struggling with his shot, he was trying to find other ways to help his team win. In each of the three games he played last week, Conley was able to grab five rebounds. The hard work paid off for them most part with the Grizzlies going 2-1 during the week, and only sitting a couple games out of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies
Last week saw Koufos do a little bit of everything for the Grizzlies in limited minutes on the court. Koufos didn't do anything spectacular, but he also didn't do anything terrible. Mostly Koufos was just consistent. In the three games for the Grizzlies, Koufos scored four points in two of the games and six points in the win over the Clippers. In the matchup against Los Angeles on Friday night, Koufos played his most minutes of the week, registering 14 minutes. The least amount of time Koufos played was nine minutes in the loss to Charlotte. Koufos was able to block at least one shot in each game, and also grab a few rebounds here and there. If Koufos continues to play tough Memphis basketball we should see him average around with he did in terms of minutes and production, and anything above that will just be an added bonus for the Grizzlies.
Evan Turner - G/F - Indiana Pacers
On Thursday afternoon Evan Turner must have been feeling like he just won the lottery. Just before the trade deadline Turner was traded from Philadelphia to Indiana in exchange for Danny Granger. That moved Turner from one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference to the team that is currently sitting first in those Eastern Conference standings. Last week did see Turner play his last game for Philadelphia on Tuesday in a 114-85 loss to Cleveland, shooting a cold 3-14 from the field to finish with 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals. After being traded, Turner didn't play on Saturday night against Milwaukee, but he is expected to take the court against the Lakers on Tuesday night.
With the stacked roster that the Pacers have, the addition of Turner gives them another weapon that they can bring off their bench. After averaging nearly 35 minutes per game for the 76ers, Turner figures to slide into the role vacated by Danny Granger and get about 20-25 minutes per game. While the time on the court might be down, it will allow Turner to stay fresher and possibly avoid some of the slumps that he has been known for. It'll be interesting to see how he settles into playing with the Pacers where he won't be expected to do quite as much for them as he did with the 76ers. This might give Turner a chance to concentrate a little more on his scoring since he'll be surrounded by a high quality team that could take care of some of the rebounding and assists that he had to also focus on with Philadelphia.
Jared Sullinger - F/C - Boston Celtics
After playing in the Rising Stars game over All Star Weekend, Sullinger and the Celtics hit the west coast in their return to action. After coming close to a double-double in the loss to Phoenix on Wednesday with 11 points and eight rebounds, Sullinger managed to register one in the loss to the Lakers on Friday night with 12 points and 12 rebounds. But the double-double came at a price for Sullinger, as he got hit in the head against the Lakers which caused has caused him to miss the last two games. On Monday it was announced that Sullinger has been diagnosed with a concussion, and his timetable for return is unknown. With the Celtics struggling this year they can afford to let Sullinger sit and fully recover from the head injury instead of rushing back to action.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Philadelphia 76ers
The good news for Byron Mullens is he was traded to a team at the trade deadline where he'll see some time on the court. The bad news for Byron Mullens is he got traded from one of the best teams in the Western Conference to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. On Thursday the Clippers traded Mullens to the 76ers in exchange for a future conditional second round draft pick. After only playing one minute in the month of February, Mullens saw a boom in playing time with his new team, playing 14 minutes for Philadelphia in the 130-110 loss to Milwaukee. Mullens made the most of it, going 4-6 from the field to finish the game with nine points. With the 76ers seemingly in tank mode, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Mullens get a good amount of playing time the rest of the season.
Greg Oden - C - Miami Heat
The Greg Oden comeback to the court continues and the next accomplishment has been achieved. On Sunday Oden was tabbed for his first start in a NBA game since 2009. Oden made sure not to disappoint, grabbing five points and five rebounds in the Heat's 93-79 win over Chicago. Sunday's game was the third game since the All Star break for the Heat, in which Oden has played in two of those game. The other game Oden saw time in was last Tuesday night in Dallas, where he played five minutes and put in five points in the 117-106 win over the Mavericks. With Oden progressing well in his return, it'll be worthy keeping an eye on how many more starts Oden might get as Miami heads towards the playoffs.