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Saturday, January 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  58 responses

Post Up: KD Lights Up

Durant nets career high against Warriors, Blazers top Spurs out West

by Brett Weisband | @weisband

Clippers (28-13) 109, Knicks (15-25) 95

After getting wiped out on Thursday night, the Knicks hung around with the Clippers for nearly three full quarters. Alas, playing their fourth game in five nights, New York faded late as the Clippers ran away in the fourth quarter. Blake Griffin continued his ridiculous play, going for 32 points (12-20 shooting) and seven rebounds, making the highlight reel several times in the process. L.A. somehow managed to be the better shooting team in this game despite hitting on just 43.2 percent of their attempts from the field. Jamal Crawford got cooking as the game wore on, finishing with 29 points (7-14 from the field, 5-9 from long range, 10-11 at the line) after going off for 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Carmelo Anthony finished with a remarkable line for the Knicks, mainly for how productive he was despite some horrific shooting. He scored 26 points on 4-23 shooting from the field, also pulling down 20 rebounds (seven offensive). J.R. Smith had his best game of the year, shooting 9-18 off the bench for 24 points. The Knicks were without both Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, both of whom sprained ankles against the Pacers.

Bobcats (17-24) 111, Magic (10-30) 101

Charlotte hung on for a win against Orlando after letting all of an early 18-point lead slip away. Al Jefferson led the way, going for 30 points and 16 boards on a highly efficient 13-17 shooting. As a team, the Bobcats had one of their best offensive nights of the season, hitting on 52.7 percent of their field goal tries and going 7-15 on 3-pointers, not bad for one of the worst long-range shooting teams in the League. Kemba Walker posted a double double for Charlotte with 19 points, and they got 17 apiece from Gerald Henderson and Josh McRoberts.

Orlando’s slow start in this one – they were behind 21-3 in the blink of an eye – can be forgiven, as they played a triple-OT marathon on Wednesday. They eventually shot their way back into it on the strength of Arron Afflalo, who finished with 24 points after missing three games. 

Heat (28-11) 101, 76ers (13-26) 86

There would be no repeat of opening night for the Heat, when they were stunned by the Sixers, or even of Wednesday, when the Wizards ran them out of the building. Miami asserted themselves early against the Sixers, getting out to a double-digit lead at the end of the first and never letting Philadelphia get close. Chris Bosh was the main aggressor for the Heat, scoring 25 points on 11-18 shooting, while racking up six reounds, four assists and five blocks as well. LeBron James was happy to play facilitator for much of the game, but stepped up his scoring late to finish with a near-triple double of 21 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

The Sixers were wretched on the offensive end, shooting 36.9 percent and knocking down just 2-20 3-pointers. They also had 12 of their shots blocked by the Heat and coughed the ball up 23 times. Tony Wroten led the team in scoring with 13 off the bench and Spencer Hawes posted 10 points and 10 boards. Michael Carter-Williams, who exploded onto the scene with a huge game against the Heat in his debut, was hounded into 1-7 shooting for his seven points and turned the ball over five times.  

Raptors (20-18) 94, Timberwolves (18-21) 89

Kyle Lowry is making a serious push for All-Star consideration, and it’s well deserved with the way he’s been balling. Lowry knocked down a season-best six 3-pointers and led the Raptors with 24 points and six assists as they topped the Timberwolves. Kevin Martin (18 points) nearly pulled the Wolves to a win, hitting several late jumpers, but Minnesota couldn’t overcome a late deficit.

Minnesota slipped farther away from a .500 record and a Playoff spot, shooting 43.9 percent in the loss. After falling behind by double digits in the fourth quarter, they went on a run to get the score within three late before running out of time. Kevin Love had 16 and 12 boards, but struggled through a 6-19 shooting night to get there. For the Raptors, Amir Johnson dropped in 19, while Terrence Ross had 16. Toronto shot better from long range than they did overall from the field, riding Lowry’s strong night in that regard.

Wizards (19-19) 96, Bulls (18-20) 93

After a back-and-forth affair, Washington escaped with a win over Chicago to reach .500 for the first time since November. Neither team seemingly wanted to stay on top, with a total of 12 lead changes in the game. John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, while Bradley Beal (14 points) was big down the stretch, scoring nine points in the final quarter.

The Bulls had plenty of opportunities to pull ahead late, but didn’t score for the final 2:20 of the game – they actually scored the game’s final points – and made just one shot in the final five minutes. Kirk Hinrich was the Bulls’ top scorer with 18, while D.J. Augustin came off the bench to net 16. The Bulls’ usually tight defense couldn’t do much to slow Washington down, allowing the Wizards to shoot a hair over 50 percent on the night. 

Lakers (15-25) 107, Celtics (14-27) 104

Rajon Rondo’s return wasn’t enough for the Celtics, as the Lakers prevailed in this battle of classic teams marred by a severe lack of talent. Rondo was mostly tentative in his return from a torn ACL last January, but he was the man with the ball in his hands late. With a second left on the clock, Rondo clanked a triple that would have sent the game into OT. Rondo finished with eight points, four assists and two boards – not the numbers we’re accustomed to seeing from the All-Star, but it was good to have him back on the court regardless.

The Lakers crawled out of an eight-point hole in the final four minutes, getting big 3-pointers from their unlikely backcourt duo of Jodie Meeks (17 points) and Kendall Marshall (19 points, 14 assists, 4-5 from long range). Ryan Kelly hit two free throws to ice the win. Pau Gasol looked like his old self, going for 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, his third straight game with 20 or more. L.A. shot 50 percent from the field and hit 12-20 from deep.

Jazz (14-27) 110, Pistons (16-23) 89

Trey Burke made his return to the state of Michigan, where he played his college ball and was national player of the year last season. He showed out in his old stomping grounds, putting up 20 points and a career-high 12 assists as the Jazz rolled to a blowout win over the floundering Pistons. Utah pulled away late in the second quarter, stretching a six-point lead to 15 in the final two minutes of the first half and never looking back. The Jazz shot 54.4 percent in the win and out-rebounded the massive Pistons by 11, 43-32.

Detroit’s starting five struggled mightily, scoring a combined 34 points on 11-35 shooting. They were led in scoring by Rodney Stuckey, who dropped 21, and got another 13 from Kyle Singler. Andre Drummond registered a double double of 10 and 13 amidst the rough night, blocking three shots along the way. Enes Kanter scored 18 off the bench for Utah, his seventh straight game with 10 or more points. The Jazz have alternated wins and losses in their seven games in 2014.

Grizzlies (20-19) 91, Kings (14-24) 90

It came down to the final seconds, but the Grizzlies were able to sneak out a win over the Kings at the FedEx Forum. Fittingly enough, former Grizzly Rudy Gay (19 points) was involved in a controversial final play. After scoring Sacramento’s first eight points of the fourth to carry them back into it, Gay had the ball in his hands with the clock winding down. He drove toward the basket and left the floor, appearing to to either double dribble or draw a foul. The refs saw it differently, calling a jump ball with two second to go. Mike Conley (25 points, six assists) secured the tip and Memphis escaped.  

This game featured 17 ties, and neither team was able to get out to a lead larger than seven points. Marc Gasol looked more like himself in his third game back from injury for the Grizz, scoring 16 points, swatting four shots and operating from the elbow as always. New acquisition Courtney Lee pitched in 17 for Memphis. DeMarcus Cousins was a load down low against the vaunted Grizzlies front court, scoring 22 points, albeit on 6-20 shooting, and hauling in 17 boards.

Trail Blazers (30-9) 109, Spurs (31-9) 100

Portland won a battle of the West’s top teams, exploding down the stretch to pull away with the victory. Wesley Matthews (24 points, 9-14 shooting, 6-7 on 3-pointers) burned the Spurs late, getting open and drilling three triples down the stretch to push Portland to the win. The Blazers withstood a strong second-half effort from the Spurs, but had enough offense to get out of San Antonio with the big win. The maligned Portland defense did a solid job, holding the Spurs to 45.2 percent shooting and just 22 points in the final quarter. 

Manu Ginobili did everything he could for the Spurs, leading the game with 29 points. He went bonkers in the third quarter, scoring 18 points in just six minutes on the court, all coming after Gregg Popovich went nuts on the officials and got himself tossed from the game. The Spurs went on to grab the lead after Pop got booted, but fell victim to the whirring Portland offense – isn’t it usually the other way around for the Spurs? – as Matthews went off late and LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points, 13 rebounds) was money on several of his patented mid-range jumpers. Damian Lillard pitched in 21 for the Blazers. Portland has now registered wins over every other Playoff team out West except for Dallas, who they see in their next game. On the flip side, the Spurs dropped to 1-8 against their fellow contenders. 

 

Cavaliers (15-25) 117, Nuggets (20-19) 109

The Luol Deng trade appears to already be paying dividends for the Cavaliers, as they wrapped up a 3-2 Western conference road trip with their new swingman. The Cavs saw their eight-point lead sliced down to three after a run of sloppy play, but responded with a dunk from Deng (18 points) to earn the win. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 23 points.

Denver bombed away from long range, jacking up 37 3-point attempts and hitting 14 of them. The loss dropped them down to 11-9 at home after losing just three game in Denver all of last season. The Nuggets made a couple of pushes after being down 14 in the third quarter, but didn’t have quite enough to get over the hump. Ty Lawson had 19 points and 11 assists, while Wilson Chandler scored 23. Nate Robinson did his sparkplug thing, coming off the bench for 19 points on 8-11 shooting.

Mavericks (24-17) 110, Phoenix (22-17) 107

The Mavs never trailed against Phoenix, but things got pretty tight down the stretch. Dallas led by 10 with under three minutes to go, but Markieff Morris (23 points on 8-15 shooting and 13 boards off the bench) and Goran Dragic (28 points, seven assists) sliced the lead down to just three points. Vince Carter then threw away an inbounds pass, but the Suns couldn’t finish off the comeback and Dallas was able to walk off with the win.

Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 24 points on 10-20 shooting, getting most of his points on mid-range jumpers, while Dirk Nowitzki dropped in another 21. Rookie Shane Larkin had a career high 18, hitting a big floater and calmly draining two free throws to help ensure the win for Dallas. The Mavericks shot 53 percent and did their best to avoid getting coaxed into the Suns running game. They did get crushed on the glass, allowing 17 offensive rebounds, but outshot Phoenix by enough to make up for it.

Thunder (30-10) 127, Warriors (25-16) 121

If Kevin Durant finally gets over the hump to claim his first MVP award this season, this game will be one of the moments voters point to. Durant’s teammates needed to do no more than get out of the way in the fourth quarter, as KD buried the Warriors on his way to a career-high 54 points. Durant’s line is probably not safe for work viewing: 19-28 shooting, 5-9 from deep, 11-13 at the line, and he was even generous enough to pass out six assists. With the game hanging in the balance late, Durant decided he’d had enough of playing like a human being and turned into the Human Torch; he erupted for 15 points in the final quarter, including three straight triples followed by a gorgeous turnaround to put the game out of reach.

It says something about Durant’s brilliance that it totally overshadowed an excellent night by Steph Curry. The Warriors’ resident sniper broke out of his mini-slump and scored 37 points of his own, shooting 11-18 from the field and 6-10 from deep. Klay Thompson wasn’t too shabby either, netting 26 and dropping in six 3-pointers of his own. Golden State shot 52.4 percent from the field and went 16-27 from long range, but just couldn’t contend with the scorching hot Thunder. OKC hit 58 percent from the field. Lost in the red-hot glow of KD’s shooting was a strong night from Serge Ibaka, who hit for 21 on 8-11 shooting.

Durant has been proving just how great he is on a nightly basis since Russell Westbrook went on the shelf. Hard to believe, but he’s averaging 39.5 points per game since Russ’ last game on Christmas Day. He’s scored fewer than 30 points just twice in the 11-game stretch, and has even gone for five or more assists seven times. Looking at those numbers, it becomes pretty clear that Durant is not of this planet.

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  • KipSmithers

    Looking at that Wall shot, now I know why he plays for the Wizards.

  • JJ Jones

    Imo kevin durant is the mvp and becoming the best player in the nba if he isn’t that already. While lebron was far better last year but I feel that kd has improved in all aspects. Unlike lebron this man cannot be guarded 1 on 1 at this point and time hes rebounding like never and if his teammates had feed him the ball a bit earlier in the 3rd quarter than he could have had 60+. His time is coming possibly sooner than everyone thinks with lebron turning 30 at the end of the year.

  • JML-G

    Lebron still is better than KD, dont get delusional

  • JJ Jones

    Not THIS season. Tell me how he’s been better and dont include anything from previous. “Watch my stats against the wizards” proceeds to get blown out and blocked twice. Lebron was the best last year but I have my doubts about that this year. It has nothing to do with decline either durant has just improved that much.

  • LouisVuittonDon

    Not to mention Nene dunked on him but of course espn won’t show that sh*t

  • JJ Jones

    Of course they won’t. It s about marketing at this point.

  • Saleem Rainman

    what more can i say? Manu Ginobili! 29 points 7 boards 5 assists in TWENTY FIVE minutes! I have no problem betting that his per 36 stats have him up with any SG of his era.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i agree to a large extent. but the decline is a factor though. james’ stats are down across the board basically and TOs are up

  • spit hot fiyah

    did anyone see faried two handed block on waiters? that was filthy

    kd 54 points on 28 shots, sickening

  • Caboose

    You are absolutely right, LeBron simply has declined across the board this year compared to last:
    PPG: down 1.0
    RPG: down 1.3
    APG: down 0.7
    Stl: down 0.4
    Blk: down 0.6
    TO: up 0.5
    Fouls: up 0.2
    PER: down 2.6
    ORTG: down 3
    DRTG: up 4
    Win Shares/48: down 0.49

    Honestly, the only things he’s improved on this year are his shooting percentages (which are NUTS).

    What’s most telling that Durant is having a better season is the fact that LeBron has led the league in Win Shares and PER (by a LOT) the past 5 and 6 years respectively.

    But now it’s Durant.

    So it’s completely fair to say that LeBron has taken a slight step back and Durant is outplaying him right now.

    But, that “slight step back” is ALSO due to the fact that Bron is simply playing less minutes. But, that PER decline is telling…

    But a better player? Careful, my friend.

  • JJ Jones

    Remember that his minutes are down too. Imo this is the most explosive he’s been in the half court as a member of the miami heat but for some reason his stamina looks off possibly due to being 29. Kd is just playing more dominant at this point and time.

  • Caboose

    To all the people proclaiming John Wall as a bust, y’all accept that you were wrong right? 20-9-4 with 2 steals a game and some solid (but not exceptional) defense. Sure, he needs to get those percentages up across the board, but man, he’s getting scary good. Fast.

  • JJ Jones

    I said kd could possibly be. Lebron advantage over him before was that he was a better all around player but that doesn’t hold true for this season. Kd is unstoppable on offense, rebounding better and even defending better (man to man due to his length not help defense). A Another thing is that kevin durant looks like he’s gotten physically stronger this year which was a weakness in the past.

  • spit hot fiyah

    burn out has to be a reason at this point. they have basically been playing 100+ games 3 years in a row

  • Caboose

    I still think (and it’s definitely true) that LeBron has the more diverse skill set, but you’re right, Durant really has improved on his weaknesses (passing, defense, running a team) to the point where he’s the undisputed MVP thus far. Who knows, it could change (Bron does kinda look like he’s coasting this year), but Durant just looks stellar.

  • Max

    Kevin muthaphucking Durant!!

  • JJ Jones

    Where u see coasting I see exhaustion from 3 straight finals and being closer to 30 than 25. What made lebron such a phenomenal player for his career was his unlimited energy to score, rebound, assist, defend and go coast to coast. This year it doesn’t seem like he has the energy to mesh those attributes together consistently without looking gassed.

  • JJ Jones

    I agree that and he’s close to the end of his prime.

  • LakeShow

    Durant

  • Dagger

    A couple caveats/additions:

    Lebron and the Heat really turned it up in the second half of the last two seasons. Remember that Durant was the consensus MVP choice at the halfway point of last year. There’s no reason that couldn’t happen this year.

    That said, Lebron has a series of nagging injuries, of which back spasms are the most serious. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and the Heat were coasting to some extent, but it’s just exhausting to play so many high-pressure games in three years as an undersized team with no true center. Injuries, fatigue, and the need to conserve energy are all playing a role right now.

    For Lebron, the most telling statistics, to me, are block percentage (way down) and turnover percentage (way up). That speaks to exhaustion and perhaps injuries that don’t allow him to do what he’s used to doing.

    Overall, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lebron’s best is behind him. He’d still be far and away the best player in the league if it wasn’t for Durant. That’s what might make his future different from the second half of Jordan’s career: Jordan didn’t have a genuine rival as he entered his 30s, while Lebron does. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lebron loses some of the MVPs he might have had to Durant, beginning this year.

  • you are right

    yea and if beal wasn’t out last month they would be at .600 I’m telling you. and if Wall gets that 3 pointer down, he would be the best PG in the east.

  • Slick Ric

    KD totally out shined Steph who had a great game as well. KD has been extremely aggressive and I love it, I was getting tired of him winning Scoring titles averaging under 30, that’s just me though. lol

  • srry not srry

    Predictions for east playoffs in order – Pacers, Miami,Toronto, Washington, Atlanta, Cleveland, Brooklyn, New York. Obviously Pacers will crush NY in 5 games because in one game melo will go berserk, Miami and Brooklyn will go to game 7 because Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will use anti aging lotion, but they will run out the night before game 7. Toronto will beat Cleveland in game 6 because Drake will make a song about that. Washington will lose in game 6 because without John Wall, the wizards are that team from last year. Then the Pacers will continue to sweep Toronto, while Miami sweeps Atlanta. And then an earthquake happens and Miami and Pacers game will not happen. Sorry for making you read this.

  • Max

    Also, I just saw Zbo had 4 blocks, wtf..

  • Saleem Rainman

    according to ur name ur not actually sorry at all, u jerk.

  • Saleem Rainman

    very very good player statistically. still a bit high on the turnovers, and a bit low on the percentages. He averaged 8 assists and 2 steals per game as a rookie, so that was always there. But he’s still just shooting 33.9% from the mid range this year… decent from 3 point, good in the paint, but horrible on those mid range shots…still.

    And as a guy who has watched him a lot this season, its clear to me that as good as he is, he kinda shrinks in the 4th quarters of close games. His last two games have been really solid though, and hasnt needed to try to perform in the 4th. they beat miami by double digits, and last night against chicago it was beal who closed it out.

    For Washington fans i feel liek that is what their hoping for, wall doing his thing in the first 3 and a hafl quarters, and beal closing it out, as so far he has proven a better 4th quarter option that wall has.

  • pposse

    Wall is shooting the ball very well right now

  • Saleem Rainman

    the last 2 games yes…

    EDIT: scratch that, the last handful of games actually.

  • Caboose

    Yes, once he’s able to step his game up in the 4th, we’ll see a truly elite point guard. As for now, he’s simply a good All Star reserve.

  • Saleem Rainman

    agree.

  • Drig

    A win over the Celtics is always a reason to celebrate. Especially when both teams are at the same level……..

    *sobs silently*

    Will the Lakers ever have a full roster of players healthy this season? If that’s asking too much, atleast 80% of them?

  • i_ball

    He has never actually played 36 mpg which is a bummer… Still he is a HOFer – the Olympic gold puts him in

  • JJ Jones

    Ever since mike dantoni was hired the amount of injuries the lakers have had has gone through the roof. His system runs players into the ground he has to go

  • brothasdontsurf

    The Lakers vs Celtics was really just a duel between Kelly Olynyk and Ryan Kelly.

  • playa

    Now that’s what i was talkin about Kevin, go get’em boy Kobesque-style!!!!

  • playa

    I hope not, lakers need this draft soooo badly man, if they don’t get at least 10th pick, every other laker fan will be on a suicide watch(including me),

  • Caboose

    He practically already is the best PG in the East…I think he’s had a better year than Kyrie so far.

  • Caboose

    Something troubling about the Spurs…

    Here’s their records against teams that could make noise in the Playoffs:
    @ Portland, Lost
    Vs Golden State, Won
    @ OKC, Lost
    Vs Houston, Lost
    Vs Indiana, Lost
    @ LAC, Lost
    @ Golden State, Won
    Vs OKC, Lost
    Vs Houston, Lost
    Vs LAC, Won
    Vs Portland, Lost

    That puts them at a combined 3-8 against the Blazers, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Thunder, and Clippers.

    Sure, their 28-1 record against everyone else is RIDICULOUS (their other loss coming against the Knicks), but is San Antonio running the risk of being just a regular season flash in the pan? Thoughts?

  • Caboose

    Just to add some fun facts about, well, the NBA. I’m not trying to make statements based on these, just some odd observations.

    1. It’s interesting that Durant who we all clearly proclaim as the BEST scorer in the L now still hasn’t averaged as many points per game as LeBron did when he was 21 years old.

    2. Kevin Garnett currently holds 187.75 career Win Shares. Tim Duncan holds 187.72. Statistically, the 2 will have the exact same amount of career Win Shares in about a week. Kinda crazy isn’t it? For reference, Kobe has 173.04 (those Smush Parker years really took a toll).

    3. On that note, if Duncan keeps playing for this plus 2 more years (and continues his slight decline at the same rate as before), he SHOULD move to #6 on the all time career Win Shares list. Curious who the top 5 are? Kareem, Wilt, Malone, Jordan, and Stockton. Who would Timmy be passing? Garnett, Oscar, and Gilmore.

    4. Any Blazers fans know Victor Claver? Yeah, well he’s having arguably the worst statistical season of all time. Technically. Yeah yeah, he’s only played 4 minutes total, but wanna see some fun numbers? This year, his PER is -13.3 and he’s posted -.369 Win Shares/48 minutes. I think that means in the 4 minutes he was on the floor this year, the Blazers would have been better playing 5 on 4.

    5. DeMarcus Cousins is having an INSANE year. I’m talking like top 5 kinda player.. Check out these numbers, DMC currently: 23-12-3-2-1 on 49% shooting with a 26.7 PER. Just for fun now, look at these numbers: 23-13-4-3-1 on 51% shooting with a 26.9 PER. That second set of numbers is from Tim Duncan’s MVP year. Yes, I know team record matters, but jeez DeMarcus. Not to mention, Timmy did those stats in 39 minutes a game. Cousins? 32.

  • havoc33

    KD is off on a scoring streak not seen since 2003/2006 Kobe. Gotta love it.

  • Max

    Boogie has made the leap.

  • Max

    hahahaha

  • Nick Holden

    Manu is really playing well again, so beautiful to watch. Hopefully it will carry into the playoffs. I can’t think of any SG ever that has been a better passer than Manu.

  • Drig

    If you could, please post the points Sac-town gives up on the defensive end minus Boogie and with Boogie. That’d make your argument much stronger because Duncan and Garnett were the kind of guys whose defensive presence wasn’t reflected in the stats.

    I’m a bit surprised to see Kobe’s win-shares be so damn low though TBH…..

  • Saleem Rainman

    thats the crazy thing. been an all star. playing consistently under 30 mins a game every season. thats why i say, his per 36 stats have him comparable to any other sg of his era.

  • Saleem Rainman

    ive still got em making it out the west…but that stat IS kinda disturbing.

  • Caboose

    Kings give up 1.9 points less per 100 possessions with DMC on the court, so he is helping a bit in that regard.

    I can’t find data on Duncan’s MVP year, but for reference, during 2009-10, the Magic gave up 3.3 less points per 100 possessions with Dwight on the court.

    What it means is, Boogie isn’t nearly the elite defender Dwight and Timmy are, but he’s no slouch.

  • Drig

    Well, I’m glad my eyes aren’t deceiving me lol. I was worried for a second when I saw Boogie’s stats that he’s much better on that end than I give him credit for.

    Nevertheless, it’s certainly a HUGE improvement for the Kings. Too bad their FO is incompetent.

  • Caboose

    They are just SO damn close to actually being good. Let me play Sacto’s GM for a second here…

    1. Trade:
    Kings get: Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Alex Len
    Suns get: JR Smith, Tyson Chandler, Jimmer Fredette
    Knicks get: Emeka Okafor (expiring), Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson

    2. Sign Daniel Orton to minimum

    3. Trade:
    Rockets get: Travis Outlaw
    Kings get: Ronnie Brewer, Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington, Rockets 2014 2nd Round Pick

    4. Waive Ronnie Brewer, Isaiah Canaan, and Robert Covington

    So the way it shakes out:

    The Knicks would get to dump JR Smith, that’s big. They’ll also get some salary relief with Okafor’s expiring. But their lineup of Felton, McLemore, Melo, Thompson, and Bargs SHOULD still keep them in the Playoff hunt.

    The Suns could add some depth and defense, two things that they’re gonna need if they really think they can both make and make noise in the Playoffs. A lineup of Dragic, Bledsoe, Tucker, Markieff, and Chandler with Plumlee, Green, Marcus, and JR off the bench is deep, talented, and solid on offense and defense. Not to mention, there’s a lot of players there to cover the nagging injuries of the Suns’ stars.

    Lastly, the Kings would have themselves a REALLY nice team to build with. Starting Isaiah, Shumpert, Gay, Frye, and Cousins with Williams, Thornton, Len, and Acy off the bench is a solid team. Boogie runs the paint, Isaiah is an exceptional point guard, Shump gives them the perimeter D the Kings DESPERATELY need, Frye and his shooting means Cuz can have all the room he needs on the block, and Williams and Thornton provide solid scoring punch right off the bench.

    I think every team wins in that case right?

    TLDR: The Kings are CLOSE to making the Playoffs again.

  • Drig

    From what I’ve seen so far of most NBA GMs, if it makes too much sense, it’s a red flag.

    This would NEVER happen lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    1: 05-06. don’t read into it, that season is that year when the league didn’t know how to handle defense on the perimeter

    2 – Kevin Garnett has played on extremely less talented teams. He has more win shares because he didn’t have teammates to share them with for so damn long.

  • Caboose

    “Don’t read into it,” yeah I know. Just observations, not trying to build an argument out of them.

    Kinda crazy that Artis Gilmore is #6 in total win shares isn’t it?

  • Caboose

    Lol touche

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    they must be counting his ABA numbers. Him and Dan Issel won a ton of games basically by themselves for a few years, probably had a huge affect on his total.

  • Caboose

    Damn good call
    Artis ABA WS: 82.23
    Issel ABA WS: 75.47
    Both of them lead the ABA all time.

    Gilmore still has 107.42 NBA WS, putting him at 59 all time in JUST the NBA.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, i just remember someone telling me all about how Gilmore and Issel were by themselves on an island for quite a few years. don’t remember why they couldn’t compliment them with other guys or whatnot, but i know they won more than like 44 games in every single season that Gilmore was on the roster. His rookie year when he won ROY and MVP i think they won 68!!!

  • Caboose

    Haha JESUS. Yeah, idk ABA history terribly well but man…that sure as hell explains that.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ….. they are 32-9 and have one player playing more than 30 minutes a night — plus, ever year, they turn it up after the all star break. that rodeo rode trip they go on is always when we see what we are dealing with. for example, last season they went 4-1 on the road trip after the all star break, the only loss being in overtime to the Warriors.

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