Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Suns
Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:56 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 8:58 am
 

Game Changer: 11.19.10: Streamers and snarls

Posted by Royce Young

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: GEORGE KARL MIFFED AND IMPRESSED

By Ben Golliver


It's not every night you see Denver Nuggets coach George Karl storming across the floor as streamers fall, but that's what happened in the Rose Garden on Thursday night after a non-call on a last gasp Arron Afflalo three-point attempt allowed Portland to sneak away with a 86-83 home win. Amid a chaotic scene of cheerleaders, streamers and celebrating players, Karl and guard Chauncey Billups pleaded Denver's case, that Portland guard Wesley Matthews fouled Afflalo on the release, but to no avail.

"Obviously everybody in the building thought it was a foul," Karl told reporters afterwards. "I thought the fans even thought it was a foul. The fans went 'huuuuuhh.' I didn't look at it so I don't know for sure, but it was a tough whistle to get, you don't usually get that on the road, but I thought that was a foul."

Karl said he would send tape of the play to the league office for review but seemed resigned to the loss. "If they just miss it, it's just part of basketball. 

Another part of basketball is injuries, and both Denver and Portland have dealt with their fair share this season. Both teams really only played eight players on Thursday night, although Denver's Melvin Ely saw the court for 30 seconds. Karl said he was impressed by the Blazers, who fought through a tough week with news that center Greg Oden is done for the season with microfracture knee surgery and played without all star guard Brandon Roy on Thursday night. "They're still a very good team," Karl told CBSSports.com. "Every team goes through injuries. [Portland Trail Blazers coach] Nate [McMillan] doesn't cry about it. They're a talented, playoff team with the injuries they have."

Karl's Nuggets held the short-handed Blazers in check defensively for most of the game, but 24 points and 10 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge helped put Portland over the top. "I thought we did a hell of a job on [Aldridge] except for one thing: offensive rebounding. He was Pau Gasol'ing us on the tips on the rim, tipping the balls in. He's going to make some shots, but if you take away his offensive rebounds I think probably we defended him as well as I expect us to defend him."

POST-GAME AUDIO FROM GEORGE KARL

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Wesley Matthews was a beast for Portland. He notched 20 points and 10 rebounds and essentially shot the Blazers back in the game in the first half.

Despite the Suns getting pummeled, Grant Hill still scored 21 points on 8-9 shooting. The old guy just keeps playing well. Send Brandon Roy and Greg Oden to Phoenix, k thanks.

Kind of a weak night for good box scores, so let's give Marcus Camby and his 14 boards a small shout-out.

ORLANDO TRIES TO ONE-UP

It hasn't been a great trip to Florida for the Phoenix Suns. Wednesday, the Heat put a beating on them, basically sending them to a Orlando with their tails between their legs.

And then Thursday against the Magic, the Suns got more of the same.

They played without Steve Nash who sat out with a sore groin. That didn't matter too much as the Suns couldn't score, couldn't stop anybody and basically, couldn't play intelligent basketball.

Phoenix turned the ball over 18 times, went just 3-18 from 3 (remember when they hit 22?) and missed nine free throws. The final score was 105-89, but that only came from a 30-14 fourth quarter for the Suns where Orlando's starters didn't play a minute.

But enough about the Suns. The Magic looked pretty impressive. It was like they watched the Heat whoop Phoenix and said, "Oh yeah? Well watch us!" Dwight Howard was outstanding notching 20 points on 8-9 shooting and showcased a number of his increasingly polished post-game. Jameer Nelson had 12 assists and set up teammates wonderfully. And Orlando had all 11 guys that played score, with even distribution throughout.

It was a total dismantling and something the Magic needed after having a lackluster week. I guess if you need a pick-me-up in Florida, just invite the Suns over.

FACE, Roy Hibbert

Eric Gordon is becoming almost a nightly posterizer. His latest victim was the Indiana big man as Gordon went high and threw down hard.


DON'T MISS

PARTING THOUGHT

Somehow, the Clippers are awful. They lost again, this time falling to Indiana 107-80 which drops them to 1-12. Before the season, this was really kind of unthinkable. In fact, after the Clips' first game, it was unthinkable. They lost the opener, but they looked good. They looked like a team that might be able to surprise some people.

But despite solid play from Blake Griffin, the team just stinks. There isn't a go-to scorer, they don't play defense and the young guys aren't performing all that well. They're extremely young which is a good excuse, but still, one and twelve?

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 4, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Game Changer 11.4.10: Can't Stop Dirk

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: DIRK AND COMPANY GET IT DONE AGAINST DENVER

The trap we often fall into when evaluating great performances is that somehow, the defense was useless. That they were pathetically overmatched by the greatness we just witnessed. But in truth, it's often a great performance in the face of great defense. Great players hit tough shots and figure out a way to get it done. And that's what Dirk Nowitzki did against a surprisingly good defensive approach from the Nuggets. Rookie Gary Forbes and Al Harrington did everything they could, had position, got a hand in his face, and Nowitzki just kept working them over with the fadeaway. There were a few times when questionable switches and assignments doomed the Nuggets. J.R. Smith trying to defend Dirk? Aaron Afflalo? That's not going to work, kids. He may be "Euro-soft" or whatever (averaging 9.8 rebounds this season), but he's still 7 feet. And he took advantage of it.

But the Nuggets hung around, getting good perimeter contributions, and had a shot to win it with time expiring. Their offensive set of choice? Contested jumper for Carmelo in ISO. Clang. Ballgame. Don't get me wrong, Carmelo's a fantastic clutch scorer. But not even a post possession or a pick and roll or anything? Just, here, try and nail it over your guy, Melo? And that's why Dallas usually finishes with a better record than Denver.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES:

Kobe Bryant: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 turnover. Took 22 shots to get there, but who cares when he's producing that many points in total?

Monta Ellis: 39 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals.

Deron Williams: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists

Dwight Howard: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 blocks in 23 minutes.

Tim Duncan: 25 points on 13 shots, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocked shots, 6 turnovers

SO RISES A NEW POINT:

Baron Davis is out because he is out of shape, which surprises no one. But what is surprising is that in last night's win, yet another membe of the Kentucky 5 showed up to make the case for being a legit NBA starter. Eric Bledsoe stepped in and dropped 17 points, 8 assists, and 2 blocked shots as the Clippers got their first win. The kid's got moxy, we'll give him that. Bledsoe at times elected to take contested 3s with time on the clock. But he also got things going, ran the offense, and was very efficient for a rookie starting. All this and the Clippers blew out the Thunder like they weren't even there. It's not a small element if Bledsoe can become the point guard of the future for the Clippers. That makes them a much more complete team and gives them a 1-2-3 punch with Gordon and Blake Griffin.

THE Jazz BAND IS BACK ON STAGE:

Things looked bleak for the Jazz as the season started. But in their past two games, they've absolutely annihilated their opponents, as they did to the Raptors last night. The Jazz dropped 66 on the Raptors in the first half and that was all she wrote. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, or as I like to call it, Aul Jeffsap, dropped 48 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and a block on the Raptors, on a night where Andrea Bargnani was actually rebounding. There were so many questions about how those two would work together, but at least early on, they're monstrous offensively. Jefferson's savvy and poise is offset by Millsap's explosiveness and tenaciousness. The Raptors had no return volley and that was it.

VIDEO-A-GO-GO



WHAT YOU MISSED:

KB says KG can still make this right . Bogut and Garnett got into it . And Steve Nash is not retiring .

3-BALL, CORNER POCKET:

Richard Jefferson nailed 4 three-pointers from the corner last night, and had himself a barrage from the arc.

Richard Jefferson hits four 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to beat Suns from 48 Minutes of Hell on Vimeo .

RONDO DO WHAT RONDO DO:

It's overtime. The Celtics need a bucket to get some space on the Bucks. So the Celtics go to their best option. Let Rajon Rondo create.



Rondo sets the play and moves to the left wing where KG is moving to set him a pick to clear baseline. Paul Pierce has his hands on his knees on the far wing, he's harmless. (HINT: He is not harmless.)



As Rondo comes off the pick, Davis is high, pulling defenders away from the basket. Ray Allen sets a pick low, and because it's Ray Allen, the Bucks rightly are concerned with keeping tabs on him. Meanwhile, they're trying to prevent the pick and pop from Garnett at 18 feet which is deadly. So you'll see three Bucks players creating a wall watching that pick and roll. The problem? There's no one behind the play to watch... the Truth, who has come hard off of that wing to the low cut. Rondo is dribble hesitating to pull Ilyasova out and freez him where he wants him.



Rondo's got one lane, over the top of the tall Ilyasova, to the bucket, without making Pierce go up too much. Pierce is nto really an alley-oop guy at this point, so Rondo's got to get it where Pierce can grab it and immediately go up to score. He's got a narrow lane, with a defender closing off the pick (and Garnett is still open if he want to opt for the pick and pop). Meanwhile, the Bucks have just realized they don't know where Pierce is.

Too late.



Look at all the space Pierce has when he catches the pass from Rondo. They've managed to create space right under the basket and all they need is a great pass from Rondo. Which he delivers on target.



Too easy.

See you tomorrow on the Game Changer.

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 2, 2010 12:16 am
 

Jared Dudley signs 5-year, $22 million extension

Suns forward signs 5-year, $22.5 million extension.Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the agent for Jared Dudley confirms the Suns star will get the payday he's been hoping for. Berger reports that Dudley tonight signed a 5-year, $22.5 million extension. Dudley had been hopeful, but pessimistic of getting the extension. The Suns forward averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per 40 minutes last season, which is nothing to write home about, but was a huge part of the Suns' bench mob which helped them to the Western Conference Finals.

Defense is where Dudley makes his money, and last year, according to Synergy Sports, he held opponents to 36% shooting in the post with a 20% turnover rate (!) and 40% in isolation. That's good work. 5-years and $22.5 million isn't bad for a do-it-all forward, but you have to wonder if the Suns will regret the length of that contract in a few years when Steve Nash is gone. But hey, maybe the CBA will wipe it out anyway.

Dudley, on his part, is pretty excited.


Posted on: October 29, 2010 1:22 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Report: Dampier to Rockets

Report says Dampier will sign with Rockets. Posted by Matt Moore

Our long national ... apathy may finally be over. Hoopsworld is reporting that Erick Dampier has made his decision, many moons after "The Decision", and will join the Houston Rockets as a backup center. The Rockets are at 15 players, so there will have to be cut to make room for him, likely Ishmael Smith. Smith may wind up in the Rockets' D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers who they use quite a bit.

Dampier makes for a valuable addition to the Rockets. Against the Lakers, when they had a center with size in, they flourished. Those players went out due to minute restrictions or endurance, and production dropped. They need that size, despite having an absolute plethora of bigs. Dampier gives them elite size to combat their opponents' bigger lineups. He's slow, old, and never been a great scorer, but he does his job and does it well. In limited minutes, he could pack a big punch for Houston, who has struggled in rebounding through their first two games.

Dampier had been pursued by Toronto, Portland, Phoenix and Milwaukee, with heavy talks of him signing with all three. But Dampier took his time, or those teams pursued other options, and so now Houston will bring him in and slide Chuck Hayes to backup power forward. The race for size in the Western Conference continues.


Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 10:57 am
 

Shootaround 10.27.10: Celebration

Boston's celebrating knocking down the ringer, the Lakers are celebrating being champs with their faces on rings, and ... Bieber.
Posted by Matt Moore


  • Well, you know, the Boston media's probably being their usual reasonable selves this morning. I mean, who would gloat aftet the first game of the season when everyone's been saying all that matters is what happens in April, May and June? I mean, come on, it's not like last night was really a statement ga....Oh.  From the Boston Globe :
"This was the most hyped and anticipated opening-night game in the league’s 65-year history. Everyone with an interest in the sport of professional basketball wanted to see the mighty Miami Heat, the team with the latest Big Three, the team that was going to re-glamorize the NBA, and never mind the fact we have a two-time defending champion located in the glamour capital of the US of A. 

But if the nation, the world, the uni verse, the galaxy, whatever, tuned in to see the mighty Miami Heat, they were re-introduced to the reality of the Boston Celtics , who have won a championship and have had two legitimate shots at others in the past three years, and who certainly look to be new and improved this season. The mighty Miami Heat could have been given a much easier opening-night foe than the Celtics’ squad that handed them an 88-80 loss to ensure they will not go 82-0."
  • The Lakers did what the Lakers do, come from behind in games where they look lackluster and walk out with a win. They were down big in the first half but stuck around because they did what championship teams do. They held on to their possessions .
  • The Lakers' championship rings have their faces on them. Literally . And part of the ball from Game 7 last year. If the Finals are Lakers-Celtics again, can we have them play with those rings up for grabs?
  • The Orlando Sentinel is laughing at the Heat... for losing to the Celtics... who knocked the Magic out of the playoffs this year. Rivalry priorities. You do not have them.
  • When you face the Suns, you have to be able to withstand runs. And that's what Portland did with their bench .

 

Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:55 am
 

Shootaround 10.15.10: Good and bad places

Dwight Howard thinks the new rule has its place, Monta Ellis' wife is keeping him in the right place, Andre Blatche needs a new place, and Al Jefferson is getting into a good place, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

So while the Union's suing and the Celtics are freaking out, Dwight Howard has come out and said that in regards to the new tech rules, "They want us to cut down on talking to the refs, as hard as that may be. We've adjusted to everything else that's put out there. So we'll adjust." That's right. The guy that watches cartoons, does funny voices, and is pretty much known as a big kid, he's the one who's being grown up about this. The world's gone mad. Dwight Howard is in a place where he can have perspective and Kevin Garnett is not. What is happening?

Marvel Comics is teaming up with ESPN and the NBA for a series of promotional spots . Does it bother anyone else how much the league is marketing towards the storyline of LeBron leaving Cleveland? Don't get me wrong, I've been softer on James than others because if you asked me if I wanted to go work somewhere nicer with two of my friends with a greater chance of success, I'd probably do it too. But rubbing Cleveland's nose in it constantly for marketing purposes and playing into their spurned response seems exploitive.

Monta Ellis is in a much better place emotionally and mentally. Why? Dude got married and his wife, a lady cop, has him in line. I can understand where Ellis is coming from, as I'm sure a lot of men can. You have your wilder 20's, jacking up shots and riding mopeds, and then you get married and that stuff gets thrown out. This would be better if she were a segway cop or something. Still, it's good to see Ellis in a better place.

Mike Wells of the Indy Star reports that both Dahntay Jones and Solomon Jones are on the block as the Pacers try and move for a big man.

TruthAboutIt.Net's Kyle Weidie is more concerned with Andre Blatche at the moment than Gilbert Arenas. Blatche boosted his stock immensely last year with some solid play on the blown-up Wizards. But he thinks of himself as a primary scoring threat, not as a complimentary piece, and has big chemistry issues. If they can get him on the market and get a good player to put next to Wall for him, they should move, and quickly.

Alvin Gentry is telling his team that if they want to be succesful this year, they're going to have to be a "GREAT" defensive team . This for a team that had a worse defensive rating than any of Mike D'Antoni's years. Even if you think Amar'e was the problem (and he wasn't), good luck with that, coach.

Sasha Vujacic suffered a concussion in practice and is out indefinitely. Perhaps he was confused on what being "unconscious" from the arc meant.

In case you missed it last night , you need to see John Wall destroying the Bucks in 40 secons. For real.

Mike D'Antoni called Anthony Randolph a "stat magnet. " If only that magnet wasn't similarly charged to that of a "high basketball IQ magnet" because Randolph seems to repel that idea. Many, Knicks fans especailly, hope this is the season that changes. He can be an absolute game-changer when his head's in the right place.

And finally, just a small basketball note. If you caught last night's Jazz game you saw this, but if you didn't, Al Jefferson looked really good. Even with an out-of-shape Deron Williams working with him, Jefferson was hitting from all over the floor and attacking the glass on both sides of the ball. Defensively he's still figuring the system out, but things are looking tremendously good for Utah's new acquisition.


Posted on: September 27, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 12:07 am
 

Heat Stroke, Volume 1: Media Day!

Posted by Matt Moore

The Heat are the NBA's biggest story. And in case you weren't aware of that, there are four thousand daily reminders of it. So while we're simultaneously participating in the completely ridiculous over-coverage of the Miami Heat, we'll strive to bring you examples of that coverage itself. This is your Daily Heatstroke.


The Heat held Media Day today in Miami before shipping off to Hurlbert Field in the panhandle for camp. The whole cast of characters was on stage, and the presser actually featured the Big 3 together on one stage. On the one hand, it meant that reporters could ask questions to all three of them at a time. On the other, it meant that the Triad didn't have to answer questions for too long. Which was a good thing, since the three seemed to be feeling affects of all the negative attention they've recieved. Their answers were about what you'd expect.
  • ESPN kicked off their coverage which promises to be as over the top as possible this season by breaking to the presser live. After coming on nearly thirty minutes late, the Big 3 commented very little on the season, but the tone was clear.
  • They are not happy with how they've been criticized, and have every intention of taking it out on the rest of the league. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a full rundown of the presser , courtesy of Ira Winderman:
  • James on the criticism he's received from NBA greats like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan: "I make my own decisions. I still respect Mike, I still respect Magic, Charles."
  • James on the hype around the Triad: "We understand this is an ultimate team sport. I know that by example."
  • More from James on the criticism he received: "I've moved forward. I don't want to dwell on the past. There's a lot of things said about me."
  • (James also told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he has made a written list of all the people who criticized him this summer.)
  • Chris Bosh on expectations: "You play 82 games; you're not going to have 82 good games. We're going to have fun, make sure we have fun."
ESPN will have coverage, every single day, of every single practice, during Heat training camp. Hope you guys aren't burned out yet. Get it? Burned out? On the Heat? Get it? Because they're the Heat? ...I'll be quiet now.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com