Tag:DeAndre Jordan
Posted on: February 9, 2011 11:50 am
 

The Rockets are certainly being active

Posted by Royce Young

The Rockets have been somewhat of a disappointment this season. As a result, general manager Daryl Morey has constantly been reassuring fans that he and the front office have been furiously working to get the team where it should be.

And according to the Houston Chronicle, they absolutely have been.

His team needs talent, size, defense and rebounding. Carmelo Anthony appears to be at the top of his wish list, and Morey would trade for him without any guarantee of signing him to a long-term contract.

He knows Anthony wants to play for the Knicks, but at this point will take his chances. Morey also has asked about Chris Paul, Josh Smith, DeAndre Jordan, Anderson Varejao and a long list of others.

Everyone on the Rockets' roster is available as the NBA's February 24th trading deadline approaches, but some are more likely to go than others.

That's interesting right there. Everyone is available on the Rockets' roster. That means Morey has been saying things like, "OK, how about Kevin Martin and Luis Scola for Chris Paul?"

And all of this starts adding up with the reports mentioning Aaron Brooks' availability. One day, the Rockets were "trying hard" to move him. The next, that was refuted. Hard to really know, but it sounds like the team is listening to any and all offers.

The Rockets certainly have a good number of pieces that other teams would love to acquire. Shane Battier is a perfect veteran to have for a playoff run. Yao Ming's contract of course is something a rebuilding team would love to have coming off the books this summer. Patrick Patterson and Chase Budinger are two young players that teams probably would go after. There assets in the cupboard right now for the Rockets.

Morey has proven he's not shy about making moves. His deal for Kevin Martin last season was an aggressive one. His dealing of Tracy McGrady for picks, Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries was too as well as the trade that sent Trevor Ariza to New Orleans. He's definitely willing to make a deal if it's out there.

The Rockets are four games back of the eight-seed in the West. As they're currently built, they don't look ready to realistically challenge for that spot. So Morey has to decide if he's trying to improve for now, or for later. By the sounds of it, he's keeping his head in the present.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 10:51 am
 

Game Changer 2.1.11: Sweet Emotion

Blake Griffin has help low to topple the Bucks, Jerryd Bayless hates the rim, and the Grizzlies out-work the Magic in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

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: Clippers GO BIG (TIME)

Lost in the fact that Blake Griffin is a horrifyingly talented individual who's dunks are like emotional artillery pounding the opponent into oblivion is a very quiet development that has contributed mightily to the Clippers' recent surge, and it was in full display in the Clips' win over the Bucks. Against a tough, physical, defensive team with a wealth of size down low, the Clippers over-ran the Bucks with a frontcourt that poured in 48 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. Griffin of course carried the load with 32-11, but the progression of DeAndre Jordan is significant on multiple levels. 

Jordan has developed from a raw, athletic, skinny rail of a kid in his rookie season to a hulking beast of a man at 6-11, 265 lbs. But more importantly, he's improved in the areas so many of those high-upside athletic big men never do, in basketball IQ. His positioning is better. He screens better. He runs the pick and roll better. He's more fluid, and he plays off his teammates and his effort is there. Those kinds of improvements can't be measured in the boxscore, but we're starting to see it from him night in and night out. Put that beside Blake Griffin and you have a combination that just overwhelms an opponent with size and explosiveness. Like Jon Brockman found out last night. 




Welcome to the jungle, Brockman, we've got DeAndre. 

Jordan was 7-8 from the line, his only miss coming on a tip that rolled in and out. The very model of efficiency, helping hold Andrew Bogut to 14 points. With Randy Foye stepping up, Eric Bledsoe contributing, and Blake Griffin being Blake Griffin, the Clippers look more like a complete team than they have since the 2006 playoff season.  And this without Eric Gordon!  After a terrible start to the year, Vinny Del Negro is figuring some things out in Clipperland. The Clippers have now won nine straight at home. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT

Blake Griffin: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists

Runner-Up

Dwyane Wade: 34 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists

MAGIC LOSE THEIR MINDS LATE

The Orlando Magic hit their first 12 of 14 shots against the Memphis Grizzlies. After that dazzling display, they apparently thought it would be that easy the whole game. Just hoist up shots from wherever, whenever, get buckets, go home. Unfortunately, their shooting returned to Earth orbit while their defense headed for the bar.  The Grizzlies, on the other hand, continuously worked for a quality shot.  The Grizz have not been a team with coherent, smooth ball movement this season, but they were rotating the ball expertly against the Magic, and wound up with open looks and inside layups off blown Magic coverage. Mike Conley was brilliant with a 26 point, 11 assist performance, and clinched the game with a strip of Ryan Anderson off an offensive rebound, just minutes after missing a free throw to open the door to a Magic tying three. 

The Magic simply did not want to work past the first quarter.  What's stunning from this one is that the Magic had every advantage for most of the game, even in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when they were outscored by nearly 20 points. Zach Randolph was flustered by the Magic's swarming help defense, most notably from Dwight Howard, and shot just 4-11. When Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay combine for just 23 points on 9-26 shooting, and O.J. Mayo is suspended? You have to win that game. Instead, the Magic surrendered wide open mid-range shots to Darrel Arthur, having not gotten the book that says Arthur has developed an increasingly reliable mid-range game, and when he's hot, he's 5-8 hot.  The Magic did not want to effort to exploit advantages. 

An example: Dwight Howard was guarded by Hasheem Thabeet for much of the game. Hasheem Thabeet! And yet instead the Magic chose to make perimeter swing pass after perimeter swing pass to try and bust the Grizzlies' zone. It was like turning down a sledgehammer to instead try and bust a rock with a scalpel. 

Stan Van Gundy was apoplectic after the game, both about his team's defense, and a late game technical for Dwight Howard that helped extend the Grizzlies' lead to 3. Howard may not have done much to earn that tech, but he had been furious with the officials since Thabeet drew a charge on him late on an obvious call.  Once again, Howard lost his cool, the system lost its way, and Orlando lost another game.  Big win for the Grizzlies, who are now one game over .500 and within striking distance of the 8th seed in the West. 

WHIMSY




Jerryd Bayless: "I HATE YOU, RIM! I HATE YOU SO MUCH! I HATE YOU AND YOUR STUPID FACE! I'M GOING TO TAKE YOUR MOTHER OUT FOR A NICE STEAK DINNER AND NEVER CALL HER AGAIN!

Josh McRoberts: "Whoa, bro."

Final Thoughts:

  • The Jazz needing a late surge to hold off the Bobcats who shot 35% from the field is almost as good as a loss. Even in a win the Jazz are still completely in shambles. 
  • The Cavaliers actually competed really well against the Heat, putting some pressure on them at times and continually coming at them. It would have been very easy to lay down and die, but the Cavs at least competed as professionals. I mean, it didn't matter, since it's the Cavaliers versus the Heat, but still. 
  • John Wall is starting to regain some of his preseason form. 17 and 10 last night for Wall in a loss to the Mavericks, because they were on the road and they couldn't beat a drum on the road. 
  • If I'm Bryan Colangelo, I'm looking for anyone to take Andrea Bargnani off my hands. It's not just his non-existent interior play, it's that he's the kind of player that fans have an easy time blaming in seasons like the Raps are having. Better to make him the scape goat and cash in on whatever you can for him. Easier said than done with big years and big money left on his contract. 
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:44 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Chris Kaman appears to be on the block

Posted by Royce Young

The Los Angeles Clippers are in transition right now. They're moving away from the big dollar veterans and focusing more on low cost youngsters.

Chris Kaman, who was an All-Star last season, has been out with a bad left ankle for most of the season. He hasn't played since Dec. 5 and there's no timetable for his return. And really, I'm not sure the Clippers are rushing him by any means.

Coach Vinny Del Negro said Monday that if you want to ask about Kaman's availability, just call.

"It depends on what is out there, if there is someone we feel makes us a better team," Del Negro told the Los Angeles Daily News. "We're not in a position not to take a look at everything. It's nothing against Chris. He has tremendous skills. I love him and we need him. But if there is something that would help improve the L.A. Clippers, we would look at anything."

You hear that NBA? Anything. They'll look at anything.

Of course what makes Kaman that much more expendable is the rise of DeAndre Jordan. The athletic seven-footer has become a true presence in the middle, complementing Blake Griffin's game perfectly. Kaman, who is 28, is an offensive center that is looking for 12-15 shot attempts a game. Jordan is fine taking four, with all of them being dunks.

Problem for the Clippers is that Kaman's value isn't near as high as it was two months ago. He's injured so a team looking to add him for help down the stretch isn't sure about what he's going to give. And on top of that, before going down, Kaman wasn't playing all that well. On the season, he's averaging 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in just 10 games.

What does make Kaman harder to move is his contract. He has two years left on it but at $24 million. He is an All-Star level big man though so a contending team might be interested in bringing him in for a playoff push. Again, the injuries though limits his value to a degree though.

The Clippers would certainly be doing themseves a favor in moving Kaman and fully embracing the youth movement. There's some actual, legitimate excitement and momentum around the franchise right now and it's because of the young talent. Jordan and Griffin are a big part of that. Not to say Kaman doesn't have big time ability, but for the Clippers, it's just better to let the young guys have their minutes. The season's already likely a wash, so just dedicate it to letting your horses get better.

Plenty of teams would be interested in Kaman I'm sure. And like Del Negro said, just pick up the phone.

Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Game Changer: Clippers top Lakers in LA

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the battle for LA and the San Antonio Spurs easily handled the Denver Nuggets at home. 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: YOU WILL BEND TO Blake Griffin 

Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin is not only phenomenally athletic, he plays the role of "rookie that doesn't care about your veteran way of doing things" absolutely perfectly. 

Griffin's Clippers defeated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, and while it certainly wasn't Griffin's most efficient night, he left his stamp on the game in the closing seconds.

With a comfortable lead and the win virtually secured, Griffin continued to battle hard underneath the glass during a free throw attempt, prompting Lakers forward Lamar Odom to swing him by the jersey for his perceived unnecessary hustle and physical play. The two forwards had a staredown which resulted in four players being ejected (video here) and the Lakers left a little salty at Griffin's lack of decorum in a situation that happens hundreds of times over a long NBA career.

Will Griffin still chase every rebounding attempt with absolute ferocity when he's Odom's age? Possibly not, but it's not out of the question. Sunday's exchange was simply proof that when it comes to "motor" -- that all-purpose scouting term that combines hustle, energy level, activity and desire -- Griffin, even as a rookie, rocks the most cylinders and has the most horsepower. 

Not only does he go hard, though, Griffin has shown in recent games that, despite being soft-spoken and even-keeled off the court, he excels in the macho on-court NBA climate of punking and trashtalking. He's been delivering stares after dunks for months now, but his success as a rookie has made him a target of mental attacks from his opponents. Against the Miami Heat last week, Griffin responded to some trash-talking by throwing down a ridiculous double-pump dunk and then letting the Heat know about it. Here, against the Lakers, Griffin holds his ground as his teammates comically come to his defense, as if anyone was really going to mess with Griffin one-on-one, face-to-face.  

Griffin is still finding his way in the league, as demonstrated by Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller body-slamming him in retaliation for some rebounding skirmishes. But Griffin's message to the rest of the NBA has become clear and consistent: you guys will adjust to me and my talent, not the other way around. 

So far it's working out pretty well for him.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Tony Parker: 30 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals on 11-15 shooting in 32 minutes in a San Antonio Spurs home victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Blake Griffin: 18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists in 38 minutes in a Los Angeles Clippers home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Andrew Bynum: 18 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks on 7-11 shooting in 32 minutes in a Los Angeles Lakers road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan serves as a spotter as his teammate does a pre-game handstand.   clippers-handstand

HIGHLIGHT REEL PART ONE:

J.R. Smith is the best in-game dunker in the NBA (only LeBron James comes close). One of the reasons why: Smith doesn't care at all about time/score situations. Even in blowouts, he's looking to put you on a poster. Here, down big against the San Antonio Spurs, Smith rises up and over Spurs big man Tiago Splitter for a nasty one-handed dunk.


HIGHLIGHT REEL PART TWO:

Here's Splitter's attempt at revenge, a two-handed dunk in transition that was completely unnecessary because the clock was set to run out. Splitter violated the NBA rule of "no unnecessary shooting if the opposition agrees not to foul or play defense" and karma got the best of him. Splitter went crashing to the floor after the uncontested dunk attempt, landing hard on his backside. The good news: no injury was sustained during the course of this blooper.


FINAL THOUGHT:

The Carmelo Anthony saga is driving everyone a little nuts, but leave it to his Nuggets teammate J.R. Smith to find a funny side. Quoted by NBA.com, Smith said the Nuggets give Anthony some grief: "We ask him, 'What are you gonna look like in a Nets uniform?,' How cold it's going to be out there. What (city) he's gonna end up in? He could be playing for some team in Alaska."
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:08 pm
 

The Game Changer: Memphis mauls the Lakers

Posted by Royce Young

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: MEMPHIS WALKS OVER L.A.

This really was kind of a bizarro game. The Lakers fell behind early to a quicker, more athletic Grizzlies team and never had the firepower to really make up the deficit.

It was basically the formula you see good teams use to beat bad ones. A couple 6-2 runs placed in between bigger 10-2 ones and before you know it, the margin is 20. And that's what the Grizzlies did to the Lakers all night.

Kobe tried to shoot the Lakers back into the game late finishing with a fourth quarter flurry of points, but it was too late. Rudy Gay had already done too much damage, Zach Randolph had already had his way inside and O.J. Mayo had already gotten hot from outside.

Obviously the look here is at the Lakers who have lost again, this time big against a sub-.500 team. But really, shouldn't we be impressed a little with the Grizzlies? They've started playing much better the past few games and take away Tyreke Evans' miracle and they've won four of five. As it stands, they're three below .500 but have three straight tough ones playing the Thunder twice and the Jazz in the middle.

But while the Lakers will gain most of the chatter for getting worked over by Memphis, I think it's at least courteous to give a little credit where credit is due. The Lakers don't lose just by playing bad. Someone had to make them do it. And the Grizzlies did Sunday.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Blake Griffin had a very Blake Griffin night. Big highlights and 31 point and 15 rebounds.

DeAndre Jordan was actually quite good as well: six points, 12 rebounds and six blocks

DeMarcus Cousins had the best game of his young career with 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists

Danny Granger finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Knicks.

Antwan Jamison dropped 35 and pulled in 10 boards, but the Cavs lost to the Mavericks.

RONDO RETURNS, BOSTON WINS

It wasn't against a great team or anything, but the Celtics got Rajon Rondo back and took care of business, dispersing the Raptors. Paul Pierce scored 30 on 15 shots, but it was having Rondo back that was the story. He played 34 minutes, scored four points and ` out eight assists, but just his presence commandeering the Celtics was a huge difference.

With Rondo, there's a different level of execution. The spacing is terrific and the team plays just with a looser, more confident feel to it.

Getting Kevin Garnett back is the next goal, but just having Rondo on the floor again is nice for Boston.

MAVS BEAT CAVS

For Cleveland, that's 17 out of 18 in the loss column. For the Mavericks, it's now one out of four without Dirk Nowitzki. I just thought that was worth pointing out. Plus I wanted to say "Mavs beat Cavs."

PORTLAND GETS A LEG UP

In a battle for the now-getting-more-and-more-interesti
ng eight-seed spot, the Trail Blazers took down the Rockets behind a big game from Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Even without Brandon Roy when the Blazers play in the open floor the way they did, they look like a capable playoff team. They always defend, they always rebound, but it's the offensive execution where sometimes they lack. But against the Rockets, everything was on point especially when the Blazers ran.

Houston has been coming on strong lately, and a team Portland will likely be fighting with for months to come. It's not a statement so much as it's a leg up on the nearest competition. The Blazers are potentially good enough to solidify themselves as an eight-seed or higher contender despite injuries, but winning games against the direct competition is key.

Paul Pierce SMASHY

Blake Griffin had himself another stellar finish yesterday, but Paul Pierce gets the dunk award for the day with this Griffinesque cram.


PARTING THOUGHT

The Clippers did a very Clipper thing by blowing a late lead over the Hawks by surrendering 37 fourth quarter points. This Clipper team has some really nice pieces. But they're obviously one of those young groups that isn't exactly sure how to win or finish. They keep reminding me of the Thunder from two years ago. Clearly talented but just not ready to win consistently. Patience is key here, but I think by April, we're going to have reason to be impressed.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 8:32 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Clippers: Kaman out 3+ weeks with ankle injury

The Los Angeles Clippers announced on Friday that center Chris Kaman will miss at least three weeks with an ankle injury. Posted by Ben Golliverchris-kaman Aside from the magical play of power forward Blake Griffin, it's been a tough start to the season for the 2010-2011 NBA season Los Angeles Clippers.  On Friday, the team announced more bad news: all star center Chris Kaman will miss at least three weeks due to an ankle injury. Here's the release from the team.
Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman will miss a minimum of three weeks due to an aggravated bone bruise and deltoid ligament sprain of his left ankle. Kaman was examined by team physician Dr. Steven Shimoyama after undergoing an MRI on Dec. 6. He was then was re-evaluated on Dec. 9 by Dr. Richard D. Ferkel. Kaman will wear a protective boot when not participating in assigned rehabilitation.
Kaman originally suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle in a game against the New Orleans Hornets in early November. His prognosis at the time was that he would miss 2-3 weeks, but obviously it's become a bit more serious than that. In Kaman's absence, head coach Vinny Del Negro has turned to center DeAndre Jordan, physical big man Craig Smith, the washed up Brian Cook and has used end-of-the-bencher Jarron Collins sparingly as well. Clearly, Kaman cannot return soon enough. Kaman averaged 10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game in the 10 games he appeared in this season prior to the injury. He was an NBA all star last season. The Clippers are currently in last place in the Pacific Division, with a record of 5-18.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 9:29 am
 

Shootaround 11.16.10: Cuban says hallelujah

Posted by Royce Young
  • Mark Cuban went on Dallas radio and of course said fun things about the Heat's slow start: "Hallelujah, boys, is that great or what? … How cool is that? Now, they could still turn it around and win out for all that matters, but you're starting to see some of the problems. Any team with a strong, big guy that can score, they're getting abused by. Paul Millsap goes out and pulls a Tracy McGrady. What, Tracy McGrady scored 13 and 30 and Paul Millsap scores 11 in 29 seconds or something like that? They just don't have size to battle. They have the fewest points in the paint of any team and that's tough. … My buddy Dan Gilbert is smiling all the way, too. Again, it's early in the season and you never quite know how it's going to play out, but how glorious."
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: "So much has been so bad for the Oklahoma City Thunder that the last thing this team needed Monday night was a tough start. But the Thunder found itself in a nightmarish start when Utah point guard Deron Williams promptly splashed his first three 3-point attempts through the net, opening a nine-point lead less than three minutes into the game. And with the way OKC has underachieved all season defensively and sputtered at times offensively, there was little to suggest the Thunder could dig itself out of a hole in one of the NBA's toughest buildings. After securing a hard-fought 115-108 victory over the Jazz, however, the Thunder showed there is at least one characteristic from last year's lovable 50-win team that has indeed spilled over into this season of inconsistency. Pride."
  • Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times: "The University of Clippers suffered a major blow to their NCAA chances on Monday night. (Well, there always is strength of schedule.) Kidding aside, when you present a starting lineup consisting of five players all still possessing NCAA eligibility, it's always going to hold an element of peril and high risk. The Clippers' starters were two 20-year-olds (Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu) two 21-year-olds (Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon) and one 'veteran,' 22-year-old DeAndre Jordan. So this team might look terrific in March in the NCAA tournament, but this is, for better or worse, the NBA in the opening month.
  • Tayshaun Prince and John Kuester went after each other last night. Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News writes: "On the way to the bench, Kuester and Prince had words. Then Prince slammed his towel down, yelling at Kuester and walked away from the huddle. Kuester responded in kind, and had to be restrained by assistant coach Darrell Walker. Kuester and Prince continued jawing throughout the stoppage in play. After the timeout, Kuester attempted to walk over to Prince and continue their discussion, but Walker stepped in again."
 
 
 
 
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