Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:18 pm

Team USA's uniforms revealed

Posted by Royce Young

Nike unveiled Team USA's newest uniform design this week, which includes a revamped "USA" design. And it's, uh, different. Is it just me or does that "S" look like the kind we all used to draw in middle school?

And it wouldn't be a Nike uniform release without them telling us how wonderful they are. Nike says, “Our lightest bball jersey. Approx 96% recycled polyester. The @usabasketball Nike Hyper Elite Uniform: #innovate.”

It doesn't matter how good you look or how much polyester is in there if you don't beat Spain. Because that's the mission in London, not looking good and recycling.

Here's the thing: Maybe those uniforms don't look all that great, but I think that's just because they're missing a key accessory. Put a gold medal around the neck and I think you've got a really slick look.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:24 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:21 pm

Jeremy Evans replacing Shumpert in dunk contest

Posted by Royce Young

It's no secret that this year's dunk contest field is a bit lackluster. That's not to say it won't be good, but when the four names were announced -- Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger, Paul George and Iman Shumpert -- there wasn't exactly a big buzz about it.

But with Shumpert suffering from a little patellar tendinitis, and won't be participating in the dunk contest after all. His replacement? Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz. Evans opened a Twitter account Tuesday night and tweeted, "Hey everybody! I'm brand new to twitter and hopefully will have a big announcement about All Star Weekend soon," along with a video of him dunking. Assuming that's legit, combined with a report saying Evans was in and the fact the Jazz has a video on their website announcing it. So yeah, Evans is in.

Evans had some serious buzz prior to the announcement of the field with a Twitter campaign called "JeremyEvansDunk" and a bunch of other support from bloggers and media types. He was a bit of a snub originally, so he's a worthy replacement.

With no Shumpert though, that also means no Jeremy Lin helping out, which seemed to be the contest's big selling point. Don't sleep on Evans though. Watch this dunk and tell me he isn't going to impress.

Via SLC Dunk
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:22 am

Report Card: Pop gets an A, his team gets an F

Posted by Royce Young

Popovich made a smart move, but his team didn't back him up much. (Getty Images)

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

Gregg Popovich
The Spurs got destroyed by the Blazers, 137-97. So an A for Popovich? What? Nobody keeps the big picture in mind better than Coach Pop. Even though the Spurs were working on an 11-game win streak, Popovich decided to sit both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, essentially conceding the game to the Blazers. The Spurs were coming off a game the night before and have another tough one Thursday against the Nuggets before the All-Star break. By sitting Parker and Duncan, Popovich was buying his guys some much-needed rest at the back end of their rodeo road trip.
Dwyane Wade
The Kings looked to be game for the Heat early on, but behind Wade's 30 points (on 11-16 shooting), 10 assists and four rebounds, the Heat were able to pull away late.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Spurs brought their b-team to the Rose Garden Tuesday, but the blowout sure was impressive regardless. In starting for Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford was brilliant and Felton was actually solid off the bench. A night after getting it handed to them in Los Angeles, the Blazers bounced back and put it on the Spurs, a team that had won 11 straight.
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs rallied from 17 down to come back and beat the Pistons. Not the craziest feat in the world and yeah, it was the Pistons but I continue to be intrigued by this young team. Kyrie Irving led the spark that did it finishing with 25 and any time a growing, evolving team can put these type of wins in their pocket, it means a little more than just having another tally in the win column.
Isaiah Thomas
The rookie point guard finished with 24 points and hit four 3s in the third quarter. Problem was, he didn't score in the fourth. Still, a nice game in a losing effort to one of the league's three best teams.
Detroit Pistons  They blew a 17-point lead to the Cavs and were outscored 35-22 in the fourth quarter. They wasted really nice games from Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. In other words, just another night for the Pistons.
San Antonio Spurs
Yep, Popovich gets an A, but his team gets an F. Just because he made a smart move sitting Duncan and Parker doesn't mean the rest of the team is allowed to completely take a dump on the game.

Roy Hibbert (30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Hornets)
Antawn Jamison (32 points, 11-for-22 shooting and 10 rebounds in a win over the Pistons)
Greg Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a loss to Cleveland)
Marc Gasol (15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Philadelphia)

Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:24 pm

NBA Power Rankings: Breakdown, Takedown Vol. 10

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Even with all the hype, Jeremy Lin and the Knicks aren't getting their due. (Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the tenth weekly installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.

What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.

1. Too High: Houston Rockets at No. 9. I want to get excited about the Rockets too. They're an intriguing bunch of over-achievers with almost-stars in Kevin Martin and Luis Scola. But no way are they top 10 material quite yet. They are good at home but haven't been able to prove themselves much on the road. A 6-10 mark away from the Toyota Center has to improve if this group is to make a good case to be mentioned among the Western elite. -- RY

2. Too Low: New York Knicks at No. 15. Gauging the Knicks is all about how you want to look at the sample. They're 1-2 in their last three and they're 16-17 on the season, but they're also 9-4 in their last thirteen. All indications are that this is an above-average team that's put its early-season woes behind it. Working Carmelo Anthony back in after injury and adding J.R. Smith to the formula won't be a completely straightforward process, but this is a team that should be at least two spots higher. -- BG

3. Most Overrated: Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 14. We seem to go through this every week, but there's no chance that Minnesota should be this high, given that they're below .500, ranked above the Portland Trail Blazers, currently a game up on them, and still reside in last place of the Northwest Division. This week, they're not all that drastically overrated but placing them above New York, Portland, Memphis and Boston was a big with the heart, not the mind. Or maybe a pick made with googley eyes at Ricky Rubio. Whatever the reason, overrated. -- BG

4. Most Overlooked: Golden State Warriors at No. 23. Among the bottom ten teams in the league, Golden State seems the least awful. They're 5-5 in February, which counts as positive momentum after a slow start. Written off by many as early as mid-January, the Warriors are just four games out of the No. 8 playoff seed in the ultra-packed Western Conference, and even though they're 12th in the West, their No. 7 ranked offense provides enough reason to believe that they will land closer to the playoff fringes than the basement. -- BG

5. Sure Thing: San Antonio at No. 4. After back-to-back weeks of having the Spurs too low, it looks like they're finally in the right spot. Not quite as good as the Thunder, who own the West currently and certainly not among the Heat and Bulls. But absolutely a top five team with a look in them to make a strong push for the West's top spot before it's all said and done. They briefly got back Manu Ginobili, only to lose him again for a few weeks. No bother. The Spurs will just keep on. -- RY

6. Wild Card: Denver Nuggets at No. 11. At one point, it was nearly universally agreed upon that this team was legit contender material and a threat to the Thunder in the West. Then everyone started getting hurt and they started losing games by the bunches. What would've been a defining win against OKC Sunday was snuffed out by Kevin Durant. The Nuggets have shown they're almost good enough, but not quite there. If Danilo Gallinari can lift his game to another level when he returns, this could be a group to make a big Western push. -- RY
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:32 pm

Chase Budinger prepares for the dunk contest

Posted by Royce Young

Most everyone wasn't exactly blown away when this year's All-Star slam dunk contest participants were announced. Derrick Williams, Paul George, Iman Shumpert and Chase Budinger isn't exactly a field that gets you pumped up.

But that's not so say those guys aren't taking things seriously and aren't going to try and put on a real show.

In what's clearly a planned video featuring teammate Chandler Parsons and a cardboard cutout of Yao Ming, Budinger is caught practicing a dunk over the likeness of the former 7-6 Houston Rocket. I don't know if that's one he's really planning, but points for thinking outside the box. Maybe we shouldn't write this dunk contest off quite yet.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:25 pm

Marvin Williams 'vehemently' denies trade rumor

Posted by Royce Young

Through the team's PR person, Atlanta Hawks forward Marvin Williams had denied making a trade request from the team. That's in reference to an ESPN.com report that said he was wanting to get away from the team because of playing time issues and a lack of participation in the offense.

Via Hawks PR guy Arthur Triche's Twitter:
The #Hawks just landed in NYC and had a convo with a very disappointed Marvin Williams, who while attending the funeral of a family friend, had to hear about his “reported” trade request. He vehemently denies ever asking for a trade and said, “you know that’s not me”.
There's obviously a difference between formally asking for a trade -- which the report did not say -- and just being frustrated with your role and indicating that you'd prefer a bigger role or a way out. Williams could've communicated his frustration to his agent or someone else which was then communicated along as "he wants out."

I don't think Williams would vehemently deny being frustrated with his position and participation in the team's offense though. He's averaging career-low minutes and the lowest point per game average since his rookie season. And this is with the Hawks being extremely banged up.

Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:55 pm

Report: Marvin Williams wants out of Atlanta

 Time could be running out for Marvin Williams in Atlanta. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Marvin Williams' fate in Atlanta was pretty much doomed from the start. After the Hawks picked him ahead of Chris Paul (and Deron Williams) in 2005, he had the uphill battle to fight in justifying that pick. Unfortunately, he never really has been able to.

And his time with the Hawks might finally be coming to an end. Via ESPN.com:
Frustration abounds in Atlanta right now, and sources say Marvin Williams wants out because he wants to play somewhere where he'll have an increased role offensively. Williams is averaging just 9.6 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.
Williams has never been a true "bust" or even anything close to that. But he's the guy Atlanta took ahead of CP3 and he's always had to deal with that disappointment. He's been a good rotation player on a perennial Eastern playoff team and with his versaility, has filled multiple roles at one time.

But even with Al Horford out with an injury, Williams hasn't been able to truly find his place. He's a classic tweener -- too small for the 4, but not quite a true 3 -- and because of that hasn't been able to produce at the level most expected him to out of North Carolina.

Williams minutes are down to just 24.2 a game (the lowest in his career) and he's slowly getting squeezed out of the rotation with the Hawks. He's taking fewer shots, scoring less and doesn't playing a prominant role despite starting all 28 games he's played in.

The Hawks could use some more interior help and with Josh Smith having a terrific season, maybe there's a little bit of space to shop Williams. Tracy McGrady wants more playing time too so maybe there's a common ground to be found. Ship out Williams and hand over a bigger role to McGrady.

Williams is signed through 2014 with the Hawks paying him $7.5 million a year. That's not a horrible contract and it would be something the Hawks wouldn't mind clearing off the books either.

Nobody's happy in Atlanta right now, it seems. McGrady just got finished saying he wants more time and now Marvin Williams wants to be traded. Good times, Hawks. Good times.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:52 pm

Lakers interested in Michael Beasley?

Are the Lakers looking at Beasley? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The idea is that at some point, Michael Beasley will find himself in the perfect situation. He'll have the right support system, the right teammates, the right system and as a result, he finally realize some of the talent he has. Because the guy has got talent. Loads of it. It's why he was drafted second overall and why the Timberwolves were more than happy to welcome him despite not really having a good spot for him.

It hasn't exactly worked out with Minnesota and with the Wolves drafting Derrick Williams, Beasley just doesn't really have a place.

Then there are the Lakers, a team trying to make a deal to salvage a makeshift roster. Perfect marriage for a deal, right? Well, the Lakers like Beasley, according to ESPN.com:
The Lakers' front office knows Kobe Bryant is looking for it to improve the roster, and GM Mitch Kupchak has been working the phones. He's spoken to Minnesota about Michael Beasley, and sources say the Lakers are intrigued by the Timberwolves' small forward. The Lakers were actually in discussions with Minnesota about a potential trade for Beasley before the season started. If they would have been able to pull off the deal for Chris Paul, there is a good chance that a trade for Beasley would have followed.

It's not clear what the Lakers would give Minnesota for Beasley (if indeed the talks get that far), but the Lakers could absorb Beasley into their $8.9 million trade exception while giving up a draft pick or cash. I'm told the teams have not spoken about Pau Gasol since the preseason. Minnesota is looking to move Beasley, who they feel has matured very little (if at all) since he's been there, according to sources. The Lakers believe they can handle a player like Beasley because of their winning culture and the leadership of Bryant.
The Lakers need more help than just Beasley, but like I said, the guy is just dying for that right place. Rasheed Wallace finally found it with the Pistons and look what happened. Beasley has serious ability. It's just got to click for him.

According to the report, the Lakers are also looking at acquiring a point guard, a position that needs a lot of help. They worked out Gilbert Arenas last week, but evidently haven't made a decision there yet. There are other point guards on the market like Ramon Sessions and the report says the Lakers might be able to grab Sessions for a first round pick.

I think the deals are coming for the Lakers. Maybe not a blockbuster involving Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum, but something. That trade exception is just sitting there and it's hard to believe they truly gave up Lamar Odom to a Western contender for basically nothing.

I like Beasley with the Lakers too. I think it's a fit. He can forget about trying to carry a bad team for once and concentrate on his strengths. He can fit in alongside Kobe and Gasol and let those guys lead the way while he follows. It might take a bit of an attitude adjustment from him realizing maybe he's not going to score 20 points a game, but if he's willing, he still has a lot of bright years ahead of him.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com