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Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  158 responses

Post Up: Men Of a Certain Age

L.A. needs OT to take out Boston, the Kings upset OKC and wins for the Rockets and Ws.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Four games from last night, and while they were entertaining as usual (thanks TNT!), the biggest news of the night was the naming of the All-Star reserves for the East and West squads. And, since this is my party blog and I do what I want here, I’d like to give you my picks—just one of a baker’s dozen worth of ballots that made up the official SLAMonline list. Here’s who I would have had in Orlando. Keep in mind my NBA watching has been schizophrenic this season as I try to keep you all abreast of every game at once. But for what it’s worth, here goes, with ones who did not make it in italics:

East: Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, Kyrie Irving, Ryan Anderson
West: Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, Paul Millsap, Ty Lawson, Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay

Lakers 88, Celtics 87 (OT)

Sure, this rivalry was more fun a few years ago, but even with more years on their bodies, Celtics-Lakers is always a fun watch. Then again, both teams shot sub-40 percent last night and a combined 7-34 from three-point range. All you need to know is Boston head coach Doc Rivers had this to say after the game, “I thought this was an awful game.” More awful for his team, in the end. Kobe Bryant scored 27 points (11-24 FGs), Pau Gasol had 25 points and 14 boards, and Andrew Bynum had 16 and 17 as L.A. edged Boston in overtime. The Lakers are 15-11 after seeing Kevin Garnett take a season-high 23 shots—he only made 6, finishing with 12 points. To end the fourth quarter, a Kobe jumper drew iron but Gasol was there for the tip-in, and the Celtics’ final chance with the ball ended with a Mickael Pietrus fadeaway from 35 feet out. Yeah, what a way to send it to overtime! It’s at that point that my Twitter timeline provided some laughs:

In OT, Bynum tipped in a Kobe miss to take a 1-point lead after a pair of Pierce jumpers. On the game’s last possession, another Pierce J rimmed out, and Gasol blocked a seemingly wide-open Ray Allen putback that would have allowed the Cs to come away with a sneaky buzzer-beater. The Cs (14-11) were led by 22 points from Allen and an 18/9/7 line from Pierce.

Warriors 109, Nuggets 101

Denver entered halftime with a 4-point lead, but Golden State won the third quarter 37-20 and got a season-high 36 points from Stephen Curry to improve to 9-14. Curry had 33 through 3 quarters, and his line included 7 boards and 7 dimes, while Klay Thompson added 19 points off the bench and the Warriors shot 52 percent from the field in taking down the suddenly reeling Nuggets. That’s five losses in a row for Denver, clearly still struggling to find a rhythm without Danilo Gallinari’s 17 ppg. Five straight is the longest losing streak in five season for the Nuggs (15-12, 7-7 at home), who were led in scoring by Arron Afflalo’s 26 points, 15 from Nene and 10 rebounds and 8 points from Kenneth Faried, who remains in the staring lineup. The Warriors stepped up on D, finishing with a ridiculous 14 blocks (to Denver’s 1), including 5 from Ekpe Udoh, who played played 21 minutes, scored 0 points on 3 shot attempts and picked up 5 fouls. It wasn’t pretty, but the Ws got it done.

Rockets 96, Suns 89

Channing Frye scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Steve Nash had a very Nashean night, with 14 points (7-7 shooting) and 13 assists, but the Suns could only muster 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Rockets bench outscored Phoenix’s 57-13. In fact, Houston’s bench scored more points than the Suns’ bench played minutes (56). Houston is now 16-11, led last night by Luis Scola’s 16 points, 14 apiece from Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson, and an 11-point, 11-assist game off the bench from Goran Dragic. Coach Kevin McHale has now essentially thrown his normal player rotation out the window in consecutive games—the Rockets reserves played so much that Kevin Martin (18.7 ppg) logged just 13 minutes and scored 2 points, while all five guys who came in off the bench scored in double figures.

Kings 106, Thunder 101

In the fight to save a city’s franchise, prime time TV games are pretty important, which is probably why the Kings put on a show for a national audience. It was fun to watch, but Sacramento is still 10-16 and remarkably underwhelming when not in the spotlight. That said, give them credit for a huge W last night over the Thunder. OKC turned the ball over 6 times in the fourth quarter (23 in the game) to allow the Kings to come back from an 8-point deficit and come out on top. SacTown finished off the game with nine free throws, and despite not registering a field goal over the last 2 minutes, beat the best team in the West. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 60 points (33 for Russy, 27 for KD) and Serge “Insert Nickname Here” Ibaka had 10 blocks, but Oklahoma City couldn’t execute down the stretch. That, and they had all they could handle with Tyreke Evans (22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and DeMarcus Cousins (19×9) doing work, and Marcus Thornton (15 points) hitting a couple clutch threes in the game’s waning moments. Poor OKC, only 20-6 on the year with the loss. Although, I would point out that it’s concerning to have Ls to the Wiz and Kings.

Line of the Night: Stephen Curry — 36 Pts (13-17 FG, 6-9 3PT), 7 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Blk

Dunks of the Night: Channing Frye on Samuel Dalembert, Nene on Dominic McGuire and Russell Westbrook on no one in particular slash the entire city of Sacramento. Lawd.

Funny of the Night: The Celtics are some weird dudes, eh?

Tonight: A dozen games on tap on Friday night, which means our man Pete’s social plans will have to wait. It all starts with a handful of entertaining early games, including Clippers-Sixers, Hawks-Magic, and yes, Heat-Wizards! ESPN’s doubleheader has Lakers-Knicks at MSG for Part I—will the Linsanity continue??—and Part II features Jazz-Thunder in the battle of teams without an ‘s’ at the end of their mascot name. I’m staying away from my computer for the weekend and hoping NYC’s weather wil be nice enough to get in a run of my own. Suggest y’all do the same!

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  • Myung

    As long time SLAMonline readers know, I am probably the harshest critic of Josh that you’ll ever meet, but even I thought he deserved an All Star nod this season. His BEST season was two year’s ago (when he decided to mercifully cut out the 3 point shot from his repertoire); he should’ve been selected that season over his own teammate, Horford. THAT year was an even bigger snub than this season. Maybe part of his unpopularity among head coaches in his sourpuss demeanor? That sure doesn’t help. But he definitely got snubbed this season. Some will say Hibbert shouldn’t have made it, but if you look at certain All Star selections in the past (Magloire? Chris Gatling? Even my favorite player Horford, who I’m objective enough to say shouldn’t have been a 2 time All Star), the coaches tend to pick a CENTER so while you might be a slightly above average center, because the position is so scarce, you will get an All Star nod over a more deserving SF or SG based solely on the position you play. My gripe against them picking Deng isn’t that Josh has better numbers (which he does) but that Luol has missed so much time. Missing a handful of games in a shortened season is like missing several weeks in an 82 game season. But I have no major beef with Deng making it because the Bulls DESERVE two All Stars so I’m cool with him making it. The BIGGEST problem I have is with Joe Johnson and especially Deron Williams. First of all, Joe has been our best scorer this season, but he hasn’t been our best PLAYER. If you’re going to pick just 1 Hawk, at least pick the guy who’s meant more to the team. And I really don’t get the Deron pick. When Joe got picked to play in his first All Star game, the Hawks were a below 0.500 team. At THAT TIME, it seemed like the coaches picked the best 7 players, regardless of team record, to fill out the bench. But the past few years (and historically), the coaches have rewarded team success over stat stuffing. We all know Deron Williams is a better player than Josh Smith, but the fact that the Nets are bad should count for something. It’s just maddening that the coaches vote is so inconsistent. Last year’s squad was 4 Celtics, 3 Heat, 2 Hawks, 1 Knick, 1 Bull, and 1 Magic (if you’re scoring from home, those were the 6 best teams in the conference). Were those 12 guys the 12 best in the conference? Probably not. I’d say 9 of them were, but 3 of them made it because they played on teams with good records. A year later, they vote in a guy on a 8-19 Nets team. C’mon.

  • Myung

    You probably should italicize Josh Smith’s name, Abe.

  • Myung

    Nash should not have made it. How could they not give a single Nuggets player an All Star nod? Gallo should’ve been selected, even if he would’ve had to have been an injury scratch. Either that or at least Lawson over Nash. Lowry over Nash also made sense. One last thing: IF team record DOESN’T matter, then how did Greg Monroe not get picked by the coaches over Hibbert?

  • t-sizzle

    Nothing but double standards all around! D-Will gets picked for his talent and body of work, while Roy Hibbert is picked over Monroe, Smith, even Bargs (though injured)!!

  • Heals

    Where’s Austin when you need him Doc…

  • T-Money

    so… do some of you morons now understand why management sided with boogie cousins over paul westphal? it’s not because they like him better or that they think paul westphal is a meanie or because of the “aau mentality” (whatever that means). gifted bigs are harder to replace than mediocre coaches, period. / kobe has ice in his veins yesterday and was meticulously placing the ball in perfect position for tip-ins down the stretch. cold blooded. (i will never forget that mike wilbon wanted to give credit to d-rose in the playoffs for putting his bigs in a position to get offensive boards – yes, props for missing shots)

  • Justin G.

    How does Nash NOT make it? He’s leading the league in assists, pretty much the leading scorer on a team that has Jared Dudley as your third best scorer, helped make Gortat a double double machine and he’s only 2 FT percentage points away from another 50/40/90 season. He’s doing so much with so little

  • Myung

    I wouldn’t pick Nash if team record matters. There are a ridiculous number of 0.500 or better teams in the West (even Minnesota is 0.500), and Phoenix isn’t one of them. I have no problem with Nash making it IF team record doesn’t matter, but the coaches are so inconsistent when it comes to that. Generally speaking, they pick team record over stats. If you’re going to reward team success, then pick Lowry (as the Rockets rep) or Lawson (as the healthy Nuggets rep, since Gallo is out) over Nash. If you’re going to pick Nash (which they did), then you might as well open it up to every team in the West other than New Orleans (the only TRULY terrible team, record wise, in the West). Yet I get the feeling Monta and DeMarcus weren’t given serious consideration, yet their teams are just behind the Suns in the standings (Warriors are half a game behind PHX, and the Kings are one game behind them).

  • andreanglais

    people still care about allstar?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Pretty sloppy rivalry game last night but Lakers came away with the dub so I’m good. Happy Friday y’all!

  • AD

    is it me or slam cant get the selected reserves right?

  • izzo

    If you’re the OKC GM and are offered Deron Williams straight up for Westbrook, do you take it?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron

    Agree, Myung. Sorta shocked Josh Smith isn’t on the team. While I believe at least one of Kyrie Irving and BJennings should be there, too, I can understand WHY they’re not on the team. JSmoove, I don’t get it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn that’s a good one Izzo.
    I think I would stick with Westbrook even though Deron is a better player, simply because Deron is maxed out as a player and Westbrook’s ceiling is so high.
    Conversely, if you offered me Chris Paul or Derrick Rose I would take them in a heartbeat. Paul because he clearly makes other players better no matter who he plays with and he’s an awesome leader. Rose because he hasn’t maxed out his talent yet and his ceiling is higher than Westbrook’s.

  • Myung

    Doesn’t Westbrook’s recent contract extension get factored in? Rose and Westbrook are extra enticing because of their age and their contract situations (over both CP3 and Deron).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Well you know that if you’re a quality team Deron is going to resign with you. The Thunder don’t have to worry about him walking at the end of the year. He’s definitely an upgrade over Westbrook, and he might even get Ibaka going more offensively. But, I still think Westbrook might be able to get it together completely. I don’t know.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    KINGS! That Westbrook dunk was dirty. It wasn’t on anyone but it didn’t matter. Mega Man is just too explosive. Tyreke and Boogie looked good last night and Jimmer even decided he can play basketball. WHY DO WE HAVE JOHN SALMONS ON OUR TEAM! I like the power forward duo of Jason Thompson and JJ Hickson. Isiah Thomas has a heart bigger than you. Marcus Thorton always looks mad. I like it. I was concerned that the TNT folks were saying the arena deal was rejected and then Mayor KJ smiles and tries to put spin on it, denying it was struck down…I need to read up on that. All in all a good night for Sactown. Hopefully not our last National TV game ever.

  • Myung

    In a vacuum (Deron vs. Russ), I take Deron. But if you consider everything else, as of today, you have to take a recently extended and younger Westbrook, right? I agree with you that Deron would probably re-up with the Thunder (not too far from his hometown either) because of Durant and Harden, but my only thing with Deron is… it’s not like he’s a pass first PG either. I think he’s a better pure PG than Westbrook, but when it comes down to it, will he defer to Durant in the clutch? I kind of feel like the best fit for a guy like Durant is a passer like Rubio or Nash or Rondo. But I agree with you, Allen. I think Westbrook will get it together. There isn’t much (in my mind at least) that separates the two in terms of their abilities (Deron is a better leader and shooter while Westbrook is the better defender and athlete, but they’re both REALLY GREAT) so in the end, the contract situation would really be the deal breaker, no?

  • Myung

    I love your passion, Albert. The Kings have such great fans.

  • vtrobot

    You guys haven’t realized that the All-star selections are an effing joke every year? I haven’t been paying attention, did the fans vote in Vince, AI and Yao again this year? Did Timmy make it again? We have such a hard time accepting that our once All-stars are no longer. Word to Myung and ATL.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    T-money, I kind of disagree with you, Rose misses at the rim often allow easy putbacks for the bigs. Bryant missin jumpers does not leave a big open under the basket like Rose drives usually do.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Oh and I get you were being sarcastic about Bryant (not sure if that came across on my previous comment), but Rose misses are totally different to Bryants.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    Just trying to enjoy it to the Max this season Myung…thought my team was a goner and now I am likely rooting for them on borrowed time so I am trying to make the most of it. I actually live in Humboldt County about 5 hours from Sacramento (where I grew up of course) these days. I try and get to Sac for a few games a year so it is driving me crazy that we can’t get a financing plan in place. I literally pay over a hundred dollars in gas to see ONE GAME! Surely proper residents of Sactown can pay a few more cents here and there on their purchases? Anyways, end rant. I will just bask in the glory of one great win in a full and raucous arena by the team I love. GO KINGS!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Pau Gasol is the real Lakers MVP.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Jennings and Kyrie over Rondo? Really?

  • tom

    How can Nash and Love not be All-Stars??

  • http://www.laumol.nl/weblog Laumol

    they are all stars.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Monta and Josh smith should’ve made it. also I would definitely trade westbrook for Deron. after all, Deron made Carlos Boozer slightly better than he was He’s more efficient and I think he’d navigate their half non-existent half court offense better than westbrook. and I like westbrook. plus d.will is another clutch option.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    idk how anyone can say Nash shouldn’t have made it. Dude is putting up 15 & 10 (leads the league) – on 57% shooting (FIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT FROM THE FIELD!!!!) 45% from 3, 87% from the line. That’s some crazy production. From ANY pg.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    cosign myung about not giving the nuggets a single all-star nod. lawson,gallo or nene should’ve made it.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I’m with nbk, thought Nash was a lock. Surprised Hibbert and Iguodala made it, although I think Rondo is the only snub. Glad Deng got in, I read Hollingers tweet “only 53rd in PER, missed quarter of season”, but can some one tell me if im right in thinking that PER is not the best stat when looking at Deng, when it doesn’t really value defense?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    PER is useless with Deng. Hollinger knows that.

  • Mike From Spain

    Someone said Jennings over Rondo? My instinctive reaction would be to go “GTFOH” but well, I will just be civilized and ask: on what grounds?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    So why does Hollinger use that to argue Deng shouldn’t be an all star?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Because PER is Hollinger’s baby. He acts like it determines everything. He’ll also say without hesitation that it doesn’t give enough credit to defense, but then in the same breath he’ll go and reflect his PER rankings in everything he says. Like “LeBron should have clearly been the MVP last season” – All Because of PER. He has had Kevin Love as the best 4 in the league for over a year (before it was the fashionable thing to say) – All Because of PER. I’m sure if I looked I can find a few more glaring examples.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    On a different topic, a buddy of mine tried arguing that DeMarcus Cousins is the second best center in the league and will probably soon overtake Dwight based on his skill, potential, and per 36 production (which actually is impeccable). Now, he doesn’t listen very well, but do you guys think I was right to just chuckle at him? I think Cousins is the next Derrick Coleman, he thinks he’s a perennial 22-13 guy. Thoughts?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think Cousins is the future best offensive Center in the league (if he keeps his head). He’s not top 2 right now, he’s not even top 5. I’d take Dwight, Bynum, Horford (not a center but still), Bogut, M Gasol over him this season no hesitation.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Greg Monroe too

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @ Caboose I think overtaking dwight is a little ludicrous in terms of athleticism and sheer physical advantage but he is already the more skilled player. Arguably the MOST skilled center in the NBA. Now as for attitude and personality and work ethic…IDK I think he puts it together and could be in the number 1 discussion in a few short years. His offensive board numbers are inflated cause as Allenp noted the other day DMC misses a lot of shot at the rim.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @nbk…I think Bogut is suspect on your list if only because of his rash of injuries. Agree with the other 4. Horford prolly not by next season

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    Greg Monroe?! Really? I would like to hear the reasoning on that one.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    The only things I had to point to were his ugly fg% for a center and high foul rate. Dude gets lazy really quickly but I agree, he has the offensive skill set of Al Jefferson with a little bit more mobility.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    And Albert, for Monroe: higher PER (by a good amount), much higher fg%, less turnovers, way less fouls, better defense, and way better passing.

  • Myung

    Maybe the Hawks will get a legit C in the offseason so we can shift Horford to the PF spot, and we can remove Horford from any discussion of top centers in the NBA. OK, continue your DeMarcus discussion.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t like including Horford in the Center discussions either, but as long as the Hawks hold onto Josh Smith that’s what Horford is going to play. —- Albert, Caboose highlights why I said Monroe with both comments at 12:21 & 22.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on Cousins, Myung. You know more basketball than I do and it’s nice to know what an expert thinks.

  • Myung

    I’m no expert. haha. Thanks for the kind words though. Plus, I sleep way too early in Atlanta to see much of DMC on TV. The only thing I know about him is from what I see in fantasy (happened to have owned him the past two seasons in fantasy and am thrilled with his production lately). So I defer to these other cats on here who know just as much or more about the NBA than I do. He’s putting up monster numbers though. Based strictly on stats alone, I’d definitely put him in any top 5 discussion. BTW, Horford is my favorite current player in the entire NBA, but even when healthy, he is not a top 5 center (since that’s his named position, even if he’s a natural PF). My top 5 (based on hypothetical perfect health) would be (in no particular order): Dwight, Bynum, Marc, Al Jefferson, and Greg Monroe. The bench of my All Center team would be Horford, Bogut, Nene, Tyson Chandler, Hibbert, Gortat, Bargnani. DeAndre Jordan and JaVale McGee have the potential to be the next Tyson Chandlers, but these dudes are very one dimensional right now, but they might crack that top 12 in a year or two. And… I’m sad to report that Zaza Pachulia won’t be cracking that top 12 any time soon.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Sounds good to me Myung. Here’s a random question, would Marcin Gortat have made the East All Star team?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Caboose
    I don’t really see where it’s that unrealistic. He’s shown flashes of being great. I think his talent is unlimited but if anything his attitude could derail his greatness.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    For all of Mike Brown’s faults as a coach, it appears that he genuinely cares about his players and isn’t afraid to say it directly to the player and reinforce that positive action immediately after it happens. I’ve seen it a lot when the bigs have a great defensive possession or if someone does something extra that gains/keeps/completes a possession. Like Drew’s tip-in and Gasol’s block. Not ground-breaking but it makes a difference.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    *cough*fvckhollinger*cough*

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    F*CK HOLLINGER!!!!!
    Er…I mean..*cough*….

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    naw Gortat is living off of Nash. If he was in the East he wouldn’t have that. – Plus Gortat makes some really bad mental mistakes. Like last night, if you happened to see it.

  • Myung

    If Gortat were playing on a team without a good center (like Atlanta, Boston, or Miami, to name 3), I still don’t think he’d make it over Hibbert or Monroe (since the NBA all of a sudden doesn’t seem to care about team record when selecting All Star reserves). He’s a very good center, and I’m still shocked that Orlando packaged him in the Vince-JRich trade. The Magic would be able to ask for a ton of players and draft picks for Dwight (without having to take back a center) and then seamlessly shift Gortat into the starting 5. He’s obviously not on Dwight’s level, but no one is, not even Bynum. Also, I should’ve included Brook Lopez and MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE Greg Oden (one day?) into the discussion. Lopez is off the radar because of his injury, but he’s a legit starting C in this league when healthy. Will be interested to see if Kanter can enter the discussion in a year or two. Utah has some NICE front court talent (Jefferson, Millsap, Favors, Kanter). And is Andre Drummond going to play the 4 or 5 in the NBA?

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    Hmmm…looking at the stats DCuz averages more assists (doesn’t mean he is better than Monroe, although I think Cousins is a decent to better than average passer), more blocks, and more defensive rebounds (which did surprise me). I agree that Monroes FG% is much better but I think that goes along with my earlier point that Dcuz misses a lot of shots at the rim and then gets the offensive rebound and puts it back in. And yes, Dcuz fouls it up. In all honesty I haven’t been able to watch much of Greg Monroe but he doesn’t seem as mobile or athletic as Dcuz. And doesn’t Dcuz have the higher ceiling arguably? monroe seems nice though

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    5

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Monroe is going to be pretty darn good at his position. He’s very crafty and is a pretty good passer. And Myung the Jazz really do have a nice front court pieces and if they were to run high-low options they would kill in the paint.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Albert, Cousins is averaging 0.8 assists this year. Nice try.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Monroe should probably be playing the 4. But he is more athletic then Cousins. Much Quicker. And the Offense can be run through him in the high post. The whole entire offense. Cousins is a draw a double team on the block type of center. Really it depends on your preference between the two. Cousins just wasn’t doing much of anything the first 15 games this season.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    nbk: Cousins actually does have a decent face up game and surprising lateral quickness. Just not very…adept at using it sometimes.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He does, but Cousins wants to score. Once he faces up it’s usually 1 or 2 dribbles and a scoring move. And as quick as Cousins is, he isn’t as quick as Monroe. Atleast not from what i’ve seen. (for the record: Cousins will have a better career barring any kind of mental breakdown)

  • davidR

    myung, i drafted DMC last year. man, he was TERRIBLE in terms of fantasy value for the first half of the season (43%, lots of turnovers). when i finally dropped him, someone else picked him off waivers, and he proceeds to average 20-10 on 50% with 1-2 blocks a game.
    he seems to have stabilized his production this year though

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    I think Valanciunas will be entering the discussion soon.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @caboose: My bad…I had the stats on bball reference filtered wrong….I had cumulative seasons on instead of single season…so, career wise so far a better assist average…and that means nothing obviously.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    nbk @1:21 is a great distinction. That is why I was surprised we didnt go for Monroe instead of DMC in the draft. I know we had him as are supposed pick before DMC was available at 5. Sac has always loved those high post bigs.

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    Nash and Deron shouldn’t have made it. I said it. There. Records are just too terrible.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Albert, it was pretty unanimous during that draft that Cousins had the most potential. And coming off that season of Tyreke Evans the Kings thought (I have NO CLUE why) that he would be the PG of the future(Dudes a shooting guard, in every sense of the word), so they went for the Big with more potential that they figured would eventually command double teams and create space for Tyreke.

  • davidR

    albert, i’m living in the bay so i follow the warriors closely. i was happy when the kings took DMC off the board, because i thought for sure it meant we would draft monroe.
    monroe + lee would’ve been tremendous. their post play + their passing ability would’ve been perfect for monta & curry.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Phoenix is 11-15 Jukai.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    No worries Albert. This may be a discussion we have for years: Monroe vs Cousins.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I like Monroe and Cousins.
    Right now, Cousins is more of a bruiser and a very, very good rebounder because he seeks out the ball. He does that better than Monroe. But, Monroe is a better scorer, both with his back to the bucket and facing up. Plus, and this is huge to me, Monroe makes smarter decisions. The few times I’ve seen him play, he stays within himself. Now, sometimes you want a player to be uber-aggressive or they can become passive and fade out of the offense, but I always watch with young players if they are trying to do too much and not understanding their particular strengths. Monroe knows what he does well and what he does poorly, and he stays away from what he does poorly. Very underrated skill to have as a player. Cousins believes he can and should do anything. Which is good sometimes but scary most of the times. But, I like how hard he plays and that he’s nasty.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    which they have no business being anywhere near .500 with that roster.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    And nbk, living in Sac during Reke’s rookie year, everybody thought he was the PG because it was much more fashionable to have a 6’6″ point than a shooting guard who can’t shoot. Plus nobody liked to acknowledge that Beno played the point pretty well.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @davidR I am sure Monroe might also prefer playing in Golden State right now. But yeah, that would have been a vast improvement over biendrins immediately

    @nbk I am glad we parted with “tradition” and went with, as you say, an on the block player. The finesse/skill strategy wasn’t working for us anymore. That said, Dcuz has some pretty nice handles for a big and can face up for sure.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Allen with the best comment of the thread so far.

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    nbk: they lost to some real sh*tty teams earlier in the year, mostly because Nash took some time to get into rhythm. I mean, I’m happy he made it, I just don’t agree with it.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Monroe and cousins could conceivably play in the same front court right? given that one is best suited at PF and one is a center who can play both positions.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @Caboose, I totally agree that we really wanted this “big” point and didn’t care that we already had one who ran the offence well.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Dwyane Wade couldn’t shoot when he came into the league, and some people thought he’d be a PG. I see the situation similarly

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    Did people think DWade would be a point coming in the L? LOL, I gotta admit, I totally slept on Wade. I thought Lebron, Melo, Bosh and… TJ Ford were gonna be the stars of that draft.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Anyways, check out the Houston bench and it’s +/-. Every bench player was positive in DOUBLE-DIGITS, while every starter was NEGATIVE by double-digits. That’s crazy.

  • Myung

    Nbk, never have i heard someone make 11-15 sound so successful. So your argument is that 1. 11-15 isn’t a terrible record and 2. Nash deserves props for having his sorry teammates just 4 games under 0.500? I like Nash, think he’s one of the top 24 players in the L, and have no beef with him. my only point was that the voting process is grossly inconsistent every year, where a coach will say,”he is obviously very good, but we wanted to reward team success,” while that same coach is apparently ignoring records in lieu of stats the next year. Just say Nash deserves his spot based on his play. No need to romanticize or glorify an 11-15 record or talk about how much credit a guy should get for keeping his team from being really terrible (while with him, they’re a few games from being a 0.500 squad). I dont think Lawson or lowry is better than Nash. I just felt like (based on asg history) the coaches would put a nugget or rocket on the team.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It does look weird when Nash and Deron make it, but Jennings and Monta don’t. All four players are on subpar teams putting up good to great numbers. Iggy and Hibbert got spots because their teams are good,not based on their play. Dirk’s team is playing mediocre AND he’s playing terrible, but he gets in. Doesn’t make sense.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Team record has to play a factor when choosing all-stars. You can not leave out players on good teams like the Nuggets, Rockets, and Hawks in favor for more popular players on bad teams like the Suns and Knicks. If that guy is having a monster year on a bad team like KLove last season then an exception can be made but it shouldn’t be the norm. You have to reward winning.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    True

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Why do you all take the ALL STAR game so seriously. It’s a freaking ALL STAR game. Not the Hall of Fame. Geezuz.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Hey Abe I notice you’ve got Ryan Anderson on your all star list. Now, I’m a huge Magic fan, I went to the same high school and college as Ryan, and he’s been balling this year, but what’s your rationale for him as an all star?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well I don’t really care how bad a whole entire team is when I give my opinion on an All-Star. I firmly, 100% believe the best 12 players in each conference should be considered first. And then filtered due to the position requirements. My point about Nash and the Suns is, without him, that team is the Bobcats (3-22). When you look at the Bobcats record, and their roster, then look at Phoenix record & roster, then take Nash off and take another glance you will quickly realize, the Suns have an absolutely terrible roster. So the 11-15 is bad, but it should be taken with a grain of salt when we are talking about All-Stars. Its not the “all-best-players-from-the-best-teams” game. – I mean by your they should have representatives from good teams theory, Dirk Nowitzki does firmly belong on the All-Star team. Just as much as Kyle Lowry, or Monta Ellis. And more then anyone on Denver. If I cared about how good the whole team was, then Kevin Love would have been a fringe all-star, and if that were the case, everybody would be up in arms about it.

  • Myung

    I’m with you, nbk. I wish it were based on just the 12 best players per conference. But it hasn’t always been that way, historically. And it’s not like the NBA cares what you and I think anyway. and SINCE they’ve historically rewarded team success when making these picks, that’s why I’d say Nash should’ve been passed over this season. But whatever. Inconsistency and ambiguity (all star reserve voting, MVP voting) is the NBA status quo.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think personally, you have to reward players based on their individual play first, then on their team record.
    So, if a player is killing and his team is not very good, it must balance out. How much is he killing? How good overall is he? Are his stats the product of a putrid team, or the fact that he’s just a beast? How much is he responsible for his team’s bad record?
    That’s why I can understand Greg Monroe not making it because his team has been putrid for most of the year. Even though he’s put up very good numbers and is a better overall player than Hibbert. I don’t like the Iggy pick because he just doesn’t have all-star numbers and forcing him in because his overall team is so good is silly. Why should he be rewarded instead of Lou Williams or Jrue Holiday?
    Nash and Deron are killing by any objective standard. So is Tony Parker. Dirk is bumming. That was Monta’s spot, or maybe Lowry. I wouldn’t have been mad at either one. Deng is fine, but I think Josh smith has clearly outplayed him this year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen have you not been watching much Phili?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    If Dirk believes he doesn’t deserve to be an all-star despite being the best player on a good team, who am I to disagree with him?
    Also, I never said that only players from good teams should make the all-star team. I said that if a player is having a monster year on a bad team, he deserves to make it (Nash is not having a monster year). So you’re telling me that Lowry or Gallinari/Lawson shouldn’t have made it over Nash despite having their teams in the middle of a competitve WC playoff race? Or that JSmith shouldn’t have made it over DWill despite being the best player on a team with the 6th best record in the L?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So honestly, how many people believe Kevin Love is the best power forward in the League?
    I’m curious because apparently this became an obvious fact when I wasn’t paying attention according to Twitter.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Please explain to me how Nash is not having a monster year. I would love to hear the logic behind that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t believe that Allen.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Allen: I think best power forward is a ridiculously subjective argument at this point. If you want numbers, KLove, if you want energy, Gryffindor, if you want fundamentals, Pau Gasol, if you want a leader, LaMarcus Aldridge, and if you still believe, Dirkus Circus.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Allen, I think he is playing like it. BUT, Dirk, and Gasol are the two who when they are playing at their talent level, they obviously trump Love’s talent. BUT, they aren’t playing up to their level right now. So you can make a very, very, good case that Love is the current best PF.

  • davidR

    kevin love produces the most out of all the power forwards in the league. doesn’t mean he’s the best though.
    would you guys argue that the success the wolves have right now, is more a result of kevin love’s improvement, rubio’s arrival, or adelmann’s coaching?

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    David: It’s 45% Adelman, 40% Rubio, and 15% Love’s improvement.

  • davidR

    agree with caboose. there are a lot of great pfs in the league, and they all impact the game differently. love is definitely one of the better pfs

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Adelman. Rubio (not because of him as an individual, but because of how much harder the whole team plays with him on the court). Love. In that order, in my opinion.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Maybe I have an irrational hatred of Igoudala because he got sporty after Iverson left and said some things about not getting enough shots. I’ll admit that I do have a bias there.
    But I can’t condone never learning how to shoot. He’s a professional, he knows that’s his weakness. WHY CAN”T HE SHOOT?
    Sorry, but for some reason, I just am bothered by dude. It must be the Iverson thing.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Agree with Caboose. Adelman is fantastic. Rubio is a great playmaking PG. Love is improving. I will say this though. You don’t know what your talking about and don’t have an unbiased eye if you don’t think Love is in the discussion for best PF in the L currently.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    You like my proportions then nbk?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Aldrige/Gasol are better PFs.
    15/10 is a very good season for any PG let alone a 38yr old but it’s not a “monster” season. DRose (25/4/7) last season had a monster year. When CP threw up 22/11/5 a couple of seasons back, that was a monster year. Magic damn near had a monster year ever season during his prime.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Actually every pro in the league who plays on the perimeter and doesn’t learn how to shoot makes me absolutely disgusted. lol, but I have an affinity for shooting that I know makes atleast part of my anger illogical. So i try and hide it. — Anyway, other then Iguodala’s scoring level, he is ELITE, everywhere. Top 5 playmaking SF’s in the league. Top 5 Defensive Wing (both as an individual & team defender). And he has even become an elite rebounding SF this season. The guy does everything other then score. And he does it better then almost anyone at his position (not named LeBron James)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor, Nash is shooting 57% from the field. 45% from the 3pt line. And he leads the league in assists. I’m sorry but 15 and 10 with that efficiency, is a monster season.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m just repeating what I’ve heard numerous times about Love. I honestly don’t know. I can’t be mad if you have him as the best, and I can’t think of anyone I can say without a doubt it better than him.
    But, I also can’t say that when I watch him play I think “That’s the best power forward in the League right there.”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’d prolly go 60, 30, 10 Caboose. But its semantics lol

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Haha fair enough. And Allen, the knock against Love is efficiency. I don’t like that shooting percentage.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I was just reading on the “NERD” rankings that Love’s “true shooting %” is 57%… WTH is that all about?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    True Shooting Percentage; the formula is PTS / (2 * (FGA + 0.44 * FTA)). True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Caboose’s comment about proportions definitely needed a “pause.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Caboose’s comment about proportions definitely needed a “pause.”

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Gotcha. Does it mean anything to be a good “True shooter” or is it just a way of making weird stats?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol it is really a better reflection on Perimeter players. But yeah it means something. If the player shoots 3pt shots it helps tremendously for those that have trouble rationalizing how efficient a 40% 3pt shooter is. Take Kevin Love v Lamarcus Aldridge (who I personally think is better) – Love shoots 45% from the field, which for a low post player seems average, at best. Compared to Aldridge who shoots 50%. You would immediately assume that Aldridge is the more efficient scorer, as anyone looking at that stat probably should. But then you look at true shooting %, and you can see that because Love is a threat from 3 he is actually a more efficient scorer then LA (.578TS% to .556TS%)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It means that all of the shooting you do in a game is accounted for, and it recognizes the benefit certain players derive from getting to the free throw line regularly. Like say Russell westbrook.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Thank you sir nbk. Uggh, Allen too.. ;) Makes sense. I always was curious how to account for someone who shoots threes into regular FG%. Good stuff.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Personally right now I think love kinda might be… defense aside. I prefer a healthy Zbo to him tho.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @Caboose, that is sweet you and Ryan Anderson went to the same schools. Were you guys friends at all? My Mom and his Mom are actually friends and I went on a vacation with them when Ryan was like 13 and just a normal sized kid. Then he got huge and decided to play bball and has worked his tail off to get where he is. Congrats to him. Bella Vista alumni BTW. Sacramento County Represent! *spits out tobacco and drives off in an 88 Bronco*

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    nice breakdown @ 4:19 nbk. That makes it much clearer how that stat can be used.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, fair enough but if you consider those numbers to be having a “monster season” for Nash then what do you consider the numbers he put up during his MVP seasons? Rare or unheard of? I know PER isn’t the most accurate way to judge players but Nash highest PER for a season is 24.1 (this year). Compare that to other great seasons for PGs (CP-29.9PER, Magic-27PER, Oscar-26PER) and you will see that dude is having anything but a monster season.

  • webstarr

    “Men of a Certain Age”…HA!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor, I’m actually happy you used PER to argue your point, didn’t see that coming. — Am I comparing Nash to the best seasons of all time, or am I talking about him deserving an all-star birth? If he doesn’t make the all-star team, with those numbers, wouldn’t you say he had a “monster season for a non-all star”

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Lol I know I phrased that horribly.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No problem Albert. I enjoy these discussions. Actual information being exchanged. Nobody getting all sensitive or b*tching about anything.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, I used PER because it seems like you ignored the numbers I pointed out from different PGs that consitituted the words “monster season”. Nash at 15/10 on a under .500 team doesn’t warrant the word “monster”. Also, I like how you ignored his defensive numbers because we all know there’s nothing monster about that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ok this is a semantic argument Taylor. I clearly don’t consider a monster season one of the best seasons ever, and you do. Steve Nash is having an “All-Star season” or he’s “one of the 12 best players in the conference” those statements work fine. I’ll take monster back, because I didn’t at all mean it in terms of comparing to the best seasons from PG’s in history. I was merely talking about the All-Star team. I thought that was implied.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I can’t see a better point guard than Nash who didn’t make the All-Star team in the West.
    That’s just the truth. All the other point guards and even players being considered are not better than Nash.
    I love Lowry and defensively he slays Nash, but as far as who is more valuable to any team in the League for this particular season, it’s still Nash. He makes people better, crazy consistent and he doesn’t need a crapload of shots to be dangerous.
    Who didn’t make it that you feel is a better overall player than Nash?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    How many “monster” seasons have there been in the history of the NBA? If you consider Nash to be having a monster season then the last 8 seasons of his career can all be considered monster seasons.
    According the the dictonary, the definition of monster is “something extraordinarily or unusually large”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    like i said, i was saying monster in the context of an all-star season. not in terms of a historical season. get over it.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    PGasol.
    nbk, my fault. I ignored most of your comment when I saw the word monster. It’s a foolish argument anyways because Nash is obviously having an all-star type season but I just feel that he didn’t deserve to make it over a couple other cats.

  • davidR

    loll albert. that’s exactly how i picture people from sacramento to act

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    yeah man it’s all good. I figured you were just replying based on my use of the word monster out of context. It’s my bad.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    that Deron for westbrook trade would be great for both players.

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    I want to believe that NBK and Allenp both paused over Caboose’s comment, and it wasn’t just Allen responding with the wrong name. That would make it that much better.

  • AdamD

    I do not know how the rest of the game will unfold but as of this moment against the Lakers, Lin has scored 9 and assisted on the other 2 Knicks buckets… This run is beginning to verge on madness. As for last nights games, really enjoyed Boston vs. Lakers, but pau deserves so much credit for rescuing that final defensive possession, they such never give up the rebound but that was heads up for him to contest and block. Shocker in Sac-town too.

  • Myung

    So for all those people who kept saying “Wait ’til he plays a real defense…” I hope they man up and just give the kid his props. I’m a BIG fan of his, but even I doubted him after two games but after that Washington game, I came on here and admitted (gladly) that I was wrong. He’s having one heck of a first quarter tonight. I wonder if Kobe’s heard of him by now.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    LIN!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    CP is the best crunch time player in the L and has been for the past 5 seasons.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    To all the people who said Lin was “an NBA player but not a starter,” or “he’s only good against bad defenses”… ROFL! At you. That is all.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Allenp: Lowry’s team is now 3rd or 4th in the West. Nash’s will not even sniff the 8th seed. Nash IS important to his team, but since Phoenix sucks anyways, just how important is he? If anything he’s hurting the Suns because his stellar play keeps them out of the playoffs but still not sh!tty enough to get a lottery pick. Lowry should have made the All-Star team, plain and simple.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lin is definitely better then I expected. But I’m still not buying into him as a big-time player long term.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    nbk I feel like I should thank you on Jeremy Lin’s behalf… Your skepticism is like a reverse jinx. Good job, holmes. The Knicks really appreciate it.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Keep in mind, Lin is shooting close to 60% from the field and making game-winning defensive plays (the charge he drew at the end of the fourth). He is also hitting long jumpers–something people said he couldn’t do. Clearly he can.
    I don’t think you people realize how atrocious the Knicks are without Melo and Amare. Yet Lin has actually made them a better team. That’s insane.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah he can “clearly” keep up 60% from the field after 3 games? He’s the best player ever now? What he’s doing is great. But stop acting like he is a majestic galloping unicorn.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    But what happens when Melo comes back? I appreciate Lin and his talent but it’s been only 4gms.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Maybe not, but he’s done it over 4 games. I’m not going to make any predictions–all I’m saying is we should be able to enjoy what he brings without having to doubt him every game. Name me 1 point guard who could average 25+ ppg over even four games while shooting that high a % from the field? He’s not a majestic galloping unicorn but he’s got Tyson Chandler and Steve freaking Novak both looking like one.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m more excited to see what Lin-to-Amare than Lin-to-Melo. Amare is the perfect complement to a D’Antoni point guard. Melo… I don’t know.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    he’s damn close to a majestic galloping unicorn right now. I’m enjoying it too the fullest of my ability lol – but I’m not over-reacting abOut it. I was wrong about how good he is, if I ever actually said on here, but I doubt he really is a MGU

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    And I hope Melo doesn’t stunt his growth. So to speak.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    man I’m happy for the Linsanity guy.
    Knicks still screwed for the long haul though.
    Since they still have Blackhole-Melo..
    They don’t play a lick of D..
    Even with Chandler because D’Antoni can’t/won’t utilize him at properly..
    I just hope that Lin, after all of this, will become a good player.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    *become a consistently

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    I can’t understand some Knicks fans..
    They can point fingers to everybody on the Knicks except from Melo.
    Stat sucks, D’Antoni sucks, Chandler, blah blah.. But still believes on Melo as a savior.
    I mean Stat literally has done more for the Knicks than Melo. smh.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Chris Paul my goodness.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Can we call Lin the Unicorn now?

  • Justin G.

    As far as Lin is concerned, I’m curious just how many games will it take to make the skeptics believers? “It’s only been two games. It’s only been 3 games. It’s only been 4 games”. As far as the Nash debate goes, @nbk you were right. He is having a monster season and yes by any other point guard’s standards. Like you said, not all time but throw in his percentages and the scrubs around him…it’s a no brainer. I also agree that a team’s record should have no bearing whatsoever on whether a player gets in or not. It’s a ridiculous argument. The players playing the best go, those that aren’t don’t.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Appreciate it Justin

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