Tag:Al Horford
Posted on: February 3, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:02 pm
 

NBA All-Star Reserves: West and East rosters

A constantly updated list of the 2011 NBA All-Star reserves. Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

As the NBA All-Star reserves are inevitably leaked in advance of the 7 p.m. ET announcement, we'll have updates for you. The full rosters have now been announced.

Update 7:00 p.m. EST: Yao Ming's Replacement

Finally, Yahoo! Sports also notes that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is the favorite to replace Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is injured. 

Update 6:49 p.m. EST: Western Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Western Conference All-Star team as reserves: 

Update 6:45 p.m. EST: Eastern Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reservers: 

Update 6:05 p.m. EST: Kevin Garnett

Like Gasol, we found that Garnett has a page built, along with previously leaked Rajon Rondo. 

Garnett will make it at least two Celtics reserves, with more on the way most likely. Garnett's been playing at a near MVP level with the impact he has on both sides of the floor. He's been his usual dominant, crazy self on defense, and his inside post moves have returned in addition to his mid-range jumper on the pick and pop. He's arguably the biggest reason the Celts have laid waste to the league this season. 

No other prospective reserves have such pages built, as of yet. These definitely don't confirm that they've been selected as All-Stars, but considering the three posted now are locks, they look pretty legit. We'll keep you posted. 

Update 6:01 p.m. EST: Pau Gasol


Someone is either running live screen tests or they jumped the gun. Hoopshype discovered that Pau Gasol has a page built for him as an All-Star. 

Gasol's a no-brainer, as he's arguably the best player on the Lakers, and that's saying something considering, you know, Kobe Bryant. Either way he's the biggest reason for the Lakers' past two championships outside Bryant, and is widely considered to be the best active big man in the game. Odds are good he might wind up replacing Yao Ming as a starter at center, despite his power forward designation.

Rajon Rondo


Yahoo! Sports reports that Rondo will be named an All-Star Reserve. The word you're looking for is ... "duh."  Rondo leads the league in assists per game and Assist Ratio (percentage of possessions ending in an assist). He's the starting point guard for the best team in the Eastern Conference and he does things like this:



Whether the Celtics send three or four , we all agreed, Rondo needs to go. He's the obvious choice. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:02 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 9:08 pm
 

All-Star Debate: How much does legacy matter?

How much should legacy or prior career achievements factor into a player's All-Star selection? Our NBA crew debates that question. Posted by Ben Golliver.
aldridge-duncan

All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday, and par for the course, the coaches have some tough decisions. We'll be debating the merits of each choice the coaches will have to make. These debates don't necessarily reflect the actual opinions of the writers. Think of it as opposition research, only if we opposed everyone. Our third debate? How much does a player's legacy influence his potential selection and how much should legacy influence the selections? Should guys get in on past accomplishments or should the coaches reward the younger guns?

Legacy isn't that big of a deal, and that's a good thing

by Royce Young

The All-Star Game rewards players for having fantastic individual seasons. For having excellent statistics and playing terrific basketball. I think players like Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal have indeed earned something over their careers. They've worked their way into immediate Hall of Fame induction and greatest ever discussions. So in a game that awards that sort of excellence, a player's legacy certainly has something to do with it. If nothing else, it's a pretty good trump card to have.

Overall, I don't think either things should matter all that much. If you're good and you're having a great season, you deserve All-Star consideration. If your team stinks and you've got no legacy, it shouldn't matter if you're an All-Star. That distinction should be earned over the first half of the season, not over 15 years prior. 

Legacy matters a lot, but it shouldn't

by Matt Moore

I think it's pretty clear that legacy is the overriding factor in a lot of coach's decisions. This sport revolves around respect for those who have consistently been great, and is tough on accepting those who have not gone out and obtained such success this season. I think when you look back at so many of the decisions being made out of respect for previous accomplishment, Allen Iverson, for example, versus current role, abilities, and performance, that's pretty clear. But is it right?  I tend to think it's a silly waste of a mark of recognition that could go to someone else. It's one thing if it's someone like Tim Duncan, who's team is the best in the league right now, and while his production doesn't mirror that of his past All-Star seasons, he's still a huge focal point and able to put in a great night's work. But someone like Shaq, or Vince Carter in year's past, where his performance really doesn't have that much of an impact on the game? To include those players over someone younger, who's carried his team this season and performed at a star level I think misses a great opportunity to expose the fans to guys they may not have heard of. 

We've got enough opportunities to lavish over historic legacies. But younger, hungrier players are trying to make a name for themselves now, and in ignoring their efforts, you're downplaying what matters most: what's happened on the court. I look at a guy like LaMarcus Aldridge, or even a less obvious pick in Rudy Gay, whose contributions have meant as much to his team as many of the reserves, and I see a wasted opportunity to really shine a light on guys having a phenomenal season. Oddly, the East seems much more ready to simply accept the work done, with guys like Al Horford and Gerald Wallace selected last year. The typical response is "Those guys are All-Stars?" They are, and they should be. It's time we stop treating the game like an annual repetition of a lifetime achievement award. 

Legacy matters a lot, deal with it

by Ben Golliver

Pardon me for always playing the role of the cynic, but we can agree that the NBA All-Star game is a popularity contest. The easiest way to win a popularity contest? Have an established track record of being popular, of course. Name recognition and star power count a lot; That's just life in a league where the super-duper stars that cross over into "household name" status are 10-100 times more well-known than up-and-comers that haven't tasted true national popularity yet, even if they're better players over the first half of the NBA season.

Does it bother me that young guns occasionally get left out of the All-Star game to pay homage to an elder statesman? Sure, it does. But I tend to look at the cream of the crop NBA talent as a giant warehouse, with new models being introduced to an existing inventory and old models eventually becoming obsolete. There's an assembly line process feel of it, and the coaches do a solid job of making sure deserving players get a crack at some national publicity while the truly deserving players come back year after year. 

To boil it down: I'm cool with the current "you have to really, really prove it" system for young guys to make it. Every year, someone (Kevin Durant, etc.) rises to that standard and it makes the accomplishment that much more special. And, every year, we get a final look at some oldie classics (Tim Duncan, perhaps). I just don't see any perennial, big-time losers in the current set-up.

Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:21 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Hawks lose in historic fashion to Hornets

The Atlanta Hawks lost to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, and they did so in historic fashion. Posted by Ben Golliver. hawks-hornets


Any time a post-game search of the Basketball-Reference.com database, which stretches back nearly 25 years, turns up empty, it's either really good news or really bad news. Either way, you know you've made some history.

In the case of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, it was really bad news. They got absolutely clobbered at home by the New Orleans Hornets, 100-59, scoring just 25 points in the second half. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Hawks set a franchise record for fewest points since the team moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1968. The paper also noted that this was the team's "worst home loss since a 118-74 blowout by Phoenix on March 30, 2000."

On the night, Atlanta shot 23-79 from the field, a disastrous 29.1%. Atlanta's 23 made field goals as a team was the lowest output since Apr. 28, 1999, when they made just 20 buckets in a win over the New York Knicks. Since the 1986-1987 season, however, Atlanta has never made 23 or fewer shots while attempting 79 or greater shots. So, this night, with its 56 missed field goals, was one of the most brick-filled performance in at least 24 seasons. The Hawks did manage to shoot 25-82 (57 missed field goals) on Apr. 5, 1996.

Also worth nothing, Atlanta's team's assist total of 11 was the lowest in more than year, dating back to a loss to the Miami Heat on Jan. 4, 2010.

Analyzing the boxscore, it's amazing how the awful-ness was spread around so evenly. Only two Hawks reached double figures, No. 1 scoring option Joe Johnson scored just nine points on 12 shots, point guards Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague combined for 0 points on 0-15 shooting, and the team as a whole shot an abysmal 4-20 from the three-point line.  The last time the Hawks were that bad from behind the arc was Dec. 4, 2009, when they combined to shoot 4-23 from long range.

The Hawks aren't horrible offensively -- they rank 12th in offensive efficiency on the season -- and there are no obvious excuses for tonight's performance, as they had two days off to prepare for the game and just beat the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Center Al Horford did not play with an ankle injury, his first game missed so far this season, but that hardly justifies the performance put up by his teammates.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 12.28.10: Tweaked

Rose having a tough time in the mid-range, Dirk and Horford to get scans, Bynum still brimming, and Steve Francis bids ... whatever the Chinese word for goodbye is to China. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Derrick Rose is having a hard time in the midrange game, mostly because he doesn't trust his jumper yet, even though it's improved. He's especially improved in 3-point shooting, but continues to try floaters from mid-range. 

Dirk Nowitzki will have an MRI this morning on his injured knee. So try not to scare your Maverick fan friends too much this morning.  They're going to be a little jumpy.

Al Horford will also have an MRI on his hand this morning. We'll keep you updated on both of their statuses. 

Andrew Bynum is still "brimming with potential" apparently. At this point I think it's better to say he's brimming with disappointment. Or, "brimming with doctor's appointments."

And just like that... Steve Francis was gone. From China.

Fan sensation Jeremy Lin will likely spend some time in the D-League. 

The sixth-man who was traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now is a restaurant mogul

One thing of vital importance to the Celtics? Transition defense, because it's feast or famine for them.

The Rockets and Bobcats are both in talks with Houston about acquiring the Yao Ming salary dump. 

Nets blog Nets Are Scorching asks the question: "LeBron James: Evil or Stupid?"

Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Award-O-Matic MVP 11.30.10: CP3 as MVP

NBA F&R breaks down the MVP candidates after the first month of the season by dissecting the award down to three parts: Most Valuable, Most Important, and Most Oustanding Player. CP3 is in control.
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young




Well, we're a month into the season and the context of this year has begun to take shape. While certainly a long way from the finish line, we've already gotten a glimpse of who's playing well, who's playing average, and who ... not so much. And so it is that we begin our monthly look at awards. On a regular basis we'll take you around the award contenders and give you a look at who is in contention for the NBA's major awards by breaking down what they really mean in our Award-O-Matic. Today we start with the MVP.

The problem, as has been elucidated approximately a million times by various media members, is that the MVP is a nebulous, hard to define award. Its name is Most Valuable, but it most often goes to the Most Outstanding Player on a winning team. If your play is other-worldly but your team doesn't win, you have no shot. If you contribute the most to a winning team but your numbers aren't stellar, again, your chances are slim. It takes a combination of three factors: value, performance, and importance to snag the award. As such, we decided to break the award into those three categories, tally them up with the top player getting 3 points, the second 2, the third 1, then summing to see if we could come up with a list.

First up?

Most Valuable Player (To Their Team): Who is most responsible for their team's success? Or, to put it another way, whose team suffers the most without them?


Matt Moore:


1. Dirk Nowitzki: Without him that offense is anemic and it's been his rebounding that's kept them in games at points.
2. Carmelo Anthony: Seriously, Nuggets. Cliff. Teetering. Melo's the only thing keeping the truck from smashing into pieces.
3. Dwight Howard: Get him in foul trouble and the Magic turn into a Mid-Major college team, just wining it from perimeter to perimeter.

Ben Golliver:

1. Chris Paul:
  I like Darren Collison as much as the next guy, but CP3's return from injury to lead New Orleans' absurd hot start, despite an unimpressive supporting cast, reveals exactly how valuable the league's best point guard is.
2. Rajon Rondo Boston would still be good without Rondo, but his game ownership places them on an elite level and makes them the odds on favorite to win the East yet again. 10.6 points, 14.2 assists (what!), 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals through the end of November. Crazy.
3. Kevin Durant The Thunder have had an up-and-down start but imagining this team with Russell Westbrook at the helm by himself, dragging an ineffective Jeff Green along for the ride, would be a recipe for a guaranteed lottery team. KD will get better -- perhaps much better -- over the course of the season, and he's already easily leading the NBA in scoring again.

Royce Young:

1. Chris Paul:   Subtract Paul and what do you have. I can promise you it's not an 8-1 team. It's really as simple as that.
2. Dirk Nowitzki:   The Mavericks are dangerous in every fourth quarter that they're close in. The reason is because Dirk can score in every situation, at any time. He essentially is the Maverick offense.
3. Steve Nash:   Take Nash away and yes, there's Goran Dragic who can dazzle in stretches. But without Nash this Suns team is nothing more than a 35-win club. With Nash, there's potential to push for the playoffs.

Most Important Player: Who is most crucial to their team's success? Ex. Last year I argued that Josh Smith was MIP because when he did Josh Smith-y things, the Hawks were nearly unstoppable, and when he didn't, they were much more beatable.


Matt Moore:

1. Chris Paul:
He does everything and it starts and stops with him. This is even more clearly illustrated by their recent struggles down the stretch where he hasn't been involved.
2. Al Horford: The level of production Horford is creating right now is simply astonishing. More astonishing is how overlooked he is.
3. Pau Gasol: It's him that's carrying the Lakers. Even as Kobe scores all the high points, the most dominant Laker performances this season are from Gasol.

Ben Golliver:


1. Pau Gasol: His virtuoso early season performance has single-handedly made Andrew Bynum an afterthought. What more needs to be said?
2. Deron Williams:   Utah's streak of comebacks begins with Williams' tough-minded leadership and ends with his play-making and shot-making.
3. Dirk Nowitzki:   Another banner start from Dirk singlehandedly puts a Dallas roster loaded with question marks in the playoff mix.

Royce Young:

1. Pau Gasol: Having Gasol as part of the triangle has been like a revelation. He's really what makes the Lakers so darn dangerous.
2. Kevin Garnett:
We saw what an impact his has in regard to the Celtic defense two seasons ago when his knee was injured.
3. Nick Collison:   He's a classic no-stats All-Star. He's only played for a few weeks so far this season for Oklahoma City but his value is immeasurable and impact immediate. He tips rebounds that become extra possessions, takes charges, sets outstanding screens and makes two or three small (but big) plays a game.


Most Outstanding Player: Who has simply wowed you?


Matt Moore:

1. Rajon Rondo: Key plays every time he's on the floor and he makes it look easy, There are a lot of moments where he looks like he's just on a different plane from everyone else.. and he's got three Hall of Famers on his team.
2. Russell Westbrook: Westbrook has managed to take over the game down the stretch. His turnovers are down, assists are up, he's got range and that mid-key pull-up jumper is as deadly as it ever has been. He's been simply phenomenal in half-court and full-court sets.
3. Deron Williams: Three point guards? Yup. Check Deron at the end of the clock with the game on the line. Money. And that's after all the assists, rebounds, key plays and floor leadership. Man's a ninja, no joke.

Ben Golliver:


1. Dwight Howard:
  Lost in the Miami Heat wave, Howard is quietly putting up 22.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as the defensive and rebounding engine that will make Orlando a title contender for years to come. By the way, Orlando sits atop the Southeast Division -- 3.5 games ahead of the Heat.
2. LeBron James: His numbers are crazy and his highlights are spectacular. It's a wonder he can jump so high and dunk so hard carrying the burden of Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra's corpse on his shoulders.
3. John Wall:   Wall doesn't belong in the MVP discussion -- there are too many holes in his game (jumper, turnovers) and his team is terrible -- but for sheer "outstanding-ness" and "wow factor" he merits inclusion here. His assist numbers have been great and his speed is tops in the league; he's a lot further along the NBA readiness scale than even his biggest fans could have imagined.

Royce Young:

1. Rajon Rondo: He's been nothing but insanely ridiculous. Manages the game perfectly, understand his place within an offense and runs the show beautifully.
2. Kevin Love: When given the time on the floor, he's a legitimate 20-20 threat every single night. How many players can you really say that about?
3. Russell Westbrook: There's a case to be legitimately made for Westbrook as an MVP contender. Kevin Durant is still leading the league in scoring, but Westbrook is what's kept the team winning games. But his play has been just insane this year (23.8 ppg, 8.4 apg, 5.1 rpg) and he's a super-highlight waiting to happen.

Here are the tallies:

Most Valuable Player:
1. Chris Paul (6)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (5)
Tied for 3rd: Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo (2)
Tied for 4th: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash (1)

Most Important Player:
1. Pau Gasol (7)
2. Chris Paul (3)
Tied for 3rd: Deron Williams, Al Horford, Kevin Garnett (2)
Tied for 4th: Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Collison (1)

Most Outstanding Player :

1. Rajon Rondo (6)
Tied for 2nd: Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard (3)
Tied for 3rd: Kevin Love, LeBron James (2)
Tied for 4th: John Wall, Deron Williams (1)

Top 5 in Totals:
1. Chris Paul: 9
2. Rajon Rondo (8)
3. Pau Gasol (7)
4. Dirk Nowitzki (6)
5. Dwight Howard (4)
Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:21 am
 

Game Changer: The Suns were hot

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: Suns SHINE FROM DEEP

The Suns scored 121 points against the Lakers Sunday night. That part is impressive. More impressive? That 66 of those points came from 3-point range.

Chew on this: Phoenix took 40 3-pointers against the Lakers and hit, wait for it, 22 of them. Before you ask, no it's not an NBA record. That's held by the Magic who hit 23 in 2009. But the 22 is a Phoenix franchise record and it's also dang impressive, so that's something.

Here are the cliffnotes on the shooting show:
  • Six players made 3-pointers
  • Grant Hill was the only player to attempt a 3 and miss it, going 0-1
  • The Suns went 13-19... from the free throw line
  • The Suns made 43 baskets, with of course 22 of them being from 3
Not often do you see a team lose a game with 68 points in the paint to their opponents 28. Because that was the difference between the Lakers and Suns. But it doesn't matter how good you shoot it in close when the other guy is hitting the shot that counts for one more point.

But this is the second consecutive loss for the Lakers and a big win to push the Suns to 5-4. No reason to worry for L.A., but the fact that you even gave up 40 looks at 3 is something to raise an eyebrow at. The perimeter defense is lacking at this moment and really, the defense in general. The Nuggets exposed the Lakers on that end Friday night in L.A.'s first loss and then Sunday the Suns dropped 121.

Obviously, Phoenix winning is something for the Suns to be excited about and to build on. But the way they won isn't much to think about. You're not going 22-40 from 3-point range very often. And you're not winning pretty much ever being outscored in the paint by 40 points.

But on Sunday night, the Suns were hot and that Heat from the outside is what they rode to a big win over the Lakers.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES:

Jason Richardson gets the gold star for the night with 35 points including 7-10 from 3. That's some shootin' right there.

Can't overlook Al Horford's big night against the Wolves as the newly paid Hawk went for 28 on 9-14 shooting and pulled in 10 rebounds for good measure.

Just 22 and 17 for Kevin Love against the Hawks Sunday. What's the deal man?

INFORMATION HERE:

Via John Schuhmann: "A team has hit 20 or more threes in a game 5 times (3 by PHX). The previous 4 all won the game by an avg. of 27.3 pts & by no fewer than 18."

DON'T MISS:

A GAME SUMMED UP IN DOTS:

Peep the shot chart for the Suns against the Lakers. It's not something you see very often.


SERGE I-SMASH-A:



Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 10:17 am
Edited on: November 11, 2010 1:06 pm
 

Shootaround 11.11.10: Decisions abound

Durant doing fine at the bank, Knicks decide to love Lee still, and is Splitter a good defender?
Posted by Matt Moore

  • Apparently being in small-town Oklahoma City (which is actually big-town Oklahoma if you've ever been to the Sooner State) isn't slowing down Kevin Durant's endorsement opportunities . It may be time to really stop feeding into this myth that you need to be in a big market to be able to make great money through endorsements. If Melo would come to realize that, maybe he wouldn't still be in Denver where he's essentially spinning his wheels for no reason.
  • Knicks fans gave David Lee a terrific ovation last night . There's been a lot of positive regard this season for returning players who now play on different teams. Why do I have a feeling Cleveland will not be continuing that approach?
  • A great throwback interview with Moses Malone. With all this talk of Chris Bosh after he was discussed as a top player in the league this summer and now with his struggles in the paint, you think about what it would have been like if Moses Malone had joined a team like the Heat. Then again, you could make the argument that Dr. J's Sixers were pretty Heat-like in terms of talent.
  • Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell contends that Tiago Splitter is playing incredibly well on the defensive end, the box score just doesn't capture it . I would argue he needs to watch Splitter's weakside defense and ability to hedge effectively, but I'm a stickler for such things.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: November 10, 2010 5:28 am
 

Shootaround 11.9.10: LeBron's not happy

Posted by Royce Young
  • Dwight Howard has been pretty awesome this season and Eddy Rivera looks in depth at his start: "This may finally be the season that Howard becomes an elite two-way player. There are those that might be surprised that this phenomenon is occurring, but they shouldn’t be. There were hints that this was going to happen during the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, when Howard took his game to another level offensively in Games 4 through 6 and began to make mince meat of Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace, two defenders that have been able to shut him down many times in the past. Howard, more than anything else, began to understand that he needed to use his finesse, not strength, to score on Perkins and Wallace. It’s the realization that there are different ways to score based on the situation that has allowed Howard to use different aspects of his offensive repertoire when need be. Taking what the defense gives you. Howard is doing a lot of taking lately."
  • Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Al Horford's incentives: "Horford said the five-year, $60 million contract extension he recently signed with the Hawks also includes incentives that could increase the total value to about $67 million. The incentive clauses are based on Horford earning various superlatives, such as being voted to one of three All-NBA teams."
  • If you want to endorse KD, you've got to go to OKC: "I always told myself if I play the game the right way, if I always get better, things like this are going to come to me," Durant told The Oklahoman. "I don't have to go other places just to get this. I don't want to sound like a prima donna. But if companies want to come out here and be a part of what I have going on, they're going to have to come to Oklahoma City."
  • Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News: "It does not seem to matter that Allen Iverson is 35, that his best days are behind him, that he struggled last season in three games with the Memphis Grizzlies and 25 with the 76ers. All that matters is, Allen Iverson is coming. In true Iverson fashion, he was supposed to be there Saturday, to be greeted by throngs of people, to sign autographs, to be introduced to his new teammates with Besiktas. But he missed his flight, supposedly because he arrived at the airport without his passport."

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com