Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Kevin Martin
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 1:32 pm
 

It's not always 'shun-ny' in Seacaucus

By Matt Moore

When the NBA entered the lockout, David Stern's office issued what is essentially a nuclear gag order, more of a "shun order" to members of the league office, coaches, team officials and staff. Basically, the first rule of lockout club is you do not talk to the players about lockout club. The league threatened a $1 million (note: one million dollars) fine on anyone who broke the rule and there's been concern that people like Rick Carlisle could get tagged for it. 

Except when the league said that, it only really meant it in most situations, or ones they're not aware of. More specifically, they meant it for situations where the owner isn't present. Because apparently otherwise, it's fine.

A prime example:
But while Heat stars James, Wade -- recovering from Lasik eye surgery and sporting shades, both pictured below with Bosh -- and Juwan Howard were seated in an area separate from the suits', they later mingled on the dance floor with team GM Pat Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra, vice president Nick Arison, the son of Heat owner Micky Arison and former Heat all-star Alonzo Mourning, who now works in player relations. They got special permission from the league to attend the glitzy bash together.

One guest said, "The players were on one side of the ballroom, the executives on the other, and later they met on the dance floor."
via NBA lockout put on hold as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Miami Heat execs celebrate Chris Bosh's wedding in Miami - NYPOST.com.

And another:
Good to see the NBA gave its blessing for the Rockets to attend Kevin Martin’s wedding and Yao Ming’s retirement announcement.

Martin was married to his longtime girlfriend Jill Adler last weekend and with the league’s permission, Daryl Morey and Gersson Rosas were permitted to attend.

They did, however, have to be careful not to make too much small talk with the athletically gifted members of the guest list.
via NBA schedules out Tuesday — whether they’re needed or not | NBA | a Chron.com blog

So pretty much if there's a wedding, you can mingle with those on the other side of the iron curtain that's been dropped. It helps if an owner's involved. You can meet but only if there's the chicken dance, the Righteous Brothers, or Lil Wayne involved. But seriously, no talking! 

On the one hand, it's nice that the league can differentiate between personal and business. On the other, it's pretty typical that the league says there are no exceptions to the burden of its iron guantlet, except when it says so. 

More importantly (or not), though, how awkward would that conversation be?

"Hey, person who pays my bills except he just locked me out of my job because he wants me to take a drastic paycut?"

"Hi there, employee who I've stonewalled and who has launched a P.R. war against me and my colleagues in pursuit of denying me what I feel is the only way to profitability in the business I run which pays him?"

"..."

"...."

"...Great party!"

"Absolutely! Try the punch!"

"..."

"..."

"... Well, I gotta go, see you, you know, around."

"Yeah, it was good, er, seeing you."

/awkward hand shake

How bizarre must that have been? Of course, by the time they had five or six rum and cokes I'm sure they were more chummy.

Hey, wait a second. 

Guys! I have an idea for how to end the lockout!


Posted on: January 6, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:09 pm
 

The Game Changer: Celtics survive meltdown

The Boston Celtics escaped from the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, Kevin Martin put up an absurd shooting performance against the Portland Trail Blazers, Blake Griffin dunked and dunked and dunked, and Birdman's tattoos got spotted up close. Posted by Ben Golliver.

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: CELTICS ESCAPE FROM SPURS

The last few minutes in Boston were beautiful chaos, as the unexpected kept happening in a wild finish between two of the league's premier teams: the Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs. When the dust settled, the Celtics held on for a 105-103 victory, but it wasn't without fireworks.

The Spurs, down nine points late, mounted a furious, and somewhat lucky, comeback thanks to a Manu Ginobili three, a Tony Parker steal-to-layup finish and two Richard Jefferson free throws. Up two with the ball, the Celtics ran the clock, turning the ball over to their late-game savant, Paul Pierce.

Pierce missed the game-icer, but the smallest guy on the court, Celtics guard Nate Robinson, not only came out with the rebound but intelligently shuffled it to Ray Allen, one of the league's premier foul shooters. With less than 10 seconds left on the clock, the Spurs were forced to foul Allen, a career 89.4% free throw shooter, who inexplicably missed both free throws that also would have iced it.

Matt Bonner then secured the defensive rebound for the Spurs, who quickly took timeout to diagram a final, potentially game-winning play. Everyone in the building knew it was going to Manu Ginobili, who had multiple game-winning plays in December, and that included Pierce, who expertly contested a Ginobili jumper at the buzzer, blocking it cleanly without fouling. Rajon Rondo, who finished with an absurd triple-double (see below) then did his best Magic Johnson impersonation, tossing the ball high in the air to burn out the rest of the clock. Ballgame, Celtics.

The result was a little evidence supporting a conclusion made by Celtics center Kendrick Perkins: it will be extremely difficult to beat this group in a seven-game series. Even without Perkins and starting power forward Kevin Garnett, the Celtics managed to make multiple heady, playoff-type plays while in the process of throwing a game away. Robinson's rebound and dish, Pierce's defense and Rondo's clock killing are the kind of time/score plays that come naturally to a tested team, but pretenders always seem to mess up. 

Wednesday night's madness is worth another look. Here's a nice video breakdown, courtesy of NBAHiighlights on YouTube.



GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Rajon Rondo: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 22 assists, six steals, one block in 44 minutes in a Boston Celtics home win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Kevin Martin: 45 points, two rebounds, four assists on 13-18 shooting, 6-8 three-point shooting, 13-15 free throw shooting in 39 minutes in a Houston Rockets home lose to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dwight Howard: 28 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block in 43 minutes in an Orlando Magic home win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kevin Love: 35 points, 15 rebounds, five assists in 45 minutes in a Minnesota Timberolves overtime loss on the road to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Jose Calderon: 20 points, three rebounds, 17 assists, two steals in 38 minutes in a Toronto Raptors road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

DON'T MISS:

WATCH OUT BELOW:

Four Denver Nuggets defenders try as hard as possible to avoid being in another Blake Griffin poster, but they fail. 

blake-griffin-dunk

WHIMSY:

Stephen Dunn, a Getty Images, got a great snap of Chris "Birdman" Andersen's tattooed leg.

birdman-leg

HIGHLIGHT REEL:

We're getting used to Blake Griffin throwing down, but this one-handed tomahawk alley oop jam after leading a 2-on-1 break with Clippers point guard Baron Davis was pretty filthy. And the fact that the break was started by DeAndre Jordan, who apparently blocked a shot with his elbow, is even better.



FINAL THOUGHT:

Since these posts continue to turn into all Blake Griffin all the time, here's Griffin talking about being selected for the NBA's Slam Dunk contest, as quoted by TheRookieWall.com. “I think I’m just gonna try and get up as high as possible and throw it down as hard as possible. You know, put a little show in there, put a little pizazz and see what we can come out with. Hopefully I’ll have the home court advantage, but I don’t know, we got a lot of good guys in there so I’m definitely going to try to play into that a little bit. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve. I’m not showing them yet.”
Posted on: December 23, 2010 8:11 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Shootaround 12.23.10: McGrady calls out Bosh

Tracy McGrady calls out Chris Bosh, the Bobcats look to deal for a veteran point guard, Chris Webber asks questions about Brandon Roy, the Kings look to build a new home and Landry Fields continues to get a lot of love in NYC. Posted by Ben Golliver  shootaround
  • Tracy McGrady returned to Toronto Wednesday night and was booed by Raptors fans, years after he departed the city for Orlando. McGrady's response, via the Vancouver Sun. "“Keep booing me. I love it. It really doesn’t bother me at all,” said McGrady, who at one point even talked back at a heckling fan after hitting a shot. “It’s not like I was like Chris Bosh and selling out the city like the city was horrible or something, making crazy comments about the city.”
  • The Bulls destroyed the Sixers the other day, and Tom Haberstroh notes that center Joakim Noah's absence couldn't come at a better time for Chicago, given their easy schedule over the next six weeks.
  • Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin tells NBA Fanhouse he's not too thrilled about the idea of rebuilding in Yao Ming's absence. "Rebuilding is definitely not something I want to go through again," said Martin, whose contract runs through 2013 and has a combined $24 million remaining after this season. "Daryl thinks I'm an important member of this team, especially on the offensive end, for many years to come. But this being the business, you just never know." 
  • Speaking of Fields, the Knicks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, causing PostingandToasting.com to get pretty excited about life. "Landry Fields. Oh, Landry Landry Landry boy. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love when you get a hand on a rebound, helping the Knicks regain possession without ever personally securing the ball. I love when you cut baseline for easy backdoor buckets. I love when you make slick passes in transition. I love when you nail open threes, ugly as your form may be. I love when you poach passing lanes so expertly that it looks like the pass was intended for you. I love you when you bum rush the offensive glass for tip-ins. I love when you block the shots of guys who tower over you. I love when you throw outlet passes right on the money. I love when you claw over screens to draw charges. I love when you laugh, because I laugh too. I love when we sing to each other. I love when we frolic and pick wild berries together. You complete me, Landry Fields."
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Melo is foolish not to consider Houston

Carmelo Anthony seems dead set on New York, ignoring overtures from Houston and Dallas. We don't think that's quite so smart a plan.
Posted by Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony has been weighing his options for months. This whole, convoluted process started because Melo started examining his options.  But he's kept his preference limited to New York. He's been ambivalent about New Jersey, mostly because they're the only ones to make an offer to peak the Nuggets' interest. Otherwise, he's shown no real interest in headed to Newark, before Brooklyn. Dallas is considering acquiring him regardless of his extension-status. For whatever reason, Melo's not itching to head to Dallas, despite it being a huge market with considerable endorsement opportunities. But what's more perplexing? 

Why won't Melo consider Houston?

For months, Houston's been in pursuit of a star, as General Manager Daryl Morey has more than once recognized publicly that you need such stars to win in the NBA. Melo's been on the list for as long as he's been on the market, but still, there's been no word of Melo's interest in Houston. And if it's true that Melo simply doesn't have any interest in the Rockets, that makes him a fool. 

The Rockets certainly aren't a contender this year. They're improving with each game, but they're not a top team in their conference, and aren't locked in for the playoffs. Houston isn't the same kind of market as New York. There aren't the same kind of opportunities for endorsements or parties as there are in LA. But Houston does provide the right set of circumstances to get him out of Denver without losing too much, and most importantly, an organization committed to winning. 

Daryl Morey has made significant moves every year he's been with the Rockets, and his success rate has been pretty high, considering the injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Outside of the overspending on Trevor Ariza, largely acquired due to a nice playoff run on a stacked team in LA, Morey's been on point. More important, though,  is the organizational approach. Morey almost never shackles himself to long-term assets, seizes opportunities to improve his roster (as he did with Ron Artest), drafts well, and if something isn't working, will move to improve it. He supports his head coach Rick Adelman and works in conjunction with him, as opposed to autonomously.

The Rockets have the pieces to acquire Anthony without giving up the farm for him, as New Jersey is backed into a corner about. The Nets keep offering up more and more assets, and have been acquiring more to try and sweeten the deal. But what's left if they send all that? The only thing assured to be waiting on Melo in Jersey is Brook Lopez, who hasn't been having as good of a season as he normally does. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets can package Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, any number of combinations of reasonable solid players to acquire Melo, and will still have either the expiring contract of Yao Ming to trade, or the money this summer once Yao comes off the books. Should they elect to move Martin, they may be able to pull in another A+ player depending on who or what pick they choose to package with him. Should they keep him, they'll have a legit scoring 2-guard to put next to Melo. 

And as a core element, they have Luis Scola. Scola is a top power forward in the West this year. He has ability to play in the post, can defend out to mid-range as well as down low, and rebounds well. Even at 30 years old, he's a piece worth building around, especially at only $16 million over the next two years. 

Melo's wife La La Vasquez may want the bright lights of New York.  But if Anthony really wants to contend, he needs to hitch his wagon to a management and ownership group who is willing to work to make sure he has a contender each year, and will pounce on opportunities to make the team better. Daryl Morey offers that, and without the baggage that New York is still struggling through without draft picks. Mark Cuban's Mavericks are in a similar situation, but with Houston, there's no Dirk-Nowitzki-type player who Melo would have to share the spotlight and ball with. He'd have free reign to be the man, have a legitimate chance at winning, and an organization committed to success. 

A player's legacy isn't forged in commercials and cocktail parties. Houston's not the most glamorous city in the league. But ask Hakeem Olajuwon what playing there did for him. 
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 11:50 am
 

Shootaround 12.10.10: Shaq calls Griffin fabulous

Shaq says Blake Griffin is "fabulous,' the Heat are working towards progress, and some in New Orleans want to save their Hornets.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • Shaquille O'Neal on Blake Griffin: "He's fabulous ." Take a second and let that quote sink in. Shaq just described the most explosive rookie to enter the NBA in years in much the same way Lady Gaga likely discusses her latest dress made out of asbestos or drywall or whatever. An odd choice of words for anyone else. Par for the Shaq course.
  • Zach Lowe of SI on a specific shape the Heat have begun to implement: "The Heat have started to position James, Bosh and Wade in a triangle on the same side of the floor. They don’t do it often, but they’re trying it and are getting good results so far. Perhaps the best example happened about four minutes into the first quarter Wednesday. As Carlos Arroyo brought the ball up the left side, the three Miami stars took up residency on the opposite side — Wade in the right corner, Bosh at the right elbow and James on the right wing beyond the three-point line. A nice little $340 million obtuse triangle."
  • Rob Mahoney breaks down the accepted definition of All-Star, then asks the question, what should make an All-Star ?
  • Very quietly, the Kings are awaiting an MRI on the foot of Tyreke Evans. The whispers involve a term that rhymes with "shress shractshure." As of now he only has plantar fasciitis, which was confirmed by a foot expert this week.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 5:16 pm
 

John Kuester may need new scouting reports


Posted by Matt Moore

This is going to come across like I think all coaches should have an encyclopedic knowledge of all 15ish players on all other 29 teams beyond their own. Not at all. But John Kuester may not have done his homework to the degree best of his ability. From the Detroit Free Press after Kevin Martin logged 15 free throws in the Rockets' 97-83 win over the Pistons, Kuester lobbed this quote out there: 
"I'm amazed Kevin Martin could get that many free throws," Kuester said. "I never knew he was a post player. We have to work through those things. The mental composure has to come through."
Okay, well, maybe that did come out of nowhere. 

Or, maybe not. 

Take it away, Ziller!
For the record, Martin's 15 FTAs on Tuesday don't register among his career top 20 free throw performances. Martin has had at least 20 free throws in a game four times, and at least 15 in 32 games. This wasn't exactly a fluke.

What's more, Kuester coached against Martin three times last season; Martin averaged more than nine free throw attempts a game in those contests, and had 12 in one of the matches.

Even more ridiculous? Kuester was a top assistant with the Cavaliers in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 season. Martin, then with the Kings, played against Cleveland three times. His free throw totals in those games: 14, 17 and 18. So in the last three seasons, Martin had averaged 12.8 free throws a game against Kuester's teams, and yet Kuester is amazed -- amazed -- Martin could get 15 in one game.
 via Pistons Coach John Kuester Is Not An Expert On Kevin Martin, Possibly The NBA - From Our Editors - SBNation.com.

So just to review: 
 
John Kuester was amazed that Kevin Martin, who is a premier scorer in this league, was surprised that Kevin Martin did something he has done nearly each time he's played, and in particular each time he's played against a Kuester-coached team. Martin is a tricky, crafty player with good length and excellent ball fakes. It's hardly a wonder that he was able to pull in that many freebies. 

Just sayin', Coach. Should have saw this coming. 
Posted on: October 27, 2010 1:55 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 2:38 am
 

Lakers' poise overcomes Rockets' hard work

Lakers overcome tough contest by Rockets thanks to Shannon Brown as Kobe struggles from the field.
Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets worked hard. They hustled. They shot well. They drove, and dished. They gave up offensive boards, but they worked on defense. They forced Kobe Bryant into a hard night. They gave everything they had for three quarters.

And it only took one quarter for the Lakers to show why they're the champs. After the Rockets led by as many as 15 in the second half, the Lakers made a furious comeback behind an explosive performance from Shannon Brown, then iced it with a Steve Blake three with less than twenty seconds to go. Brown went ballistic in the third with a barrage of threes and finished with 16 points. With one last possesion and less than ten seconds, Steve Blake made a terrific defensive stop on Aaron Brooks under the basket and the Lakers walked out with a 112-110 win.

Take a look at Shannon Brown's shot chart from our CBSSports.com GameTracker :



The Rockets had solid performances from Kevin Martin in the loss, with 26 points. Aaron Brooks, outside of that last possession, was also brilliant with 24 points and 9 assists. The key for the Rockets? Turnovers. 19 turnovers to LA's 11.

Yao Ming was held to his 24-minute limit, fouling out in the 24th minute, exactly. That's one way to get the most for your minutes. Yao was great early, fighting off Pau Gasol and grabbing rebounds, but Lamar Odom decided to show for LA, and when that happens, they're impossible to stop. 14 points, 10 rebounds for the Space Cadet, and a 112-110 win for the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant was 8 of 20 from the field for 27 points, but did have 5 rebounds and 7 assists. More on #24 in tomorrow's GameChanger.


Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Houston Rockets

Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets finally have Yao Ming healthy. They finally have Tracy McGrady out of their hair. They finally have the pieces together to make another run. But can any of the pieces fit together? Are they really as dangerous as everyone says they are? Does speaking in rhetorical questions make you want to read this, our next selection in our Preseason Primers ? Let's find out as we talk about the Rox.


Training camp site: Houston, TX (Hidalgo, TX in early October)

Training camp starts: September 25th

Key additions: Brad Miller (free agent), Courtney Lee (trade), Patrick Patterson (draft)

Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza (trade), David Andersen (trade)

Likely starting lineup:
Aaron Brooks (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Shane Battier (SF), Luis Scola (PF), Yao Ming (C)

Player to watch:
Patrick Patterson. Assuming the Rox don't go all nuts and acquire Carmelo Anthony during camp, their starting lineup is pretty well set. But Patterson is a rookie who comes out of that ridiculous Kentucky class and could wind up being the kind of flex player that makes a big impression on Rick Adelman. He's versatile, strong, has a good mid-range, and can work inside of a complex offense. He's got a great opportunity to make an impact for the Rockets during camp.


Chemistry quiz:
The Rockets have seemed like a team that's liked one another for years. They hung together when Yao Ming went down, and their samurai-like approach last year was noble, even if it fell short. Basically, even without the star talent you need to win in this league, the Rockets were the team you didn't want to run into in a dark alley. They were tough, gritty, and hung together. The addition of Kevin Martin, trying to reassert himself as a premier player in this league could cause issues, and there's no telling if the same goodwill will maintain with as many changes as the Rockets have made in the past two years. But the core elements are in place, and the tone of camp should be fun and focused, instead of contentious and tense. Not having solified expectations due to Yao's injury should help with manners as well.


Camp battles:
Small forward was set to be a huge battle but promising second year man Chase Budinger tweaked an ankle and won't be able to battle old man Battier for the slot left open by Trevor Ariza's departure. Jermaine Taylor, Courtney Lee, and Jared Jeffries should have a good one for the backup role behind Martin. Jordan Hill vs. Patterson should make for a nice one as well, with Hill's scrap versus Patterson's finesse providing contrast in style.

Injury issues:
Budinger's ankle is significant, but other than that the Rockets seem really healthy and don't have any pro...OH, YEAH. Yao Ming is coming back from an injury that's held him out for a year and a half and is trying to just stay on the floor while the rest of the team holds its breath everytime his feet leave the ground. camp.

Biggest strength:
Doin' work. The Rockets put in a full effort every night, a testament to both the roster assembled and Rick Adelman's job. They lacked an identity last year without Yao, but it did help them to adjust to whatever they faced. The Rockets can get out and run, or grind it out. They're really best when they're doing both. They'll battle for every loose ball and every player knows his role. It's a strong team they've put together.

Glaring weakness:
Three point shooting. Brooks isn't an efficient shooter. Martin's three point shooting dropped off a cliff last season. Budinger can shoot, but the rest of the team isn't great from the arc, including backup point guard Kyle Lowry.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com