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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  172 responses

Post Up: The Wolfpack Wows

Boston and Milwaukee survive scares, the Nets beat the Champs and Minny gets hot in L.A.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know what to do with myself on Monday night, with no games to track. I took the opportunity to go to sleep prior to midnight for the first time in a long time. But enough about me…the second half of the season is officially underway. Just think—a few months ago we still didn’t know if this thing would ever start. And now we’ve got night after night of jam-packed hoops action to talk about. So with that, let’s get right to it. Feel free to start doing the math on Playoff seedings from here on out. I think the Wizards might finish in that No. 13 spot if we’re lucky!

Celtics 86, Cavaliers 83

A win’s a win, right? Well, maybe not for Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said after this one, “It was a good way to end the losing streak, but we have to be better than that. That was awful.” Sheesh, Doc, take it easy! The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Boston, despite nearly blowing a 16-point second-half lead. Kyrie Irving put on yet another show, dropping 19 of his 24 points in the second half, even after leaving momentarily earlier in the game with an elbow contusion. Irving hit a pair of free throws to give Cleveland an 81-80 lead with 1:21 to play, but turned the ball over on the next possession and the Cs took the lead for good on a Ray Allen dunk with under 50 seconds remaining. Allen led Boston with 22 points and Kevin Garnett had 18, while Rajon Rondo had 11 assists but shot 0-6 with zero points. Also of note was rookie Tristan Thompson’s nice night off the bench for the Cavs (13 points, 10 boards in 27 minutes).

Pacers 102, Warriors 78

Indiana used a balanced attack (6 players in double figures) to put away Golden State early and improve to 22-12 on the year. The Pacers held the Warriors to 35 percent field goal shooting in the first half and took a 52-38 lead into the break. Danny Granger poured in 15 of his 25 points in the second half, as Indiana broke the game open with a 33-16 third quarter. With Stephen Curry sidelined due to a sprained right foot (will dude ever be fully, truly healthy?), rookie Charles Jenkins got the start alongside Monta Ellis in the Warriors backcourt, scoring just 2 points on 0-5 field goals in his 18 minutes. Ellis and Brandon Rush scored 14 points apiece to lead Golden State, but David Lee was the only other GSW player in double figures, with 12. For the Pacers, who went 13-deep on the night and racked up a nice little highlight reel, it was their fifth straight win. Roy Hibbert celebrated with this dunk.

Sixers 97, Pistons 68

Philly came in looking to snap a five-game losing streak, and didn’t take long to blow the Pistons out of their own building, on the way to improving to 21-14 on the season. The Sixers stifled Detroit all night long—Philly finished with 17 steals, 8 blocks and held the Pistons to 32 percent field goal shooting (20 percent on threes) while forcing 23 turnovers. Oh, and if you didn’t read the score, Detroit scored all of 68 points, tying the team’s season low. Yuck. The Sixers are now 3-0 against the Pistons this year after outscoring the Motor City’s bench 47 to 15, including 20 points for Thaddeus Young, Philly’s leading scorer on the night. Lou Williams chipped in 13 points and 7 dimes, and 6 players scored in double figures. Detroit got double-digit scoring nights from only Greg Monroe (20) and Rodney Stuckey (17).

Bulls 99, Hornets 95

New Orleans scored 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to take a 4-point lead with 1:26 to play, before Derrick Rose went into MVP mode to right the ship for Chicago and get the Bulls going on the right foot for the second half of the season. Rose scored 6 of his 32 points in the key late run for Chicago, including a jumper with 19 seconds to play that gave the Bulls the last lead of the game. He added 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks (only 2 turnovers), while Joakim Noah hauled in 16 rebounds to go with his 15 points, and Luol Deng had 14 and 11. Rip Hamilton, who hadn’t played since late January, returned to the staring lineup and scored 5 points in his 17 minutes of action. The Bulls made just 3 of 18 shots from beyond the arc, but held New Orleans to 40 percent shooting. Chris Kaman (17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) and Trevor Ariza (16/8/4) led the hapless Hornets, who are now 8-26.

Rockets 88, Raptors 85

Don’t look now, but the red-hot Rockets are winners of four straight and five of their last six, and now sit at No. 5 in the West at 21-14. Last night, Kyle Lowry dropped 26 and Luis Scola finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Houston beat Toronto despite shooting just 39 percent from the field. Kevin Martin was cold yet again (3-14 shooting) but played 32 minutes and hustled his way to 14 points. Then again, it was KMart who opened the door for the Raptors by missing a free throw with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a 3-point game. Luckily for Houston, Linas Kleiza bricked a last-second three-pointer and the Raptors fell to 10-24 on the year. DeMar Derozan scored 17 points and James Johnson had 16 for Toronto.

Bucks 119, Wizards 118

I refuse to make Ersan Ilyasova’s game-winning tip-in the “Moment of the Night” and I think you know why. I personally avoided this game—seriously, didn’t watch—and I think that was the right choice. Sure, the Wizards stormed all the way back from down 22 points at one point to take a 1-point advantage in the waning moments of the game, thanks to a John Wall runner with 6.8 ticks to play. But the Wiz Kids always find a way to lose. This time, it was on Ilyasova’s follow of a Brandon Jennings missed runner with 2.2 seconds left. On Washington’s next and final possession, Roger Mason Jr. traveled. Which is a sentence I never want to write again, for so many reasons. Let’s talk stats and move on: Mike Dunleavy led 7 Bucks in double figures with 28 points, while Jennings (14 points, 11 assists), Ilyasova (13 and 11 boards) and Drew Gooden (15 and 10) turned in double-doubles. Meanwhile, John Wall had 19 points and 15 assists and Trevor Booker went for 20 and 11 boards, while Javale McGee and Nick Young sat nailed to the bench for the second half.

Nets 93, Mavericks 92

Brook Lopez back? Brook Lopez back. 38 points in 36 minutes (season-highs) from the 7-footer in just his third game this season helped New Jersey pull the upset over the defending champions in Dallas. Lopez cashed a couple of free throws to give the Nets the lead with 42 seconds to play, and Dallas failed to get a good look on the game’s final possession. The Mavericks dropped to 21-14, thanks in large part to 36 percent field goal shooting and a general inability to stop Lopez down low. Deron Williams had just 12 points on 3-15 shooting, but handed out 12 assists (and called Lopez a “monster” in the game), and Kris Humphries had a double-double of his own with 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets, who move to 11-25 this season. Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points to go with 10 rebounds, but when Brendan Haywood is Dallas’ next-highest point man with 18 (and 10 boards), the Mavs will almost certainly be in trouble. And they were, as the Nets were better in almost every statistical category. But hey, at least for all you Kris Humphries haters, Ian Mahinmi went ahead and delivered this facial.

Kings 103, Jazz 96

For at least one more night, the Kings’ three-guard lineup was a success. All five Sacramento starters scored in double figures, including 21 for Marcus Thornton, 18 for Isaiah Thomas and 13 for Tyreke Evans. But the dominant force all night for the Kings was DeMarcus Cousins, who racked up 22 points and 18 rebounds. Behind DMC, SacTown finished with 60 points in the paint (just 46 for the Jazz). Devin Harris had 18 points and 7 dimes, Josh Howard finished with 15 points and Gordon Hayward had 11 but missed two open threes in the last few minutes of the game as the Kings pulled away. On Utah’s last chance, down 4 points with under 20 seconds to play, Cousins took a charge on Josh Howard, and Sacramento iced the game at the charity stripe to take home their second straight win.

Timberwolves 109, Clippers 97

Man, that was fun. If you missed this one, figure out where you can watch a a replay of the fourth quarter. Just make sure you’re not a Clippers fan. For three quarters, things looked great for Lob Angeles, as Blake Griffin was in the midst of a monster 30-point performance and the Clips led by 3 heading into the fourth. That’s when reserve forwards Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley went absolutely nuts for the Timberwolves, with 13 apiece—first Williams rattled off 10 in a row, then Beaz took over and poured in a double-digit run of his own. They both scored 27 in the game. How hot were they? Kevin Love needed to score just 10 points, and took the entire final quarter off to rest some sore ribs after taking a shot to the gut in the third quarter. Before JJ Barea missed a 3-pointer with 1:30 left and Minnesota leading by 14, the Wolves were a perfect 10-10 from the field in the fourth. Minnesota got an NBA season-high 72 points from their bench as a whole, and used a crazy 34-11 run through the final quarter to pull away. The wild finish ruined a 27-point, 6-dime night from Chris Paul, and 14 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks by DeAndre Jordan. But the Wolves shot better than 51 percent on the night, and Caron Butler had a forgettable night for the Clippers, not helping much with his 1-10 shooting. His only 2 points came with 3:30 to play in the game.

Lines of the Night: With all due respect to Brook Lopez’s 38 points in New Jersey’s win over Dallas, what I witnessed in the fourth quarter of the Wolves-Clips game gives this award to Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley, with 27 each on a combined 20-25 shooting from the field, including 7-7 from the 3-point line. And that fourth was just insane. Ridiculous.

Dunks of the Night: Paul George off an inbounds pass, the Nets double-oop on the break, DeMar Derozan bangs it home hard and one from Javale McGee that I’m not sure even counts as a dunk, but that looked pretty cool.

Funny of the Night: The Sixers play a prank on their rookies. Those young guys, so eager!

Tonight: A dozen games on Wednesday, starting with Thunder at Sixers (and for Wiz-Magic for torture-seekers) and wrapping up with some great matchups later in the night. They include Mavs-Grizzlies, Bulls-Spurs, Blazers-Nuggets and the inevitably entertaining Wolves vs. Lakers game to wrap things up out West. Should be a late night, but a good one. Catch you guys in the A.M.

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  • AD

    how about them nets lol

  • Justin G.

    Hmmm…interesting that DeMar DeRozan sat out the entire 4th quarter in a close game. Apparently afterwards he tweeted “Some bullsh*t” but took it down pretty quickly.

  • charliewinning

    Wall is going to be something else once that shot gets better and his body gets stronger.

  • RunNGun

    Thank goodness for League Pass. That Wolves/Clippers game was definitely a good one. Griffin got his 30 points but whowuddathunkit-Darko Milicic (I’m thinking Darko-f’n-Milicic? WTF?) just shut him down in the 4th quarter. And the Clippers disappeared in the 4th quarter; if they’re going to be a deep playoff team they’ve got to show up and play.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    I’m more convinced now that the Nets are just going to wait for Dwight to hit the open market and team him with Lopez and Deron rather than gutting the team.

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    The wolves bench shot a combined 27/38. That was insane.

  • startown

    Wolves-Clippers game was a good game

    Dereck Williams was on fire, Beasley as well. Clippers are talented, but not much you can do when neither Beasley or Williams misses A shot until the last few minutes of the game, they each had 27 off the bench, league high 80+ points bench scoring. The Wolves are a deep team.

  • AD

    @tadone lopez and dwight would only be a good combo on offense. brook is too slow for the 4 spot and dwight would just foul out every game… but i think its a wrap for dallas…. they all are old and dirk said he lost motivation….

  • Mike From Spain

    The last few Timberwolves games have been weird and wonderful… good thing when crazy things happen and your team wins :) . 4th quarter monster performance aside, I was amazed that the Clippers could not put the game away sooner, the Wolves were trailing by just 3 at the beginning of the 4th after having a bad game from their main three guys and the Clippers were clicking. This is a good sign for the Timberwolves, if they get a decent 2 and the team meshes together a bit more, they are a solid play off team, maybe minimum second round next season if no injuries happen.

  • Brahsef

    JaVale’s arms so freakishly long. He was outside the circle, jumped away from the hoop, and still put it down. Unreal

  • Paul H

    If the wolves can avoid f*cking up again (a stretch given recent history, I realize), a core of Love, Rubio, Pekovic, Beasley and Williams has the potential to be downright scary In 1 or two years. It might well be worth trading either Beasley or Williams tho…. I reckon the upper-echelon of the West Is looking over It’s shoulder. Soon.

  • Kinetik

    Free Derozan!

  • startown

    I have to give David Kahn some credit. He has taken alot of sh*t from the media/sites. He has put together a nice team. He whiffed on Curry which is the missing link to this team (shooting guard) but overall, they are very deep.

    I’m not sure about a trade, I’m leaning toward keeping what we have? Do not trade Derek Williams he looked like a stud last night, Beasley is up and down?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    It’s almost like Kahn fell into that roster, rather than master minded it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kahn basically drafted everybody he could, and he managed to pick some good players, to go along with the building block that Kevin McHale provided in Love.
    He missed on as many moves as he hit on, but since he made so many moves it didn’t matter. Sheer volume over quality.

  • logues

    Paul H: they should trade beasley for a decend shooting guard. wes johnson sucks. i would hold onto dwill tho just to see what his potential can be. i think its too early yet to try and trade him, unless they get a perfect deal

  • startown

    nbk–Well maybe, realize that we could have Cousins and Steph Curry. I’m not sure he is a master mind, but they have some nice talent. Could be tough tonight against the Lakers, they don’t match up that well against LA unless Kobe is out.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I heard on the Dan Patrick Show the guy that wrote the Jordan rules is suggesting a Pau for Lowry and Scola trade, am I wrong in remembering that the Rockets said that Lowry was unavailable?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Startown I’m not saying he hasn’t made good moves, basically I feel exactly the same as Allens comment at 11:12

  • http://www.nba.com Slick Ric

    If Demarcus would have started the season like this, He would of been an all-star off the bench at worst.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHNNN!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Nothing like waking up, checking out SLAM.

  • Paul H

    I think Kahn lucked out that Rubio has come so good, on the face of It he could have been a major bust. Pekovic Is a major pickup, think he really compliments Loves game. You’re right Iogues I think a pure shooter to compensate for Rubio’s shaky J, and It looks like Williams has way more long term upside. I think It won’t be long before teams start playing Rubio like Rondo.

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    Lol @max beat me to it. But this Is the Beas i look for more every year and everyyear im disappointed kid shows flash sometime of the beast he ws in k-state and Why i happy the heat draft him.too bad he so a knuckle head that he cant see could be a top 5 talent in the league. So does this mean d12 is good as gone with that Lopez performace>

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Am I the only one that saw Rubio as a sure thing? (amongst us I mean?). Not talkin sh*t or anything, I just thought he’d fit into the NBA game like explosions fit in Michael Bay movies.

  • startown

    nbk–No, didn’t disagree with you, I remember sitting watching the draft and we had back to back picks. I told my son we are going to get Rubio and Curry…this is awesome. Nope we picked Rubio then Flynn, I’m thinking what?

    He (Kahn) has whiffed on some picks, plus keep in mind that we have picked Mario Chalmers, Ty Lawson and Norris Cole and traded them all?

    With nothing major in return

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I thought his lack of shooting would be more of a problem.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    nbk.. I always said Rubio would transition in the NBA game. I even had him as ROY in the pre-season. He might even win that aswell.. although Kyrie is looking like he has that in the bag at the moment.

  • Paul H

    @NBK I thought his game would translate well, but still you cannot help but think of the Darko’s of the world, can you?! I would say at best I saw maybe 9 and 5 his first season. Being honest.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    And for the record, Rubio hasn’t been THAT good, I think he’s going to get considerably better and can still end up completely wrong about him.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    GP – I think Irving being healthy is all it will take for him to get ROY.. That kid is awesome. Like Rod Strickland with a jumper. I was completely wrong about that dood.
    .
    Paul, appreciate the honesty, I wasn’t worried about the whole bust thing like with Darko because Rubio has been playing in the best European leagues since he was 14, and he looked great against NBA guards in the Olympics. But I definitely understand the concern about the transition .

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Then again I didn’t think Darko would be a bust either… :-/

  • Paul H

    I posted a week ago about how much his numbers compare to Jkidds rookie of the year season. And Ricky Is actually shooting the ball better overall than Jason. I would say that Is pretty damn good. His D has been criminally overlooked with all the flash and clanking jumpers.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Always drew up “worst case scenarios” when it came to Rubio. I usually try to stay on the fence about guys coming into The League.
    But, he is the real deal.

  • startown

    I think Rubio has been great…so he didn’t shoot that well against the Jazz or The Clips, but he did have 18 points in the first quarter against the 76ers. He is streaky, still puts up a lot of assists, 9 last night and he played half the game.

    We don’t need him to score, he is a great passer, plays D, and rebounds well for a guard, I think he had 7 boards last night. He is THE reason the Wolves are so much improved over last year.

  • Mike From Spain

    I am a big Rubio fan, but the way things are playing out, unless he steps up his game in a major way (not happening, rookie wall) the ROY is for Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is more regular, and is worlds away in scoring.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Rubio’s jumper is fixable. That’s the thing I’m most encouraged about, it’t flat and he pushes his release. But his base is fine, he has no “mechanical” issues that will prevent him from improving the small things it takes to become a good shooter. Like he won’t have to make up for a weird hitch in his wrist or anything, it’s just about making it more compact and fluid.
    .
    Paul, he may have a similar career arc to Kidd, although I don’t think he will ever be as dominate as Kidd was in his prime.

  • Paul H

    I would say ROY will still go to Kyrie tho.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Now I did say he was like a less athletic Jason Kidd. Because Kidd was an amazing athlete. I was worried about how he would get points in the League without Kidd’s athleticism, and without a serious jumper.
    He’s a better shooter than Kidd was initially, but still very, very streaky. His passing is great and Jukai was right about his defense in a team concept and individually. Dude is a good player, but, until he gets his jumper right, I don’t see him being great.
    Honestly, how much different is he than Rondo?

  • Paul H

    I would say It’s up In the air. He definitely has the swagger, the size, vision, defensive presence and all the requisite intangibles to become dominant at his position. He has even proven himself, at such a young age (tho not quite to the same extent as Kyrie) as proven closer and clutch playmaker. Style with substance. I’m excited every time I watch the guy!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Not much. He’s less athletic. But he’s also a better shooter. He seems to play the pick and roll better but I don’t think he creates something from nothing like Rondo does. For everything he doesn’t do like Rondo, he seems to do something else better. Who has more upside is really the question right?

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Rubio definitely has more upside.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would say Rubio only because Rondo has shown a serious lack of interest in improving as a shooter. Now, you could say the same about Rubio, but he’s younger and I say that we should see where he is in a few years.

  • Paul H

    Based on what we have seen so far this season It’s Rubio. In a heartbeat.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The clipps will lose in the 1st round if they continue to play sub par defense and Vinny Del Negro is at the helm.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Damn I didn’t realize Rondo was 26. I thought he was like 24. Yeah, it’s definitely the 21 year old Rubio. bad question.

  • Paul H

    It took Rondo 3 seasons to get to the level Rubio Is already at.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Taylor, that team can’t defend anybody, but if they don’t get Memphis in the 1st round, who are they going to lose to in the bottom half of the West?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    With the right circumstance, I can see POR or DEN beating them.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I was VERY wrong about rubio. I thought NBA guards would run all over him, that he’d be a defensive liability among them. I thought he wouldn’t be able to shoot as well as he did. I thought his passing would translate well though. To be fair though, I only saw him in the fiba games.

  • Paul H

    If Denver hit their stride again I could see them having the depth to take the clips

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    That Wolves game was a fun 4th Q. DWill and Beas were amazingly hot. they would put it up, and you knew the shot was going in. Pau for those 2 now! lol (but really, do it. o.O)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Denver has to make the playoffs first lol as pointed out to me the other day, Denver is in 9th in the West..

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    By the way, where is Jonny Flynn?!

  • Paul H

    @Nbk True bill lol. Long time left yet.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Houston TAD

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    He is playing corner for the Texans?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He’s playing ball boy for Kyle Lowry. I think he also helps Goran rebutton his warm ups.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    I can’t lie, I thought Rubio was gonna tear up the L when he first got drafted. And then he stayed overseas a few more years, by choice, and stunk. After that I thought he was going to be all hype and no substance. I’m glad he proved me wrong.

  • T-Money

    Ricky Rubio is posting a very good 11-8 in 35 minutes. However, it is to be noted that the ball is always in his hands and he plays a TON of minutes for Soa (5 more per game than Kyrie). He obviously is a very gifted passer and his defense has not been a problem at all, he’s disruptive. However, people were actually right about his offense. He shoots 37% (including 47% at the rim!) – that’s Brandon Jennings bad. I’m not nearly as optimistic as others that his shooting will get better considering that he has been practicing twice a day in a professional environment since he was 15 or so. He needs to learn how to shoot AND how to finish at the rim – maybe he’ll get there and be an all-star or maybe he will settle in as a 13-14 and 10 point guard with Minnesota getting a real wing scorer.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Also am I wrong/crazy/stupid for hoping demarcus cousins and tyreke evans become the next penny hardaway and shaq?

    Do the nets with a healthy lopez just barely squeeze into the playoffs?

    and how soon do you think paul george will become a game changing 2 guard? I give him 2 years.

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

    Who has the higher ceiling, Kyrie or Wall?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    It looks like Tyreke isn’t going to fit in any sort of half-court offense. The Plantar Fascitis excuse from last season is gone, and he is still not doing a damn thing.

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

    @ nbk: It would be incredibly stupid to trade Kyle Lowry, but I’m not sure Morey said anyone was untouchable–I think he said anyone was liable to be traded last season so I’m not sure if that’s changed. I would immediately shun the Rockets franchise were that to happen of course.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Physically or Mentally Teddy? lol, Kyrie & Wall are like Williams and Paul, one seems to have all the physical tools, one seems to have all the mental ones.

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

    Besides drafting Rubio and Flynn together and overpaying for Darko, what has David Kahn really done that was so bad? And even the Darko deal had a chance of paying off. I think he’s done a really nice job in Minny.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    @Teddy Wall. right now kyrie has a lot of skills that wall doesn’t. but wall can and most likely will learn and when he does he’ll be superior bc of his height/length and athleticism. It’s a lot like the Derrick Rose vs Chris Paul argument(in fact almost exactly like it) except Wall has better court vision and is more of a natural passer. Kyrie is more athletic than many people including me give him credit for

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Kyrie Irving has the higher ceiling.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well he also drafted Lawson and got nada back for him.
    .
    He hired Kurt Rambis to run the triangle with a team of teenagers.
    .
    He picked Wes Johnson (23 year old SF) over Cousins, Monroe, Paul George
    .
    He gave away Al Jefferson for nothing. (Dontes Montejunas or whatever)
    .
    He gave Luke Ridnour 16 Million for 4 years of being not very good.
    .
    He traded Johnny Flynn for Brad Miller and Malcolm Lee (thats the best you can get for your 6th pick?)
    .
    He gave Kevin Love an out after 3 years (HUGE mistake)
    .
    Oh and he signed JJ Barea.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    word nbk? doesn’t he have to do less since sacramento has all those guards? I’ve seen him really step up in certain games.

  • Marswag Brooks

    how are you not gonna give best performance to brook lopez? he scored 38 points in his 3RD GAME BACK!!!! He gets no love. Neither do the nets…smh

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Barea’s deal is 4 years, 19 million. yeah, dude is like a drunken sailor with personnel decisions.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    That was a good Wolves game. K-Love played bad, Rubio same. Blake Griffin played awesome, Chris Paul played awesome. What was the outcome? Wolves win. B-Easy and D-Will were freaks. They nailed everything. I really actually want Beasley on the Lakers. Some people view that as a stupid move. It probably is, but the dude has so much talent he just needs to get his head right. Can anyone in here seriously say that Beasley won’t have multiple 20+ PPG scoring years. I think he will for sure. Such a crazy debate between all the Point Guards right now. There is 20 good to great Point Guards in the L right now…. The Lakers have ZERO….

  • Marswag Brooks

    Kyrie definitely has a higher ceiling. I think Wall is a freak athlete but he looks confused when he’s on the court. Doesn’t help that he’s playing on a weak Wizards squad. Kyrie is smart and understands the game. I think so much of being a point guard is instincts and Kyrie has it. Wall has the physical instincts but I haven’t seen anything from his brain yet

  • T-Money

    Sacramento needs to get real with Tyreke and tell him that he’s a 2-3. He can’t shoot at all (26% from midrange) and only passes when he goes to the hole. Let him play the wing and tell him to get in the paint on every dribble drive (his handle is still amazing).

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Legro – He should be playing the 3 (imo) – he is a black hole with the ball. His handle is great but he can’t actually make a move going left (still, which is befuddling, the 9 block game from Shane Battier forcing him left should have told him then and there he needs to develop that part of his game, but he didn’t). The Kings seem to be completely built around Cousins at this point. Isiaih Thomas seems like a starting caliber PG, Marcus Thornton is a deadly scorer (also a black hole though), Evans without the ability to shoot and create for others regularly makes a better 3 then guard (after all the “he’s a PG” talk – which I never understood). He’s a very good player, but in a system built around big men, he is not going to thrive until he becomes a good shooter, or a very good passer. I just don’t see either happening soon.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Marswag, for someone without a brain, it’s pretty amazing that Wall put up 8 assists a game, as a rookie, while driving the short bus then….. unless, gasp, he actually has really great PG instincts, and he’s just on an even shorter bus this season….(one thing I do have a complaint about with Wall, is his ability to change speeds, and control tempo. If it’s not fast, John Wall doesn’t seem interested).

  • http://www.nba.com Slick Ric

    wall has the higher ceiling than Irving, Irving is what he has been this season.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I dig it soup… well sh*t.. what team do you think would be a good fit for reke? Isiah thomas is actually dope or has been so far. nobody else is w/ me on wall eventually putting it together, and being better than irving? it’s not like he’s terrible now dude has been on a tear recently. Honestly that might just be my bias against duke talking tho.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    *soop

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Wall’s team has more talent.
    Yet, with Wall running the show…
    Not saying he can’t do it, it is just that he’s NOT doing it.
    Whereas, Irving IS doing it.
    With less talent.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think Wall can be better then Irving, but I kind of doubt he will at this point, Irving’s jumper is silky smooth. (plus like I said earlier, he plays like a better shooting version Rod Strickland – not really the passer though, who I was enamored with when i was young – so that is probably kind of affecting my outlook on him). But Wall has more upside then any PG in the league imo.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Philo the cavs have always played together though… they’re big on actual TEAM ball. the wizards have never( or not for a while) been like that. I feel like the wizards problems are almost 80% culture… I’m just saying if you traded them straight up Wall would probably have them at a similar record

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK is right.
    Wall gets killed for being stupid, but he’s actually very smart. He makes typical young point guard mistakes, but this is only his second year. His real problem is that those stupid summer league game retarded his growth, and led him to believe that the best way to have success is to run as fast as possible on every play, particularly in the open court. That works when help defense doesn’t exist and nobody wants to get hurt, but not so much in real life.
    I think he needs to be more aggressive as a scorer in the halfcourt, learn to pick his spots on the break and of course work on his jumper. I still think dude is going to be challenging for best in the League in about two years.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If Byron Scott was coaching the Wizards they’d be a totally different sort of team.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Actually speaking of Penny Hardaway, no player would benefit more from studying Hardaway as much as Wall would. Penny played SO under control, his game was calculated. Honestly, Penny might have been one of the smartest players to ever play. (kill me for it if you want to argue about it, but he really was)

  • Paul H

    I would agree that the selfish, incompetent play of the Wizards Is less a reflection of Wall as It Is of the culture of the Wizards right now. I reckon Wall, In the right system with the tutelage of a few old heads, Is a bona fide Derrick Rose In the making. As In a superstar.

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

    @ nbk: No GM other than Greg Popovich/RC Buford is 100% on the ball. Aside from giving Al Jefferson up for nothing, none of those moves seem that farfetched. Luke Ridnour is an okay player and JJ Barea would have gotten overpaid somewhere else. Johnny Flynn was injured or benched (I can’t remember) for most of the season before he was traded so he wouldn’t have gotten much value for him anyways.
    A lot (okay, most) of the Wolves’ current success is due to Kevin McHale swinging the deal for Kevin Love, but the good of Kahn has definitely outweighed the wrath of Kahn (see what I did there?). Hardly enough to warrant the crazy, worst-GM-in-the-NBA reputation he’s garnered.

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

    Worst personnel decisions award definitely goes to MJ and Silent Bobcats.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Irving has the potential to be a Top-5 PG while Wall has the potential to be the best PG and a Top-5 player, big difference.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Teddy, he signed both Ridnour and Barea a year apart, the context of “Barea would have gotten overpaid somewhere else” & “Luke Ridnour is an okay player” is missing, they are on the roster together, that’s 8+ million a season for 2 back up PG’s. This team has (1) shooting guard. And his name is Wayne Ellington. And who cares if Flynn wasn’t playing, he was your 6th pick in the draft, you could have got SOMETHING for him. In reality, this team should be a shoe-in for the playoffs, they should be very very deep, and they should be set up to be competitive for a long time. Instead, they are a fringe playoff team, that lacks depth in the front court (Tolliver and Darko are bad, especially considering they are both overpaid) – they have no parity at the 3, (two tweeners, Derrick Williams and Beasley, who projected out to be the same NBA player) & (two guys who rely on shooting 3′s too much, Webster and Johnson). Then they have no 2-guard, and 3 PG’s, one of which will demand 35+ minutes per game for the next 10+ years. With a good GM, the Wolves would unquestionably be in a terrific position moving forward, with Kahn, none of us have any idea how they will look in 3 to 4 years.

  • T-Money

    Washington needs to clean house. Wall and McGee should be kept (McGee is a follower and only does stupid stuff when encouraged, + you just don’t give up on that physical talent). Blatche, Young and Crawford gotta go ASAP. They are selfish losers who put “getting theirs” above all.

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

    Good point, nbk.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    So… with a list of under-25-year-old point guards (Rubio, Westbrook, Kyrie, Wall, Jennings, Lin and Holiday)… and given you have a generic NBA team (two shoots threes, three slashers, four posts, five does nothing) in what order do you draft these points from first to last?

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    And Rose is already drafted. There.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I still don’t agree with T_money on Young, but I do on everything else he said. We will just have to agree to disagree on Young Nick.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Westbrook, Irving, Wall, Rubio, Holiday, Jennings, Lin.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Wall
    Kyrie
    Westbrook
    Holiday
    Rubio
    Jennings
    Lin

  • Paul H

    Wall,
    Westbrook, (even tho I still believe he Is a two, not a three)
    Kyrie/Rubio, (cop out cant decide)
    Jennings,
    Lin,
    Holiday,

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Holiday over Rubio, Allen.. Why?

  • Heals

    RayRay was MVP of the night, not for his shooting, but for his tan. Dude was rocking sunglasses lines in addition to being darker. That’s a pro’s pro, maximize the VayKay and comeback without missing a beat…

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    Interesting…
    Westbrook, Wall, Rubio, Kyrie, Holiday, Lin, Jennings.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’ll explain all my picks, thanks for asking.
    Wall-combination of his massive athletic upside and pre-existing point guard skillset. Really only needs a few minor tweaks and better jumpshot to be a superstar.
    Kyrie–Already in the discussion as the smartest young point in the League, bonafide scorer without being selfish, already proving to be a leader. He knows the position and he plays the position.
    Westbrook–in the discussion for most athletic player in the League. Plays with undeniable anger and aggression. Is committed on defense. Only flaw is that he appears to regressing as a point guard as he grows as a player.
    Holiday–Elite defender. Very good athlete. Heady, smart player, who already has a legit offensive game. Still streaky in his play, but is committed and plays hard and aggressive all the time.
    Rubio–The best passer among all young point guards. Good athlete, very smart player on both ends which maximizes his talent. Needs a jumper to be truly elite, but even with a jumper will never be the type of guard that carries a team. Unclear if his athletic ceiling is high enough to surpass Holiday.
    Jennings– I have no idea if he’s going to get better or worse. I really don’t. Can hoop, is talented, has all the tools, but has yet to show the ability to put them to work in the NBA
    Lin–Sample size is just too small. Got shook when faced with a serious defense. Still appears to be an aggressive scorer and overall smart player, but is currently on the “Juice” also known as SSOL.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I put Westbrook at the top of my list simply because I know for a fact he is an All-NBA type of player. And if he’s on a team where he is literally the go-to guy, I think he would embrace making plays for others a little bit more (as contradictory as that sounds). Almost like Iverson, once he was given the reigns as PG/Scorer in Denver, and he’s by far, not even relatively close, the best defender (right now) of that group.
    .
    I don’t like picking guys on potential as much as proven ability. If i went off of potential my list would look like this,
    .
    Wall – Westbrook – Irving – Holiday – Rubio – Jennings – Lin

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Jukai, you forgot about Conley(24)
    1.Westbrook 2.Wall 3.Irving 4.Conley 5.Holiday 6.Rubio 7.Lin 8.Jennings

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor, you have to explain where exactly you see Conley improving? (well you don’t have to obviously, but i would like to know)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Naw to Conley. He’s solid, but I see no upside to him from where he’s at. If I needed a PG my list from top to bottom would be, Wall, Irving/Rubio, Westbrook, Jennings, Holiday, Lin. Can’t go wrong with any of these young cats. Conley and Lin are maybe equal right now in terms of upside and potential.

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    Westbrook, Wall, Rubio ,Irving, Jennings. 1rst two are just athlethic beast. then the later
    Irving plays like Rod because thats hits godfather. Stickland and irving dad grew up and played together.

  • startown

    Looking at your point guard lists, take a strong look at value. Would MN trade Rubio for Holiday/Jennings/Lin or even Wall? No way. Same goes for Irving, they would not take a WAll for Irving trade, so why would you put them ahead of one another.

    Overall Value: Westbrook/Irving/Rubio/Wall/Jennings/Conley/Lin/Holiday/Cole

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Startown, you can’t look at that as just player for player swaps. Rubio is a ratings booster. His image is almost as important to his value as his playing ability.

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    I really thought flynn would be in this discussion but injury, coach not knowing the right system , and mental issues has him out of the way he ballin @ cuse. The rockects have a good part of 09 lottery & dont use or cant use them.: thabeet, Flynn, jordan hill. But im still high on hill kid could be bosh 2.0.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, I don’t think he’s improved that much from last season but his defense has improved ever such slightly (Mem gives up 4 less points per 100 possessions with Conley on the floor), playmaking skills (compared to where it was coming out of OState). I much rather have Conley running my team than Jennings, Lin and Holiday.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Conley’s defense has improved, but his offense hasn’t. I don’t argue with the Lin or Jennings aspect, but Holiday is already a better player imo.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Care to explain how Holiday is better? Both cats aren’t great offensive threats but Conley is slightly better on that end. Holiday is the better defensive player but Conley is a better playmaker, ballhandler and thief.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    JTaylor: I didn’t forget about Conley bro, haha, he’s on the last of everyone’s list but yours. Not knockin’ ya, everyone has their opinion, I just see Conley as the only player on the list who has no upside. I think even Lin has more upside.
    I do think Rubio has much more upside than Kyrie. Rubio can improve shooting wise, but mostly it’s about controlling an NBA game that he needs to work on since he’s played in FIBA for so much of his life. Kyrie is a bit more intuned with the American game, and he’s pretty solid, he’s not raw in any area. Wont be shocked if Kyrie turns out better though.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    You know, I may give the tip of Conley over Jennings because Jennings still has some mental roadblocks to get over (I loved Jennings, but he does hold himself back) but I’d take Lin over Conley. Really. When has an entire defense structured itself around stopping Conley?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well Holiday is a much much better defender. And offensively, they are putting up relatively the same numbers, except Holiday doesn’t have Gay – Gasol – or even OJ Mayo to pass to. He has Louis Williams, but that guy scores off the bounce more then from others creating opportunities.
    .
    Not to mention i see zero upside in Conley as a player. While i see tons from Holiday.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Just because a team wouldn’t make a trade doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make a trade. The Thunder weren’t interested in trading Westbrook for Paul, I think they should have been.
    If Cleveland wouldn’t even consider trading Irving for Wall, then they are stupid. Same with Minnesota and Holiday. Holiday is underrated. No, he’s not as flashy or exciting as Rubio and not the passer Rubio is at all.
    But he is a very smart player, his offense is already advanced, he has gone against the best guards in the League and refused to back down, particularly against cats like Wade. I can see why Minnesota would hold on to Rubio, and I don’t think it’s dumb, but if they wouldn’t even consider the offer of say Holiday and Thaddeus Young for Rubio and Derrick Wiliams or Beasley, that’s their loss. I really like Holiday.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    His numbers are down somewhat this year, but last year, at 20-years old, he was averaging 14 and 6.5 for a playoff team. if he wasn’t splitting time with Lou Williams, because Williams is the best scorer on the team, I think he’d be even more impressive.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    Holiday is underrated because people don’t know what a great team player he is– awesome defense, great three point shooting, great at controlling the tempo for his team, a good creator but mostly better at passing it around ala Chauncey… and we still haven’t seen how he would be controlling the team himself since he’s splitting it with Lou.
    I mean, the kids got a lot of upside, but with him, the downside is he becomes a fantastic role player, while if others don’t live up to their potential (Jennings, etc.) they wont have as much of a role.
    Actually, if I were Memphis, I’d swap Conley for Jrue straight up without even thinking. That would improve Memphis a helluva lot.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Damn….I stand corrected. Is it too late to switch sides? I would take Holiday over Conley but not Lin and Jennings.
    Jukai, what team structred it’s entire defense to stopping Lin? Miami? Those cats employ the exact same defensive scheme against every NBA team, so I doubt they were in the lab, scheming on ways to stop big, bad Jeremy Lin.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Conley is really good at running a team. He’s a very good passer. He’s like a poor man’s Rajan Rondo, except he’s slight dangerous with his feet set at the three point line.
    The problem with Conley is the shooting, particularly shooting off the bounce. He has absolutely ZERO ability to shoot off the bounce, and he isn’t a good finisher at the rim. So, he is an offensive liability when teams sag off him. If he could shoot off the bounce, like spent an entire summer working on that, his entire game would sky rocket. He has upside, but I don’t think he’ll ever reach it for some reason.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jeremy Lin is either going to be completely exposed in the playoffs or he is going to settle into a 15 4 & 7 type of solid starting PG. That’s honestly how I see it working out. I just hope he survives the New York Media when they inevitably destroy him for coming back down to earth.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    NBK: Yeah, that with solid defense and good shooting percentages is how I see it (the 15-4-7, I mean).

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Solid defense from Lin???? Have you not seen him play defense yet? (trick question)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I don’t really see all the upside that everyone sees in Lin. The guy is an average ball-handler (compared to other cats on the list), horrendous defender, his passing ability/court vision has been exxagerated and he’s a mediocre athlete. The only part of his game I could see him improve on is his shooting and even his form leaves a lot to be desired. I just don’t see anything in his game that tells me he will be a better PG than Conley and Jennings.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think it’s absurd to even consider that may happen. Tim Legler was talking about him being a TOP 10 POINT GUARD!!!!! on an ESPN podcast. I got pissed and turned it off. That’s ridiculous. The kid has played 12 good games, and 40 (seriously, 40) bad ones. And now he’s in a conversation as a top 10 point guard? gtfoh

  • Marswag Brooks

    It’s the new york media…you can’t accomplish anything small here without having a mandatory brass band behind you. Knicks beat the Mavs…it’s on ESPN every other story. Nets beat the mavs…it’s not even mentioned. Sorry I’m a bitter nets fan!!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I disagree on Lin’s shooting form JTaylor. He has great shooting form and nice arc on his shot. I don’t see him ever being a top 10 PG though. Fringe Top ten yes. He will be on the outside looking in though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    What are your thoughts on Brandon Knight people? I think he’s shown some good up side…very streaky and turnover prone, but he’s only 19. He can shoot and finish pretty well at the rim, but he needs to work on his passing. He’s had some very solid outings this season though.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jeremy Lin has a good release. His form is not something you would ever encourage someone to duplicate though. He right elbow is bowed. He covers his right eye when he brings the ball up for release. and he leans forward instead of shooting straight up and down.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I have not seen enough Brandon Knight to give my opinion on how his career will turn out.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    Everyone thinks Lin is a bad defender? Wha? Wasn’t it his defense that even GOT him into the league? I haven’t noticed any terrible issues with him. He got abused by Deron Williams. Everyone gets abused by Deron Williams. The only glaring issue I have seen with Lin is if he is isolated, he tends to get too excited and can be crossed up, but he’s got good lateral speed to follow his guys to the rim, great hands, and doesn’t bite on fakes. Can’t really comment on him running through screens because to be honest, I don’t remember. Is that the issue?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jeff Teague went for 18 on 7-12 against Lin.
    .
    Deron Williams had his 38
    .
    Dallas doesn’t have a PG
    .
    Greivas Vasquez went for 15 & 11
    .
    The Kings have 3 guys that play PG, all of which went above their season average in the same game against the Knicks with Lin starting
    .
    Jose Calderon went for 25 and 9 on 11 of 17 against Lin
    .
    Rubio struggled for 12 & 8 (but also LOCKED Lin up when he was in)
    .
    John Wall had 29 & 6 on 12 of 22
    .
    Lin is a horrible defender.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    All of Lin’s one on one defensive ability is an issue. He doesn’t seem to be a very bad team defender though if he isn’t actually above average.
    .
    His brain helps in that aspect.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The reason I posted all of those Jukai, is to illustrate, every single PG Lin has faced except Jason Kidd & Ricky Rubio has exceeded their season averages against Lin. (and considering New York’s defense is somehow efficient on the season, those numbers don’t reflect much of anything but a bad defensive player at the PG position).

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    Wayno beat me to it. I know Detroit sucks right now guys, but Brandon Knight is very good and only getting better. I would put him up there with Irving, Lin, Jennings, etc. He is better than Conley and Holiday.

  • startown

    I think Brandon Knight will be very good, as well Kemba Walker!

    D Collison from Indiana has his shining moments, just a bit inconsistent but he is a good guard

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    He does some things well on defense. Obviously he gets in the passing lanes, but more than that I have seen him strip his fair share of people too. His one on one D is not abysmal looking, but the numbers are not in his favor. He gets sh*t on by other PG’s it appears. Brandon Knight looks as if he is going to be on top PG conversation at some point, but he is far away from that right now. Is Kemba Walker a SG or a scoring PG?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Brandon Knight scores. He has not been a passer. People don’t know about Jrue they just don’t.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I know about Jrue.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    Actually Allen, Brandon does pass. Lawrence Frank still has Stuckey handling the rock like 50% of the time because he wants to ease Brandon into being a starting PG and leader on the Pistons. He is only 19. But given the chance, Brandon has actually shined. He actually had a 23 point, 10 assist and 6 rebound night right before the break. With no turnovers. I understand that Detroit isn’t very pretty to watch right now, but Knight and Monroe have been balling.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    I…. haven’t seen a lot of Brandon Knight, but what I have seen has been less than impressive.
    NBK: I just gotta disagree, some of what you said is unfair. Deron Williams had a below average game when they first matched up… Calderon was hitting shots that he no way deserved to hit, that wasn’t Lin’s fault, Calderon was on fire.. Lin mostly guarded Iasiah and that dude has been beating his scoring averages in every game he has played.
    Plus, you didn’t add the Lakers and the Heat.
    I think he’s a good defender, it’s not like he’s on a defensive power house.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    Jukai, stripping away the layers of the subpar team that he is on, what didn’t impress you about Knight? Again, he is only a kid. I am not saying he is a world beater, but he is mighty impressive for a rookie with only a year of college. The sooner the Pistons start running the offense thru him full time, the sooner you will see his stats more closely resemble Irving’s.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    TAD: I’ve seen only two or three games, grain of salt time here… but he only seems to score. I just haven’t seen anything that makes me think he can do anything else on a high level. I mean, his 36 minute stats are less than stellar: 15-4-4 with three turnovers. He also didn’t finish well in the three games I watched. I dunno, nothing that I see shows he’ll be better than any of the seven I listed, but he is young. Weirder things have happened.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Why would I add the Lakers? Is guarding Derrick Fisher the same as guarding a point guard? No not even remotely close.
    .
    Deron Williams had 21 and 11 in their first meeting.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    I’m p!ssed that I had to get off my computer for a while…
    Shout out @the entire SLAM.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Also what do you need to see about the Miami game? How good his defense was Guarding spot up shooters?

  • Heals

    Ya’ll need to calm that Rubio’s already where RR’s at talk. You people forget all too fast about the out of this world 3×10′s Rajon has put up in PLAYOFF games and I don’t even need to start talking defensive comparisons…

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    C’mon NBK, 21 is below his average and the 7/19 shooting shouldn’t be left out!
    I’ll give him a closer look defensively in his next few games, maybe I’ll change my tune.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    21 & 11 is not below average if you know what his average is. (21 and 8)
    .
    Regardless, Lin is a bad (individual) defender. I was just showing examples. You’ll see it as soon as you start paying specific attention.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    (21 & 8) – I have no idea why that face came up. Weird

  • Heals

    Someone’s shoulda checked PaulH on that one, straight crazy talk…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    8*). F word. I don’t know these stupid face emoticon tricks. My bad.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    Hahahaha nbk, slam be trollin’ you.

  • Seun

    I know people probably aren’t going to give my comment much thought but have u guys ever thought that one of the reasons why Westbrook’s assists numbers are low is because Durant has become a better ball handler and better shot creator.i mean Durant is taking less threes and less long mid range jumpers, he’s getting to the rim and he’s just become a much improved scorer than in years past. i means his points haven’t increased but that’s a result of Westbrook taking more shot and the emergence of James harden. So to me Westbrook is every bit as talented/promising as rose, wall, Irving or anybody, because he has the athleticism, to go along with the scoring ability to be a very good sidekick to Durant and maybe even an equal to Durant.

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

    ^ That’s a very good point.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    true!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Idk why you don’t think people will read your comment? But Westbrook shows little understanding of the role of a “traditional” PG – he doesn’t look to create for others, he doesnt even remotely try and control the pace, and he is a me-first type of guy. As for Durant, his ball handling responsibilities really haven’t changed.
    .
    Westbrook shouldn’t get all the blame though, Scott Brooks is the coach behind that dopey unimaginative offense…

  • Seun

    i mean when u consider the fat that 24% of Durant’s possession come in isolation plays and that his points per possession in isolation rank 4th best in the league, so it makes sense that Durant gets a lot of iso plays. Another possible reason why Westbrook doesn’t get a lot of assists is his teammates, 52 percent of Westbrook’s assists go to Durant’s by far the highest in he league and i think a lot of that has to do with harden being a very good iso player, 10th most ppp in the league, albeit in limited attempts, but still; add the fact that Westbrook plays off-ball a lot of the times when harden is on the court and that there is really no great pick and roll guy on this team and i would be impressed if Westbrook was able to put up Nash like numbers.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He’s putting up Kobe Bryant numbers. Not even remotely PG numbers.

  • Seun

    i understand why people hate the guy because even with these obstacles he should still be able to average six to seven assists, i mean rose isn’t in the ideal offense or has the ideal teammates and he still puts up good assists numbers; so i understand that he has to get better, but to make a list of most talented point guards and not put westbrook near the top right up there with roes, wall,and irving is foolish in my opinion.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    And the advanced stats your looking at only highlight Westbrook as more of a SG then PG. he’s a great player no question, but his PG skills (offensively) are below average.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    All of us had Westbrook near the top

  • Seun

    No the stats talk bout a team who’s offense is basically westbrook and harden running isolation plays for durant,and themselves. This to me is worrying because you can’t win a championship this way.

  • Seun

    ok im done talking about the thunders for the day because i pisses me off to talk about the thunders and their faults mainly scotty brooks, his stupid excuse for a offense, and the ridiculous amount of turnovers that the team commits.

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

    Jukai what’s ur take on Lin’s defense (if you saw the game tonight)? I’d say he did a good job on Kyrie in the first half. Shump guarded him for most of the second half though, and did an even better job. Irving shot only 8 of 18 from the field with 4 turnovers. He’s nowhere near as poor a defender as nbk makes him out to be.

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

    Also Irving’s jumper is silky smooth. He’s shooting lights out from 3 now, averaging like 44% from behind the arc. Dude is for real and I don’t see him losing out on ROY to anybody.

  • Paul H

    @Heals. If you read my comment correctly, and the ones which preceded It, you would see that I was saying that Rondo was not nearly as good his first two years as what Ricky Is now. We were also debating who had the hirer ceiling and since Rondo Is 26 I would say that Is Rubio. Finally, for the defensive end, If you have watched the kid play that end you would know he Is well above average. Just for clarification.

  • el_larsen

    brandon knight will be very good i think.as a piston fan i was pleased to draft him at nber 8.but at the beginning of the season he was a turnover machine,and didnt shoot enough freethrows,and average passer.
    but now he has matured in all this area.the guy has the right mentality,he s a hardworker ,blazing quick and talented.i think he will be special
    but he must attack the basket!
    he and monroe must grow together(haaaaaa and if we could add harrison barnes!)

  • el_larsen

    hey my man B easy was hot !!
    keep on michael

  • Heals

    I don’t care what came before it “it took 3 years for RR to get where Rubio is at,” is ucking insane man. Rubio is not above-average and Rondo is all-NBA, so your point there is? Rubio been playing pro ball for 2 years prior (oversees or not) so making the comparison in that context is inaccurate at best. Slow the hyperbole he’s good, but not even a top-10 pg right now…

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