Monday, December 16th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  51 responses

Post Up: Lillard For the Win

Damian Lillard hits a game-winner and Rudy Gay plays efficiently again.

by Jay Wallis | @JayWallis11

Kings 106 (7-15), Rockets 91 (16-9)

After DeMarcus Cousins (21 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) made free throws with 8:02 to go in the fourth quarter, the Kings extended their lead to 87-76 and led by double digits the rest of the way. Early in the 3rd quarter, James Harden (25 points) went down with an ankle injury and didn’t look like himself when he returned later in the quarter. Afterwards, he shot 1-6, picked up two fouls and couldn’t give Houston the offense it needed to keep up with the Kings. Newcomer Rudy Gay (26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) has looked like a different, more efficient player since joining the Kings. While with Toronto for 18 games, Gay shot at least 50 percent from the field only once. He has now done that in each of his two games with Sacramento, and it’ll be intriguing to see if he can keep up this level of play. Isaiah Thomas (19 points, 8 assists, 41 minutes) has had at least 7 assists in 5 of his last 6 games and has transitioned smoothly into the starting lineup. Dwight Howard (13 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) had his sixth straight double-double but missed 8 of his 13 free throw attempts. Facing his former team, Omri Casspi (4 points, 1-5 from the field) did not play one of his better games of the season.

Timberwolves 101 (12-12), Grizzlies 93 (10-13)

Minnesota beat Memphis for the first time since February 6, 2010 and did so behind a big performance from Kevin Love (30 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks). Losers of now 3 straight games and five of the last six, the Grizzlies failed to get much production from those not named Mike Conley (28 points, 12-20 from the field, 4-8 on 3-pointers); however, Conley had his second game of the year with more turnovers (4) than assists (3). Playing through the pain of knowing he’s on the trading block, Zach Randolph (20 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists) played fairly well but shot 7-19 from the field and fouled Nikola Pekovic (19 points, 5 rebounds) in back-to-back possessions with under 3 minutes to go, allowing the Timberwolves to extend a single-digit lead to 7 points. Randolph’s inefficient shooting was in large part to surprisingly solid low-post defense from Love, while Randolph’s team had another poor defensive showing. Without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol, Memphis looks lost defensively.

Blazers 111 (21-4), Pistons 109 (11-14) OT

Even though sixth man Rodney Stuckey (17 points) played solid defense against Damian Lillard (23 points, 7 assists, 3 steals) on the last play of overtime, Lillard simply made a difficult fadeaway shot to give the Blazers their 4th straight win. He did miss all 7 of his 3-point attempts throughout the course of the game, but Lillard continued firing away and scored 8 of his 23 points in overtime, giving more reason to send him to New Orleans for All-Star Weekend along with co-star LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points, 12 rebounds). Josh Smith (season-high 31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 13-17 from the field) easily had his best performance of the year, finally living in the post and looking comfortable in the Pistons system. Fellow big men Greg Monroe (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Andre Drummond (13 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals) helped J-Smoove give the Pistons a 68-42 points in the paint advantage. Brandon Jennings (15 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds) flirted with a triple-double but shot below 40 percent for the 11th time this season. Things are going very well for the Blazers and their revamped bench right now, yet they are still relying heavily on their offense and their starters. If they continue playing this way, Portland will certainly be challenged to keep up their winning ways as the season gets closer to the postseason.

Thunder 101 (19-4), Magic 98 (7-17)

The Thunder currently hold the longest winning streak in the League (six) and remain only one of two teams still unbeaten at home (Pacers). After a Russell Westbrook (20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) layup with 6:12 to go, Oklahoma City led 96-80 and looked to be in control. However, Orlando went on a 20-2 run, led by 9 points from Aaron Afflalo (25 points), to cut the deficit to 100-98 with 22 seconds to go. After Kevin Durant (20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) hit 1 of 2 free throws, Glen Davis (11 points, 9 rebounds) missed a 3-pointer, Nikola Vucevic (13 points, 16 rebounds) got the offensive rebound and then Serge Ibaka (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks) blocked Vucevic’s putback attempt. As they’ve been doing all season long, the Thunder pushed the ball and had 27 fast break points to the Magic’s 12. Thabo Sefolosha (6 points, 4 steals, 0-3 on 3-pointers) returned to the starting lineup after missing the last three games due to a knee injury and played his defensive role. However, he’ll need to pick up his 3-point shooting if he wants to be considered as a 3-and-D player. After shooting 43.7 percent and 41.9 percent from deep the past two years, he is currently shooting 30.6 percent this season. Jeremy Lamb (16 points) and Reggie Jackson (10 points) each scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game.

Nuggets 102 (14-9), Pelicans 93 (11-11)

Without Anthony Davis down low, the Nuggets pounded the boards and out-rebounded the Pelicans 51-32. Ryan Anderson (game-high 26 points, 6 rebounds) played well down the stretch, scoring 9 points in the 4th quarter, and Austin Rivers (17 points, 5-9 from the floor) had a career-best performance (besides a 27-point game against the Timberwolves last season). However, New Orleans couldn’t handle a balanced attack from Denver, as five Nuggets reached double figures. JJ Hickson (19 points, 11 rebounds, 8-12 from the field) had his sixth double-double of the season, Wilson Chandler (19 points, 5 rebounds) continues to look more and more like his old self and Nate Robinson (14 points, 2 blocks) played the role of spark plug, a role he has become quite comfortable with of late. After a slow start to the season, Robinson has averaged 14.7 points over the last 11 games and has reached double figures in 12 of the last 14 games. It will be interesting to see how successful this team can be once Danilo Gallinari and JaVale Mcgee return from their injuries.

Suns 106 (14-9), Warriors 102 (13-12)

Behind a stellar performance from Eric Bledsoe (24 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals), including two straight 3-pointers with 3:52 to go and 2 clutch free throws with 18 seconds left in the game, the Suns extended their winning streak to five games. Stephen Curry (30 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 turnovers) reached the 30-point plateau for the third time in four games but also had 6 or more turnovers for the third straight game. The entire Warriors team struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over 20 times. Channing Frye (20 points, 5 rebounds) made a season-high 5 3-pointers and continues to be a feel-good story, looking very much like the player he was before missing all of last season due to an enlarged heart. Goran Dragic (21 points, 4 assists, 4 steals) has been playing exceptionally well of late, averaging 27 ppg while shooting 58 percent during his last 3 games. Klay Thompson (19 points) and Curry are the more renowned backcourt, but Bledsoe and Dragic did more than hold their own against the Splash Brothers.

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  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    1. That trade really woke up Gay. Now maybe shaq or cwebb can encourage rudy to reach his potential instead of costing. The guy has the tools to be 3rd best sf over george and melo but it’ll take rediscipline, rededication.

    2. Randolph has matured. I am surprised he’s still putting in work considering all the rumors. Love put up stats but doesn’t really dominate the game. Like when shaq played he could demoralize the other team with vicious dominant plays. Love gets buckets but doesn’t control the game. That’s why Anthony Davis who does dictate a game with his defensive presence will over take love next year.

    3. Trade Monroe for Rudy Gay and move Josh Smith to power forward. Monroe slows the game down. The pistons need to capitalize on the athletic quickness of the front line. Drummond can get up the court faster than most guards getting back. I would go as far as to say trade monroe for MKG. The shooting needs to improve by pistons backcourt.

    4. Blazers are a good regular season team but none of their pieces will take them far in the playoffs.The blazers are a poor version of the pistons that won the chip.

    5. Thunder management is tough. can’t state that enough. And Orlando is playing Thunder Jr and got a great core to build on. I’d love to see them get Zach Lavine as their 2 guard and play victor at point. As long as Affalos there Zach will learn from a solid 2 guard.

    6. Nate robinson is underrated.

    7. Eric bledsoe may end up by the end of next season be a top 5 point guard. I don’t like goran playing the 2 guard. Eric would be served better with an affalo type SG and keep goran as a 6th man.

  • guest

    Arron Afflalo the All Star? 22-5-4, over 2 3′s a game, decent defensively. Only guards in the East who have been better: John Wall….?

    Not Kyrie (CRAZY inefficient with sh1tty d)
    Not Wade/MCW (missed too many games)
    Not Jennings/Teague/Lowry (duh)
    Not DeRozan (less efficient)

    I mean, sh1t, he almost deserves to start.

  • Harvey

    - It’s funny, I keep expecting the Blazers to hit a rough patch, but they continue to impress me. They really have surprised me.
    - Goran Dragic is playing out of his mind. Coaches may select him an All- Star.
    - I still don’t know why Memphis traded Rudy Gay?…

  • spit hot fiyah

    look at gay’s contract and his production and u will know why gay got traded twice in less that a year. hope fully his strong play will keep up. the big problem seems to be if he asked to carry too much of an offensive load, that is when his efficiency really drops of.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i have to give credit where it is due. props to josh smith for going 13-17 from the field. two of those misses were threes though. i have been criticizing him and the pistons like crazy this year. nice to see him come through even though lillard wasn’t having it.

    this is his shot chart from last year (as promised) red is good, green is bad. josh! tell your coaches and dumars and whoever else is calling the shots around there that u want to be near the rim and not drifting around the 3 point line. do that for the next 4 years and u can thank me by giving me 0.5% of your next deal. it will be a way bigger deal than if u keep standing by the three pint line and waste possessions for a few more years

  • Harvey

    No doubt. His shot selection in Toronto was poor, and his FG% showed that. The thing is, I thought he was a solid piece in the Grizzlies team. The Grizz missed him in the playoffs.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    because Memphis was better without him.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    I agree. He was efficient in Memphis/ when he wasn’t the face of a franchise. Rudy carrying the offensive load is like Deng carrying the Bulls. Rudy is a second/third option at best. On paper and two games in he seems to be a solid fit in Sacramento. Very familiar territory for him like when he was in Memphis. I expect him to continue to play at this level, that is if Cousin and him don’t get into.

  • vannshy

    anyone watched the end of OKC-ORL ? I believe OKC were up 100-88 with less than 3min to play and Westbrook carelessly turned the ball over 3 times, allowing ORL to almost stole that game. He even lost the ball when OKC were 5vs4, with Glen Davis still under his own basket with a dislocated shoulder. Unbelievable athlete but far from Chris Paul or Tony Parker in terms of decision making.

  • Max

    Is Rudy Gay always going to be awesome his first few games with his new team?

  • Harvey

    Oh right? Maybe I’m missing something. I thought he was what the Grizzlies needed. The Memphis defense was probably better without him… but the offense? They missed him. He woulda been a great 6th man for them. I guess he wasn’t willing to come off the bench perhaps?

  • spit hot fiyah

    he is a boss in the clutch. but memphis’ two best playoff runs were without him. the year he hurt his shoulder and last season after the trade. it is difficult to say that they were better with him

  • star

    I think in a way Gay can work on trying to become a Iggy sort of player as Iggy has done in GSW. Somewhere he doesnt have to be the focal point on offense but can offer versatility

  • i_ball

    But you don’t want your 6th man to earn close to 20 mil

  • Stepfan Raiford

    Rudy wants to shoot though. No he’s going to shoot!!!!!!!!

  • Harvey

    The fact that he is being paid $20million speaks volumes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    about perceived potential?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the Grizzlies needed a high volume low efficiency scorer who loafs on defense?
    the offense improved after Rudy Gay was traded, you do realize that don’t you? And the defense improved significantly. The concept of needing an isolation scorer is great and everything, but those isolation scorers need a few things in order to become effective in the playoffs. And the most important of those things (discipline) Rudy Gay completely lacks. There is a reason that team won in the playoffs the one season Rudy Gay was hurt and not playing. That same reason is why they improved after they replaced Gay with Tayshun Prince. – The other thing a good isolation scorer needs is consistency, and that is one aspect of Rudy Gay’s game that we know he doesn’t have. Unless being consistently inconsistent applies?
    Either way, it’s pretty elementary to understand why Memphis traded Rudy Gay aside from his obvious and very pronounced flaws as a player …… he makes more money than LeBron James every season.

  • minstigate

    Alright, sorry for the book. It’s just fun for me to write this stuff. Don’t feel like you need to read the whole thing before responding to me. Most of it’s not that important, and if you miss something, I’ll just bring it back up without saying you should read the whole post.

    Regarding point 4., regular season performance correlates higher than any other factor to post-season success. So saying someone is a good regular season team is like saying someone is a person but because they are a person, they are not a person. It just makes no sense.

    I get the sense you’re thinking along the lines of Barkley and the notion that D wins in the post-season. Those are VERY common thoughts in basketball thought. However, there are a few things to think about when you’re applying this to the Blazers:

    1. Teams with great offenses do not do well in the post season. People talk trash about the D’Antoni Suns all the time. Even if they didn’t win the championship, they did make it a long, long way and had an overall winning percentage in the post-season. Good regular season team. Good post season team. Had D’Antoni bothered to come up with a marginal D scheme, they may have made it to and won the finals. But their lack of a championship does not mean they were a bad post-season team.

    2. The assertion that good regular season teams may not be good post-season teams is absurd and based on nothing more than conjecture and sloppy thinking. I don’t expect many to read this: http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/the-myth-of-playoff-style-basketball/?_r=0, so I’ll summarize it. Style of basketball does not actually change in the playoffs. Pace does not actually slow. People commonly think that it’s a different game, but there’s a strong correlation between doing something effective in the regular season and in the post season. The real change is that coaches have much more time to make adjustments (consider the Blazers have been leading the path in advanced and timely adjustments – a quick reference of their 3rd quarter point differentials should make this obvious, plus their use of technology in game situations to immediately analyze and make changes). Thus, execution of a good game plan is most important. The team that is better able to execute will win. The Spurs are the eternal example of this. To that end, the Blazers have demonstrated fantastic execution and even in the face of teams considered more likely to be successful in the playoffs (Spurs, Pacers and Thunder).

    3. Offensive teams don’t do well in the playoffs. That’s a partial truth. Teams that are one dimensional do poorly in the playoffs. The recap writer here asserts the Blazers are one dimensional. But a quick look at their stats proves otherwise. While the Blazers D rating (20th in the league) is not great, but improving, their styles demands a closer look. They emphasize forcing inefficient shots. So while they allow solid opponent shooting percentages (45% good for 14th in the league, not great but not bad), they fair much, much better in opponent effective field goal percentage (48%, ranked 10th). So, they’re not great, just slightly above average. But, if you also consider the new scheme implemented this year, and see that their worst D games were their first 5, and see how their metrics skyrocketed on this front, there’s reason to think that they’ll be middle of the upper tier in D. As it is, an above average defense combined with the number one offense averages a finals appearance. But, that’s not taking into consideration another area of great strength: rebounding. The Blazers currently rank number 2 in rebounding. They’re 2nd in ORB, 5 in DRB and 2nd in TRB. That’s staggering an a major reason they continue to win games when their shooters are off. Much to the chagrin of Barkley, the Blazers are not shooting at historical rates and only have one player currently sitting above their career average. Basically, the Blazers number one offense will get even stronger if their shooters return to their historical norms. Back to defense for a second, the Blazers allow the most 2 pt shots of any team in the league, but they manage to rank 12th in opponent 2FG%. This indicates a phenomenal level of defensive execution and a masterful plan. What looks like luck, shows up in the stats and is bankable. While the Blazers may fall apart, and I’m not saying they won’t, what they’ve shown so far this season is not the porous and terrible defense pundits keep pointing to. They aren’t winning simply because of offense as asserted above. And after looking at the stats, they’re sitting in a position where the low side of average is a conf. finals appearance. Betting on them being a bad playoff team would be like betting not just against an average without odds, but it’d be like betting on a longshot while not giving odds because you don’t understand how numbers work or even that they are numbers and mean something (that’s not meant to be rude or insulting, I’m just trying to show how bad of a bet it would be right now, though, it may very well prove a better bet toward the end of the season – there’s just no valid reason to think so at this point).

    4. Margin of victory says the Blazers are a strong candidate for success. The correlation ought to be obvious. The Blazers currently have the 3rd best MOV in the league. This predicts with far greater accuracy than past play off performance how well a team will do. There’s not point in going into it.

    5. History is on the Blazers side: I mentioned this before, but about 1.34 teams per year start out with a 16-3 record. Of those, a conference finals is average. 21-4 is more elite, with a finals appearance being average. Only two teams to start like this failed in the first round. And both had league bottom five D’s or O’s. However, 3 teams in the west have started that way this year. Obviously, this changes things. But about 84% of the time, the team with the better record wins out. If Portland can keep things up, they should do quite well. I guess I just can’t see why anyone would look at this and say, good regular season team, bad playoff team. That just makes no sense given that’s almost a non-existent thing and when it does happen, it’s very far from what the Blazers have show so far.

    Hopefully that’s enough. I’m not saying the Blazers will win a championship. I’m not saying they’ll advance beyond the first round. Hell, I won’t even say they will make the playoffs. But that’s just because I don’t care much for predictions. But were I to make one, I’d think much longer and much harder about what indicates post-season success than what’s considered common sense. Because even when you consider that common sense to be true (it usually isn’t in basketball), the Blazers have shown themselves high enough on the traditional metrics used to determine success in the playoffs that you’d be crazy not to consider them among the current favorites. History shows that experience is nowhere near so important as regular season record, MOV, execution and so on. It seems crazy, but it’s true.

    Now, all that said, the Blazers could very easily fall prey to a poor match up. Both PHX and Dallas are bad matchups for them. They’re smart teams with just the right style of play to hurt them. But the Blazers would fare much better against SAS, HOU, or even OKC (though that’s the worst of the elite for them).

  • Nick Holden

    1. So lets just forget about those two guys named James and Durant? Also, Iggy and Deng over Gay any day. Talk about potential with this guy all you want, he’s been in the league for seven seasons you pretty much know what you are getting by now.

    3. Lol. So Rudy Gay is gonna get traded again? And you wanna send him to the team that has Brandon Jennings and Josh smith in their starting line-up? Lets just put all the league’s poster guys for inefficient play on the same team yes (might actually do us all good, then we get to see a lot less of them)

    4. These Blazers aren’t similar to that Pistons team at all. The Pistons were built around defence, the Blazers are build on their offence. + Lamarcus is playing like a superstar. Detroit didn’t have that.

    5. Who is Zach Lavine. No reason to trade Afflalo really, He is playing like an allstar these days and is on a very reasonable contract

    6. Agreed.

    7. That Phoenix backcourt has been fucking amazing. They are 14-9 man, who would have ever thought that? And they have that record even whith those two missing some games

  • LakeShow

    The only problem is he is not very versatile.

  • LakeShow

    I haven’t read it all, but I up-voted for the sheer fact that you are talking basketball.

    Truly, thank you.

  • Harvey

    Hey, I’m not saying he’s worth that money. I’m just curious as to how he came to get a deal like that. Management had high expectations perhaps.

  • Harvey

    Yeah, they made the right decision in the long run. And with the addition of Prince is greater for the defense (great move by the Grizz in getting him). I just thought something seemed missing after they were embarrassed by the Spurs in the playoffs. Maybe Rudy would have provided that scoring in bunches for them. I’m guessing some advanced stat shows the offensive rating increase once Rudy left?

  • spit hot fiyah

    well he was showing potential was above average as far as efficiency goes. then that started leveling out and REALLY dropped of post shoulder injury.

  • theDankerNuggets

    yeah didn’t he do the same thing with Toronto? I’m not convinced that this game means anything about how efficiently he’ll play with the Kings

  • Nigel

    Jay Wallis, your post-ups are the best man. Good, detailed recaps that make it sound like you actually watched the games, the perfect amount of embedded videos, and team records next to every score. I wish you did these write-ups every day.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    There is a God.

  • Jay Wallis

    I appreciate that, Nigel. I love writing these recaps and will work to continue writing them this way.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    extremely high, he scored 20ppg as a 21 year old …. they just thought he’d gain some discipline. but he didn’t.

  • http://the-benchwarmer.com/ TheBenchwarmer

    Are Dragic & Bledsoe the backcourt of the future?
    + other random takeaways from some Sunday games.

  • http://the-benchwarmer.com/ TheBenchwarmer

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say in 10 years the traditional shooting guard position will be obsolete, and teams will be running 2-pg backcourt attacks. (if positions even exist at all by then)

  • LakeShow

    I’m thinking about converting to Islam just to encourage him.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I thought about spitting a cold ass 48 bar verse on here just to satisfy his need to battle me.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    here’s the disconnect as far as i can tell,
    i absolutely agree that what Memphis was missing was what Rudy Gay represents. — A high volume, isolation scorer that a team can go to down the stretch. —– but the rub is, Rudy Gay is not that player. And has never been that player. Flashes of greatness are one thing, but to win in the playoffs, consistent greatness is what is required.
    And I’d have to dig for the offensive numbers, but I know they did improve. Do you want them, or were you just asking to make sure i’m not making this up?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ugh, you ever ask Blazers Edge if they needed another writer? i think they could make use of your services man.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    sort of back to the way basketball began. G-G-F-F-C is the original position structure. Ask Jerry West and Gail Goodrich who the PG was on any given play….(the answer more often would probably be Jerry, but most people consider it Goodrich) – neither will give you a very straight answer. And that was normal. Outside of Bob Cousy.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    in regards to your (correct) assertion that basketball does not literally slow down in the post season.

    - that sentiment comes from the propensity of a team with a strong defense to beat teams that are more offensively focused. Or at least that’s how it seems. — take the Suns you listed that actually were quite successful in the playoffs, – in ’07 they averaged 110ppg and ran pretty roughshod over the rest of the league, and even in the first round of the playoffs against LA they were putting up 108 a game. — but then they got to San Antonio, the 2nd best defensive team in the league, that ran at the 3rd slowest pace in the league. Their defensive acumen outweighed Phoenix’s firepower, the series ended with them winning 4-2, with Phoenix averaging 100.5ppg, almost a full 10 points less than the regular season.

    — to me, when i hear, “the game slows down in the playoffs” — i think of that as, “you have to be able to slow down to succeed” because consistently, most teams will run into one series that will require the ability to win under “slower” conditions in any given season. Not often has a team gone through the entirety of the playoffs playing at a pace faster or equal to the pace that was played in the regular season.

  • davidR

    potentially, but athletic monsters at the pg like bledsoe don’t come around often

  • LakeShow

    I doubt they sign them both long term.

    They should, but I doubt they do.

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  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Do not accept islam in haste. Read study take time learn about islam. Then with appropriate reasoning embrace Islam.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I don’t think youre able to produce 16 bars. Let alone 48.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    The Uncreated Creator is infinite always existing

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Have you seen gays efficiency improve with motivation. If smith plays the 4 his game will improve.

    I didn’t mean in style of play just the dynamic of the team how all good but not great players

    Zachary Levine next great 2 guard in the league

    Nah dragic isn’t capable defender. Better as a 6th man

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Your last point is what I agree with. Match ups match up match ups. If the heat faced the lakers not the thunder they wouldn’t have fun

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Now that’s funny lol

  • BE.water

    I got bars too.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Prove it

  • LakeShow

    Precisely, but “shooters” like Dragic do.

    They should try to grab a Kawai Leonard/Nic Batum type player, and let Dragic go. Keep the twins if they’ll sign for a two for one bargain price lol.

    I like Plumee too, but they can’t keep them all long term.

  • Tarzan Cooper

    bledsoe and dragic are very difficult to guard. nice combo. surprising play by the suns so far.