Tag:Amar'e Stoudemire
Posted on: December 1, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 1:11 pm
 

Game Changer 12.1.10: Kobe won't put down the gun

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: Lakers drown in a pool of Kobe


Kobe Bryant shot 9-25 last night, and given the chance, I'm pretty sure he'd shoot 18 of 50. For whatever reason, Bryant is unable to comprehend that more and more there are nights where he "doesn't have it" and continues to keep shooting the Lakers out of games, despite the fact that their offense makes it nearly impossible not to produce when executed with any reasonable set of effort. Bryant got hot in the third quarter of this game, and then:





That happened. And then more of that. Generally, lots of that. But the bigger problem of course was LA's defense, as noted by Silver Screen and Roll :

The Grizzlies ' point total of 98 doesn't look like much out of context. That's just pace masking deplorable defense on the Lakers' part. The Grizzlies' 88 possessions were the fewest of any Laker opponent this year, and their 1.11 points per trip is well above the season average for the Laker D. The problems tonight were mainly on the perimeter. Derek Fisher was egregiously bad against Mike Conley , who burned him off the dribble over and over. When Conley didn't have the ball, Fish frequently wandered away from him for no apparent reason, leaving him wideass open to make 4-of-5 three pointers. Conley, who's no one's idea of an All-Star point guard, finished with 28 points on only 16 shots (including free-throw possessions). I'm sure I don't need to tell you that 28 is far and away Conley's season high.

Kobe Bryant 's defense wasn't much better. He looked utterly indifferent to competing at the end of the court. On numerous occasions he simply refused to guard Xavier Henry . Literally, all the X Man (no idea if anyone really calls him that) had to do was jog around a light screen or even just walk to a different part of the court, and Kobe wouldn't follow him. Henry came into this game averaging five points a night and finished with 12.

Xavier Henry's emergence was downright baffling last night. His shot release is something akin to a sideways-launched screwball with the release time of a short documentary film but last night it was falling. The Lakers gave it to him, trusting the rookie would fail. He did not.

The final two possessions of this game were downright baffling. Conley dribbles off a Marc Gasol pick, Gasol rolls, and Conley attempts to throw a lob pass over Pau Gasol. Conley was right with his decision, wrong with his execution, and Pau took it away with those long meaty paws. Fast break to Kobe, who takes O.J. Mayo into the lane, Gay comes over to help, Kobe hesitates, then jumps. O.J. Mayo is not a tremendously athletic "burster." He has great top speed but not great leaping ability. He jumped higher than I've ever seen him jump, forcing Bryant to kick out to Artest who had Rudy Gay close on him. Game over.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:


Amar'e Stoudemire: 35 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block


Runner-Up:
Danny Granger: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block



FELTON, REDUX:


Raymond Felton has gotten it. Not "is starting to get it." He has gotten it. Amid his 21 point, 7 rebound, 10 assist, 3 steal performance in last night in a win over the Nets, Felton took a high pick from Stoudemire and rolled right. As the defense sagged baseline to cut off his approach, he bounce passed to Stoudemire who finished with a fury. It was Nash-like. It looked straight out of Phoenix circa 2006. And it's the precise kind of play that Felton needed to make earlier in the season that he's making now.

With Felton on an absolutely ridiculous binge as of late, the Knicks find themselves right back in the thick of things. Felton is never going to be Steve Nash, ever, ever, ever, but if he's a dirtier, sturdier, better defensively version of Steve Nash? The Knicks can go places, like a first round playoff entrance. And after a decade of failure, that's a huge start.

The Knicks are coming around and fast.

Josh McRoberts ALLEY-OOP. THIS IS NOT A TEST. JOSH MCROBERTS ALLEY-OOP


 



FINAL THOUGHTS:


Brook Lopez gave a commanding performance in a loss last night, the first time he's looked like himself this season. He had the mid-range short-J going, which is a huge part of his game.

Roy Hibbert again looked phenomenal, even though his dominance wasn't needed with Danny Granger destroying everything in his path.

Tim Duncan had a very Walton-esque (as someone described it on Twitter) triple-double with 15 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists. Golden State had no answer for anything the Spurs are doing and have really fallen back into their bad defensive habits of seasons past.

Tyreke Evans is not right. Maybe it's the ankle, maybe it's the attitude, maybe it's coaching, but he is simply not the force of nature he was last season. For whatever reason, moving him to shooting guard has not worked out. Even if he may not make logical sense at the point guard position, if your team plays better with him there, how can you argue against it until you get a better backcourt partner than Luther Head?
Posted on: November 26, 2010 10:35 am
 

Shootaround 11.26.10: Shopping for a forward?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Shaq to WEEI: “This is a great team. The best team I’ve been on. They’ve got a lot of weapons on this team, so on any given night anybody can be the leading scorer. The team’s very unselfish, so the shots are going to drop off and they easily could have shot them and did that but…great game. Great team effort. And now we’ve just got to keep it going.”
  • And the Clips won another game, making that two straight. ClipperBlog: "Perhaps the Clippers players are beginning to realize that they have a rare talent in their midst, an unstoppable force that can leave opponents demoralized and turn around the fortunes of a franchise, its history and curse be damned. Whether that story will be written in the coming months and years remain to be seen. But the first draft of that narrative is beginning to look promising."
  • Sactown Royalty: "We criticize, of course, but does anyone see an easy fix? Re-inserting Beno Udrih for Head would have left Gordon with 40. Moving DeMarcus Cousins into the starting five for Dalembert would have meant Cousins or Landry (who had some feisty back-and-forth with Griffin) would have been in early foul trouble. Putting Omri Casspi into the game between Evans and Greene probably wouldn't have helped force Evans to be more aggressive; the team's ubiquitous dependence on one-on-one play would have been re-emphasized. There are no answers until these players get better."
  • Hamed Haddadi has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. That's not good.
  • Darren Rovell on LeBron's return to Cleveland: "They joked that when LeBron James returned, they'd make him play in an empty arena. In reality, former fans of the star who left them for Miami have paid top dollar to witness his return to Cleveland next week. It actually might be the most expensive regular season ticket in Cavaliers history. Fans are paying an average of $234 per seat on the secondary market for the Dec. 2 game, according to StubHub That's the highest average price for a non-playoff game for as far back as StubHub's data goes. The previous high was January 2010 when the Lakers came to play in Cleveland. The average price for that game was $202, StubHub's Joellen Ferrer said."
Posted on: November 19, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:54 pm
 

Amar'e sought greater guarantees from Suns

New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire says he wanted greater financial guarantees from the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Ben Golliver  Earlier this week, we noted that Amar'e Stoudemire blasted his New York Knicks teammates recently for a lack of "urgency" that he believes has led to their poor play.  At the time, we noted that Stoudemire forecast his own fate this summer, turning his back on a veteran, talented Phoenix Suns group that made the Western Conference finals last year to sign with a young, untested Knicks team in free agency. Yahoo! Sports quotes Stoudemire today saying that his free agency decision was motivated in large part by the structure of the contract Phoenix offered him, which included only partial guarantees on the final years of the offer to hedge against the risks that come with Stoudemire's not insignificant injury history.
"It was a little difficult for me to grasp because of all the hard work I put in to stay healthy on the basketball court, and the effort I gave,” Stoudemire said. “I felt I should have had a little bit more leniency towards my contract. As I told Phoenix before and I told the fans, my first option was to return to Phoenix. But obviously they didn’t look at it that way.
“Let’s say I would have twisted an ankle or something, it has nothing to do with a knee or any other structural problems, my contract would have been voided. Security-wise, that wouldn’t be a great situation for me and my family, so I didn’t feel comfortable signing it.”
Stoudemire's desire for maximum financial security is completely understandable, but his reasoning only reinforces his own decisive role in his current predicament. Dealing with the Knicks struggles is on his broad shoulders alone. Any further comments regarding frustration with his teammates should be directed, first and foremost, to himself.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 1:39 am
Edited on: November 18, 2010 1:40 am
 

Greg Oden now faces hard road seldom set

Other players who have faced the kind of terrible injury luck Greg Oden has. Posted by Matt Moore

Kenyon Martin.

That's the first name you need to take a good hard look at. I asked the question on Twitter because honestly, I couldn't think of anyone else. Microfracture is hard enough on one leg. But two? That's madness. That's too much. But Trey Kerby reminded me: Kenyon Martin .

Martin underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee on May 6, 2005, and then on his right knee on November 15, 2006. That's two knee microfracture surgeries within two years, which is actually worse than what Oden has gone through... but only in terms of microfracture. Oden also had surgery on his broken patella last season and his broken wrist in high school ,

Martin, though, did have microfracture on each knee and has returned to being a solid player, despite his inability to get back on the floor this season with a knee injury. The huge difference, though, is that Martin was a star player before the first surgery. Oden's never been able to get on the floor without lingering effects of an injury in some capacity.

Grant Hill will also be brought up, but his was a specific recurring injury in his ankle. Amar'e Stoudemire is the constant discussion point when it comes to microfracture, to the point where the Suns refused to give him a contract guaranteed for five years due to concerns about the knee and Stoudemire has had insurance issues because of it and his eye injury. Tracy McGrady is another injury-embattled star who underwent microfracture, but again, his pre-injury career far exceeds that of what Oden accomplished in the league througout his career, which was injury-beset in the beginning.

For Oden to get back, it will take a monumental devotion to the game and fighting through every conceivable setback he can suffer, as well as some brief, tiny moment of good luck to fall upon him to let him heal correctly. As Ken Berger writes, though, Oden's time may be  up, especially in Portland .

Posted on: November 15, 2010 9:05 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:47 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire goes off on Knick teammates

New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire criticizes the effort of his teammates. Posted by Ben Golliveramare-stoudemire

The good news for Amar'e Stoudemire when he signed with the New York Knicks this summer? He was set to make almost nine figures over the course of his new contract.   The bad news? To earn the money, he would have to play for the New York Knicks. That was the rub the whole time for Stoudemire, who chose to leave a title-contending Phoenix Suns team, led ably by veteran point guard Steve Nash, the player best suited to bring out Stoudemire's potential greatness, to head east to play alongside youngsters, fringe professionals, and young fringe professionals. Just 10 games into the 2010 season, the other shoe has dropped for Stoudemire. After starting the season 3-7, including five straight losses, Stoudemire went off on his teammates after a Sunday night loss to the Houston Rockets.
"I don't understand why we're not playing with the urgency," a visibly dejected Stoudemire said. "I'm not used to that. We don't have that sense of urgency. It's almost as if it doesn't matter. That's something I'm not used to.
"I try to instill the fact that we have to play with sense of urgency. It's not like we won four games in a row, we lost four games in a row. We just still are not having the sense of urgency. We're not showing that we really want it."

Stoudemire's frustration is understandable, given that the team's current five-game losing streak included losses to 2-8 Philadelphia, 3-8 Minnesota and 3-6 Houston. If you can't stack up early season wins against those teams, it doesn't bode well for the long haul.

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, the Suns are coping without a real replacement for Stoudemire, using a bunch of perimeter power forwards to make due. While Nash seemed frustrated with his situation earlier in the season, the Suns are 5-4 after a surprising Sunday win over the Los Angeles Lakers.  Surely, that success makes New York's struggles that much more frustrating for Stoudemire. But one gets the feeling that more frustration is in store for Stoudemire this season, given that he is not capable of single-handedly carrying a team to the playoffs.  Until he gets a superstar tag-team teammate that has been rumored for months, Stoudemire needs to find a better way to deal with the losses. Otherwise, things could get a lot worse, quickly.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 5:06 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire does the Top 10 on Letterman

Posted by Royce Young

Friday night on The Late Show with David Letterman, the always fun Top 10 list was, "The Top 10 reasons Amar'e Stoudemire is excited to play basketball in New York."

They were all pretty solid but my favorite were No. 8 ("I finally get a chance to use my Yiddish") and No. 5 ("If I played in Miami, I'd never get to touch the damn ball"). It's the one of the perks in playing in the biggest market - you get to be on TV shows that have nothing to do with basketball and become a celebrity off the court. I bet Chris Bosh is soooooo jealous.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 10:44 am
 

Nash concedes PHX may be rebuilding, but why?

Posted by Royce Young

Nobody is more of a softspoken statesman whose words carry big sound than Steve Nash. He knows how to say just what he wants in order to get what he wants. And in an interview with SB Nation Arizona, Nash surprisingly conceded that the Suns may be ready to take a step back and rebuild. Or if he had money on this season, not to take the Suns.
"To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys."

"Maybe we need to take a step back, regroup, be a little bit more patient, build a really good team and see how good we can be later in the year instead of jumping out of the gate and be like, 'Oh, we've got to finish top two or three in the West and give ourselves a chance to win the West and go to the Finals.' That stuff can come if we really improve, but we can't put that type of pressure on ourselves right away because we are a new team."
Translation: We might not be that good. So please Suns fans, hang in there with us.

What's refreshing is that Nash understands this. He knows Hakim Warrick isn't Amar'e Stoudemire. He knows that Grant Hill aged another year. He knows that Hedo Turkoglu isn't the answer to anything but "Ball? Ball." He knows that though improved, Robin Lopez isn't any kind of franchise big man. Nash knows this. And he's not pretending to be leading a world-beating squad.

I don't know if there's any kind of subtle plan behind Nash's comments, or if he was just being honest about his team. Some players like Rodney Stuckey and Michael Beasley say things like, "On paper, we're the best evah!" and "Really, if you think super hard about it, we're probably the best team." Nash on the other hand says, "I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs." That's something new.

It is possible however that Nash has a plan with these types of comments. He is 36 years old and isn't getting any younger, despite what you hear about the Magic of the Suns training staff. Maybe he's worried about ending his career on a sour note. Maybe he's prodding management to go grab him some help. Or maybe he's just setting the fanbase up to lower their expectations.

It's easy to think that surely there's a motive here because in today's atmosphere of professional sports, who tells a fanbase their team might not be great? I don't deny that Nash set up fans for a lottery team for a reason. He did make a power play to get Shaq out of town and according to some, helped nudge Terry Porter out the door earlier than expected.

Most have been forecasting the Suns the set (GET IT?!) for a while now. Last season looked prime for it to happen, especially with the rumors of Stoudemire being dealt swirling all season. But they hung on to Stoudemire and made a surprising push into the third seed in the West and a conference finals run.

Now though, it looks like it might be time for Phoenix to fade. And their fearless leader knows it.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:27 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 12:28 pm
 

MeloDrama Update: Knicks back in the act?

Melo talks swinging towards New York, away from New Jersey. Posted by Matt Moore

So the season starts in a week, and Melo is still a Nugget. Will he stay there?

After our own Ken Berger reported last week that the Nuggets remain intent on moving him, there's word picking up that the Knicks may be getting back into the talks. Chris Sheridan reports that the Knicks are trying to work out a deal to move either Danilo Gallinari or Anthony Randolph to acquire a player that the Nuggets have more of an interest in. It's a curious report, in that you'd think that either A. Denver would be satisfied with a young forward with either shooting prowess or considerable athleticism, or if they did want one of those moved for an asset, it would be a draft pick they'd be shopping for. 

New York's pick this season was held by Utah due to the last of Isiah Thomas' genius maneuvers. In trying to clear space to bring in one of the Big 3 free agents, the Knicks obtained Tracy McGrady's expring contract from Houston. In return, they had to agree to a pick swap this year and to give Houston its 2012 pick as well. Teams are restricted from trading consecutive first rounders. 

If the Nuggets move Anthony, they'll be in a rebuilding mode. And while acquiring good players is good for the ticket sales, it's draft picks and movable assets that will help them get back into contention through a rebuilding process. 

It's still hard to see a scenario in which the Knicks can get back into this thing, unless the Nuggets are beginning to relent to Melo's pressure to move him, and move him where he wants. 

There are numerous reports that the Derrick Favors angle that would send Anthony to New Jersey is dead, based off of both the Nuggets and Nets backing off. Favors looked good in the second half against New York last night, after a dreadful preseason, so both sides have reasons to walk away from the deal. 

After seeing the Knicks in preseason, it would actually be kind of unfortunate to see Anthony wind up in New York at the cost of their young nucleus. Randolph and Gallinari provide a nice balance to each other's games, Stoudemire looks every bit the superstar they signed him to be, and Timofey Mozgov looks like a promising center prospect. Even Raymond Felton looked like the guard they need him to be for the first time last night. Adding Melo would give them a second superstar and a major scoring threat, but would also damage their flexibility and versatility, things which are important in Mike D'Antoni's system. 

We'll have to see if the Knicks feel they have to strike while the iron is hot or not. 
 
 
 
 
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