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Tag:Hornets
Posted on: September 21, 2010 9:24 am
Edited on: September 21, 2010 10:04 am
 

Shootaround 9.21.10: Bogut good to run

Bogut's back, Joe Alexander's back, Pops is back, and Curry is not back. Posted by Matt Moore

We've kept you up to date on the health and progress of Andrew Bogut. The latest news is good news . He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he expects to be ready for training and camp and in the opening night lineup. Bucks fans, you can exhale, paramedics are standing by.

The Hornets have agreed to terms with Joe Alexander. Joe Alexander, people. There's simply no way that the economy is not rebounding if Joe Alexander has found himself employed. Alexander provides the Hornets with almost nothing they have any use for, but hey, someone's gotta guard in camp.

The Knicks are so young Posting and Toasting dreamed up Anthony Randolph with crayon.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu got a training camp invite ! With... the Hornets. But hey, that team doesn't have depth issues. Not in the slightest. It mayh sound disingenuous to say that Joe Alexander doesn't deserve a camp invite and Mensah-Bonsu does, but Pops has NBA length and can defend. Alexander has a poor choice in facial hair.

Baron Davis may win an Emmy for his gang violence documentary. Being involved with film was a big reason Davis wanted to leave the Warriors for the Clippers, and it's good to see he's put the opportunity to good use. Probably won't make fans feel much better about all the time he's missed, though.

How far the might have fallen. Michael Ruffin is now in coaching the ABA . What's left of it, the modern one. Not in the 1970's. That would require a time machine and that risks Ruffin seeing his past self and causing a hole in the universe and it's all very complicated. Much like the reasons for the existence of the ABA currently.

The Greatest Center of modern times gets a run by Kelly Dwyer. If you didn't love the Dream Shake, you didnt like sports.

Arco Oil's naming rights deal for the Sacramento arena is expiring . So the Kings will open it up. With the economy and its effects, I'd imagine we're going to see more and more changes in arena rights. Which is kiind of a reason to have a non-sponsored name. But that's just too much money to leave on the table.

Eddy Curry will be the last Knick to report for training camp. Which is nice. I'm actually glad, that way we can spare ourselves the talk about how this will be the one where Curry turns it around and how he looks more motivated than ever. Let's just get it out of the way, he's deadweight. Heavy deadweight.

Hey, look, Mark Cuban's delusional . Fun!
Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:04 pm
 

Report: Hornets, Magic interested in Iverson

Former All-Star reportedly getting interest from New Orleans, Orlando despite age and ego problems.
Posted by Matt Moore

Allen Iverson has been shut out of every team in the NBA for the past three months. After his return to Philadelphia with the 76ers ended when he was forced to leave the team to take care of his ailing daughter, Iverson has been unable to convince a team to sign him, despite interest. Now, however, that may be changing.

Sam Amico of NBA.com reports via Twitter that both the Hornets and Magic have expressed interestin bringing Iverson in for a workout. For what it's worth, Marc Stein of ESPN.com refutes the report concerning the Hornets,

The Hornets would make more sense, with a recently opened hole at backup point guard now that Darren Collison has been traded, and a lack of depth at shooting guard. But new GM Dell Demps doesn't seem like the type to want to bring in a divisive figure like Iverson, especially given his age and diminished skills.

The Magic present a stickier alternative. The Magic have Jameer Nelson, with Jason Williams backing him up, and Vince Carter and J.J. Redick locked in at shooting guard. Throw in the fact that the Magic's system primarily relies on long, athletic shooters and not short, high-usage ball-handlers, and the fit seems like an odd one.

Still, if teams are looking for a veteran with some spring in his step that can come off the bench and get buckets, there are worse alternatives than Iverson (and his name is Jannero Pargo). We'll keep you updated if a team takes the leap of faith on Iverson.
Posted on: August 18, 2010 9:04 am
 

Shootaround 8.18.10: Louuuu!

Pierce wants help, Wall won't get that many buckets, and the Suns have the pick but no roll in today's edition of the shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore

Paul Pierce says the Celtics need one more piece , specifically a wing to come in and relieve him. He doesn't sound thrilled with the team losing Tony Allen, specifically. How they'll fill that hole is an entirely different question, if at all. Allen played a pretty specific role (and honestly didn't play it all that well prior to the second half of last season). Furthermore, Pierce's statement serves as a significant knock agasint Marquis Daniels, who's supposed to particularly be just that for that for the Celtics.

The Warriors, Hornets, and Pacers are in pursuit of Lou Amundson, the Phoenix big man who found the team didn't have room for him after their replacement moves this summer. The Warriors are the easy option, a nice market and a fun way to play. But it also provides the least chance to win. The Pacers are likely to be a fun team, full of speed and versatility (much like the Suns last season), but it's not clear if Amundson (28) wants to be the veteran presence on a team. That leaves the Hornets, who will play a much slower pace than he's used to most likely. The fact is that the best situation for Amundson was Phoenix, who really did need him. But hey, when Hakim Warrick comes available...

John Wall is a near-lock to lead all rookies in assists next year. But how's his scoring going to be? Bullets Forever takes a look at the issue and finds that Wall's top three options are heavy-usage players that don't necessarily score a lot off of assists. So not only will Wall's scoring be lower than expected, but similarly his point totals may not wow the eye either. There's a solution, here, ditching Gilbert Arenas for cheap fluff, but no one wants to hear that option in Washington (or they believe that no one will take Arenas period).

A perfect example of what advanced metrics can do? A block is a block right? Except some blocks have more value than others , and the number of blocks you make impact the overall value of all of your blocks. So a block is not just a block.

Kendrick Perkins is targeting February for a return . Which is awkward, because that means if the Celtics find themselves surprised by a lack of center depth (despite Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal), they're not going to have much time to make that assessment if they need to make a trade.

The NCAA president wants to see baseball-like rules for the NBA's draft guidelines. This would mean players can go to the NBA straight out of high school, but if they elect to go to college, they must stay for three years or until they're 21. An interesting idea, but as John Krolik points out , one fraught with complications. An additional question is where the NBA D-League would play in this process, and if it would help bridge the gap. Either way, it's unlikely for this option to be adopted, given the economic realities.

Jerry Buss isn't lacking for confidence when it comes to the Lakers' chances against the Heat. The list of people actually admitting fear or even legitimate respect for the Heat is pretty small, for some reason.

The pick-and-roll has been the cornerstone of the Suns' offense for years. And yet looking at their options , the Suns may be looking at a lot more pick-and-pops than rolls. Robin Lopez may be their only hope.


Posted on: August 12, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:16 pm
 

Blog talk: 4-way trade

A look around the web at reactions to the 4-way trade between the Hornets, Rockets, Nets, and Pacers.
Posted by Matt Moore

Indiana Pacers

Pacers blog Indy Cornrows is breathing a heavy sigh of relief as the team has finally begun to construct a roster for the future, after years of band-aids on bullet holes:

"The second major area of relief addressed was adding a point guard who isn't just a one-season rental or a stop-gap point guard until someone better surface. Darren Collison is a young and vibrant point guard who instantly energizes the backcourt and fits in well with the other young core pieces the Pacers have assembled.

Plus, the risk on Collison is minimal since he has three years remaining on his rookie contract. If things work out as planned, he's extremely valuable from a production per dollar view. If the worst case situation plays out and Collison doesn't pan out, his minimal salary doesn't become an anchor on the salary cap for the Pacers to move on.

Exhale."

Teams trying to acquire a legitimate point guard never get this lucky. You either have to overpay in assets or money, and often both. For the Pacers to have acquired a player with neither limitation nor cost, that's quite a coup. 8 Points 9 seconds touches base on how it's relevant that Collison brings the right attitude to "running the team."

"Celebrate, Pacers fans. This is a good, good, good day. The team has a point guard. I never thought this day would come. Best part? Darren is just the perfect combination of youth, talent, mentality (he wants to show the world he belongs among the better PGs on this league) and drive to run this team at a very high level immediately. I’m sure he enjoyed picking up a thing or two from Chris Paul, but he must be ecstatic to have “his” team. And with only Granger and Hibbert as established team cornerstones for the future, he can immediately put his mark on the ball club."

 

And that aspect is why it's important the Jim O'Brien makes it clear the team is headed for a youth movement and not allow the same kind of veteran preference overshadow the need to put the youth on the floor. The Paces also feature a solid four-man rotation in the backcourt with Collison, Brandon Rush, Lance Stephenson, and A.J. Price. Also, there's no word on if the celebration in Indiana will feature a hoe-down. (I'm not mocking. I'm from Arkansas. I respect a good hoe-down.)

Houston Rockets

The Dream Shake lays out the biggest reason this trade works for the Rockets. It removes a logjam at small forward and allows Shane Battier to return to the rotation in heavy minutes.

"While some may argue that Trevor Ariza is the better player than Lee, that's not really my concern. Rather, I'm focused on how Lee fits with the roster, because that's what ultimately matters most. He's perfect for the free-flowing offense that Rick Adelman will likely employ with the second unit, much in the way that Shane Battier was a terrible fit for such a unit. Lee's presence frees up Battier to start once again, where he is much more comfortable. Make no mistake: Battier starting again is a good thing. He may have suffered through an ankle injury last season, but his style of play is not such that it will be affected by his aging. He is an intangibles player, much in the way Lee is. If anything, I'm excited that Lee will be able to learn from Battier"

Lee is often criticized for having limited upside.  I'd argue that his upside manifests itself not in terms of increased points and assists, but in the kind of things The Dream Shake hints at, the defense and savvy attributes that Battier represents.

New Jersey Nets

Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching thinks the best thing about the Nets' acquisition of Troy Murphy is his expiring contract, which gives them not only flexibility next summer, but the ability to "flip" Murphy before the deadline if a marquee upgrade becomes available to teams with cap space.

""At the start of next season, the Nets are going to have both Murphy and Humphries coming off the books, plus they are saving what Courtney Lee would be making next year ($2,225,093).  This means that they are going to have somewhere in the area of $15 to $16 million worth of cap space to work with next year, when a certain indecisive forward in Denver becomes a free agent.  Even if the Nets don’t make a run at Carmelo, they have a lot of money to continue adding pieces to their roster.  In addition to the cap space next year, Murphy’s contract is going to be very attractive to teams at the trade deadline, and if Favors is playing well enough, I can see the Nets flipping Murphy for some young talent/trade exceptions/draft picks."

It's strange to see Murphy headed to the Nets in such a salary-shifter role, considering he was one of the more sought-after offensive weapons at last year's deadline. In the interim, he should be able to provide some help, most notably taking pressure off of Derrick Favors to come in as gangbusters, which is a really good thing considering how raw Favors is:

"From a roster standpoint, the Nets now have a power forward who can come in right away and be “the guy” at the spot.  Murphy, the New Jersey native, is going to be the opening day starter, no question about it.  So what does that do to the rest of the front court?  It makes Derrick Favors the back-up, and this is probably the best scenario for him in terms of development. "

New Orleans Hornets

Hornets 247 reports on an underrated element of this trade , that head coach Monty Williams has done terrific work with similarly long versatile small forwards in Portland, which could spell good things for Ariza in New Orleans.

"It also has to be noted that this is the exact kind of small forward that new coach Monty Williams will love to work with. By all accounts he did wonders with Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw while he was in Portland and Ariza is further along in his game than either of those players were when Monty started working with them. Once Peja is moved, the Hornets will have two defensive minded small forwards in Pondexter and Ariza that will be able to hound players on the defensive end, fill lanes and finish in transition, and knock down the wide open threes that CP3 will be able to provide."

At The Hive, on the other hand, isn't nearly as impressed with the trade, being frustrated with not getting more for what they consider a future star in Darren Collison.

"At the end of the day, I simply expected more for Darren Collison. I thought his value was higher and that Trevor Ariza's, after an underwhelming first year in Houston, was lower. The fact that Houston received nothing more than Courtney Lee in the transaction is pretty telling."
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
 

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:27 am
 

Shootaround 8.6.10: Mason signs with NY

Posted by Royce Young
  • Tom Haberstroh for ESPN.com making a case that Carmelo Anthony is not a max player: "If the New York Knicks, rumored to be the favorites to land Melo if he decides to leave Denver, are expecting salvation from Anthony next summer, they're going to be very disappointed with their investment. It would be a much a wiser move to throw that cash toward the pursuit of Chris Paul, a real max player."
  • Ziller of NBA FanHouse has a set as well and the US comes in No. 2 : "That the United States is the overwhelming Vegas favorites at the Worlds is a sign the betting public has no short- or long-term memory. Hasn't Team USA already proven chemistry can't be conjured in two months? Remember, the first travails of the Redeem Team ended up defeat (and some would say humiliation): in 2006, when LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant first got together, Greece knocked them out of contention in the semifinals of the World Championship."
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does a pretty outstanding job of breaking down a fast break: "In my opinion, a good outlet pass is the key to a fast break.  If the rebounder can get the ball out to the point guard on the run, you got the makings of a fast break because the point guard doesn’t have to slow down to make the catch and he can put pressure on the defense.  A bad outlet pass can force a point guard to break his momentum to make the catch, and that allows the defense to get back on defense."
  • Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game with a look at positional classification : "To those still clinging to what they know, I’d ask this: what’s a power forward? What characteristics link Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom, Reggie Evans, Tyrus Thomas, and J.J. Hickson? Not rebounding. Not scoring. Not skill set. Not height relative to their teammates. Not even the spaces they occupy on the floor. I’m at a total loss as to the criterion that would group that bunch together, which makes the assessment “Player X isn’t a real power forward” pretty much worthless. I think I know what it means, but without the ability to define the contemporary power forward, how could I really know for sure?"
  • Shaq might be making just the veteran minimum but don't feel sorry for him too long. Last year, he generated $15 million in endorsements and experts say he should make more in Boston: “Shaq is a marketing giant,” said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. “He will benefit from the Hub’s strong media presence, where there’s money to be made on local endorsements.”
Posted on: August 2, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: August 2, 2010 10:42 am
 

Shootaround: 8.2.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Hedo Turkoglu on Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors: “People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there any more,” he said in a phone interview from Turkey, where he is captaining the Turkish national team at the World Championships. “It’s not just the players who see this.”
  • Ailine Voison of the Sac Bee has some tough words for Tyreke Evans: "You have to watch the entire video to appreciate the speed, the danger, the prolonged recklessness of the Tyreke Evans speeding incident on May 31. If this were a video game, someone would be dead by now. But enough about the visceral reaction to Evans' mischief behind the wheel. The courts and the CHP have handled the matter – the video was released Friday – professionally and judiciously. The Kings' young star didn't receive special treatment because of his status as the region's most prominent sports celebrity. He cooperated and apologized. He was appropriately shaken. Nonetheless, if you're the Kings? Break out the street signs. Slow down. Stop and think. You can't hand Evans the keys to the franchise if he can't control himself on the freeway. He isn't ready to be your floor leader when he's so oblivious to his surroundings."
  • Jason Quick of The Oregonian on Rich Cho : "One thing is safe to assume about Cho: He won't be asleep on the job. Cho says on average he sleeps three, maybe four, hours a day, for reasons he can't explain. Sund said it isn't unusual for him to get an e-mail from Cho at 6 a.m. Atlanta time, prompting Sund to once reply "Don't you ever sleep?" Cho insists his lack of sleep is not because of stress."
  • Evan Turner says his poor summer league peformance is good for him : "I've been playing pretty much every day against good competition," Turner said. "It was really an eye-opener for me to get my butt kicked, but it was also a good thing, I think. That hasn't happened to me in a really long time, so it made me realize how much harder I had to work to get myself ready for training camp. I can't wait to get started and play with my new teammates and learn from them, and get ready for the season."
  • Brian Windhorst says Shaq might be considering Europe : "Sources have indicated he's even tested the market in Europe trying to land one last $10 million payday. But all of that is unlikely. Indeed, the Cavs may consider re-signing Shaq to a short deal that would pay him $5 million-$7 million and wait for a contender to get desperate to match up with the Lakers or Magic."
  • Assessing where LeBron fits in Cleveland's all-time villainry : "From firing legendary coach Paul Brown, who the team is named after, to completely uprooting Cleveland’s beloved Browns, Art Modell is the city’s original villain. In a way that only furthers the anger towards him, Modell has internalized a lot of this hate and made it part of his persona. When asked if James would surpass him as Cleveland’s most hated villain, he responded “nonsense… I don’t think there’s any basis for it.” Ultimately, James may never pass Modell as Cleveland’s number one sports villain, but he has to come back to the city at least twice every year."
  • Losing Chris Paul in two years isn't the worst case scenario, so says Michael McNamara of Hornets24/7: "As an all or nothing guy I can think of scenarios that are far worse than CP3 leaving in two years. I can imagine other players following Paul’s lead if we trade him out of fear. How do you say no to the next guy who feels entitled when you just appeased Chris Paul’s trade demands? I can imagine becoming a perennial playoff team terrified to blow up the roster; a team that overpays their own players just to remain slightly above average. (I am looking at you Atlanta)."
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:29 am
 

Shootaround: 7.28.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Oklahoma City will waive Kyle Weaver, reports Marc J. Spears . After the Thunder signed Royal Ivey, Weaver was in a tight spot. The roster was at 16 and Weaver just didn't have a role. Weaver is being released because his salary of $935,484 becomes guaranteed on Aug. 2 if he's still on the roster. He should be able to easily find work overseas if he can't land with an NBA team. According to Spears, Maccabi has already offered him a deal.
  • Shoals and Ziller have nine trade demands that nearly shook the foundation of the NBA , but didn't: "Not only did Barkley successfully demand a trade in 1992, but he lobbied for help all through the late '80s. Only an embarrassing season involving heavy doses of Hersey Hawkins and Armen Gilliam gave Sir Charles the political capital needed to enact change, which came in the form of a trade to the relatively loaded (but still imperfect) Suns. Barkley is one of the few pre-millennial stars to request a trade for on-court reasons; remembered more as a surly malcontent, doesn't Barkley instead represent the ideal of the perfectly hellbent-on-winning competitor?"
  • Team USA will make roster cuts today. As Chris Sheridan of ESPN says , he feels like there's some debate going on as to who to keep: "To me, this is a clear sign that there is an internal debate raging over which four players to cut. When I spoke to team director Jerry Colangelo after the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage Saturday night, he was adamant that the decision would be made Monday, and the roster would shrink to 15"
  • Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe says the Celtics need a few more pieces and lists Shaq, Delonte West and Roger Mason as options: "The speculation that hasn’t died down since the start of free agency revolves around Shaquille O’Neal’s interest in the Celtics. The 38-year-old center wants to play for a contender, and even though Ainge wouldn’t directly address the team’s interest in O’Neal, he said, 'we’ve had some discussions.'"
  • Coach Scott Brooks on the Sports Animal in Oklahoma City talking about Team USA participation leading to some tired legs: "It’s not going to be easy to win the gold. It’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of energy, but our guys are young and they’re excited to play. They’re going to play basketball all year long. Kevin, I wanted him to take a couple of weeks off and he took two days off. ... There’s going to be a little bit of time where I’ll say 'OK, you guys gotta rest,' and maybe I can rest them a few days during that month of October, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get those guys to sit out of things." (Via Sports Radio Interviews )
 
 
 
 
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