Posted on: December 21, 2010 9:32 am
Shaq with the Boston Pops, Magic struggle in debut, Cousins the sensitive soul, and are the Clippers actually rolling? All this and more in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore
Very quietly, Al Horford is having a stellar season. Hoopinion takes a look at how his season stacks up against Dwight Howard, and finds that Horford isn't so far off from the MVP candidate center.
A stellar profile of DeMarcus Cousins through the lens of the support network the Kings brought in from Kentucky for him, in the form of a dude half his size.
Chris Mannix of SI examines the debut of the new-look Orlando Magic and comes to the same conclusion we came to about the new-look Heat. It's going to take some time: "Orlando needs practice time. Badly. But with four games this week they won't get much of it and will have to contend with a murderers' row of games through Christmas. The Magic will host Dallas (Tuesday), San Antonio (Thursday) and Boston (Saturday). Along with Atlanta that's four talented, cohesive teams Orlando will be up against as they try to incorporate the new players into the system. Each game will undoubtedly draw a lot of attention, but expectations should be ratcheted down; this Magic team will look markedly different than the one playing in March."
So.... this happened:
Kevin Love thinks the Wolves are immature, and that someone needs to lead them. He's willing to do the job.
Kobe's got his own mosaic at the Lower Marion high school he used to attend. It's really very sweet. Unfortunately, the mosaic keeps screaming at everyone who does anything imperfectly.
Not all Cavs fans are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Dan Gilbert, and one's gone so far as to take out advertising on Basketball-Reference.com to show his or her disapproval.
Holly MacKenzie gives an insight into the shy world of Derrick Rose, even as he becomes a stronger leader each day.
Probably the best breakdown of Kris Humphries you're ever going to see.
The Clippers have won three in a row, with two by 20 points or more. So... the Clips are actually rolling?
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:48 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Ronny Turiaf didn't like a call in last night's Knicks-Wolves game at Madision Square Garden. He didn't like it at all. In a tight game, the ball appeared to go off a Minnesota player late in the fourth quarter.
The crowd booed. Mike D'Antoni yelled at the officials. And Turiaf went through like 15 stages of grief. It was like watching a Greek tragedy in the span of six seconds.
Turiaf's reaction was like a combination of the way someone acts when they get called down on The Price is Right and how a bad actor would try and play up a scene where a loved one passed away unexpectedly. Basically what I'm trying to say is, Ronny Turiaf should be prominantly featured in every movie.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:35 pm
NBA F&R breaks down the MVP candidates after the first month of the season by dissecting the award down to three parts: Most Valuable, Most Important, and Most Oustanding Player. CP3 is in control.
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young
Well, we're a month into the season and the context of this year has begun to take shape. While certainly a long way from the finish line, we've already gotten a glimpse of who's playing well, who's playing average, and who ... not so much. And so it is that we begin our monthly look at awards. On a regular basis we'll take you around the award contenders and give you a look at who is in contention for the NBA's major awards by breaking down what they really mean in our Award-O-Matic. Today we start with the MVP.
The problem, as has been elucidated approximately a million times by various media members, is that the MVP is a nebulous, hard to define award. Its name is Most Valuable, but it most often goes to the Most Outstanding Player on a winning team. If your play is other-worldly but your team doesn't win, you have no shot. If you contribute the most to a winning team but your numbers aren't stellar, again, your chances are slim. It takes a combination of three factors: value, performance, and importance to snag the award. As such, we decided to break the award into those three categories, tally them up with the top player getting 3 points, the second 2, the third 1, then summing to see if we could come up with a list.
Most Valuable Player (To Their Team): Who is most responsible for their team's success? Or, to put it another way, whose team suffers the most without them?
1. Dirk Nowitzki: Without him that offense is anemic and it's been his rebounding that's kept them in games at points.
2. Carmelo Anthony: Seriously, Nuggets. Cliff. Teetering. Melo's the only thing keeping the truck from smashing into pieces.
3. Dwight Howard: Get him in foul trouble and the Magic turn into a Mid-Major college team, just wining it from perimeter to perimeter.
1. Chris Paul: I like Darren Collison as much as the next guy, but CP3's return from injury to lead New Orleans' absurd hot start, despite an unimpressive supporting cast, reveals exactly how valuable the league's best point guard is.
2. Rajon Rondo: Boston would still be good without Rondo, but his game ownership places them on an elite level and makes them the odds on favorite to win the East yet again. 10.6 points, 14.2 assists (what!), 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals through the end of November. Crazy.
3. Kevin Durant: The Thunder have had an up-and-down start but imagining this team with Russell Westbrook at the helm by himself, dragging an ineffective Jeff Green along for the ride, would be a recipe for a guaranteed lottery team. KD will get better -- perhaps much better -- over the course of the season, and he's already easily leading the NBA in scoring again.
1. Chris Paul: Subtract Paul and what do you have. I can promise you it's not an 8-1 team. It's really as simple as that.
2. Dirk Nowitzki: The Mavericks are dangerous in every fourth quarter that they're close in. The reason is because Dirk can score in every situation, at any time. He essentially is the Maverick offense.
3. Steve Nash: Take Nash away and yes, there's Goran Dragic who can dazzle in stretches. But without Nash this Suns team is nothing more than a 35-win club. With Nash, there's potential to push for the playoffs.
Most Important Player: Who is most crucial to their team's success? Ex. Last year I argued that Josh Smith was MIP because when he did Josh Smith-y things, the Hawks were nearly unstoppable, and when he didn't, they were much more beatable.
1. Chris Paul: He does everything and it starts and stops with him. This is even more clearly illustrated by their recent struggles down the stretch where he hasn't been involved.
2. Al Horford: The level of production Horford is creating right now is simply astonishing. More astonishing is how overlooked he is.
3. Pau Gasol: It's him that's carrying the Lakers. Even as Kobe scores all the high points, the most dominant Laker performances this season are from Gasol.
1. Pau Gasol: His virtuoso early season performance has single-handedly made Andrew Bynum an afterthought. What more needs to be said?
2. Deron Williams: Utah's streak of comebacks begins with Williams' tough-minded leadership and ends with his play-making and shot-making.
3. Dirk Nowitzki: Another banner start from Dirk singlehandedly puts a Dallas roster loaded with question marks in the playoff mix.
1. Pau Gasol: Having Gasol as part of the triangle has been like a revelation. He's really what makes the Lakers so darn dangerous.
2. Kevin Garnett: We saw what an impact his has in regard to the Celtic defense two seasons ago when his knee was injured.
3. Nick Collison: He's a classic no-stats All-Star. He's only played for a few weeks so far this season for Oklahoma City but his value is immeasurable and impact immediate. He tips rebounds that become extra possessions, takes charges, sets outstanding screens and makes two or three small (but big) plays a game.
Most Outstanding Player: Who has simply wowed you?
1. Rajon Rondo: Key plays every time he's on the floor and he makes it look easy, There are a lot of moments where he looks like he's just on a different plane from everyone else.. and he's got three Hall of Famers on his team.
2. Russell Westbrook: Westbrook has managed to take over the game down the stretch. His turnovers are down, assists are up, he's got range and that mid-key pull-up jumper is as deadly as it ever has been. He's been simply phenomenal in half-court and full-court sets.
3. Deron Williams: Three point guards? Yup. Check Deron at the end of the clock with the game on the line. Money. And that's after all the assists, rebounds, key plays and floor leadership. Man's a ninja, no joke.
1. Dwight Howard: Lost in the Miami Heat wave, Howard is quietly putting up 22.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as the defensive and rebounding engine that will make Orlando a title contender for years to come. By the way, Orlando sits atop the Southeast Division -- 3.5 games ahead of the Heat.
2. LeBron James: His numbers are crazy and his highlights are spectacular. It's a wonder he can jump so high and dunk so hard carrying the burden of Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra's corpse on his shoulders.
3. John Wall: Wall doesn't belong in the MVP discussion -- there are too many holes in his game (jumper, turnovers) and his team is terrible -- but for sheer "outstanding-ness" and "wow factor" he merits inclusion here. His assist numbers have been great and his speed is tops in the league; he's a lot further along the NBA readiness scale than even his biggest fans could have imagined.
1. Rajon Rondo: He's been nothing but insanely ridiculous. Manages the game perfectly, understand his place within an offense and runs the show beautifully.
2. Kevin Love: When given the time on the floor, he's a legitimate 20-20 threat every single night. How many players can you really say that about?
3. Russell Westbrook: There's a case to be legitimately made for Westbrook as an MVP contender. Kevin Durant is still leading the league in scoring, but Westbrook is what's kept the team winning games. But his play has been just insane this year (23.8 ppg, 8.4 apg, 5.1 rpg) and he's a super-highlight waiting to happen.
Here are the tallies:
Most Valuable Player:
1. Chris Paul (6)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (5)
Tied for 3rd: Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo (2)
Tied for 4th: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash (1)
Most Important Player:
1. Pau Gasol (7)
2. Chris Paul (3)
Tied for 3rd: Deron Williams, Al Horford, Kevin Garnett (2)
Tied for 4th: Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Collison (1)
Most Outstanding Player :
1. Rajon Rondo (6)
Tied for 2nd: Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard (3)
Tied for 3rd: Kevin Love, LeBron James (2)
Tied for 4th: John Wall, Deron Williams (1)
Top 5 in Totals:
1. Chris Paul: 9
2. Rajon Rondo (8)
3. Pau Gasol (7)
4. Dirk Nowitzki (6)
5. Dwight Howard (4)
Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Award-O-Matic, awards, Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Celtics, Chris Paul, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Hawks, Heat, Hornets, Jazz, John Wall, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Lakers, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Magic, Mavericks, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, MVP, New Orleans Hornets, Nick Collison, Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pau Gasol, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Thunder, Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Wizards
Posted on: November 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 6:08 pm
Your NBA Black Friday Fantasy deals: come find the bargain fantasy guys you're looking for.
Posted by Kevin Goodwin
Well, folks, it's that time of year again. The day we shake off those paralyzing turkey chemicals and drag ourselves out of bed in the wee hours. The day we maraud from store to store like a pack of ravenous credit-wielding zombies. The day we do the ridiculous in the name of big deals and unparalleled savings. Black Friday hath cometh.
Fortunately, Fantasy owners don't even have to leave their couch to find great bargains … and it's the right time of year for those as well. I've got 10 super-saver steals that could put your team on the track to success in the New Year. Don't let those other fantasy shoppers beat you to the bargains!
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Calderon's Fantasy value is sky high, and Fantasy owners are clearing out long-term roster space to snatch him up. Since Jarrett Jack was traded to New Orleans, Calderon will see the lion's share of minutes up in Toronto. He has been producing at a high level recently, and is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 assists over his last four games entering Black Friday. He should continue to perform for the Raptors, and for Fantasy owners from here on out.
Real Deal Equivalent: Squinkies Bubble Pack - $11.99 at Babies"R"Us
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Flynn still doesn't have a timetable for his return, but it's getting closer. Minnesota brought in veteran guard Luke Ridnour to push Flynn for the starting job this year, but a hip injury to Flynn deflated any competition. Now, Flynn will have to prove his worth to coach Kurt Rambis. We all know Rambis was limiting Kevin Love's minutes to start the season, so it's unclear how he'll treat Flynn when he does return. But Fantasy owners who are hurting in the guard position should keep an eye on Flynn. He has more of an upside than Ridnour, and can offer you around 13-15 points and 4-5 assists per game. He also shot 35.8 percent from downtown last season, which is a nice gift for Fantasy owners around the holidays.
Real Deal Equivalent: 1/3 Carat Diamond White Gold Bypass Bridal Ring Set - $219 at Wal-Mart
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Murphy has been inactive for five games now, and is sitting behind Kris Humphries and rookie Derrick Favors on the depth chart. Coach Avery Johnson hasn't been able to figure out what to do with Murphy. He missed the preseason and the start of the regular season with a back injury, but is now on the shelf because of his conditioning. The Nets traded for Murphy with the hope that he could be a starter, and now he's not playing or bringing in any Fantasy points. Not what anyone wants from a Round 5 or 6 draft choice (his average in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues). Still, in leagues where he's available, Murphy would be worth grabbing while you can. If he gets traded by the Nets, he could go back to his 15-10 stat line, and smart Fantasy owners could get him on the cheap if they can afford to keep him reserved until he sees more court time. Keep in mind, Murphy also has a history of late-season success -- Since the 2006-07 NBA season he's averaged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game before the All-Star break and 14.8 PPG and 9.1 boards post All-Star.
Real Deal Equivalent: Samsung SMX-F40 SD camcorder - $119 at K-Mart
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Okur hasn't played yet this season, and is available in almost half of Fantasy leagues. With the Jazz playing so well to start the year, owners with room on their roster may have good reason to add the veteran big man. As a career 37.8 3-point shooter, Okur is hardly a typical center, which makes him a nice player to own in category-based leagues. Utah's addition of Al Jefferson may scare some owners off, but nabbing Okur now before a timetable is set could pay nice dividends.
Real Deal Equivalent: Yankee Candle Pine & Cinnamon Jar Candles - $17.99 at Kohl's
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Przybilla is set to make his season debut on Black Friday, which gives Fantasy owners a perfect opportunity to check him out. He'll likely be rusty coming off knee surgery, but is a center worth keeping tabs on or adding in deeper formats. He doesn't score many points, but is a good source of rebounds and shoots with high efficiency from the field -- 55.5 percent for his career. Also, take in to account that Portland needs bodies on the frontcourt, which means Przybilla will get plenty of playing time. Remember he should be targeted in deeper Fantasy formats, not standard leagues.
Real Deal Equivalent: Craftsman 179cc 24'' Two-stage Snowblower - $583 at Sears
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Butler isn't having a very good start to the season, which means now is the time to buy. Some Fantasy owners may want to drop him, but realize he's worth too much to just throw away. That being the case, they may be willing to part with Butler for next to nothing. He hasn't fully adjusted to being in Dallas since coming over from Washington, and the one thing that would help Butler's Fantasy appeal most is being traded. So, owners that like to gamble could make the move for Butler now. Last year, Butler averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 boards with the Mavericks, so the potential is there for Fantasy owners to see a nice return on their investment.
Real Deal Equivalent: 55" Westinghouse 120Hz, 1080p LCD TV - $799.99 at Best Buy
7. Brandon Roy, guard, Portland Trail Blazers (Owned 99 percent/Started 22 percent)
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Roy should be owned in every Fantasy league out there, but while he battles knee injuries, owners are definitely grinding their teeth for drafting him so high. Some owners may be looking to jump ship, since this is the lowest Roy's Fantasy value has ever been, and that means it's the perfect time to get an upper echelon guard for dirt cheap. If you can pry Roy away from another owner, there's a good chance he would make your team better immediately. Portland may limit his court time to preserve him for the year, but Roy has the ability to produce solid numbers in 20-25 minutes of action.
Real Deal Equivalent: High-Performance Samsung Laptops - $150 off at Best Buy
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Collison was undoubtedly overvalued entering this year. He was taken with an average draft pick of 40, based solely on his 18.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds as a starter last year in New Orleans. This means that current owners are probably very disappointed with his 14.3 points and 4.3 boards per game through the first five weeks of the season. I smell a sale. Collison still has the potential to be a 17 and 7 guy, and owners should check their league and see if they can strike up a deal.
Real Deal Equivalent: All adult jeans - $15 at Old Navy
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Carter is currently dealing with some bumps and bruises which are keeping him out of the Magic lineup. He's also averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and assists: 13.9, 3.2 and 2.5, respectively. Clearly, Carter is no longer the high-flyer he once was, but he does have the capability to go off on any given night. Again, we've got a player who could be reeled in for cheap based on the disappointment tied to inflated preseason expectations. If you don't mind being patient with the veteran, trading for Carter could be a steal.
Real Deal Equivalent: Radio Flyer Big Wheel - $35 at Wal-Mart
Fantasy Shopping Cart: Andersen just made his season debut for the Nuggets, which is why he's available in 90 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. He's coming off an offseason knee surgery, so he's a bit of a risky option, but there are definitely Fantasy owners out there who are in desperate need of a big man. Injury bug, anyone? Those owners might be happy to see Andersen fill a void in their lineups. He's not worth owning in standard leagues, but is definitely worth a flier in deeper Rotisserie formats. He's a bargain and a half right now.
Real Deal Equivalent: 46" APEX LCD TV, 1080p 60 Hz - $449 at Target
Tags: Blazers, Brandon Roy, Caron Butler, Chris Andersen, Dallas Mavericks, Darren Collison, Denver Nuggets, fantasy, fantasy basketball, Indiana Pacers, Jazz, Joel Przybilla, Jonny Flynn, Jose Calderon, Magic, Mavericks, Mehmet Okur, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nets, New Jersey Nets, Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Raptors, Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Troy Murphy, Utah Jazz, Vince Carter
Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 8:38 pm
People trying to keep LeBron out of the All-Star Game, Jarrett Jack doubts the Heat, Durant and Beasley as young guns, and T-Will is out of sight, out of mind, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
Tags: 76ers, Doug Collins, Durant, Dwyane Wade, Flip Saunders, Golden State Warriors, Heat, Hornets, Ime Udoka, Jarrett Jack, Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Miami Heat, Michael Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nets, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Shootaround, Sixers, Spurs, Terrence Williams, Thunder, Timberwolves, Warriors, Washington Wizards, Wizards
Posted on: November 19, 2010 9:02 am
Posted by Royce Young
Kevin Love is blogging for GQ and he had something mildly interesting to write about this time around. It wasn't about trying to fit in with the team or griping about Kurt Rambis or how it was kind of weird he went on that episode of Sport Science and chucked like 500 halfcourt shots. He wrote about something impressive he did recently.
But while talking about the historic game, Love recounted an interesting moment that happened early on in the game.
Wait, are we completely sure the heckler wasn't actually Kurt Rambis?
But I'd imagine something like 31 points and 31 rebounds could shut even the dumbest, most obnoxious fan up. But seriously, things must be rough in Minnesota if the hometown fans are heckling their own guys.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:43 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 12:49 am
Posted on: November 12, 2010 10:33 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:44 pm
Wolves forward notches insane numbers, of 31 points and 31 rebounds in win over Knicks
Posted by Matt Moore
Kevin Love notched 31 points and 31 rebounds tonight in the greatest performance across the two categories in 28 years. The last player to notch a 30-30? Moses Malone in 1982. Absolutely unbelievable. And on top of it all, the Wolves beat the Knicks for their second consecutive win 112-101.
Love actually hit 30 rebounds first is the insane part. He nailed a three-pointer with 1:17 remaining to hit the 31 point mark, and naturally received a standing ovation from the crowd. 31 rebounds is a team record for Minnesota.
Love gets a ton of his own offensive rebounds which some say pad his stats, but in reality, don't you want your player to pursue his own miss? Meanwhile, a performance of this magnitude is simply overwhelming. That it drowns out Michael Beasley's 35 points is something in and of itself. As Walt Frazier said, Love was "rebounding and astounding."
It may be time for Kevin Love to start getting these minutes regularly that he's been denied. What's stunning is the team still likely still not big on him due to their own steadfast scouting of him as a poor defender with attitude problems, which no one else can figure out.
For one night at least, Kevin Love is a legend. A simply amazing performance for one of the league's young stars.
For comparison, here's a list of players who didn't have 31 rebounds total coming into tonight's games, this entire season.
Yao Ming (5 games)
Shaquille O'Neal (4 games)
DeAndre Jordan (9 games)
Carl Landry (7 games)
Spencer Hawes (8 game)
Timofey Mozgov (8 games)
Hasheem Thabeet (8 games)
Hamed Haddadi (8 games)
DeSagana Diop (8 games)
Ronny Turiaf (7 games)
Jermaine O'Neal (7 games)
And hey, Love was only 24 rebounds short of the record of 55 set by Wilt Chamberlain!
Yeah, Wilt was insane. But Love's pretty good, too.