Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: September 22, 2010 9:46 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 9:49 am
 

Shootaround 9.22.10: New jerseys for everybody!

Posted by Royce Young
  • All 30 teams are getting new jerseys: "The NBA will truck in several stars to deliver its lighter and quicker-drying uniforms in a look that Adidas says will help players run faster, jump higher and stay fresher starting in the 2010-11 season . Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Jordan Farmar, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas will deliver the limited-edition jerseys from an armored truck parked outside of NBA Store in Manhattan at 11 a.m. ET. The NBA Revolution 30 uniforms are 30% lighter and dry twice as fast, says Travis Blasingame, Adidas' global director of basketball apparel, in an interview with USA TODAY. "
  • Would you deal Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony? Henry Abbott of TrueHoop looks: "Those with knowledge of the talks say the Bulls would love to have Anthony. But the Nuggets want the conversation to begin with Joakim Noah. Word is that a package of Noah and Deng would get the deal done. If that's the case, the Bulls are a turning point in their franchise history, with a tough decision to make."
  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "Daryl Morey's attempts to swing a deal for Carmelo Anthony and to sign Erick Dampier should offer a pretty strong rebuttal to those that flooded the blog with the argument that the move to trade Trevor Ariza for Courtney Lee was just for cost-savings. The Rockets saved $10 million in salary and luxury tax with that move. If they sign Dampier, that would cost $4 million in tax and salary. A deal for Anthony would likely use a chunk of the trade exception, costing about $3.4 million in tax and salary if for Renaldo Balkman or $7.9 million if for Chris Andersen. If the Rockets get their way, they will be spending close to what they would have been spending had they just kept Ariza and stood pat, or more than they were going to spend before the trade. That deal, however, could be a key to a deal for Anthony because that would be how the Rockets can offer the cost-savings the Nuggets demand."
  • Both the NBA Elite and NBA 2K11 demos are out. I'm not much of a gamer, but it's kind of hard to really tell what the better game is. It's amazing though how detailed these games have become.
  • Piston Powered asks if Chauncey Billups' nickname is well-deserved: "Billups is certainly a player I wouldn’t mind having the ball in the waning moments of a close game. He’s a good decision maker, adept at drawing contact, he’s not scared of the taking the shot and he doesn’t turn it over much. But when he was on the Pistons, the general assumption became, “Billups has to get the ball late in close games.” Statistics show that the Pistons had other options on their team — Prince and Hamilton — who were much better bets than Billups to knock down that game winner if it was needed. I love everything about Billups’ game. But Mr. Big Shot is a myth."
Posted on: September 21, 2010 10:39 am
Edited on: September 21, 2010 11:45 am
 

Carmelo Roundup: Knicks lacking assets?

Posted by Royce Young

To be somwhat brief: The New York Times is reporting that according to a Knicks official, Denver had informed them they don't have the necessary assets to get a deal done for Carmelo Anthony. However, as Ken Berger reported weeks ago, New York is still Anthony's top choice.

At this moment, that leaves the Knicks hoping that Anthony chooses to stay in Denver for a lame duck season and then sign with the Knicks in 2011. Chances of that though are looking pretty darn unlikely.

Another possibility is Anthony gets traded somewhere (which is almost guaranteed to happen) and decides not to sign an extension there. He could play a season in New Jersey or Houston and then sign with the Knicks the next offseason. But that's also pretty unlikely because what team wants to give up assets and young players just to rent Anthony for a year?

The NY Times reports that an interesting twist is how the Knicks assets are being used against them. The Houston Rockets are aggressively pursuing Anthony and one of the things they're dangling is a pick acquired from the Knicks in a three-way trade with Sacramento last season. How's that for a kick in the pants, New York?

One other interesting bit of information via Chris Broussard of ESPN: To this point, Carmelo hasn't indicated to anyone that he's willing to re-sign with New Jersey, even saying one executive told him that Anthony wouldn't re-sign with the Nets. So Broussard says all this Melo-to-NJ talk is only speculation.

As for the Bulls, word is they could actually hav Melo if they're willing to part with Joakim Noah. But at this point, reports say they aren't.

You should be somewhat caught up now. Until 10 minutes from now when the next thing trickles out. Hurry up and get traded, will you Carmelo?
Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:40 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:41 am
 

Pop Quiz: What players could be on the way down?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who are some players potentially set for a drop-off?

It doesn't take much to go from the top of the perch in the NBA to drop to the bottom. The food chain isn't friendly, especially to aging players.

Eventually, everyone has to come down to earth. Two seasons ago, it was Shaquille O'Neal. Last year, Elton Brand, once a walking double-double, had a terribly mediocre season. It just happens. It's the circle of NBA life. Some players can go out on top, but mosr will see their production dip and the slide starts. Who's facing that reality this year? Here are six candidates:

Yao Ming, Rockets - Yao is probably the most obvious choice for three reasons. 1) He's older. 2) He's coming off a significant injury. 3) His playing time is already being limited. Strikes one, two and three.

I think it's pretty much accepted that the great days of Yao Ming are probably passed. Every season but his rookie year, he's averaged over 30 minutes a game. Now with only 24 at his disposal, putting up anything near his career averages of 19.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg will be difficult. He can still have a stellar statistical year in terms of per 36 minutes and per 48 minutes, but as far as being one of the top two or three dominant big men in the league, he may have to settle for really, really tall role player.

Tony Parker, Spurs
- The better George Hill gets, the less valuable Tony Parker is to the Spurs. Is Parker set to fall off the face of the earth? Not likely. But is he looking at going from top three or four point guard in the West into being just a solid top 10 point man? I think there's certainly that possibility.

But this is a contract year for Parker. He has Hill chomping at his playing time and idiots like me saying he's potentially headed for a down year. The motivation is certainly there for him. He's not old (just 28) and doesn't have a ton of mileage on him. He did break his hand last year but that shouldn't be anything that affects him this year. Still, it's hard to deny that his numbers and percentages dipped across the board last year and as his team ages around him, he might have a hard time putting up the big stats like he has in years past.

Vince Carter, Magic - I know, I know. Putting Carter on this list isn't really fair because he pretty much already had his drop-off year. But even through a seemingly bad year, Carter still averaged 16.6 ppg while maintaining solid percentages. The 16.6 ppg is the lowest in his career, but he still was a quality contributor all season and at times, showed flashes of his old, explosive self.

Now he's 33 and has played over 850 games, battled through injuries and is on a team where he's not the lead man. He played the role well last year, but the better J.J. Redick gets, the less need for Carter there is. This is a contract year for Carter who would still like to keep going. But he might be splitting time at shooting guard with Redick and he'd probably be lucky to average anywhere near 16 points a game.

Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks - Shield your eyes, Knicks fans. I know New York just dropped a heavy dollar amount on Stoudemire and already talking about a decline for him isn't something anyone wants to hear. But here's the reality: Steve Nash doesn't play for the Knicks. For his career, Stoudemire is assisted on about 60 percent of all his baskets. And who was the guy creating those scoring opportunities? Yeah, that guy.

So going from Nash to Raymond Felton might cause a decline in Stoudemire's typically sexy stat line. Does this mean he's not going to be good and help the Knicks improve? Absolutely not. But could his nickname of STAT potentially be outdated already? Definitely.

Mo Williams, Cavaliers - Mo Williams, pre-LeBron James: 14.2 ppg, 5.6 apg. Mo Williams, with LeBron James: 16.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, one All-Star appearance. Mo Williams, post-LeBron James: to be determined.

It's hard to deny the rise in profile for Williams after he joined LeBron in Cleveland in 2008. He went from underrated point guard in Milwaukee to LeBron's No. 2 man. But without The King, things will be more difficult for Williams. Open shots won't be as available and as the best scorer Cleveland currently has, he'll be the focal point for opposing defenses. Williams is going to have to carry Cleveland and that's something that he's not really equipped for. He's always been a good shooter, a good creator and a good scorer. His assists dipped with LeBron because Williams was able to play off the ball a lot with LeBron running point. Now Williams has to do it all for the Cavs.

Ray Allen, Celtics - At some point, time is going to start catching up to Ray Allen. He's avoided it the past few years, turning in some of the most efficient of his career. But he's got over 1,000 games and almost 38,000 minutes on the odometer. His 16.3 point per game average last season was the lowest since his rookie season and though his shooting percentages held pretty close to form, he took the fewest number of 3s per game in 10 years. To me, that says he's not getting as many open looks because when Allen's open, he fires.

Allen is going to have a quality season, because his perfect shooting touch won't allow otherwise. But in terms of sustaining his high level and gaudy numbers, this season might be the start of his journey down.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 2:07 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Report: Dampier finalizing finalists

Posted by Royce Young

The Heat already trumped the Rockets once for a big man. And it could potentally happen again. Though to a much, much lesser degree.

As Ken Berger reported earlier in the week, Miami the leading destination for recently waived free agent center Erick Dampier to land. And a report today from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski says along with the Heat on the final list is the Houston Rockets and a potential sleeper in the Atlanta Hawks.

The Rockets already extended an offer to Dampier of $4 million over two years that appears he either turned down or is considering while waiting for other calls. Most likely the latter.

The Hawks were interested in acquiring a veteran big man all summer long and pushed hard for Shaquille O'Neal before missing out. Eventually Atlanta settled for veteran bruiser Etan Thomas, but adding Dampier would be a much better piece for the Hawks. Thomas isn't a legitimate rotation player, while Dampier certainly can be.

Dampier averaged six points and 7.3 rebounds in 55 games for the Mavericks last season. He's not the best center in the league, but he's definitely not the worst. Not as long as Eddy Curry is still active. Hi-oh. But in all seriousness, Dampier has always been a good rebounder and a big body that can push around with other quality big men. The Heat are probably already thinking about how he might be the best option to defend Dwight Howard on the block. Dampier's definitely a better option in that regard than Joel Anthony, Jamal Magloire or Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

The Rockets recently announced they will be limited Yao's minutes so adding Dampier would certainly be nice to play behind the fragile big man. Houston does have Brad Miller who was signed this summer, but when injuries are an issue, having too much help on the inside never hurts.

Why so much intrigue over a mediocre big man? One, it's still September and two, the Heat are a potential player. And three, because it's September. Wait, did I already say that?
Posted on: September 16, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 3:50 pm
 

The impact of Yao's minute limitations

Returning All-Star center will be limited to 24 minutes per game, but how does that affect the rest of the team?
Posted by Matt Moore


As we told you in The Shootaround this morning, the Rockets have come out and told the world not to be expecting 100% Yao this year. He's going to be ready to go, he's going to go, he's going to be Yao. But he'll only be doing that for 24 minutes per game . That's it. And when they say "that's it," they mean "that's it ." From the Houston Chronicle :

"Yao’s playing time will not average 24 minutes; it will end there. If he plays 22 minutes in one game, he will not play 26 the next. For that matter, if he plays two minutes one game, he will not play 26 the next. When Yao reaches his 24 minutes, he will be through for that game."

The Rockets assistant trainer explained that the decision wasn't arbitrary. The Rockets, one of the most empirically influenced teams in the league, looked at an unspecified set of data and determined that with the nature of Yao's injury, he simply can't go the full game, not even for only a few nights:

“We have evidence that when he played 35 to 40 minutes he averaged two years ago there was a buildup of stress on his foot that led to it being injured in the playoffs. On some level, we have at least one indication 35 to 40 minutes might be too much. That would lead you to choose to look at having a limit.”

It makes sense, right? Yao's injury is physical-stress-related. So let's limit the amount of stress he puts on it a night. Granted, with his frame, there's going to be that problem no matter what he does. Walking's going to put stress on it. Any weight on it, that's stress. But that's a bit different from jumping up and down constantly battling Andrew Bynum for rebounds, landing awkwardly repeatedly. He's had a full year off, he's got a plan. The question's not if this is the right move for Yao and the Rockets it is. Mentioned several times in the article is the discussion of how the blowup in Chicago between Vinny Del Negro and Paxson erupted over Joakim Noah's minutes. Everyone's on the same page. There's a plan, there are rules, they should work for Yao, and if they don't, there's probably nothing they could do otherwise.

But will that plan work for the Rockets?

We're entering into a particularly tricky area, one that's best labeled "sub-chemistry." There's the overall chemistry of the Rockets, which is good. Most of the guys seem to get along with Yao, and each other. There's a lot of the same pieces from the 2008 22-game winning streak, and that was all about chemistry. The new pieces are all high quality character guys with marginal egos (Kevin Martin the only question mark, and it's a widdle bitty one at that). But personal chemistry is different that playing chemistry. That takes time, and patience and most importantly, rhythm. Yao's only on the floor for 24 minutes per game, that's fine. But in that 24 minutes per game, they've got to get Yao involved. Then, they're going to have to shift to how they played without him on the floor. The two aren't necessarily inseparable. But they are different, and the transition might be difficult on a night in and night out basis. Usually players who only play 24 minutes per night are not of Yao's caliber, aren't the kinds of guys you want to get touches, and lots of them. The roles will remain the same, but the flows do change.

This will be a challenge for head coach Rick Adelman to manage, even as it's a blessing to get Yao back on the floor. Yao Ming has the potential to help the Rockets back into the playoffs along with a versatile and talented roster. But how that roster evolves in transitioning to and from those crucial 24 minutes per game is going to be a bit like Jenga. One slight miscalculation, and the structure could tumble.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 2:13 pm
 

Heat already zeroing in on final roster?

Posted by Royce Young

Currently, the Miami Heat have 18 players on their roster. That's, like too many. And with Ken Berger's report that Miami is the leading destination for Erick Dampier, the roster might be even more crowded.

But Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reports that based on some interviews, the 15th and final roster appears to be second-round pick Da'Sean Butler's over Kenny Hasbrouck and Patrick Beverley.

For the Heat, training camp won't just be a time to build up chemistry for a completely revamped roster, but it's also a big audition for a number of players. It's clear that a lot of guys are willing to give up quite a bit to be on the new Heat roster, but Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra want them to prove that in camp. Which is probably a smart move. Camp will be intense and competitive as guys battle for spots.

Players like Shavlik Randolph, Dexter Pittman, Butler, Beverley and Hasbrouck and looking for how they might fit in whether that's on the roster or somewhere in the rotation.

Winderman's report doesn't mean everything is over in Heat camp. Even if Miami cut ties with Hasbrouck and Beverley, the roster would be at 16, one over the maximum. I think the suggestion here is that Butler was in competition with the other two for that final spot. But if Dampier signs, someone else will be pushed out the door as well.

It's not a done deal for Dampier to head to Miami though. The Houston Chroncile reported that the Rockets have already extended a two-year deal worth $4 million. And Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald says Utah may be a leading contender for Dampier. But if Dampier heads to Miami, the Heat's front line will get even older, even slower but at the same time, even deeper.

It's probably a good thing the Heat moved training camp off site to an air force base. LeBron and friends are already a pretty big distraction not to mention all the roster and position battles to go with it.

Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:09 am
 

Shootaround 9.16.10: Hack a Shaq

Posted by Royce Young
  • Shaquille O'Neal has been accused of computer hacking and throwing evidence in a lake, according to Radar Online . One of Shaq's former employees named Shawn Darling is the one making the accusations. It's a pretty long and messed up situation, but here's the gist: "At the time, Shaq was having an affair with hip-hop singer Alexis Miller who ended up accusing him of harassment and stalking. Shaq later settled with Miller. The lawsuit alleges, "O'Neal told Darling that Alexis Miller had obtained a restraining order and that O'Neal said could not remember what he sent to Miller by way of text messaging and E-mail." According to the suit, Shaq asked Darling to retrieve every email and text message that he sent Miller-as well as all of Shaq's phone records-- so that he could be aware of what he was dealing with."
  • It's the basketball equivalent of a pitch count. Yao Ming will be limited to 24 minutes a night says Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle: "Yao’s playing time will not average 24 minutes; it will end there. If he plays 22 minutes in one game, he will not play 26 the next. For that matter, if he plays two minutes one game, he will not play 26 the next. When Yao reaches his 24 minutes, he will be through for that game."
  • George Karl to the Denver Post: "To me, my job is to, anytime I talk to Melo . . . it's to convince him that we won 53 games last year and I think we're very capable of being a lot better than we were last year," Karl told reporters. "Some of the bombs that hit our team injury-wise and my situation, I think we kind of need to stay together, in my opinion. It's pretty easy: Stay together and figure it out. Right now, I don't think Melo is going to be calling me for advice. Fortunately, it's not my job to probably call him to talk about that situation. My job is to talk about basketball."
  • Should Bill Laimbeer coach the Pistons? Patrick Hayes of Piston Powered says no: "I care about legacy. Being a head coach in Detroit would be bad for Laimbeer’s legacy, because he would get fired. I don’t know how long he’d last. And given the right roster (i.e. not the current roster), he might even find a mix of players he could have success with. But there’s a good chance that things wouldn’t end well (see: Trammell, Alan). What I dislike is the assumption that just because Laimbeer was a tough player who is beloved by fans that he’d naturally make a good coach. Even with titles in the WNBA, he hasn’t proven enough as a coach, motivator or understander of the modern player to deserve that assumption." And it appears there's a rebuttal from Bill Laimbeer's daughter in the comments as well.
  • David Kahn, writing a letter to fans. In it, he tries to explain the reason to give Darko $20 million: "Telling Darko how important he could be to our future while offering him a contract that represents a major paycut was a delicate dance.  Darko understood this, too, and thus was willing to allow us some financial protection in the final year of his deal if things didn’t work out.  But let me be clear:  we think they will work out."
Posted on: September 10, 2010 11:43 am
Edited on: September 10, 2010 11:44 am
 

Pop Quiz: Who's the Rookie of the Year favorite?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who is winning Rookie of the Year? John Wall, Blake Griffin or someone else?

There's the Madden Curse, the Curse of the Billy Goat and the the Curse of the Sacred Buffalo. And for the past couple years, there's been the Curse of the No. 1 Overall Pick.

Of course there's Greg Oden who missed his entire 2007-08 rookie season because of microfracture surgery on his knee. Derrick Rose escaped and had a nice 2008-09 rookie campaign, but then Blake Griffin fractured his patella and sat out all of 2009-10.

Maybe it's a trend. Or maybe like the other "curses," it's just a combination of coincidence and bad luck.

But not often do you have a season with two No. 1 overall picks playing their rookie seasons together. John Wall and Blake Griffin are the last two top picks in the NBA and they are both entering their official rookie seasons. Griffin was the clear-cut favorite for Rookie of the Year last season before he got hurt, but his injury opened the door for Tyreke Evans to snatch the award. But with how electric Evans was last season, who knows, he might've won the award anyway.

So coming into 2010-11, we have two obvious favorites. But will one of them win it? If so, which one? Or if not, who else could slip in and grab the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy? Here are the favorites and then two sleepers:

THE FAVORITES

Blake Griffin, Clippers - It's easy to forget what a freak of nature Griffin is. It's easy to forget his non-stop motor, his talent, his ridiculous ability and his awesome athleticism. He sat out last season so it's easy to forget that he was pretty much a consistent 20-20 threat at the University of Oklahoma and that he averaged almost 30 points and 15 rebounds in the NCAA tournament. It's easy to forget that he was the most dominant college big man since Tim Duncan.

But he's healthy and he's hungry. Those are two very, very scary things for those that dare challenge him head-to-head. Griffin has an other-worldly work ethic and he's spent the last 15 months waiting to get a crack at the NBA. He's ready to go and the Clippers need his services. He'll get big minutes and he'll likely put up big numbers.

John Wall, Wizards
- In terms of pure flash, skill and NBA talent, it's hard to top John Wall. He just has some sort of allure to him that makes him must-see. And that sort of thing goes a long way in determining Rookie of the Year. Wall has "it," whatever "it" is.

He's going to struggle some though, especially early on. He's being put in charge of a fairly bad Wizards team from the get-go. He's going to have to manage being a scorer and a distributor, something really good point guards don't figure out most times until their third year. He will struggle at times. He'll turn the ball over. He'll miss open shots. And he'll likely get frustrated. But Wall will have flashy games, good numbers and most of all, that Derrick Rose like draw that just makes him fun to watch.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
- A lot of really smart analysts agreed in June, DeMarcus Cousins was the most talented overall player in the draft. He's the most NBA ready player and most capable of stepping on the floor and contributing this second.

But for Cousins, it was a between-the-ears thing.

Assuming his head is on straight and he's focused, Cousins is an absolute force on the post. In the first three games of Vegas summer league, he was nearly unguardable. He was a walking double-double. But then he got tired, lost interest and his numbers dipped severely. If we see the good Cousins consistently, he's a legit contender. If he wavers, he might not even make an All-Rookie team.

Evan Turner, 76ers - During summer league, Turner looked lost. He looked confused. He looked as if he wasn't sure of himself, his abilities or how he was supposed to fit in.

But remember, summer league.

Turner nearly averaged a triple-double at Ohio State last season. His issue will be something he doesn't really control. New 76ers coach Doug Collins will have to figure out where he's supposed to play. Is it point? At the 2? At the 3? Once that gets settled and Turner fits into his role, he should be a guy that finishes with quality numbers on a team that likely won't be very good.

Greg Monroe, Pistons - Maybe Monroe would be better suited in the "sleeper" category. He was drafted seventh overall and isn't set up to garner a ton of attention or playing time early on in Detroit.

But Monroe's skills are unignorable. He passing beautifully out of the post, has terrific footwork and rebounds better than people give him credit for. Right now, he's a little low on the depth chart, but the Pistons are likely planning on moving some pieces around. So Monroe will probably get plenty of playing time in a rebuilding situation.

TWO DARK HORSES
Patrick Patterson, Rockets - Daryl Morey traded Carl Landry away to Sacramento last season at the deadline. And he replaced him with, basically another Carl Landry.

Patterson is a machine on the post. He never stops working, never stops fighting. He's pretty much a perfect Houston Rocket at this point. The traditional box score may say he's not great, the measurables may say he's not super talented, but he just gets it done. Given the chance, he might slip in and average quality numbers playing in a bench role for Houston. And if so, he might also slip into the ROY discussion.

James Anderson, Spurs - With the oft-injured and aging Manu Ginobili playing in front of him, James Anderson might be called upon at some point to step up in a big way for the Spurs. And since he plays for San Antonio, obviously Anderson will be up to the task, because that's the just the way the Spurs work.

He was an elite scorer in college that was questioned at the next level because he's not overly athletic and doesn't score at the rim. But does it matter when you can just plain score? He shoots an open 3 beautifully, he gets to the free throw line and he's not a bad defender. If he gets opportunities, he could potentially average double-digits and play a big role in keeping the Spurs going. And that might be enough to at least get him in the conversation.

THE PICK
This is a weird year. On one hand, there are the obvious favorites as in, two No. 1 overall picks. But on the other, it's a wide open race because there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding those guys. Can Wall settle in with Washington? Is Griffin completely healthy? How good is DeMarcus Cousins and can he jump other candidates?

After Blake Griffin's injury last season, the ROY race opened up completely. Basically everyone had a shot. This season, it's pretty much a two-man showdown, with a couple dark horses hanging around. Writers are just waiting to hand the award to either Wall or Griffin, so in order for someone else to get into the conversation, they'll have to have a big time year.

So it comes down to the two No. 1s. Griffin has the advantage of going through an NBA season already, even if he didn't play. He's had a year of practices, a year of meetings, a year of travel. And most importantly, a year away from home in a big city with a lot of money in his pocket. He knows how to handle it. Wall on the other hand, is coming in like a traditional rookie - fresh.

Basically in my mind, it comes down to Griffin's health. If he doesn't sustain anymore injuries and is able to play the bulk of the season, he's going to have seriously good numbers. Probably something in the 17-10 range or maybe even better. He's a statistical machine. Wall will have a nice year no doubt, but Griffin will likely put up numbers that can be ignored. And that's why, in his second rookie year, Blake Griffin gets the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com