Posted on: January 7, 2011 9:34 am
Terrence Williams may see the floor, Yao Ming may not retire, and Rodney Stuckey likes unicorns (not really), all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
Terrence Williams may finally get some burn in Houston. We remain skeptical, since two different coaches have yanked his playing time away. Surprising fall for the swing man.
The Kings may be in a selling mood, but don't count Omri Casspi among the items on the front lawn.
Even after surgery.... again, Yao Ming may not be planning on retiring. Worse still than retiring though would be being one of those players who can't find a team to sign you because of your injury concerns. We hope the best for Yao, but in the event that his career can't get righted, we hope he is smart enough to take the high road out.
Nets fans had low expectations of Sasha Vujacic when he arrived in the Terrence Williams trade. But he's making a believer out of them now. He hit the game winner the other night in a huge home win over the Bulls.
Need4Sheed exposes Rodney Stuckey's twitter account as a bot with the headline: "Rodney Stuckey: 'I like unicorns, Cotton Candy, Star Trek and Harry Potter movies.'"
Carlos Boozer was not exactly thrilled with being benched for the final 14 minutes in the Bulls' loss to the Nets the other night.
In short, the Magic have a very balanced offense since the mega-trade.
Mayor Kevin Johnson in Sacramento put together a task force towards getting a new arena. It erupted into a verbal skirmish this week. Yeah, things are going that well.
Tyler Hansbrough will start at power forward for the Pacers, a sign of the desperation mounting in Indiana.
Suddenly Jodie Meeks being back in the lineup is a big deal. Strange times.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:48 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Kings appear on the verge of turning things over. While Paul Westphal and Geoff Petrie might be safe -- for now -- some changes look like they're coming. According to ESPN.com, the Sacramento is openly shopping guard Omri Casspi and is likely looking to move forward Carl Landry as well.
Reportedly the teams that have raised their hands in regards to Casspi are the Bulls and the Knicks.
Chicago, who missed out on J.J. Redick this summer when Orlando matched on his restricted contract, has been intent on adding another shooter to the rotation. Kyle Korver obviously is a marksman, but he's a one-dimensional marksman. Casspi, the Bulls believe, can be more of a well-rounded player that can defend, shoot and even create a little.
The Knicks, who couldn't seem to get Rudy Fernandez over the summer, would like Casspi for the same reasons. Good shooter, good scorer and a lengthy versatile defender. Honestly, the Knicks have a higher need, but because of the ever-complicated Carmelo Anthony situation, might balk at giving up any assets to seal the deal.
As mentioned in the original report, there are hurdles to jump for any potential suitors though. The Maloof brothers love Casspi not just as a player but as a diplomat. Having Casspi, the first Israeli-born player ever in the NBA, broadens your fanbase immediately. That's a nice perk on top of having a nice player. The Kings would likely attach a long-term contract to any deal involving Casspi who's earning a slim $1.25 million this year. Naturally that could dismiss the Bulls and Knicks who likely want to hold on to cap space like grim death.
On the other front, Carl Landry is reportedly "highly unlikely" to re-sign with the Kings, meaning Sacramento will probably ramp up efforts to move the forward. He has value out on the market right now and the Kings don't want to come out empty-handed on the trade that moved Kevin Martin out of town.
Landry is earning just $3 million on an expiring deal so a contender could be extremely interested in swooping his services up for a little run. (One team that comes to mind for me is the Thunder. They need an extra inside presence and have the assets to swing such a deal.) The Kings though aren't going to ask for pennies. They'll want real assets or picks for Landry, which is a lot to pay if it's just two months of renting him.
Sacramento is ready to start moving parts around. The current roster just doesn't seem to be headed in the direction the organization wants and while certain parts like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are off limits, others like Landry, Casspi, Francisco Garcia and even Jason Thompson might be for sale.
Posted on: December 31, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:56 pm
How are the NBA's 30 teams stacking up to pre-season expectations heading into 2011? Posted by Ben Golliver. Before the start of every season, the NBA's best statisticians and odds-makers weigh in with predictions for how all 30 teams will fare. The predictions themselves are often forgotten after a month or so, but what they represent -- expectations -- live on with fans throughout the NBA calendar. If a team is expected to win big and falls short, disappointment is unavoidable. If a team was projected to be middling and thrives, excitement knows no bounds. 2010 gives way to 2011 on Saturday, so here are year-end assessments for all thirty teams, based on how they have performed relative to pre-season expectations. To gauge that progress, I combined six projection modes -- including Las Vegas over/unders, Basketball Prospectus's system, John Hollinger's forecasts and multiple Basketball-Reference projection systems -- to create an aggregate projection for each team. I then compared that aggregate projection to a simple extrapolation of each team's progress, to see who was ahead of the curve and who was falling short. Note: Next to each team below is their current record, along with the expected difference between their year-end record and pre-season expectations. For example, if a team was projected to win 41 games and is now on pace to win 46 games, that team is 5 wins ahead of projections.
Exceeding big expectations The teams in this group were expected to be playoff teams, but have so far outpaced those expectations in a meaningful way. San Antonio Spurs (28-4, 20 wins ahead of projections) -- Not only do the Spurs hold the league's best record, they sit in the top spot for beating expectations, currently on pace to finish a whopping 20 wins ahead of where the experts thought they would be. Last season's injuries and questions about the aging group were causes for concern entering the season, but so far have not yet troubled the San Antonio machine in the slightest. Dallas Mavericks (24-7, 16 wins ahead of projections) -- Another veteran group that has defied questions about its age and chemistry to reel off an impressive start. A tweak that caused MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki to miss some time has slowed their pace, but only slightly. Boston Celtics (24-6, 15 wins ahead of projections) -- The Celtics came flying out of the gate looking for revenge after falling in the NBA Finals last year, but recent injuries to Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have pulled them back to Earth ever so slightly. How long Garnett is forced to sit with his leg injury will be a crucial factor in determining whether Boston remains this far ahead of projections. Chicago Bulls (20-10, 9 wins ahead of projections) – With so many new parts added via free agency, odds-makers hedged a bit on what Chicago was capable of. So far, despite the loss of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose has the Bulls looking poised to make a nice playoff run. Utah Jazz (22-11, 9 wins ahead of projections) – The Bulls of the West, if you will. Utah lost Carlos Boozer and Wesley Matthews and added Al Jefferson, and that turnover left people scratching their heads, unsure of what to expect. So far, Deron Williams, like Rose, has made sure the winning has continued in Salt Lake. Oklahoma City (22-11, 7 wins ahead of projections) – The early-season storyline, that the young Thunder might not be ready yet, has not materialized in full. Instead, the Thunder are on pace to post a big win total number and potentially advance to the second round of the playoffs. Atlanta Hawks (21-13, 7 wins ahead of projections) – A new coach, the same old players and improved divisional competition left the prognosticators split on what to expect from the Hawks. So far, the optimists are looking smart thanks in large part to the vastly under-appreciated Al Horford. Los Angeles Lakers (22-10, 3 wins ahead of projections) – A lull these past few weeks notwithstanding, it wasn’t that long ago people were talking about the Lakers as a potential 70-win team. Obviously, that pace would have put them ahead of any pre-season expectations, and their current pace isn’t too shabby, either. Exceeding low expectations
The teams in this group were expected to be average or below-average, and have instead risen above their respective expectations. New York Knicks (18-14, 9 wins ahead of projections) -- The Knicks are arguably the biggest over-achievers in the league, as not much was expected from this group. There's a reason New York feels rejuvenated: Amar'e Stoudemire and his band of misfits are way out-playing what people thought they were capable of. Credit guys like Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler for helping make that happen. Indiana Pacers (13-17, 3 wins ahead of projections) – The Pacers were truly awful last season, their lottery selection of Paul George didn’t make a lot of sense and they dumped Troy Murphy during the offseason, so there was plenty of cause for pessimism. Instead, the Pacers have shown solid flashes and have usually been competitive, a step forward that fans surely appreciate even if the team is still below .500. New Orleans Hornets (18-14, 3 wins ahead of projections) – There was a litany of reasons to be down on the Hornets early in the fall: a new coach, a new G.M., a rehabilitating superstar, a bungled ownership transition. Instead, New Orleans got out to the hottest start in the league and remains ahead of projections, although things have been rough in recent weeks due to the NBA’s ownership takeover and discussion of relocating the franchise.
At or near expectations
The teams in this group are who we thought they would be, or close enough. Philadelphia 76ers (13-19, right on projections) – A high lottery team last season, first round pick Evan Turner has yet to truly impact games, but Doug Collins has the Sixers on track for mediocrity again anyway. Detroit Pistons (11-21, 1 win behind projections) – A disjointed roster split between has-beens and not-yets had predictors down on the Pistons entering the season, and they were right on the money. Toronto Raptors (11-20, 1 win behind projections) – Chris Bosh’s departure for Miami left the statisticians expecting a gruesome year in Toronto, and that’s what it’s been, although trade acquisition Jerryd Bayless has added a spark.
Miami Heat (25-9, 1 win behind projections) – After assembling a superstar cast and weathering choppy waters early, the Heat are right on pace for the dominant regular season that was expected. Memphis Grizzlies (14-18, 1 win behind projections) – The Grizzlies have been the same “could be good, but it doesn’t work out” team for years now. Rinse and repeat again this season. Los Angeles Clippers (10-23, 2 wins behind projections) – Blake Griffin’s arrival has lifted spirits for LA’s other team, but they’re actually behind where experts thought they would be due to Baron Davis's disappointing play and an injury to Chris Kaman.
Falling short of big expectations
The teams in this group were expected to be major playoff players and have so far fallen behind what was expected of them. Orlando Magic (21-12, 3 wins behind projections) – Otis Smith blew up his roster in December because it was failing to reach the sky-high expectations established by the last few years of solid play. Will the new-look Magic, with Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, be enough to get Orlando back on the winning track? Portland Trail Blazers (17-16, 11 wins behind projections) – Portland has disappointed this season more than any would-be playoff team, and it’s no surprise why: Brandon Roy and Greg Oden have been non-factors due to knee injuries. The Blazers will use the next six weeks to assess whether it’s time to blow it up and try again. Milwaukee Bucks (12-18, 12 wins behind projections) – After a solid showing in last year’s playoffs and some development from 2010 Rookie of the Year finalist Brandon Jennings, things were on the upswing for the Bucks entering the season. Their goal of competing for the Central Division title hasn’t materialized, and Jennings is now sidelined with a foot injury.
Falling short of low expectations
The teams in this group weren’t projected to make the playoffs, but have been even worse than that so far in 2010. Houston Rockets (15-16, 3 wins behind projections) – Another scratched year from franchise center Yao Ming has left the Rockets spinning in circles, but they’ve recovered from a horrendous start to return to the fringes of the Western Conference playoff picture. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-25, 5 wins behind projections) – The Timberwolves were expected to be one of the league’s worst teams, and they’ve disappointed even on that count, being completely abysmal. Kevin Love excluded. Golden State Warriors (12-19, 5 wins behind projections) – Reoccurring ankle injuries to Stephen Curry have spoiled a great start for Monta Ellis and left Golden State behind their goal of competing for a playoff spot. Washington Wizards (8-22, 5 wins behind projections) – Like the Timberwolves, nothing much was expected from the Wizards in what is a full-scale rebuild, but injuries to No. 1 overall pick John Wall have reduced the hype train that surrounded the Dougie-ing future superstar during the league’s opening weeks. Phoenix Suns (13-17, 6 wins behind projections) – After Amar’e Stoudemire departed for the Big Apple, Phoenix was expected to take a step backwards, but instead has taken two steps back. The acquisition of center Marcin Gortat was a nice move, but it’s hard to imagine that it will be a season-changer, especially because the perpetually disappointing Vince Carter is along for the ride now. Sacramento Kings (6-23, 14 wins behind projections) – Year two of the Tyreke Evans era and the addition of uber-talented big man DeMarcus Cousins were supposed to herald progress in Sacramento. Aside from a stupendous Evans buzzer-beater this week, there hasn’t been much to cheer for from the worst team in the league. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24, 18 wins behind projections) – LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and left a disaster area in his wake. Everyone knew it would be really bad in Cleveland, but it’s been even worse. The Cavaliers are currently further behind expectations than any other team in the entire league, by a wide margin.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:33 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:54 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:54 pm
Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Posted by Ben Golliver. A game between the lowly Sacramento Kings and the mediocre Memphis Grizzlies isn't exactly a high-profile match-up, but Kings guard Tyreke Evans provided a Hollywood finish in Northern California on Wednesday night, burying a game-winning buzzer beater from behind half court. With the Kings leading 97-96, the Memphis Grizzlies inbounded the ball in the frontcourt. Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo hit a fallaway jumper from 20 feet over Evans, to put the Grizzlies up, 98-97. With 1.5 seconds left on the clock, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins then inbounded the ball to Evans. Standing near the free throw line, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year took one dribble and gather the ball at his waist, releasing his shot attempt from just behind halfcourt. The shot went in cleanly on the fly, nothing but net, and the Kings bench and Arco Arena crowd immediately erupted in joy. Evans and his teammates jumped up on the scorer's table briefly to celebrate, and he was mobbed by well-wishers on the court. A review of the play confirmed that Evans released the ball before time expired, giving the Kings an improbable 100-98 last-second victory. Here's the video. To make this shot even more remarkable, Evans has been battling foot pain for some time, and said earlier this week that he was considering a laser procedure to relieve the pain. The procedure could potentially sideline him for months. With the win, the Kings improve to 6-23. The Grizzlies fall to 14-18.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 10:23 am
Kings don't want Ming, Camby doesn't want out, and a really weird Mavs video, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
Vince Carter is expected to make his Suns debut tonight. The Suns' training staff is excited to take on their biggest challenge yet. Keeping Carter on the floor for more than five minutes at a time.
Marcus Camby has had just about enough of being bounced around and is feeling very "Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon." He may be too old for this stuff. He's making noise that were he to be traded to a bottom-feeder like Charlotte, he may just retire instead. He doesn't need the cash and has talked about retirement for a few years now.
Since when did Kobe Bryant feel the need to get into it with third year players like George Hill?
And since when did Pau Gasol feel the need to call out the Lakers' lack of inside presence without taking on the responsibility himself for not establishing post position? Gasol did respond to suggestions that the Lakers' bigs needed to call for the ball more, but didn't comment on his post position.
The Heat's intro video is really silly.
The Magic have shot 47.4% from the arc since the big trade two weeks ago. So much of that is having more weapons on the floor and guys who understand spacing. The guys they shipped out had simply lost that with age.
Corey Maggette is making all sorts of bad noise in Milwaukee about the team, the coaches, everything. Bad mojo on the horizon.
The Kings are not interested in any trade for Yao Ming. Which is bizarre because anything else they would get back from Houston would be better than what they have now.
Then there's this. Whatever this is.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:37 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:52 pm
Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans is considering undergoing a foot procedure that could see him miss an extended period of time. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year, Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, has been hobbled by plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition that caused him to see a foot specialist earlier this season, undergo additional testing, and miss some time.
CowBellKingdom.com reports that Evans told reporters following Monday night's game between the Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers that he is considering a procedure on his ailing left foot that could sideline him for an extended period of time.
Kings guard Tyreke Evans let slip in his post game interview that he and his agent discussed a procedure today that would shelve last year’s rookie of the year for 3-4 months. Evans did not give a specific name for the procedure but it would hopefully relieve the pain and discomfort of the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
"I talked to my agent today and I was thinking about, maybe getting something done to it earlier, I would probably miss three months or something, I don’t know."
Evans is waiting for his agent to get back to him with a possible timetable for the procedure but at this point, nothing seems definite.NBA Fanhouse reports on Twitter that the procedure involves lasers!
Evans is considering a left foot procedure involving lasers to heal his plantar fasciitis. It would put him out 3-4 months. A source close to him says he had already decided to do procedure soon, but wonders if his 32-pt outing might cause him to rethink it. Plan B would be for Evans to do it near All-Star break. Plan C - which doesn't seem likely - would be for him to not do it at all.
The news is disappointing, but not unexpected for Kings fans, who have watched Evans take a step back in terms of his effectiveness and explosiveness this season because of the foot pain. The Kings are already lottery-bound, holding the league's worst record at 5-23, so there's very little sense in putting Evans out on the court if the pain in continuing.
Despite the pain, Evans went for 32 points, three rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes on Monday night. The Kings lost to the Clippers, 100-99. On the season, he is averaging 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 4:17 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2010 5:08 pm
What's it going to take to move in another direction for the Kings?
Posted by Matt Moore
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that both Geoff Petrie and Paul Wesphal are under significant fire in Sacramento, despite Joe Maloof denying the report, sticking by both his general manager and head coach for what he says is the remainder of the season.
The question is why wouldn't you ditch Westphal at this point?
It's not that the Kings have taken a step back, or failed to take a step forward. It's that they've plunged backwards so far they can't even see the dismal finish they suffered through last year. They've simply failed in every phrase of the game, and in addition they're having significant issues with personnel.
Tyreke Evans has regressed. Whether that's related to injury, personal issues, a move to shooting guard, or just a sophomore slump, it's significant and it's holding back the franchise. That the rest of the team seems to not trust or follow Evans is as much of a problem. But DeMarcus Cousins? That's a whole other matter.
Cousins has clashed with the coaching staff so often he's been fined for it. He's shopping for a suspension, and because of his attitude, there seems to be a general dissent regarding Cousins by the rest of the locker room. They find him obnoxious and far too immature. Which he is. But at some point, the coaching staff is going to have to reign him in and find a way to help him grow into a professional. That's part of their job. And as of now, Westphal and his staff have been nothing but Principal Skinners to Cousin's Bart Simpson. It's not working on any level.
So to recap, the team's not playing well. The rookie of the year has regressed significantly and the next great rookie is one stop short of spray-painting the locker room and toilet-papering Westphal's house. The question is not whether Westphal has failed. The question is what it's going to take to move in another direction for the Maloof's. Meanwhile, a bad situation gets worse.