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Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:56 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 5:55 pm
 

Westbrook will play Saturday versus Hawks

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: Westbrook will make it 283 straight as he's set to play tonight against the Hawks.

---

Russell Westbrook has never missed a game as pro. Or in college. He's played 282 consecutive games for the Thunder, but that could be coming to an end Saturday night.

In the fourth quarter of OKC's win over the Magic Westbrook stepped on a defender's foot and rolled his left ankle. He walked it off, sinking two free throws right after and playing pretty much the rest of the way. He exited the game with about 30 seconds left and went to the locker room.

Said Westbrook after the game, via The Oklahoman: "I'm much more focused on my career ... I think missing a game instead of missing (more time) in the long run won't hurt you. So we'll just see how it feels and hopefully I'll be able to play."

(If you're wondering, the all-time NBA record for most consecutive games played is 1,192 set by A.C. Green.)

This ankle injury comes just over a week after he rolled his other ankle in a game against Golden State. Westbrook didn't miss any time because of that one, but it certainly sounds like he's taking a cautious approach, which is wise.

If Westbrook can't go Saturday against the Hawks, Scott Brooks will have an interesting choice between Reggie Jackson or Royal Ivey. Jackson is the de facto backup as of now, but would Brooks really trust his inconsistent rookie with big minutes? Or would he split time between Ivey and Jackson with Harden running a healthy amount of point?

Hopefully for the Thunder's sake, they don't have to find out.

Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:04 pm
 

Celtics eyeing Josh Smith?

Could Smith be shipping up to Boston soon? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Any day now. Any day, we're going to all be talking about the big trade the Celtics just made. Because there's just too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

There's the Rajon Rondo stuff, which is complicated. But there's also been chatter about the Celtics shopping their other core members. Including this from the New York Daily News:
"Ainge is trying to land Atlanta's Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations."
Two deals there are interesting: 1) Rondo for Smith straight up. The Celtics get a younger player to be a cornerstone for the future inside, while the Hawks get what they desperately need, a point guard to orchestrate the offense.

And 2) Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for Smith, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia.  The Celtics cut ties with their core and bring in a completely capable power forward to replace Garnett, while the Hawks, a team stuck in neutral, get Garnett and Allen giving them the chance to maybe make an actual run for once. While at the same time opening up some cap flexibility in the future.

Did I just spend 20 minutes playing with the Trade Machine to come up with those? Yes, yes I did.

Point is, the Celtics are looking at maybe shaking everything up. It's hard to see them moving Paul Pierce as he's been a part of that organization for so long as still appears to have good years left, but it might be time to finally break away from Ubuntu and start making moves. Because this Celtics team isn't winning anything any time soon. Heck, it's a question as to if they're making the playoffs right now.

Ainge tried to get younger in acquiring Jeff Green lasts season, but obviously that backfired. And he's certainly looking at doing the same this year too. He doesn't want to go through a total rebuild, not after all these good years. He wants to restock and retool the team by grabbing some young talent. And the only way to do that is to rip the bandaid right off and make a tough call on your key players.

Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:38 pm
 

Manu Ginobili possibly returning Friday

Posted by Royce Young

The Spurs might be fully operational once again soon.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Manu Ginobili practiced Thursday and could potentially return Friday against the Bobcats. Right now, Ginobili is listed as a game-time decision.

Ginobili strained an oblique muscle right after returning from a broken hand. The Spurs have survived without him, rising to second in the West with a 24-11 record. But obviously getting him back means they're all the more dangerous.
Ginobili, 34, is averaging 12.1 pooints, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game in 9 appearances this season. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:10 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 11:54 am
 

Better scoring night: Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100?

Posted by Royce Young



In what world has 81 ever been better than 100? Maybe when you're talking about temperature, but not much after that.

But here's a time that 81 was greater than 100: Kobe Bryant's epic scoring night matched against Wilt Chamberlain's all-time point barrage.

Never would I imply that what Chamberlain did 50 years ago wasn't impressive. Scoring 100 points in a game isn't just impressive. It's drinking-a-gallon-of-milk impressive. It's something that's darn near impossible to do and takes a special, near superhuman individual to pull it off.

Still, Kobe's 81 was better.

Why? You could almost make a strong case that Chamberlain's hundred should include an asterisk. First, and this is unfair to Chamberlain, but none of us saw it happen. We don't know what it looked like, what it felt like, how that game went. There's no footage of it at all, only a little audio of him scoring the hundredth point.

Actually, it might be a good thing we never saw it. Because from accounts of how it went down, the Warriors spent almost the entire fourth quarter fouling to get the ball back and force-feeding Chamberlain the ball. New York coach Eddie Donovan said, "The game was a farce. They would foul us and we would foul them." Chamberlain's shot attempts by quarter: 14, 12, 16, 21. You think in a blowout in today's game that a team would keeping feeding their star like that?

Plus, the pace of the game in 1962 was far faster than was Kobe was playing with in 2006. Chamberlain had more possessions in the up-and-down game. There were 316 combined points in that game. It would take today's Lakers almost a month to score that many. (I kid, I kid.)

Then you have to consider that Chamberlain's points came easier. He was a post player that could be fed the ball and overwhelm his opponents. Kobe is a perimeter player that had to handle it and score by creating his own either off the dribble or with a jumper. Chamberlain overpowered smaller teams and smaller players. At times, it was like a college guy playing against middle school kids. Truly a man among boys. Chamberlain could just have his way.

It's no coincidence that when you browse the top point totals in a game, Wilt's name litters the list. It was a long time coming that he'd finally top the century mark. He scored at will because there was only one other player in the game -- Bill Russell -- that could really stop him. The guy that played most of the night against him -- Darrall Imhoff -- stood no chance. Not to discredit the talent pool in the 60s, but Chamberlain wasn't exactly facing elite big men every night.

Nobody will ever match what Chamberlain did though. Like DiMaggio's hit streak or Favre's consecutive games streak, it's one of those unbreakable records. The reason mainly is because nobody would have the gall to do what the Warriors did to get him there. Playing out the game in a blowout, blatantly running up the score, fouling to get the ball back -- can you imagine what would happen if someone did that today?

Say LeBron was going off and had 75 points after three quarters. The Heat are up 30. Erik Spoelstra leaves LeBron out there to pound the opponent, all while Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier take fouls so LeBron gets more shots. There would be week long panels devoted to ripping the team that did it. I think the Hall of Fame might have to make room for a new exhibit honoring the most explosive media backlash in professional sport history.

Kobe's 81 had everything going for it. It was a close game and Bryant just completely took over. The Lakers were down 71-53 and Kobe brought them back. He wasn't ever intentionally fouled, and he team didn't do much of anything other than give him the ball and get out of the wya. He played until the end, checking out with just a few seconds remaining. And despite playing a darn near perfect game with all the factors lining up, Kobe was still 19 points short. Consider this: After Kobe, the next highest total is 78 by Chamberlain, then 73 by David Thompson and Chamberlain. Even the greatest ever, Michael Jordan, topped out at 69. There's just no chance of anyone ever sniffing 100 points in a game again.

Still, Kobe's 81 was better.

The Mamba took 17 fewer shots, 12 fewer free throws, didn't have his team fouling to get him the ball, had fewer possessions and still only came up 19 short of Wilt. He scored 55 points after halftime. That's only 14 short of Jordan's career-high. Forget what math and maybe common sense tells you. Eight-one is greater than 100.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:25 am
 

Report Card: Flying fast breaks rule

Posted by Royce Young

 No-look oop? No big.

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Kevin Durant
How's this: Durant: 18 points on 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter. Orlando, 21 points on 8-of-25 shooting. The Magic had Oklahoma City beat, but that KD guy hit a couple tough shots, one impossible shot and closed out Orlando, finishing with 38 total. It's really no coincidence that the Thunder are 29-7. They just figure out how to win.
Awesome fast breaks
The two best fastbreaking teams in the league both put up nominees for "Fast break oop of the night." The Heat's (above) included a Dwyane Wade no-look lob to a flying LeBron. The Thunder's featured a no-dribble break that went Durant-Westbrook-Durant for a soaring finish. Take your pick. Both were awesome.
Steve Nash
The ageless one piled up 17 assists to go with 13 points as the Suns took down Minnesota. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, how about eight rebounds too. I really don't know how Nash is doing it. At this point, if you told me he'd be averaging a double-double when he's 58, I'd believe you.
Jimmer Fredette
The Kings lost, but there were small flashes of brilliance from Jimmer. It's March, so it might be Jimmer Time. He scored only 11 points, but hit 3-of-4 from 3 and started to play with a little of that BYU swag that made him such a scoring machine.
Dwight Howard
Howard finished with 33 points on 20 shots, but was a non-factor as the Orlando offense sputtered to a halt late in the game. Howard only got a couple of baskets -- a lob, a putback dunk, another cutting dunk and a couple free throws. He wants to be a part of the late game offense, but it's really hard to see how he can be. The Thunder used Kendrick Perkins on Howard one-on-one in the post and Perkins basically stopped him.
Orlando Magic's fourth quarter As mentioned above, the Magic scored only 21 points in the fourth. The problem with that being Oklahoma City had 35. Orlando blew an 11-point lead as the Thunder came back and took a tough one from the Magic. The offense had no idea where to look for baskets outside of just chucking a deep 3 and hoping Howard could clean up the glass.
Beasley and Williams
A night after going for a combined 54 on 20-25 shooting, Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams combined for nine points on 3-15 shooting.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 6:43 pm
 

Report: Odom going to the Mavs D-League affiliate

 Odom has a stop to make before he returns to the Mavs. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Hard to imagine Lamar Odom won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season, and did it with maybe his most efficient season ever.

Why is that hard to imagine? Because he's headed to the D-League, according to ESPN.com.

The Dallas Mavericks hope to have Lamar Odom back in uniform in a matter of days, but it might not immediately be a Mavs uniform, sources said.

Odom is likely to play at least one game with the Mavericks' D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco to, as one source said, "get his legs back under him." The Texas Legends play the Austin Toros at home Thursday night, but sources said it's more likely Odom practices with the Legends on Friday while the Mavericks are in New Orleans and then plays Saturday's home game with the Legends, also against Austin, while the Mavericks are playing host to Utah.

A team spokesman had said earlier Thursday that Odom will not make the trip to New Orleans. The team plans to provide another update on Odom's status before Saturday's game.

Odom was given a week of personal leave from the team after he left the team before the All-Star break to tend to an ill father. The assignment is more seen as something to help him just get back in shape. But then again, with the way Odom has performed this season, plus with the rumors starting to swirl around him, it's easy to assume there could be more to this.

Maybe the Mavs are deep in trade talks right now for him. Maybe they're just unhappy with his production and effort and are trying to grab his attention. Or maybe Odom really just needs some time to get back in shape.

As for buying him out, Cuban says it's not happening.

"We're not going to buy out anybody, there's no reason to do it," Cuban said. "We're not going to do that. That's not the way we work. We try to find what the problem is and fix it."

Since his trade from the Lakers before the season, Odom clearly hasn't been the same player. It's mostly a mental thing, as he was wounded by the way the Lakers sent him uncerimoniously out of town. He also briefly considered retirement due to an unexpected death in his family. So Odom has been dealing with issues off the court, which have affected him on it.

And right now, he's away from the Mavs on leave and likely is headed to Frisco before he finds his way back into a Dallas uniform, if he comes back to Dallas at all. My, how things change in a year.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 5:56 pm
 

Doc Rivers says there's no talk of dealing Rondo

Posted by Royce Young

When the trade winds start blowing, they pick up a whole lot of debris. Some of that wound up on the Boston Celtics' front doorstep as a report said the Celtics were "aggressively" shopping point guard Rajon Rondo.

You'll never believe this, but Doc Rivers and the Celtics say they've heard nothing of it. Via ESPN Boston:
Doc Rivers spent an hour and a half with Danny Ainge before Wednesday's win over Milwaukee, but the Boston Celtics coach says they never discussed trading point guard Rajon Rondo.

"... In all that time we did not talk once about any trades," Rivers said. "There was not one single thing about Rajon Rondo that crossed my desk."

Rivers said Thursday afternoon he is irked by reports the Celtics were aggressively shopping his mercurial point guard and frustrated that his relationship with Rondo is being cited as one of the reasons Boston is willing to part with him.

"My relationship with Rajon is as strong as it has ever been," he said. "Our communication has never been better. I want him here. I can say with almost 100 percent certainty he will be here with us when the season ends. I'm tired of this stuff. It's not fair."

Said Danny Ainge, talking to the Boston Herald, "“I anticipate him being here for a long time,” the Celtics president said when asked about Rondo’s immediate future.

Rondo has always been said to have a bit of a fragile personality, someone that can be affected by trade rumors and other things. So obviously with the Celtics trying to battle their way back into the Eastern playoff picture, this type of stuff doesn't come as good news.

They very well could be shopping Rondo around, but that doesn't mean the Celtics want to trade him. The original report said that the Celtics were essentially fed up with Rondo and the supposed "headaches" he brings. Most notably, the report said Rivers and Rondo have had extreme off-court clashes.

But unlike the other core Celtic members, Rondo still has a lot of time left in the league and at just 26, is certainly a player that can be part of Boston's long-term future. Whether the Celtics are shopping him around or not, Rondo is still wearing green as of now and while his name might pop up in rumors every few days, a deal's not done until it's done.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Bosh to miss two games due to personal matter

Posted by Royce Young

The Miami Heat will be without All-Star forward Chris Bosh Thursday against Portland as well as Friday against Utah because of a personal matter.

Without Bosh, the team will likely turn to Udonis Haslem, a very capable backup. Thursday's matchup in Portland will be a challenge as the Blazers have an All-Star up front as well in LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Heat though don't have a lot of interior depth, so without Bosh, the second unit will likely rely on Juwan Howard, Dexter Pittman and Eddy Curry even. Then again, the Heat can obviously survive as they have LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Which is an interesting wrinkle, because LeBron could see some of that time at the 4 in place of Bosh.

On the season Bosh is averaging 18.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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