Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.
Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.
A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.
Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .
Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.
Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.
Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.
Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.
Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.
And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.
Tags: Al Harrington, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets, Doc Rivers, Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Hornets, injuries, Josh Childress, Josh Howard, Knicks, Marcus Thornton, Melodrama, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Raymond Felton, Shootaround, Sixers, Suns, trades, Washington Wizards, Wizards
Posted on: September 20, 2010 4:14 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 4:15 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Time to give the hardwood a good waxing and to put some air in the roundball. Training camp is seriously just days away. Ken Berger has already kicked the priming off looking at Boston and San Antonio's training camp issues . And so let's start over here with a team with a disgruntled star that had people talking about where he could go before Carmelo Anthony took over - the New Orleans Hornets.
New Orleans Hornets
Training camp site: New Orleans, LA
Training camp starts: Sept. 28
Key additions: Trevor Ariza (trade), Marco Belinelli (trade), Craig Brackins (draft), Quincy Pondexter (draft), Mustafa Shakur (free agent)
Key subtractions: Darren Collison (trade), James Posey (trade)
Likely starting lineup: Chris Paul, PG; Marcus Thornton, SG; Trevor Ariza, SF; David West, PF; Emeka Okafor, C
Player to watch: Chris Paul. Coming off an injury that caused him to miss the last 37 games of the season, some wonder if Paul will be the same player. Add in the turbulent offseason with rumors about his New Orleans future and all eyes are on CP3 as he heads to camp. Marcus Thornton is maybe the most intriguing player on the roster because of his potential to break out as a big time scorer, but the Hornets are Chris Paul's team and therefore, he's the one to be watching.
Chemistry check: Though Chris Paul tried to sooth some of the chemistry questions kicked up by him this summer by reportedly asking out of New Orleans, it's still something that's likely to linger over the team. Since it appears that Paul is kind of running the team with Dell Demps catering to Paul's wishes and desires, how does that make the rest of the squad feel?
Obviously CP3 is the leader. Obviously, he's the star. But how does all of that fit in with the rest of the group? Plus, Paul has a new running buddy in Trevor Ariza, a player that shoots first and asks questions later. How does Paul integrate his game with Ariza's trigger happy approach? Luckily for the Hornets, Monty Williams is a good man to have in charge of these issues and someone that can likely solve any kind of chemistry uptick.
Camp battles: One key area is up for discussion going into camp for the Hornets: Who's Chris Paul's new backup point guard? After trading Darren Collison as part of the Ariza deal, the Hornets signed D-Leaguer Mustafa Shakur in the offseason and have recently inked D.J. Strawberry to come to camp and compete for the job. It's the type of position battle that's not overly important because if all goes well, whoever wins the job will only get 8-10 minutes a night. But if something goes wrong like it did last season, it could become a very important spot for the Hornets.
At shooting guard, Marcus Thornton is almost assured of having the starting job, but Marco Belinelli could potentially push him a bit.
Long shots: Strawberry isn't necessarily a long shot, but the job is Shakur's to lose. The Hornets also are bringing in D-League journeyman Daryl Watkins who has spent time with the Kings, Spurs and Clippers. He's a big guy that has somewhat of a chance because of the thin Hornet front line, but it's not likely he makes the team.
Biggest strength: The starting five. Not to pull a Rodney Stuckey here, but on paper, NOLA has a pretty nice first first. Paul, Thornton, Ariza, David West and Emeka Okafor. That five should be able to match up with most, assuming Thornton continues his rise as a prolific scorer. West is a former All-Star, Okafor should have a full run with Paul and is a quality rim-protector and Ariza can score and is a capable lockdown defender.
Glaring weakness: Depth. As is the case with a lot of teams with good front line talent, there's just not much waiting in reserve. The Hornets traded James Posey and Collison to get Ariza, which definitely hurt their depth. Add in the fact that they might have a D-Leaguer backing up CP3, Darius Songaila spelling West and Aaron Gray as their backup center, and you've got a team with issues on the bench. If rookies Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins can step up, those issues can be resolved but as of right now, it's a major question.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:49 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:51 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It's pretty obvious that the Hornets' offseason moves this summer were done for a pretty specific reason - to keep Chris Paul happy. The acquisition of swingman Trevor Ariza and then a deal to bring in shooting guard Marco Belinelli were both accomplished after reports of Paul's unhappiness surfaced.
And according to head coach Monty Williams, the Hornets might not be finished competing for CP3's heart.
“My gut feeling is that we are not done yet," Williams told the Times-Picayune. ”Dell and I share information on both sides. I talk to him about players and he talks to me about things we can do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together."
Granted, a lot of people pull the "We're not done yet!" card. Everyone is looking to improve if the opportunity presents itself. But the Hornets will actually be called on it if they're bluffing.
Some have mentioned New Orleans being a destination for Carmelo Anthony, though it's unlikely. I'm teaming with Chris Paul is intriguing, but it's not the market he wants and the Hornets probably don't have the assets to complete a trade with the Nuggets.
And while Williams talks about more players, the reality is the current Hornets roster might just be good enough for a playoff birth if everyone starts playing to their capability. Already in place is the best point guard in the league, plus a rising scorer in Marcus Thornton, then the addition of a quality defender and scorer Trevor Ariza. Add in David West who is an all-star caliber power forward and then center Emeka Okafor who has underachieved and that's a nice starting five.
Obviously a higher caliber scorer would be on the wish list, but as it stands, there's not really a clear cut hole in the first five. Okafor has been a disappointment for the most part, but he's definitely a capable player. Plus, he didn't have the luxury of playing with Chris Paul for the entire season. Do the Hornets need to make a few more moves? Of course. They need a new backup for Paul, a reliable bench scorer and a couple secondary big men. They aren't good enough right now to be a real contender. But are they that far off? Surprisingly, probably not.