Posted on: August 5, 2010 7:53 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 10:54 am
Posted by Matt Moore
The Pacers continue to search for a point guard option . There comes a point where you just have to recognize you can't go forward without a positional upgrade and you have to commit the resources necessary to acquire one. The Pacers have hit that point, but now there aren't really many options. However, if Lance Stephenson can just show a baseline of point play like he did in Summer League, he could be an option. I never would have thought that a reasonable match, but Stephenson looked like a better combo point than several attempted hybrids have.
Consider this. With Shaq signing not only with Boston, but in Boston for a two-year deal , the odds are high that his last NBA game will be as a Celtic. Try and wrap your brain around that.
Almost everyone agrees that Mark Cuban, for all his antics, is a great owner. But after Cuban lost the bid for the Texas Rangers last night, one reporter thinks his heart wasn't in it to begin with, and has some harsh words . It's hard to imagine Cuban doing the bidding of anyone, and the fact is that Cuban has been one of the best stories in sports ownership over the past decade. Committed not only to winning, but not throwing out money to ridiculous personnel like New York.
The Suns signed Matt Janning who looked good in Vegas Summer League . This brings their total number of goofy looking white point guards to three.
Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian want to have children . Tremble for your world, ye children of men.
Bulls blog Bulls by the Horns points out that Joakim Noah has improved his jumper . That's a fairly siginificant step for a player just to become decent and another sign that Noah is still even better than we think he is, and at this point we think he's pretty good.
In a lot of ways, Ben Wallace is the anti-Shaq. Doesn't say much. Does his job. Re-signs with the team that he's loyal to . You know, those kind of things.
Shannon Brown thinks playing time, more money, and a system that fits his skills are all fairly useless things . Why be a prince in an upcoming neighborhood with tons of potential when you can be a lapdog in Bevery Hills? Wanting to stay where you had success is nice, as is the loyalty factor, if that really is part of it. But Brown is poorly suited for the triangle and has more value elsewhere than he does in LA, walking the ball up as a third stringer and sitting in a corner waiting for a three. He's a slasher, a driver, a creator. But hey, his career. And the rings are always nice.
Bill Walton is working with Roy Hibbert, which can only lead to good things . My question? Where's Rik Smits?!
Sharks + Thunder= Thundersharks .
Tags: Ben Wallace, Boston Celtics, Bulls, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Joakim Noah, Lakers, Lamar Odom, Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Lakers, Mark Cuban, Matt Janning, Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Pacers, Phoenix Suns, Pistons, Rik Smits, Roy Hibbert, Shannon Brown, Shaquille O'Neal, Suns, Thunder
Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.
Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!
Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.
1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:
The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.
But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.
Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.
4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:
The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?
8EST, Magic at Celtics:
You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.
Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.
10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:
This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.
Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.
Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Bulls, Carlos Boozer, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Rose, Grizzlies, Hawks, Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant, Kings, Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Magic, Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Bibby, O.J. Mayo, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pau Gasol, Sacramento Kings, schedule, Thunder, Tyreke Evans, Zach Randolph
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:11 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 10:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The big, highlight games have been announced . And other than the playoffs, the NBA's brighest stage is probably the Christmas Day games. So who gets the spotlight on the best holiday of all? And exactly how good are those matchups? Let's look (all times Eastern):
Game 1: Bulls at Knicks, 12:00, ESPN
A classic for Christmas Day. Of course the Knicks had to be included and matching them against the young, exciting Bulls is solid. Putting the game in Madison Square Garden is an obvious must and maybe, just maybe, the Knicks will be in the discussion in the East. Maybe.
Derrick Rose is a must-watch player and with Amar'e Stoudemire back with Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks will be a fun team to watch. Plus, I might be the only one that cares about such things, but I think both sets of uniforms look really good together on the court.
Score 3.5 out of 5 Santa Clauses
Game 2: Celtics at Magic, 2:30, ABC
A rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Finals and a rematch of last year's Christmas game that was played in Boston. No doubt we'll get a grinder as both squads are quality defensive teams, so this might be a decent game to have on as you take a light nap on the sofa following some Christmas ham.
There could be some added intrigue as well if Shaq finishes off signing with the Celtics. Any time Shaq and Dwight Howard square off, it's good stuff.
Score: 4 out of 5 Santa Clauses
Game 3: Heat at Lakers, 5:00, ABC
You knew the Heat would be involved for Christmas. And you knew the Lakers would be too. But having them play each other ? Brilliant.
The storylines will be plentiful in the lead-up to this game. Kobe versus the Miami trio. A potential Finals preview. LeBron versus Kobe. Bosh versus Gasol. Pat Riley's team back in Los Angeles. Christmas in LA. It goes on and on. Other than LeBron's return to Cleveland, this will probably be the most hyped game of the season and for really good reason.
Score: 5 out 5 Santa Clauses
Game 4: Nuggets at Thunder, 8:00, ESPN
Kevin Durant is now garnering the national attention he deserves, so the young star gets primetime on Christmas Day. The OKC crowd will be fired up for ESPN's cameras and the game will be a good one. It features two Western Conference contenders and Northwest Division rivals. It's Carmelo versus KD and Westbrook versus Chauncey. The Thunder and Nuggets almost always provide some drama and the potential for a late-game showdown between KD and 'Melo would be quite a late gift on Christmas.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 Santa Clauses
Game 5: Trail Blazers at Warriors, 10:30, ESPN
The is the second straight year the Warriors have been featured in this slot, with both games being played at Oracle. It's slighty weird that the Warriors get this game, but the team is always exciting and the home crowd in Golden State is always excellent. The Warriors will run and the Blazers will slow everything down and play at a ridiculous low pace. Contrasting styles, an amped crowd and Steph Curry are good reasons to stay up late and take this one in.
Score: 3 out of 5 Santa Clauses
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:10 pm
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Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 10:09 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
When the NBA decided to try out this whole "let's make revealing the schedule a big event on NBATV!" thing, there were a few things they were going to have to manage. The biggest of which was trying to contain leaks of the schedule to reporters, considering the massive number of people the schedule will arleady have been released to. So far, the league has not exactly shown itself to be an impenetrable fortress of information.
After today's slip of the Orlando-Heat game for October 28th, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News has our first Christmas Day release . Isola reports that Bulls-Knicks will play on December 25th, with LeBron James' first trip to the Big Apple with the Heat on December 17th.
The sheer number of people that already have access to the schedule means that keeping a hold on its release was highly unlikely. But they, they did a pretty good job. They managed to keep it under wraps for an entire weekend in which no one was working. It took reporters more than twelve hours to start getting information...
Yeah, not exactly NSA here.
The Chicago-New York match is interesting. It's a rivalry day, and building a New York-Chicago rivalry is pretty genius. Both teams feature improved rosters, and counter each other well. And by that I mean, Chicago will stomp them because Derrick Rose is much, much better than Raymond Felton. But two big markets back in the spotlight on Christmas Day? That's just what the league thinks is best.
Update: Isola also reports the Knicks will open play against Toronto on October 27th. An interesting note, this means the Orlando game againt the Heat will NOT be the season opener as previously reported. This likely indicates that the season will begin as it has s the past few years on a Tuesday, the 26th.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 12:06 pm
Posted by Royce Young
At some point, Tracy McGrady and Shaquille O'Neal are going to sign somewhere. I'm convinced.
And as of Friday morning, according to Marc Stein , Chicago had not completely ruled out signing McGrady.
The Bulls were looking hard at Eddie House so with his signing in Miami, Chicago is looking elsewhere to fill out the roster with a scorer. However, Stein says Chicago continues to look at lower profile options like Keith Bogans and Roger Mason.
The main issue with the Bulls for McGrady is that he wants to guarantee of a prominant role. And obviously the Bulls are looking at this as a role player off the bench kind of thing. The Bulls are looking for McGrady to accept any role he's handed and live with it with no complaints.
The Bulls could certainly use another scoring threat on the perimeter, so if they do cave and give in to McGrady, Stein reports it's believed Chicago would push for a non-guaranteed contract for next year so they can dismiss him without worrying about the pocket book if the experiment goes wrong.
As for Shaq, it looks like the big guy is pushing for Boston, but he's not going to like the veteran minimum that the Celtics will offer. Shaq has really four choices at this point: Take minimum money and play in Boston, take less money and play in Atlanta, take less money and minutes and play in San Antonio or take more money and minutes and play for a bad team.
The injury to Kendrick Perkins gives Boston more inclination to do something, and Stein mentions the possibility of looking at Kwame Brown as well. The Celtics only have minimum money available and not even Brown is wanting to take that, Stein says. So obviously Shaq probably isn't too pumped about it either.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: July 28, 2010 11:09 am
Posted by Royce Young
Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded. He's wanted to be traded since before the draft. The Blazers got close with a few teams, but nothing ever materialized. It even got to the point Fernandez said he preferred to return to Europe.
And currently, Portland is talking to a bunch of teams about the shooting guard, reports The Oregonian . According to the report, Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running for Fernandez.
Some of the teams interested in Fernandez have offered a future first round draft pick, while other offers would pair Fernandez with another Blazers player, according to the report. In a story from the Chicago Tribune , James Johnson is reportedly being shopped and is part of an offer to Portland for Fernandez. If Chicago were to complete that deal, Tracy McGrady's chances to play for the Bulls just got slim.
"I've spoken to Andy and I'm aware of Rudy's feelings," general manager Rich Cho said. "But at the end of the day we are going to make the best decision for the franchise."
Miller says he expects a trade to be made in the near future. Fernandez will earn about $1.25 million next season and his contract includes a team option for 2011-12.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 7:57 pm
Tags: Andrew Bogut, Brad Miller, Brandon Jennings, Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Corey Maggette, Detroit Pistons, Drew Gooden, Greg Monroe, Hakim Warrick, Indiana Pacers, Kirk Hinrich, Kurt Thomas, Kyle Korver, Lance Stephenson, Larry Sanders, LeBron James, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks, Offseason Reviews, Pacers, Paul George, Pistons, Ramon Sessions, Rip Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer, Roy Hibbert, Tayshaun Prince, Video