NBA Hoops Blog

Tune In: 11/2/2012: Nationally Televised Games

November 2nd, 2012

8:00PM: ESPN: Miami Heat at New York Knicks

What to watch for:

- With transportation in NYC being a complete disaster, I am curious to see what the crowd look like tonight.

- The Heat are fast and the Knicks are old.  I am not sure this Knicks team was built to compete with the Heat.  I actually think they are better equipped to compete with Boston.

- Lebron loves the Garden. I love watching Lebron play in the Garden.  You should too.

- With Carmelo moved to the PF spot, he will be playing against Lebron, so there will be nothing new here.

- Who will get the most minutes for the Knicks at SG?

- Who gets the backup PF minutes? Kurt Thomas?  Chris Copeland?  Do they just go small all game?

- For the Knicks to win, they need big games from JR Smith and Steve Novak from behind the arc.

 

10:30PM: ESPN: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers 

What to watch for:

- Steve Nash is doubtful for tonight.  Lots of Steve Blake/Chris Duhon vs Chris Paul/Eric Bledsoe/Jamal Crawford.  You don’t have to be Dr. Jack Ramsey to see the Lakers are at a clear disadvantage here.

- Kobe Bryant bashed the media for questioning the usage of the Princeton Offense.  He should be bashing his own team for playing absolutely zero defense.  It would be a more valid argument.  They have given up 120 and 118 points to teams who have no business scoring 120 and 118 points in a game.

- With legitimate big men, will the Clippers be able to play their high flying brand of basketball?

- I am predicting one flagrant foul by Dwight Howard on either Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan.

- Chris Paul should have a field day tonight.  I mean, Damian Lillard did in his NBA debut.

- If the Lakers want to have any chance, Kobe needs to be Kobe and not a cog in the Princeton Offense machine.

Overreactions To Last Night – 11/1/2012

November 2nd, 2012

Here are some snap judgements to the games I watched last night:

 

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

- These 2 of the top 3 teams in the west, if not the top two so a game ending in a buzzer beater was par for the course.

- The Thunder did not lose this game because they did not have James Harden.  Kevin Martin had 15 points off the bench. The production was relatively the same.

- I love Russell Westbrook, but he should never have more shot attempts than Kevin Durant.

- Speaking of Durant, I like the idea of him being more active on the boards.  He had 14 last night.  I don’t care what he is listed at.  The guy is 6’11″ and long.  Even if he is out on the perimeter, theres no reason he shouldn’t average 8-10 rebounds a game.

- Eric Maynor played an effective 11 minutes, although I think there were definite stretches where he should have played more.

- The Spurs never panic, ever.

- Tony Parker played terrible for 47.5 minutes and had two daggers in the last 30 seconds, one of which being the game winner.  Not many teams have guys who can do that.

- The Duncan posterization of Ibaka was hilarious and I am not exactly sure why.

-Kawhi Leonard looked horrible.  It must be nice to want, and not need consistency from your best young player.

- You look at some of the guys who contribute for the Spurs and just shake your head.  Danny Green?  Matt Bonner? Gary Neal?

Tune In – 11/1/2012: Nationally Televised Games

November 1st, 2012

The Nets were supposed to host the Knicks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn tonight, however, due to Hurricane Sandy’s destruction of the NYC Subway system, the game has been postponed.

 

9:30PM: TNT: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

What to watch for:

- The Spurs are playing their second game in as many nights.  How many minutes will the vets get?  This is the same team that labeled guys as “DNP-Old” last season.

- Kawhi Leonard.  On nights like this where the older players on the team might get a rest, can Leonard shoulder the load for the night?

- How will the Thunder’s new pieces fit? Will they miss James Harden coming off the bench?

- Someone I am curious to watch is Perry Jones III.  The rookie out of Baylor plummeted in the draft and the Thunder decided to take a shot.  If he plays up to his ability, he could be the absolute steal of the draft.

Overreactions To Last Night: 10/31/2012

November 1st, 2012

Here are some snap judgements to the games I watched last night:

 

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers

- Evan Turner is lost.  He just lost the ball on multiple occasions and had his pocket picked on others.  And playing with the ball in his hands was supposed to be his strength.  If he cannot even do that, why is he out there when the Sixers have a bevy of wing players?

- Spencer Hawes played the best game of his life. Team Mullet.

- I wish Jrue Holiday was a little more aggressive like he was in the preseason.  He has the ball handling ability to get around defenders whenever he wants.  He settles for jumpers way too often when getting switched off on centers off the pick and roll.

- Between Nick Young, Jason Richardson and Dorell Wright, it is like bombs away out there. I don’t mind the 3′s.  I mind the off balance 3′s.

- I just want to see this Sixers team with Bynum already.

- Denver played a sloppy game.  So did Philadelphia.  It was almost like the Sixers won by default.

- Andre Iguodala is still Andre Iguodala.  Sixers aren’t missing much.  Thinking he was going to break out is ludicrous.

- Andre Miller remains such an “ole reliable.”

 

Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons

- This game was all about James Harden.  Before we go overboard, let’s get two things out of the way.  The Pistons are bad.  Like really bad.  And Harden would never get this latitude while playing for the Thunder. He was was directing traffic out there last night.  Nice sign for the Rockets, and if you are the Thunder, you can live with this move.

- Jeremy Lin looked like a solid NBA point guard.  It’s not Linsanity, but it is good enough to start in this league.

- So Terrence Jones & Royce White didn’t play but undrafted Greg Smith did.  I didn’t see that coming.

- Detroit looks like they have no plan out there.

- Brandon Knight would be so good on a team that wasn’t so inept.

- Greg Monroe is not a go-to guy in the NBA.

 

San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Hornets

- I thought this game was going to be a blowout.  I usually don’t like to give coaches too much credit, but in this case I will say that Monty Williams coached this team up and they almost upset the Spurs.

- Anthony Davis looked like Anthony Davis.  Long, active and changing shots defensively.

- Austin Rivers did not shoot well at all last night.  He also started slow at Duke.  I wouldn’t be worried because it doesn’t look like Eric Gordon wants to play.

- I like the idea of a Robin Lopez/Anthony Davis pair with a Jason Smith/Ryan Anderson backup.

- I never really felt like the Hornets were actually going to win this game, even though they were up 10.

- Tony Parker and Tim Duncan never wavered.  Even during the comeback, it looked like it was just another day at the office.

- Kawhi Leonard looked good.  He could be a perfect blend of youth added to the veterans already in place on the Spurs.

 

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns

- This is not the run and gun Warriors team of years past…or they were just way off last night.  I am hoping its the latter.

- On nights when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are both on, there needs to be an NBA TV alert, a bat signal, something.  Last night was not that night. Steph Curry shot just 2-14.

- This game wouldn’t have been nearly as close if David Lee could hit a shot from 2 feet out.  Instead he was 2-16 from the field.

- Harrison Barnes didn’t even log 14 minutes.  He must have been a helluva high school player in Iowa because since he has been in the public eye, I just don’t see what everyone else sees.

- I am not buying into the Suns as a team who will be a surprise in the west.  They are going to struggle to win games.

- Michael Beasley was another guy who people felt would all of a sudden break out. Sure he will have some 25+ point games, but he will have more games like last night.

 

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers

- I don’t know why people get surprised when Clippers games get chippy.  They attempt to show up every opponent. Don’t get me wrong, it makes for great TV.  I just don’t get the shock when people take cheap shots at them.

- I am convinced that Jamal Crawford can help any team.  He had 29 off the bench.

- Crazy stat I saw on Twitter last night.  This is Jamal Crawford’s 13th season and he has had a different head coach every season.  Sometimes more than one coach per season due to firings.  Can someone figure out if that is  record?

- Rudy Gay chipped in 25 points.  I can see him averaging 20+PPG this year.

 

Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trailblazers

- Damian Lillard is going to be a problem for point guards who aren’t athletic freaks.  He absolutely abused Steve Nash and Steve Blake for 23 and 11 in his first NBA game.  The Blazers take on the Thunder Friday so I will be watching that Westbrook/Lillard matchup.

- If the Blazers had any sort of bench, they would be a top 5 team in the west.

- If they didn’t play in Portland, Oregon, they would be household names.

- Look at that starting 5: JJ Hickson (13 & 10), Aldridge (19pts), Batum (26pts & 3 steals), Wes Matthews (22pts) and rookie Damian Lillard (23 & 11 assists).  Usually teams have a core of up to 3 young players to build around.  Portland has 5.

- The Lakers lost but they seemed to abandon the Princeton Offense once Nash went out in the second half.  There was a lot more of Kobe taking control in an effort to keep LA in the game.

- I haven’t seen Kobe Bryant that frustrated in a long time.  I am guessing he wasn’t just frustrated by the Blazers and the officials.  There is a lot of change going on with that team and I am not so sure Kobe is in favor of it.

- The Lakers are in even more trouble if Nash is out for any extended period of time.

Midnight Hour: 2009 Draftees Who Inked Extensions

November 1st, 2012

The deadline to sign 2009 draftees up for contract extensions was tonight at 12:00AM.  On 10/23, I took a look at the best players from the draft class looking for new deals.  Using the same list of players, let’s see who got paid and who will have to now wait until July 1st.

 

James Harden (3rd overall) – Houston Rockets:  Harden was shipped off to Houston over the weekend and signed a 5 year, $78M max contract extension today.  So what did he do in his Rockets debut? Scored 37 points, dished 12 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds and had 4 steals and 1 block for good measure.

 

Tyreke Evans (4th overall) – Sacramento Kings:  As we predicted, Tyreke Evans and the Kings did not come to a deal by the midnight deadline.  Evans will hit restricted free agency on July 1st.

 

Stephen Curry (7th overall) – Golden State Warriors:  The Warriors took a major gamble on Curry’s health and signed him to a 4 year, $44M extension in a move that everyone knew was coming.  He is a major part of the future plans, assuming he stays healthy.

 

DeMar DeRozen (9th overall) – Toronto Raptors:  This is the most shocking extension of the night.  All reports out of Toronto was that the team was going to let DeRozan hit restricted free agency in July.  However, today the Raptors announced that they signed DeMar DeRozan to a 4 year, $38M extension that can go to $40M with incentives.  I don’t know why they would do this.  They will almost certainly regret this contract by, well, possibly tomorrow.

 

Brandon Jennings (10th overall) – Milwaukee Bucks:  Of all the 2009′ers, Brandon Jennings will be the one I will be watching most tis summer.  Jennings did not sign a contract extension and will also hit restricted free agency on July 1st.  Jennings will receive high offers, possibly a max offer sheet, from multiple clubs and it is no guarantee that Milwaukee matches.

 

Gerald Henderson (12th overall) – Charlotte Bobcats:  The Bobcats and Gerald Henderson did not come to an agreement, as expected.

 

Jrue Holiday (17th overall) – Philadelphia 76ers:  All you heard from Jrue Holiday’s camp since the end of last season was that he would be seeking a max contract come July 1st.  However USA Today and ESPN’s Marc Stein have reported that the Sixers and Jrue Holiday have agreed on a 4 year, $41M extension with incentives that can bring the total compensation up to $46M.  A $41M base is a far cry from the $50M he was said to be looking for.  This is a great deal for the Sixers…so much so that I am surprised Holiday agreed to it.

 

Ty Lawson (18th overall) – Denver Nuggets:  The main reason why I am surprised about the Holiday extension is because of the news the other day that Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets agreed on a 4 year, $48M extension.  With Lawson getting $48M two days ago, I was sure the Sixers wouldn’t be able to strike a deal with Holiday.

 

Taj Gibson (26th overall) – Chicago Bulls:  In what I thought would be the easiest agreement to come to, it seemed like the Bulls and Taj Gibson would be too far apart on an extension in the waning hours.  The Bulls were at 4 years, $36M and Gibson was asking for $40M.  The two sides decided to split the difference and agreed upon a 4 year, $38M extension.

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