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Tag:Utah Jazz
Posted on: December 12, 2010 2:27 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:32 pm
 

Rumor: Carmelo Anthony to the Charlotte Bobcats?

The Charlotte Bobcats are reportedly interested in trading for Denver Nuggets all star forward Carmelo Anthony. Posted by Ben Gollivercarmelo-anthony It's open season on Carmelo Anthony rumors, once again, after CBSSports.com Ken Berger reported earlier this week that the Denver Nuggets have come to terms with the fact that they need to trade Anthony. While Berger also reported this weekend that Anthony is considering an extension with the team, that feels like a polite way for Anthony to show respect to his bosses, who are obviously in a difficult position, looking to maximize the return on their franchise player leaving town. This weekend comes news that a new player may be interested in talking Anthony trades with the Nuggets. ESPN.com reports that the Charlotte Bobcats are interested in trading for Anthony.
But the Knicks are not the only team trying to acquire Anthony, as noted by the source who said the Bobcats are trying to trade for him (the source did not reveal exactly what Charlotte was offering).
HoopsWorld takes a crack at guessing which Bobcats might be involved in this rumored trade.
There are no solid details about what the Bobcats might give up, and ESPN is running little more than a blurb in their news stream about the rumored trade, but given what the Bobcats have been willing to offer up in the past it's logical to think they would part with Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw, two pieces that would help the Nuggets.
The Bobcats were a player in Anthony rumors earlier this fall, when a four-team blockbuster trade was floated that involved the Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats, New Jersey Nets and Utah Jazz. In that scenario, Anthony was to land in New Jersey rather than Charlotte. A trade with the Bobcats doesn't make nearly as much sense as a trade with the Nets for the Nuggets, but it's not the worst idea in the world. Wallace would plug in nicely to fill the huge minutes gap that Anthony's departure would create. He would provide an upgrade defensively while still being able to provide some scoring. The Nuggets would be downgrading overall by going from Anthony to Wallace, but it could be significantly worse. The major issue here: What else do the Bobcats have that would be attractive to the Nuggets? Denver, as we've written before, needs to acquire young talent, salary cap flexibility and future assets, and Charlotte is pretty much barren when it comes to desirable young talent and attractive draft picks. Wallace and junk won't get this done. And even if the Nuggets could talk themselves into a Wallace-centered package, why in the world would Anthony want to play for the Bobcats? The lure of Michael Jordan's ownership sounds good on paper, but one look at the team's roster, recent history, lack of media profile is all it would take for Anthony to forget about inking an extension with Charlotte. Not to mention that Bobcats coach Larry Brown is reportedly struggling to get through to his team. Anthony wants to win and play in a high-profile media market; Charlotte is years (decades?) away from seriously contending and is one of the most invisible franchises in the NBA. As for the Bobcats, just like anyone else, they are not going to trade one of their best players for a half-season of Anthony and a hope at re-signing him this summer. That's simply too much risk, even for a mediocre team that's treading water. Add it all up, and this rumor doesn't make much sense. 
Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Award-O-Matic MVP 11.30.10: CP3 as MVP

NBA F&R breaks down the MVP candidates after the first month of the season by dissecting the award down to three parts: Most Valuable, Most Important, and Most Oustanding Player. CP3 is in control.
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young




Well, we're a month into the season and the context of this year has begun to take shape. While certainly a long way from the finish line, we've already gotten a glimpse of who's playing well, who's playing average, and who ... not so much. And so it is that we begin our monthly look at awards. On a regular basis we'll take you around the award contenders and give you a look at who is in contention for the NBA's major awards by breaking down what they really mean in our Award-O-Matic. Today we start with the MVP.

The problem, as has been elucidated approximately a million times by various media members, is that the MVP is a nebulous, hard to define award. Its name is Most Valuable, but it most often goes to the Most Outstanding Player on a winning team. If your play is other-worldly but your team doesn't win, you have no shot. If you contribute the most to a winning team but your numbers aren't stellar, again, your chances are slim. It takes a combination of three factors: value, performance, and importance to snag the award. As such, we decided to break the award into those three categories, tally them up with the top player getting 3 points, the second 2, the third 1, then summing to see if we could come up with a list.

First up?

Most Valuable Player (To Their Team): Who is most responsible for their team's success? Or, to put it another way, whose team suffers the most without them?


Matt Moore:


1. Dirk Nowitzki: Without him that offense is anemic and it's been his rebounding that's kept them in games at points.
2. Carmelo Anthony: Seriously, Nuggets. Cliff. Teetering. Melo's the only thing keeping the truck from smashing into pieces.
3. Dwight Howard: Get him in foul trouble and the Magic turn into a Mid-Major college team, just wining it from perimeter to perimeter.

Ben Golliver:

1. Chris Paul:
  I like Darren Collison as much as the next guy, but CP3's return from injury to lead New Orleans' absurd hot start, despite an unimpressive supporting cast, reveals exactly how valuable the league's best point guard is.
2. Rajon Rondo Boston would still be good without Rondo, but his game ownership places them on an elite level and makes them the odds on favorite to win the East yet again. 10.6 points, 14.2 assists (what!), 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals through the end of November. Crazy.
3. Kevin Durant The Thunder have had an up-and-down start but imagining this team with Russell Westbrook at the helm by himself, dragging an ineffective Jeff Green along for the ride, would be a recipe for a guaranteed lottery team. KD will get better -- perhaps much better -- over the course of the season, and he's already easily leading the NBA in scoring again.

Royce Young:

1. Chris Paul:   Subtract Paul and what do you have. I can promise you it's not an 8-1 team. It's really as simple as that.
2. Dirk Nowitzki:   The Mavericks are dangerous in every fourth quarter that they're close in. The reason is because Dirk can score in every situation, at any time. He essentially is the Maverick offense.
3. Steve Nash:   Take Nash away and yes, there's Goran Dragic who can dazzle in stretches. But without Nash this Suns team is nothing more than a 35-win club. With Nash, there's potential to push for the playoffs.

Most Important Player: Who is most crucial to their team's success? Ex. Last year I argued that Josh Smith was MIP because when he did Josh Smith-y things, the Hawks were nearly unstoppable, and when he didn't, they were much more beatable.


Matt Moore:

1. Chris Paul:
He does everything and it starts and stops with him. This is even more clearly illustrated by their recent struggles down the stretch where he hasn't been involved.
2. Al Horford: The level of production Horford is creating right now is simply astonishing. More astonishing is how overlooked he is.
3. Pau Gasol: It's him that's carrying the Lakers. Even as Kobe scores all the high points, the most dominant Laker performances this season are from Gasol.

Ben Golliver:


1. Pau Gasol: His virtuoso early season performance has single-handedly made Andrew Bynum an afterthought. What more needs to be said?
2. Deron Williams:   Utah's streak of comebacks begins with Williams' tough-minded leadership and ends with his play-making and shot-making.
3. Dirk Nowitzki:   Another banner start from Dirk singlehandedly puts a Dallas roster loaded with question marks in the playoff mix.

Royce Young:

1. Pau Gasol: Having Gasol as part of the triangle has been like a revelation. He's really what makes the Lakers so darn dangerous.
2. Kevin Garnett:
We saw what an impact his has in regard to the Celtic defense two seasons ago when his knee was injured.
3. Nick Collison:   He's a classic no-stats All-Star. He's only played for a few weeks so far this season for Oklahoma City but his value is immeasurable and impact immediate. He tips rebounds that become extra possessions, takes charges, sets outstanding screens and makes two or three small (but big) plays a game.


Most Outstanding Player: Who has simply wowed you?


Matt Moore:

1. Rajon Rondo: Key plays every time he's on the floor and he makes it look easy, There are a lot of moments where he looks like he's just on a different plane from everyone else.. and he's got three Hall of Famers on his team.
2. Russell Westbrook: Westbrook has managed to take over the game down the stretch. His turnovers are down, assists are up, he's got range and that mid-key pull-up jumper is as deadly as it ever has been. He's been simply phenomenal in half-court and full-court sets.
3. Deron Williams: Three point guards? Yup. Check Deron at the end of the clock with the game on the line. Money. And that's after all the assists, rebounds, key plays and floor leadership. Man's a ninja, no joke.

Ben Golliver:


1. Dwight Howard:
  Lost in the Miami Heat wave, Howard is quietly putting up 22.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as the defensive and rebounding engine that will make Orlando a title contender for years to come. By the way, Orlando sits atop the Southeast Division -- 3.5 games ahead of the Heat.
2. LeBron James: His numbers are crazy and his highlights are spectacular. It's a wonder he can jump so high and dunk so hard carrying the burden of Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra's corpse on his shoulders.
3. John Wall:   Wall doesn't belong in the MVP discussion -- there are too many holes in his game (jumper, turnovers) and his team is terrible -- but for sheer "outstanding-ness" and "wow factor" he merits inclusion here. His assist numbers have been great and his speed is tops in the league; he's a lot further along the NBA readiness scale than even his biggest fans could have imagined.

Royce Young:

1. Rajon Rondo: He's been nothing but insanely ridiculous. Manages the game perfectly, understand his place within an offense and runs the show beautifully.
2. Kevin Love: When given the time on the floor, he's a legitimate 20-20 threat every single night. How many players can you really say that about?
3. Russell Westbrook: There's a case to be legitimately made for Westbrook as an MVP contender. Kevin Durant is still leading the league in scoring, but Westbrook is what's kept the team winning games. But his play has been just insane this year (23.8 ppg, 8.4 apg, 5.1 rpg) and he's a super-highlight waiting to happen.

Here are the tallies:

Most Valuable Player:
1. Chris Paul (6)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (5)
Tied for 3rd: Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo (2)
Tied for 4th: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash (1)

Most Important Player:
1. Pau Gasol (7)
2. Chris Paul (3)
Tied for 3rd: Deron Williams, Al Horford, Kevin Garnett (2)
Tied for 4th: Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Collison (1)

Most Outstanding Player :

1. Rajon Rondo (6)
Tied for 2nd: Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard (3)
Tied for 3rd: Kevin Love, LeBron James (2)
Tied for 4th: John Wall, Deron Williams (1)

Top 5 in Totals:
1. Chris Paul: 9
2. Rajon Rondo (8)
3. Pau Gasol (7)
4. Dirk Nowitzki (6)
5. Dwight Howard (4)
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:28 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:06 pm
 

The Game Changer: Heat go .500 in November

The Miami Heat actually win a game despite a crazy flagrant foul, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul duel in OKC, Andrei Kirilenko's hair does it again and Houston ... poor Houston.
Posted by Ben Golliver


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: MIAMI HEAT BEAT Wizards, GO .500 FOR NOVEMBER

The Miami Heat stood out on a light Monday night of NBA action, and not just because everyone wanted to know whether coach Erik Spoelstra would make it through halftime without being fired. The Heat hosted the Washington Wizards to close their November schedule, and salvaged a .500 month (8-8) with a commanding 105-94 win.

Washington was without rookie point guard sensation John Wall, sitting with a sore right knee, so most of the luster on this match-up was lost before tip. In its place arose violence, as a series of chippy episodes cluttered the second half as Miami began to pull away.

The biggest single incident, without a doubt, came when Wizards forward Hilton Armstrong used both arms to shove Heat center Joel Anthony during a layup attempt, sending him flying through the air Matrix-style and leading to gasps from the crowd. Just take a look at Anthony's horrific flight. joel-anthony Watch out, below, Gilbert!

Heat forward Juwan Howard rushed to Anthony's defense, shoving Armstrong to the ground from behind as he attempted to check on Anthony's health. The sequence led to ejections for both Anthony and Howard. For video of the whole thing, click here .

Tensions continued into the fourth quarter as Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich and Heat forward James Jones got into an elbows-flying, double-technical incident. But, in the end, the bitter back-and-forth proved to be a sideshow. The Big 3 were all dominant, combining for 76 points, 23 rebounds, 12 assists, and six steals, shooting a combined 23-49.

Still not enough to be a quality team, but more than enough to beat an ice-cold Wizards team that shot just 3-17 from downtown. The win ensured that the Heat avoid finishing their first full month of the season with a losing record and buys coach Erik Spoelstra a brief respite from the piranhas circling for his job.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

This race came down to the two point guards leading the charge during the game of the night, a spirited New Orleans Hornets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder slug fest that saw OKC escape, 95-89. Despite the turnovers, Westbrook takes home the honor due to his fearless shot-making to provide most of the winning margin.

Russell Westbrook
: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, 8 turnovers on 9-19 shooting in 37 minutes in a home win over the New Orleans Hornets.

Runner-Up...

Chris Paul
: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 14 assists, 5 steals, 2 turnovers on 6-13 shooting in 35 minutes in a road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LOOK BEHIND YOU CHRIS!

By Royce Young

We call this thing here the Game Changer because every night, there are plays that change games and therefore, outcomes. And Jeff Green's chase-down block of Chris Paul qualifies.

Not completely though, because the Hornets scored four straight points after, putting Oklahoma City down eight. Yet the play energized a somewhat unusually sedate OKC crowd and fired up his team. Green came streaking from halfcourt to block Paul and erase an easy two points. CP3 is one of the fastest players in the league with the ball in his hands, yet Green didn't take the two for granted. He went and made a play.

The Thunder who had been struggling mightily in the third quarter, scored 11 points in the final three minutes of the third and closed the Hornet lead to just two. At that point, the game was up for grabs again and with an energized arena behind them, the Thunder held the Hornets scoreless on 10 straight trips in the fourth, going on a 13-0 run to secure a big 95-89 win.

Here's the block, plus postgame comments from Green talking about it.

WHIMSY:

When in doubt, search for pictures of Andrei Kirilenko's hair on Getty Images. It's like putting a Wayne's World wig on Mt. Rushmore.

ak47hair

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Houston Rockets lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, falling to 5-12. The New York Knicks are currently 9-9. Entering the season, not many would have guessed that Houston's own first round pick would wind up higher in the draft lottery than the pick owed to them by the Knicks. That's how it's shaping up so far.

Posted on: November 27, 2010 1:09 pm
 

Al Jefferson loves playing for the Jazz

Posted by Royce Young

It's always great to see a talented player get to play on a team that deserves his ability. We saw it with Kevin Garnett finally getting out of Minnesota (where he nearly carried them over the top) to go to Boston to play on a championship team.

And now another former Celtic who moved to Minnesota in that Garnett deal, is playing for a team where he feels his talent and ability actually means something other than rebuilding.

Al Jefferson, after the Jazz beat the Lakers in a hard fought, 112-106 win, was a but emotional following the game.
“I haven’t beaten the Lakers in probably six years, since I left Boston, and I haven’t been in a playoff game in six years and it felt like a playoff game. Every possession counted. Kobe Bryant being who he is, and we were down, we fought back, we didn’t give up. We won against all odds. It was just amazing, man. I’m overwhelmed. It’s never been like this before, and to be a part of this. It just meant a lot to me.”
That quote, is awesome.  And we're just about 20 games into the season. He may cry like I did at the end of Marley and Me when the Jazz take the floor for their first playoff game in front of that awesome, crazy Salt Lake home crowd.

I love how much this means to Jefferson. It makes you feel for the guys out there fighting away on bad teams right now (hello Andre Iguodala). Hopefully either their group turns it around or they can find a home where they can find some success.

The Jazz are 12-5 and sitting atop the very rough and tumble Northwest Division. Jefferson hasn't necessarily been terrific, but he's averaging 16.9 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. But those things don't matter to him. The fact he's playing for a winner is all that does.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 6:08 pm
 

Your NBA Fantasy Black Friday Deals

Your NBA Black Friday Fantasy deals: come find the bargain fantasy guys you're looking for.
Posted by Kevin Goodwin

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. The day we shake off those paralyzing turkey chemicals and drag ourselves out of bed in the wee hours. The day we maraud from store to store like a pack of ravenous credit-wielding zombies. The day we do the ridiculous in the name of big deals and unparalleled savings. Black Friday hath cometh.

Fortunately, Fantasy owners don't even have to leave their couch to find great bargains … and it's the right time of year for those as well. I've got 10 super-saver steals that could put your team on the track to success in the New Year.  Don't let those other fantasy shoppers beat you to the bargains!

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Calderon's Fantasy value is sky high, and Fantasy owners are clearing out long-term roster space to snatch him up. Since Jarrett Jack was traded to New Orleans, Calderon will see the lion's share of minutes up in Toronto.  He has been producing at a high level recently, and is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 assists over his last four games entering Black Friday. He should continue to perform for the Raptors, and for Fantasy owners from here on out.

Real Deal Equivalent: Squinkies Bubble Pack - $11.99 at Babies"R"Us
They're definitely not the most glamorous item on the list, but are widely considered to be one of the hottest grabs of the season. It's kind of like the Furby toy from a few years ago, except they're supposedly very collectable to kids, and will likely be worth holding on to for the long haul.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Flynn still doesn't have a timetable for his return, but it's getting closer. Minnesota brought in veteran guard Luke Ridnour to push Flynn for the starting job this year, but a hip injury to Flynn deflated any competition. Now, Flynn will have to prove his worth to coach Kurt Rambis. We all know Rambis was limiting Kevin Love's minutes to start the season, so it's unclear how he'll treat Flynn when he does return. But Fantasy owners who are hurting in the guard position should keep an eye on Flynn. He has more of an upside than Ridnour, and can offer you around 13-15 points and 4-5 assists per game. He also shot 35.8 percent from downtown last season, which is a nice gift for Fantasy owners around the holidays.

Real Deal Equivalent: 1/3 Carat Diamond White Gold Bypass Bridal Ring Set - $219 at Wal-Mart
Gets the job done... and looks enough like the high-end alternatives when the time comes to take it out of the box. Plus, it'll be easy to cry poverty when you're dealing with those pesky alimony hearings.

    3. Troy Murphy, forward, New Jersey Nets (Owned 85 percent/Started 10 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Murphy has been inactive for five games now, and is sitting behind Kris Humphries and rookie Derrick Favors on the depth chart. Coach Avery Johnson hasn't been able to figure out what to do with Murphy. He missed the preseason and the start of the regular season with a back injury, but is now on the shelf because of his conditioning. The Nets traded for Murphy with the hope that he could be a starter, and now he's not playing or bringing in any Fantasy points. Not what anyone wants from a Round 5 or 6 draft choice (his average in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues). Still, in leagues where he's available, Murphy would be worth grabbing while you can. If he gets traded by the Nets, he could go back to his 15-10 stat line, and smart Fantasy owners could get him on the cheap if they can afford to keep him reserved until he sees more court time. Keep in mind, Murphy also has a history of late-season success -- Since the 2006-07 NBA season he's averaged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game before the All-Star break and 14.8 PPG and 9.1 boards post All-Star.

Real Deal Equivalent: Samsung SMX-F40 SD camcorder - $119 at K-Mart
Sure, it might not be something you're going to use all the time, but when the battery is fully charged, this baby could come in pretty handy. Just think how useful it could be when one of your buddies falls asleep in the middle of a party. Youtube!  

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Okur hasn't played yet this season, and is available in almost half of Fantasy leagues. With the Jazz playing so well to start the year, owners with room on their roster may have good reason to add the veteran big man. As a career 37.8 3-point shooter, Okur is hardly a typical center, which makes him a nice player to own in category-based leagues. Utah's addition of Al Jefferson may scare some owners off, but nabbing Okur now before a timetable is set could pay nice dividends.

Real Deal Equivalent: Yankee Candle Pine & Cinnamon Jar Candles - $17.99 at Kohl's
Maybe you didn't have time to cut down a premiere 7-footer in the draft. Maybe you're just desperate to hide the despicable funk emanating from those 1997 Jordans that can't seem to find their way to the trashcan. Either way, this is a great way to Spruce up your lineup for the winter run... terrible pun, definitely intended.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Przybilla is set to make his season debut on Black Friday, which gives Fantasy owners a perfect opportunity to check him out. He'll likely be rusty coming off knee surgery, but is a center worth keeping tabs on or adding in deeper formats. He doesn't score many points, but is a good source of rebounds and shoots with high efficiency from the field -- 55.5 percent for his career. Also, take in to account that Portland needs bodies on the frontcourt, which means Przybilla will get plenty of playing time. Remember he should be targeted in deeper Fantasy formats, not standard leagues.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Craftsman 179cc 24'' Two-stage Snowblower - $583 at Sears
Powerful, but a little one-dimensional. Still, winter can be long and arduous, as can the NBA season. Finding a bargain like this could be the easiest way to clear your path to the playoffs.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Butler isn't having a very good start to the season, which means now is the time to buy. Some Fantasy owners may want to drop him, but realize he's worth too much to just throw away. That being the case, they may be willing to part with Butler for next to nothing. He hasn't fully adjusted to being in Dallas since coming over from Washington, and the one thing that would help Butler's Fantasy appeal most is being traded. So, owners that like to gamble could make the move for Butler now. Last year, Butler averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 boards with the Mavericks, so the potential is there for Fantasy owners to see a nice return on their investment.

Real Deal Equivalent:  55" Westinghouse 120Hz, 1080p LCD TV - $799.99 at Best Buy
Still a great grab if you need to upgrade. Sure, it may not shine as brightly as LED or have the pop of 3D, but, a few years ago, this was a top-of-the-line model.

    7. Brandon Roy, guard, Portland Trail Blazers (Owned 99 percent/Started 22 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Roy should be owned in every Fantasy league out there, but while he battles knee injuries, owners are definitely grinding their teeth for drafting him so high. Some owners may be looking to jump ship, since this is the lowest Roy's Fantasy value has ever been, and that means it's the perfect time to get an upper echelon guard for dirt cheap. If you can pry Roy away from another owner, there's a good chance he would make your team better immediately. Portland may limit his court time to preserve him for the year, but Roy has the ability to produce solid numbers in 20-25 minutes of action.

Real Deal Equivalent:  High-Performance Samsung Laptops - $150 off at Best Buy
Yeah, you may have to open up your wallet if you want to bring home a big toy like this, but it's definitely a great option if you want to get some high-caliber equipment without paying full retail.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Collison was undoubtedly overvalued entering this year. He was taken with an average draft pick of 40, based solely on his 18.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds as a starter last year in New Orleans. This means that current owners are probably very disappointed with his 14.3 points and 4.3 boards per game through the first five weeks of the season. I smell a sale. Collison still has the potential to be a 17 and 7 guy, and owners should check their league and see if they can strike up a deal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  All adult jeans - $15 at Old Navy
Not exactly the designer dungarees you might find in a Madison Avenue boutique, but a reasonably stylish alternative for the price. Let's face it; you could easily pay twice as much any other time of year. Yeah, I used the word "dungarees". No, I'm not a septuagenarian

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Carter is currently dealing with some bumps and bruises which are keeping him out of the Magic lineup. He's also averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and assists: 13.9, 3.2 and 2.5, respectively. Clearly, Carter is no longer the high-flyer he once was, but he does have the capability to go off on any given night. Again, we've got a player who could be reeled in for cheap based on the disappointment tied to inflated preseason expectations. If you don't mind being patient with the veteran, trading for Carter could be a steal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Radio Flyer Big Wheel - $35 at Wal-Mart
Yeah, we all remember how awesome these were when we were kids. Of course, back then, a few rocks in the tires would only help you sound cooler when you peeled out down the driveway. It's a sentimental choice, I know, but you can't look past the classics when you're in the market for a dependable option.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Andersen just made his season debut for the Nuggets, which is why he's available in 90 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. He's coming off an offseason knee surgery, so he's a bit of a risky option, but there are definitely Fantasy owners out there who are in desperate need of a big man. Injury bug, anyone? Those owners might be happy to see Andersen fill a void in their lineups. He's not worth owning in standard leagues, but is definitely worth a flier in deeper Rotisserie formats. He's a bargain and a half right now.

Real Deal Equivalent:  46" APEX LCD TV, 1080p 60 Hz - $449 at Target
Absolutely jaw-dropping color. And, while it's not the most recognized brand on the market, it's got some versatility -- Size enough to hold it down in the living room, and could be a huge addition to a bedroom-sized fantasy lineup.

Posted on: November 16, 2010 10:04 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 10:08 pm
 

Power Rankings 3-Up, 3-Down: Week 3

The Texas Two-Step is high among the greats while the Magic have no magic and the Knicks have no sense, in this week's 3-Up 3-Down.
Posted by Matt Moore

http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nba/photogallery/jazzmascot.jpg <!-- [endif]-->


Our
Power Rankings for Week 3 are out. Here at F&R, we'll give the the direct line to who was notable in the rankings from week to week. Here's three who are up and three who are down in week 3.

http://sports.cbsimg.net/u/photos/basketball/nba/img14272944.jpg 3-Up


San Antonio Spurs (1): 8-1, and their only loss to the also 8-1 Hornets. So why am I not as big on them as our distinguished Power Rankings Overlord? Probably because their signature win was against a Thunder team that can't decide which way the sun sets, or against a Suns team that let's face it, historically doesn't have much luck against them (last spring excepted). Confusing the issue is Tim Duncan's performance. Duncan's still doing all the things Tim Duncan does off-ball, but his rebounds, points, and percentages are down. That the Spurs are 8-1 despite that makes you wonder, can they really be this good without him playing up to TD standards, or conversely, how good are they going to be if he starts playing to that level?

In closing, Manu Ginobili owns your face. Thanks for your time.

Dallas Mavericks (2):
A Texas Two-Step. How nice. The Mavericks topped the might Hornets (that sounds weird) last night, no doubt helping them climb up behind the Spurs. Dirk Nowitzki is rebounding at a better rate than he has since the 06-07 season. They have the ninth best offense in efficiency and the fifth best defense, landing them a top five spot in differential of points produced vs. allowed per 100 possessions. That's pretty good. Throw in the work they've done in besting Denver once out of a home and home and taking down the Celtics, and that's good enough to show good cause for why so many people thought this team would wind up second overall in the West.

The lingering questions of the backcourt depth remain, Caron Butler does not look tip top, and they still need Beaubois back. But Tyson Chandler has filled in much better than anyone anticipated.

Utah Jazz (6):
Well, that was a pretty good week. The Jazz toppled four playoff teams in the East, all on the road, in five days. Losing to OKC was simply an inevitable return to the mean. But the difference this year is the Jazz' mean is a little bit meaner than in years past. For all the concerns that this team wouldn't be as talented as in years prior, they look stacked, top to bottom. Speed, versatility and depth in the backcourt, size, scoring ability and smooth rotations on the defensive end in the frontcourt. And, yeah, Deron Wililams? He's pretty insanely good.

3-Down


Orlando Magic (7):
You'd have thought the Rashard Lewis contract would have bitten them sooner than this, but hey, worse late than never, I suppose. The Magic have one win against a team above .500 and two losses to Miami to and Utah. It's early yet so they haven't had many cracks at it, but throw in a loss to the Raptors, and yeesh, not a great start for SVG's crew. The defense is still excelling, but the offense has fallen off a cliff, thanks in part to Rashard Lewis not being able to hit the broad side of a barn. And yet still, Ryan Anderson gets no minutes. Crying shame, really.

Denver Nuggets (12): Be wary of this team, friends. The resume is solid, the numbers hold up (10th in offense, 14th in defense). And they toppled the mighty Lakers first. But this team is very much on the cusp of oblivion. They can fall apart completely, as they did last night against the Suns. Melo's playing well, but we all know that situation is still ticking. In the meantime, they can beat anyone or lose to anyone on any given night. Teams you can't figure out? They're usually not very good.

New York Knicks (24): Oh, Knicks. You had such promise. Felton's numbers look great but suffer in execution, they can't close, Amar'e can't do everything and Anthony Randolph is a disaster, yet again. Here's what I don't get. They're not bad at defense, they really aren't, at eleventh in the league. Their offense is struggling. Yet Raymond Felton has a 34% assist rate and is shooting well. They have 7 players with a PER above 14.5 but they just don't look like a good basketball team. Either this team's record doesn't reflect its performance, or its performance doesn't reflect what kind of team it really is.




Posted on: November 16, 2010 11:08 am
Edited on: November 16, 2010 11:29 am
 

Game Changer 11.16.10: Comeback failures

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: MAVS TAKE A BAT TO THE HIVE

Take note of this. The Hornets were on the road in a hostile environment. They were facing a team that features a set of players that maximizes on several of their weaknesses, most notably the fact that no one has anyone who can guard Dirk Nowitzki and the Hornets have zero perimeter defenders to chase down Jason Terry, regardless of the results of a playoff series two years ago. The Hornets faced a stifling performance against Chris Paul which held him to two points and four assists in the second half and some heroic plays from Dirk Nowitzki on broken plays.

And the Hornets lost by only three.

If that's not a sign of how good the Hornets are, I don't know what is.

So how did they shut down Paul? Easy. They threw the kitchen sink at him. Take a look.



That's three defenders closing on Paul as he comes off a deep-wing three and rolls baseline. Nowitzki is tall enough to block out the sun so Paul can't lob, Kidd is cutting off the corner three even as he hedges to force Paul off the quick baseline turnaround, and Tyson Chandler is another big body keeping Paul baseline and cutting off the wing outlet. Paul's forced to move baselines to the corner with the shot clock winding down and take a contested step-back three that misses badly. Piece of cake. You just have to throw three defenders at him and hope Willie Green isn't smart enough to figure out that if he slices down the lane behind the defense Paul's going to have a perfect wrap-around for him.

In short, the Mavericks' defense was sublime in the second half and it still almost wasn't enough. Forget best point guard. Chris Paul so far might be the MVP.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT

Tyrus Thomas: 20 points on 11 shots, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals. We're going to ignore the 7 turnovers because we're nice like that and Thomas frowns enough.

Runners-Up:

Dirk Nowitzki: 25 points on 7-12 shooting, 10 rebounds, 3 assists. Nowitzki's rebounding is the highest both in raw per-game and percentages it's been in three years.

Carmelo Anthony: 20 points, 22 rebounds. We're going to give Melo the Gadget but this has to come with a preface. He took 19 shots, had 6 turnovers and was playing the Suns who couldn't rebound if Mose Malone's clone showed up for them last night.

Monta Ellis: 27 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, just 1 turnover in 31 minutes.

WHAT YOU MISSED

IT CAME FROM THE BLOGS

From Orlando Pinstriped Post on their quietly dominant win over the Grizzlies:

I believe the Magic really emphasized exploiting low-post size mismatched tonight, but with varying results. They cleared out to allow fifth option Quentin Richardson post up the far smaller, less physical O.J. Mayo inside, for instance. And Rashard Lewis had his shot against the likes of Sam Young and Tony Allen, but Lewis didn't enjoy similar success. Playing primarily at small forward, he shot 3-of-13 from the field and 1-of-5 from three-point range. While the Magic want--and, frankly, need--him to shoot a better percentage, I think the sorts of looks he got tonight are more in line with what we can expect for him the rest of the way. Brandon Bass' emergence at power forward has eaten into Lewis' time at that position, which means more play at the three for Lewis.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF COMEBACK

Similar to the Hornets, the Jazz faced insurmountable odds and still had a chance at the game winner. Unfortunately, Andrei Kirilenko took a pass from Deron Williams who was being shadowed similar to Paul, and elected for some sort of reverse underhand double-pump monstrosity of a shot intead of resetting the offense to work for a three and the Jazz' winning streak of comebacks fell short. The scariest part for the NBA? Kevin Durant woke up last night with 30 points on 17 shots. They hammered the Jazz inside to get to the line, and walked out of Utah with a win.

ANATOMY OF A NEAR-COLLAPSE

The Dubs were up by about a billion last night, killing the Pistons in the first half, before nearly letting the Pistons shove them back (while the Pistons were nearly shoving each other, but we'll get to that in a bit). Here's what it looked like, via our GameTracker.



FINAL THOUGHTS

The Nuggets have very nearly no reason for letting the Suns beat them last night. The Suns were on a back to back after a remarkably hot performance against the Lakers in LA and have no rebounders. Bad stuff.

On surface, Michael Beasley's big night looks great. 28 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists. But dig a little deeper and you find it took him 25 shots to get there and he was blocked three times. Beasley needs to be the Alpha Dog, he doesn't need to go off half-cocked, regardless of how bad the Wolves' offense is.

New Jersey? Not as bad as you think.

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 5:53 pm
 

What We Learned, 3.0



Posted by Royce Young


We're not there yet, but pretty soon, we'll be at the point in the season where we can quit saying, "Hey, it's still early." Pretty soon, the early season trends we've seen will no longer be potential anomalies, but actual cold hard facts in figuring out who's good and who's not.

But it's still early. We're not there yet. Though we're not far off. And part of getting there is taking in the information we've got. So here are five things to have been learned from the last week in the NBA.

Remember the Spurs?
You probably aren't thinking about them. You're thinking about the Hornets who impressively moved to 8-0 over the weekend. You're thinking about the Lakers who despite losing two straight, look really, really good. You're thinking about if anyone can hang with a healthy Celtics squad. You're thinking about what's going on with the Heat.

But you probably aren't thinking about the San Antonio Spurs.

If you had to guess, what do you think their record is? Don't look. If I hadn't just watched them play Sunday night, I would've probably said 6-3. Maybe 7-2. Nope, the Spurs are 8-1 with only a loss to the undefeated Hornets. And they are winners of seven straight.

Every year without fail, we all try and write them off. We try and say, "Nah, this is when they get too old." But every year, again without fail, the Spurs are right there.

They are off to their best start since their last championship season in 2007-08 and have a roster that's completely clicking. Richard Jefferson is providing the extra scoring punch needed. Tony Parker is totally healthy and looking like his old self. Tim Duncan is settling in to a role that suits his older self perfectly. And the bench has guys like Matt Bonner (7-7 from 3 against Oklahoma City Sunday), Gary Neal and George Hill that can make an impact any given night.

It's just another boring old Spurs team again this season. And that's what makes them so dangerous.

It's time to talk about Michael Beasley. Before the season started, most agreed that Beasley getting away from South Beach and moving north was probably a good thing. And then David Kahn said Beasley stopped smoking pot, so of course there we all are expecting big things from him.

But he started slow. He was playing like his former inconsistent Heat self putting up 21 one night and six the next. So naturally, we all immediately forgot about Beasley and moved back to complaining about Kevin Love's playing time.

Except look at Beasley's last week. 42, 35 and 25, bumping his season average to 20.5 a game. He's scored at least 15 points in six straight games, is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3 and is getting to the line a decent amount.

What we're seeing right now is what we heard would happen all summer. Beasley can be a team's top option. Albeit, maybe a top option on a bad team, but a top option nonetheless.

He's a dynamic player that can balance the small and power forward positions extremely well, going inside and out. He's far more athletic than he appears and truly has a mature NBA game. It's always been the stuff upstairs that has held him back, but as of now, he looks to be figuring it all out.

Is this something we'll see all season? Hard to say. But today, Nov. 15, 2010, Michael Beasley is looking like a legitimately good NBA scorer. 

The Heat are far from invincible. I think the rest of the league may send gift baskets to Boston. In two games, not only have they shown the blueprint for beating Miami, but they've executed it so perfectly that it's almost hard for teams to not try and replicate.

Basically, it's simple: turn them into a halfcourt team and move the ball offensively, making them work every possession. Eventually, your shots will come and the Heat will start taking bad ones, sinking into a one-on-one style game.

Again, too early to really draw any huge conclusions. We're watching a team that's a favorite to win the East, but is facing an unprecedented situation. It's almost an entirely new roster. No sport works as much off chemistry and knowing the guy next to you and his tendencies than basketball. And the Heat are essentially learning entirely on the fly.

Against the bad teams, they've overwhelmed them with speed, talent, size and everything else. They've absolutely suffocated teams and overpowered them. They've looked like an unstoppable force. But against teams with a scheme, a plan and some equal talent, the Heat have looked confused, befuddled and overmatched. All symptoms of a group getting by on talent alone and playing out of sync.

But give it two more weeks. If a consistent style of play isn't there and a real idea behind what they're trying to accomplish, that big red panic button might be getting a dusting off.

Good thing nobody panicked in Utah. It was just a few weeks ago, I sat here writing something about the Jazz's 0-2 start and how nobody should worry, but in the kind of tone that sort of suggested maybe you should worry.

Well, don't worry. The Jazz are good. Really good.

Yeah, they keep digging themselves in weird holes early. But the way in which they're digging out makes them look even that more impressive. They are one of those teams that really looks like it ha a switch to flip on and boom, they're playing well.

Utah basically demolished the entire upper scale of the Eastern Conference in one wave of the hand, beating Orlando, Miami, Atlanta and Charlotte all on the road in a week's time. If that doesn't impress you, well, you're probably a Laker fan.

But it was so bright just a week ago.
The Knicks were at 3-2 with a slate of very winnable games directly ahead of them. Thinking of a 6-4 start definitely wasn't out of the question, and really, fantasizing past that wasn't too much of a stretch. Philly, Milwaukee, Golden State, Minnesota and Houston were waiting and the Knicks felt good about a decent start to the 2010-11 campaign.

Except they lost all five. And then there was that whole Kevin Love 31 rebounds thing.

It was definitely premature to think the Knicks were to turn everything around this quickly. Amar'e Stoudemire was a big addition, but he hasn't been playing great and in order for the Knicks to be anything, Stoudemire needs to be excellent.

New York's offense is predicated on making shots and in order to make them, they need open ones. Mike D'Antoni had a point guard that was terrific at creating those in Phoenix, but Raymond Felton doesn't quite have that same knack.

It's too early on to write the Knicks off yet because the back end of the East appears to be wide open in the seventh and eight spots, but with a four-game road trip ahead, those illusions of a 6-4 start may quickly be the reality of a 3-11 one.
 
 
 
 
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