What is taking Dumars so long to move Rip Hamilton. Al Jefferson was out there from the Timberwolves. David Lee is about to get traded for two reserves on the same level as Maxiell and Wilcox. I'm starting to wonder why Joe D is moving so slow, with a team that barely has trade value as it is. Dumars You need to wake up and smell the free agency...if we end up spending our MLE on somebody like Sheldon Williams, Dumars will officially be on the Hot Seat in my book.Continue reading "Whats up Dumars, Get rid of the old ..."
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How Can the Washington Wizards Improve to Contender Status? posted by Chase Hughes
Last night I was listening to an interview with former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo on 106.7 The Fan. He was commenting on the opening days of the NBA regular season, specifically about the Eastern Conference and his thoughts on who were the better teams. Not surprisingly he named the top three teams as the “factors,” those being Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando. He said that there are not any teams even close to those three but on the outside looking in is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards were the only team he mentioned as the fourth best team and he said this about three times. These comments got me thinking about what the Wizards need to do this regular season to take the next step and breach that label, in what areas can they improve to develop into the fourth Eastern Conference power?
First of all, this piece is not in discussion of anything to do with the playoffs, I am not assuming that the Wizards are clearly the fourth best team or that they will even make the playoffs at all. What I am saying is that the Wiz are in that second tier bunch that follows the top three, which in my opinion also includes the Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76’ers (3rd tier: MIA, CHI, NJ, DET). Carlesimo added that this is the way the East is presently, that come December we could be talking about another team that has emerged or perhaps a top team will regress and make way for one that is on the brink. We know that this is Gilbert Arenas’ team but what pieces need to fall into place for Washington to make that jump? I offer several possibilities, some more plausible than others for how the Wizards can materialize into a contender:
5 Predictions for the 2009-10 Washington Wizards posted by Chase Hughes
1. Gilbert Arenas will average over 8 assists per game – It is quite obvious that with all the new offensive weapons and a healthy roster, Gilbert Arenas’ scoring average is going to go down. He isn’t going to be able to keep up a 29.3 ppg season like he did in 2005-06. My guess is that his numbers will drop down to around his career average of 22 ppg. Maybe even a little bit lower as there are going to be plenty of guys begging for the rock. Scoring averages aside, with Gilbert Arenas back in the line-up everyone will benefit. Gil still gets respect for his scoring capabilities, as evidenced in the two games last year in which he tallied 20 assists and no turnovers. He has the ability to draw the double team and help defense, much like Kobe, Dwyane, and Lebron, giving him opportunities to pass the ball off to the open man. In the two games he played last year, you could see that Gilbert still has a quick first step but is more cautious with it. That hesitancy makes opponents play on their heels which allows Gilbert to blow by them on a drive and get the basket or draw the foul. What is going to happen is Gilbert will come out this season as a type of player we aren’t used to seeing wear number “0.” His essentially two years away from the game have undoubtedly changed his perspective as a floor general. What will emerge is a Gilbert Arenas that involves his teammates while still showcasing the killer instinct that makes him the great scorer he is. Gilbert’s career assist average is 5.5 apg, a great figure for a small forward but not up to par with the best point guards in the league. Here are his assist averages over a few seasons:
Continue reading "5 Predictions for the 2009-10 Washington Wizards"
Thunder continue to make small moves in the right direction. posted by john howard
The Thunder traded away Damien Wilkins and Chucky Atkins for Etan Thomas and two second round picks. The move was an even swap money wise. Wilkins and Atkins make nearly 7mil together and that is what Thomas will make this year. The Thunder are well under the cap and Thomas' contract expires this year. So, not only will they have freed up money next year, they will also have 5 draft picks. 2 in the first round and 3 in the second round.
So, financially and on paper it makes a lot of sense. Also, the Thunder were heavily loaded with guards. Sefaloosha and newly drafted James Harden have the 2 guard covered. And Russell Westbrook is the starting point guard. Shaun Livingston has played well enough this summer to be the back up. Second year player Kyle Weaver can play both and is ever improving. So, there just wasn't any room for those other 2 guys.
Etan Thomas will likely take the role that Malik Rose played last year. A veteran with leadership and tough inside defensive play. This was yet another brilliant move by the front office.
For Minnesota, Atkins gives them some insurance at point should Ricky Rubio not show. Also, Wilkins is in his last year and this is a make or break year. He has shown sings of being a contributor in this league. If he breaks through this year, then the management looks like a genius. If he flops, they clear up 3mil in cap space and it's no big loss. It's a risk worthy of a second round pick. And, Atkins is worth the insurance of a late second round pick. So, this was a good move for them as well.Continue reading "Thunder continue to make small moves ..."
Richardson traded again. This time to Minnesota posted by john howard
Quentin Richardson has traveled from New York to Memphis to Los Angelos, and now to Minnesota. He takes with him $9mil for one year. Last season he earned 3 wins for the New York Knicks (a Howard Sports statistic). In return, the Clippers get Sebastian Telfair (3 wins), Craig Smith (2 wins), and Mark Madsen (0 wins). So, it was a good trade for the Clippers. They gained a backup to Baron Davis. Minnesota meanwhile gets to unload a huge salary after this season. Richardson also fills a void that was created when Foye was traded to Washington. Also, Ricky Rubio doesn't appear to coming soon. After the terrific play of Flynn this summer in Las Vegas, Telfair became expendable.Continue reading "Richardson traded again. This time to Minnesota"
Minnesota summer league a success posted by john howard
Minnesota has a long way to go, but they made progress this summer in Vegas.
Johnny Flynn is the real deal and should be the starting point guard from day one. He averaged 15 points and 7 assists. And, shot lights out! Over 50% from 3-point and 91% from the line. He had over 5 turnovers, but that is to be expected. Scoring and dishing at that level in summer league shows that he is going to be a good player.
Wayne Ellington also showed that he can play. He averaged 14 points and 3 rebounds while also shooting lights out.
Corey Brewer was the 3rd leading scorer at 12 ppg and played solid. He isn't the player that I thought he was going to be, but he can still contribute.
Oleksiy Pecherov was acquired this summer from Washintong. He 9pts and 7 rebounds and shot well below 40%. He will be a bench player at best, but is still developing.
Bobby Brown and Gerald Henderson are two other notables that played, but not much.
Overall, Minnesota did very well in Las Vegas and they have 2 new players they are going to really like.Continue reading "Minnesota summer league a success"
Minnesota Timberwolves posted by john howard
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a world of hurt, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better. Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, and Sebastian Telfair each earned 3 wins last year, while the rest of the returning roster earned 8. That is a total of 17 returning wins. When they traded away Foye and Miller, they unloaded 6 wins to acquire the 5th pick. That pick usually earns 4 wins. So, they traded away wins form something they hope pays off in the future. With Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn, and Wayne Ellington as rookies, statistically, they should acquire 9 wins. That would be a dismal 26. That number could even be lower if Rubio decides to bolt. Also, 2 wins, Ollie and Carney are free agents. This could be another, long hard year for the Timberwolves. The bright side is that Jefferson didn't play all 82 games, so his win total of 3 should go up. But with the surrounding cast, not by much.Continue reading "Minnesota Timberwolves"
New York and Rubio posted by john howard
New York, I don't care what you need to do, get Ricky Rubio. He has a chance to be special. There is no player on your team now that can be special. He wants to play where his name will be known and New York is it. He would be great in that style of play. Also, being on the east coast would make him seen more. I think they could work something out. Especially if there is a chance that he could play in Europe and not for Minnesota.Continue reading "New York and Rubio"
National Champs send four in NBA Draft posted by Christopher Arroyo
The people who saw the 2009 NBA Draft on Thursday were in for a special treat when they saw Blake Griffin go No. 1.
Very predictable however.
Then, Hasheem Thabeet went No. 2, which was also predictable. Then things got a bit interesting.
The early shocker was Stephen Curry going number seven to the Golden State Warriors. But what was really neat was that all of the North Carolina players that declared were drafted.
The first Tar Heel chosen was Tyler Hansbrough, who went at number 13 to the Indiana Pacers. This was a good pick, for the Pacers and here is why. Indiana is not known to carry much toughness, especially in the frontcourt.
If you had the treat to see this guy in college then you would know that he’s the real deal for toughness. I think he will start the season on the bench, but he will emerge into that starting position around December.
The second Tar Heel chosen was Ty Lawson, who was picked by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now I know many of you were wondering why Minnesota picked four guards in the first round, which three were point guards. But, rest assured, they ended up trading Lawson to the Denver Nuggets for a future first round pick.
This is the BEST team for Lawson. You’re putting one of the top, and under-appreciated, point guards in the draft on a team that is surrounded with rising talent. He is also going to appreciate being an apprentice to Denver’s Chauncey Billups.
Probably the most respected guard in the league and known for his patience and leadership on and off the court. Sadly, he will be a bench player for a few years but, learning under Billups will definitely make him one of the top point guards in the league. This was really the best move of the draft Denver should be strong under the point guard position for at least the next 10 years if all goes well.Continue reading "National Champs send four in NBA Draft"
OH-HUM THE 2009 NBA DRAFT posted by Andy Natalie
1 Clippers Blake Griffin PF
2. Grizzlies Hasheem Thabeet C
3. Thunder James Harden SG
4. Kings Tyreke Evans SG
5. Timberwolves Ricky Rubio PG
6. Timberwolves Jonny Flynn PG
7. Warriors Stephen Curry PG
8. Knicks Jordan Hill PF
9. Raptors DeMar DeRozan SG
10. Bucks Brandon Jennings PG
11. Nets Terrence Williams SG
12. Bobcats Gerald Henderson SG
13. Pacers Tyler Hansbrough PF
14. Suns Earl Clark SF
15. Pistons Austin Daye SF
16. Bulls James Johnson PF
17. 76ers Jrue Holiday PG
18. Timberwolves Ty Lawson PG
19. Hawks Jeff Teague PG
20. Jazz Eric Maynor PG
21. Hornets Darren Collison PG
22. Trail Blazers Victor Claver SF
23. Kings Omri Casspi SF
24. Mavericks B.J. Mullens C
25. Thunder Rodrigue Beaubois PG
26. Bulls Taj Gibson PF
27. Grizzlies DeMarre Carroll PF
28. Timberwolves Wayne Ellington SG
29. Lakers Toney Douglas SG
30. Cavaliers Christian Eyenga
SFThe Clippers picked their "10,000th" lottery pick in NBA Draft history. And it is yet another shame that a guy like Blake Griffin will waste his talent for a few floundering years for the most disorganized sports franchise on Earth. The Clippers are a joke. And I was a huge fan of Elgin Baylor but his time in Clipper-dom has been the usual failure of a franchise to be even relevent. Other than the teams history dating to a time in Buffalo, the Larry Brown years of 1992 and 1993 are the only Clippers teams that did anything. Actually they had a winning season in 2005 and 2006 at 47 - 35. Anyhow the list of good players that have been selected there and then left are mounting. So I expect Griffin to display his talents and then be courted by a team that knows what it is doing. Other than that the 2009 Draft was a bit of a sham. How is that? Well what does it say that the LA Lakers ook some cash for their 1st round pick? The Orlando Magic decided to deal for aging Vince Carter instead of taking a player from this litter. The Cavaliers felt the acquisition of Shaq held more value than any of these players. Even the Golden State Warriors traded their new pick Stephen Curry to Phoenix for Amare Stoudamire. Honestly the level of USA basketball talent has diminished. Many argue that NBA players are better than ever. I believe those people depend on earning money from the NBA so therefore they continue to lie about the quality. Hey I am guilty of still loving the NBA but the new generation of players are not that fundamentally sound. Oh, they are 10 times the athletes of Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, Julius Erving or Jerry West but they can't pass, dribble, or shoot like those NBA players did and like NBA players should. I think this is borne out by the decline of the USA's ability to dominate a World that has gotten better. (And yes there are Continue reading "OH-HUM THE 2009 NBA DRAFT"
Minnesota Timberwolves News
From Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports
If you're anything like me and Detroit Pistons rookie Peyton Siva, when it gets this late in the season, you come out of the weekend like: So let's get caught up on how the weekend that just passed reshaped the playoff picture, which is mere days away from being officially finalized, starting with an instant classic in Rip City. Well, that was awesome. The Sunday night matchup between the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors was just too good to be limited to 48 minutes. Get caught up quickly on the late-game craziness and overtime back-and-forth here: (If you'd like a longer, more context-rich recap that stretches back to the start of the fourth quarter, Gmo's Rockets' Highlights has you covered.) Despite a season-high 47 points on 16 for 29 shooting from irrepressible flamethrower Stephen Curry, and a combined 72 points from Curry and Klay Thompson on 13 for 27 shooting from 3-point land, the Blazers held off the Warriors, 119-117 , in a celebration of shot-making and scoring-as-liberating-performance-art that would've made Toni and Candace proud. LaMarcus Aldridge's pick-and-pop 20-footer with 39 seconds remaining capped a 26-point, seven-rebound night for him and stood up as the game-winner. Nicolas Batum (18 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 44 minutes) did a little bit of everything, and while Damian Lillard was off (13 points on 3 for 13 shooting and some shaky decision-making that has led to post-game grumbling ), reserve guard Mo Williams was there to pick up the slack with 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting, three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes off the pine. He was pretty psyched about it, which makes sense: This was one of the best games of the yr 2nite. #ripcity —Mo Williams (@mowilliams) April 14, 2014 The win improved Portland to 53-28, securing no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and bringing them within a half-game of the Houston Rockets for the No. 4 spot. The Blazers and Rockets are now officially locked into playing one another in the first round, but which squad will have home-court advantage remains to be seen —one more Houston win (either Monday night over the San Antonio Spurs or Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans) will give the Rockets the honors, while Portland can still open the playoffs at home if Houston loses out and the Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday . The Warriors are still assured of a postseason berth, having clinched with their Friday night win over the Los Angeles Lakers. But the loss to the Blazers means they can't finish higher than sixth, ensuring that they're going to get either the Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers in the first round. It also opens the door for a Warriors team that has scuffled a bit of late (5-5 in their last 10 games) and could be without center Andrew Bogut (who left Sunday's game early with an apparent rib injury ) sliding even further down the Western bracket, where they're now just a half-game ahead of the No. 7 seed, which belongs to ... DDoS: Dallas denial of service. Eric Bledsoe is very quick, very fast and very good at getting to the basket, which makes him a pretty good late-game option when the Phoenix Suns desperately need a basket to tie the Dallas Mavericks in a game between two of the three teams scrapping for the last playoff spots in the brutally competitive Western Conference. Unfortunately for Bledsoe and the orange-and-purple-loving folks of the Valley of the Sun, though, Brandan Wright appears to be Cloak : Wright's third block of the game (to go with 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench) sealed a 101-98 win that locked up a playoff berth for the Mavericks, who could finish as high as sixth in the West depending upon how the next three days shake out for the Warriors; Dallas now sits at 49-32, a half-game behind the Dubs for the No. 6 spot, and a half-game clear of the eighth seed currently held by ... Just keep grinding. The Memphis Grizzlies closed Sunday strong with a 102-90 win over the Lakers, their third straight victory, thanks in large part to monster games from center Marc Gasol (18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes) and point guard Mike Conley (24 points on 9 for 12 shooting, eight assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 1/2 minutes). So, naturally, the play we're going to show you was made by Zach Randolph, who picked a pretty good time to become a passing wizard: Let's see that from a different angle and at a more Z-Bo appropriate rate of speed, please: I've thought a lot about which new Zach nickname I like best after this, and I've come to the conclusion that it's "Ricky RuZ-Bo." You may feel free to try to sway my opinion in the comments, but it's probably going to be pretty hard. (Also, way to finish the layup, Nick Calathes, thus turning this into an official highlight.) Thanks to Phoenix's Saturday loss, the Grizzlies now hold a one-game lead over the Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis and Phoenix play on Monday night ; if Memphis wins, they're in, and the Suns will see their shockingly successful season come to a disappointing end on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. It's kind of a big game out in the desert. Top billin' . The Indiana Pacers are once again atop the Eastern Conference, thanks to an impressive 102-97 victory over the Thunder in ABC's Sunday matinee fueled by Lance Stephenson's NBA-leading and Pacers franchise record fifth triple-double of the season (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), strong play up front from Paul George and David West (a combined 41 points and 18 rebounds), and —will wonders never cease! —legitimate contributions from the Pacer bench, led by recently returned point guard C.J. Watson, who had 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench and steadied Indy's ship on a day where George Hill didn't quite have his fastball. After Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, the Pacers had once again dipped down to the No. 2 spot; now, Indy's just one more win (in Wednesday's finale against the Orlando Magic) or one more Miami Heat loss away from securing home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, thanks in part to ... Birds of war . Shouts out to the Atlanta Hawks, who became the eighth and final team to earn a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference on Saturday by beating the Heat, 98-85 , behind 18 fourth-quarter points from Lou Williams and another strong outing (25 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes) from point guard Jeff Teague, who's averaging 20 points and 5.5 assists per game on 50.7/37.8/90.7 shooting splits over his last 10 games . The Hawks can't get any higher than the eighth seed, but they've made the playoffs for the seventh straight season despite losing expected centerpiece Al Horford less than two months into head coach Mike Budenholzer's first year in charge, which is commendable, if not necessarily the great big goal for general manager Danny Ferry and company. Weep not for the memories. The Hawks locking up the eighth seed means the New York Knicks —who earned wins over the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls this weekend —are officially eliminated from postseason contention. New York's 14-5 run over the last five weeks has been nice enough, but it wound up being too little and too late —this is what happens when you lose 40 of your first 61 games, even in a historically poor Eastern Conference —and now Carmelo Anthony will miss the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year NBA career. Perhaps this apparently taped-and-edited-off-TV (which feels thematically appropriate) highlight reel celebrating the 2013-14 Knicks set to "One Shining Moment" will make you feel better, Melo: The cherry on top of the Knicks' season-long sundae of absurdity? This, from Amar'e Stoudemire after Sunday's win over the Bulls, as noted by Steve Popper of the Bergen Record : "On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together." Best of luck to the Knicks in the on-paper playoffs, which begin on the 12th of never. (By the way, the Knicks have to win their final two games —against cross-borough rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and the Raptors on Wednesday —just to meet the projected record produced by ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton that set so many Knicks fans and players to raging before the start of this season. It's funny how things work out.) Walk the dinosaur. The Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title on Friday despite losing to the Knicks thanks to the Hawks knocking off the Nets. They tied a franchise record Sunday with their 47th win of the season, besting the circling-the-drain Pistons, 116-107 , in a game that saw DeMar DeRozan score 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and punctuate the proceedings with a very loud, very forceful flush atop the dome of Pistons forward Kyle Singler: The combination of the Raptors' win and the Bulls' Sunday loss to the Knicks means both teams enter Monday at 47-33, with Toronto re-taking the No. 3 seed in the East by virtue of being a division winner. The Raptors conclude their regular-season slate with a home game against the worst-in-the-NBA Milwaukee Bucks on Monday and one last meeting with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, while the Bulls welcome the 23-57 Magic tonight before finishing things off in North Carolina against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Seed toss. Superchunk . Quickly: EASTERN CONFERENCE •If Miami loses to the Wizards on Monday , Indy's No. 1 in the East and the Heat are No. 2. •If the Raptors beat the Bucks and the Bulls lose to the Magic , Toronto locks up No. 3 seed and puts Chicago at No. 4. •The Nets ensured that they can't finish any worse than No. 6 in the East by beating the Magic on Sunday. If the Wizards lose to the Heat, Brooklyn's No. 5. •If the Wizards beat the Heat and the Bobcats lose to the Hawks , Charlotte's locked into No. 7. (Lots of stuff can still happen for the Wizards. Bullets Forever's Mike Prada runs through the various postseason possibilities.) WESTERN CONFERENCE •The Spurs beat the Suns on Friday, clinching the NBA's best regular-season record and securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They're one win away from tying the 2005-06 squad (63-19) for the most wins in franchise history; if they beat the Rockets on Monday and the Lakers in the season finale on Wednesday , they'll finish at 64-18, the best mark of any Spurs team of all time. This is where we remind you that Tim Duncan is 11 days shy of his 38th birthday, and that the Spurs are ridiculous. •The Thunder's Sunday loss to the Pacers gives the Clippers an outside shot of securing the West's No. 2 seed. If OKC beats the Pelicans on Monday, they lock up No. 2 and put the Clippers in third place. But if, by some stroke of unpredictable magic, Oklahoma City loses to a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith (and possibly Tyreke Evans and Brian Roberts, too), the door's still open just a bit for L.A. to take over No. 2 —basically, they need to win their last two games and they need the Thunder to lose their last two games. •If the Rockets beat the Spurs , Houston's the No. 4 seed and Portland's the No. 5 seed. •If Golden State beats the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors lock up the No. 6 seed. •If the Grizzlies beat the Suns , Memphis clinches the No. 8 seed and eliminates Phoenix. •if the Suns beat the Grizzlies, they stay alive; if Phoenix and Golden State both win, Dallas locks up the No. 7 seed. Got all that? Of course you do. Now, to cleanse your palate, here's Russell Westbrook not exactly sticking the landing on his attempt to play after-the-whistle troll. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]
From Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports