Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trade Deadline Special

Well if there's one thing that's been reinforced at the trade deadline, it's that the media will most definitely make everyone lose their mind thinking about extreme possibilities that probably won't happen. There was a ton of talk about how the current economic climate, and the salary cap decreasing, would cause teams to do "Pau Gasol" like deals. Meanwhile, the only lopsided salary-decreasing type deal, is the one that never wound up happening (Chandler to OKC).

Nonetheless, some news did occur, and the New York Knicks found themselves in the middle of it. The Knicks made some noise during the trade deadline, by essentially unloaded 4 unserviceable players (Malik Rose; Anthony Roberson; Jerome James; Tim Thomas), and getting two serviceable players in return. Granted, Larry Hughes has a horrific reputation for not only being a Marbury-like cancer, but just for being a bad teammate on the court. You might have even heard of the website dedicated to his amazing shot selection, called: "" Yes, that's for real. But Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni clearly deserve the benefit of the doubt and have proven to get the best out of their players. The other guy is a largely known in my circles as THAT RIDUNKULOUS DUDE FROM UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND (!!!) WHO HELPED BRING A NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INTO TOWN. Again, he's not exactly known for his shooting touch, but he's cool with me, and I'm excited to see pregame warmups with him and Nate throwing oops to each other.

Other deals that went down...

*The Magic got their Jameer Nelson replacement, and its a certified point guard, NYC Streeball Legend, and legit NBA player: Rafer, Skip to my lou, Alston. Great trade for the Magic, who basically gave up only Brian Cook, who went to the Grizzlies. The Rockets wound up with defensive specialist Kyle Lowry, who will be fighting with Aaron Brooks for the starting role sooner than later. For more on that trade, click here.

*One of the biggest stories of the day was the trade that didn't happen, The Big Cactus, Shaq, going to Cleveland to join LeBron James on his quest for a chip. I'm still not sure this is BS or not, considering I just don't' believe the trade deadline hype from the media. I assume they had to make up some stories for this day not to be a total bust....right?

For more on that story, and also a nice ESPN breakdown of the entire day as it unfolded, click here.

*In other news, All-Star Danny Granger is going to be out for a while, after hearing a "pop" in his foot. With both Granger and Mike Dunleavy out, you should make sure Marquis Daniels isn't on the waiver wire.

*The big winner in the fantasy world was owners of Aaron Brooks and Spencer Hawes, who are both in line for starters minutes and have produced good stats when given that opportunity in the past. The big loser was DJ Augustin, who will have to stay stuck on the bench, with the Bobcats staying with Raymond Felton, at least until the end of the season when he becomes a restricted free agent.

Did I miss anything? Drop your thoughts below. In the meantime, Chris Wilcox to NYC!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Breakdown

Trades are a brewing...

*Wally Scissorback is on the bench tonight, instead of starting for the Cavs. You know what that means. Wonder where his coveted expiring contract could be going. To the Suns, with JJ Hickson and a draft pick for Amare you say?? This would be nicccce.

*Drew Gooden and [Super-Flopper] Andres Nocioni are going over to Sacramento for Mike Miller and John Salmons. There has to be a follow up trade for the Bulls, right? They just traded a forward for another guard (!). So Tyrus Thomas, Larry Hughes and his expiring contract, and a draft pick for Amare you think?? Maybe, maybe...

*Tracy McGrady; serious drama queen. Sad story in Houston, where T-Mac declared on his personal website that he'll be undergoing the dreaded Micro-Fracture surgery and is out for the season. Not even his coach was briefed ahead of time. Makes no sense, and just shows T-Mac is a media whore. That's not the right way to make that do it with your team, weirdo.

*Saw it first over at BergerSphere; Chris Mihm from the Lakers is going to the Gizz for a conditional 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft. [Zzzz]

*Brian Windhorst in Cleveland caught up with LeBron about the (not nearly soon enough) dunk contest in 2011:

James is still hedging a little on his proclamation that he wants to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest next year, but he didn't say it in the heat of the moment. He feels the contest has "gotten out of control" and he plans to recruit some of his fellow superstars to take it back.

"It's got to be cleaned up, they have to go back to maybe the '80s with [Michael Jordan] and Dominique [Wilkins]," James said. "You can't have so many chances at dunking the basketball. The whole anticipation of a dunk contest is one or two tries and that's it. If not you get (a score of) 30 or 35. Guys are getting 10 opportunities to do the same dunk, by the time they complete it, it is like ... 'OK, we've seen it.'"

Over the last several years, rules have been changed to allow numerous chances plus props and other trickery that have taken the emphasis off execution. That, James said, was what he's been avoiding all these years.

"Right now I am going to be in it; I won't be the only big-name guy, I'll make sure I get a few guys," James said. "I'm making my game plan."

Monday, February 16, 2009

All-Star Weekend Re-cap

This All-Star Weekend had one very major theme, and it wasn't Kobe and Shaq (although they were a close second). It was Bill Russell's 75th birthday, and while he suffered the loss of his wife recently, he was given an extraordinary birthday present by David Stern and the NBA. From now on, all future Finals MVPs will be given the Bill Russell Finals MVP Award. During a time-out, Mr. Russell was also given a big green cake during the all-star game, rolled over by the Celtic's Big Three, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Phoenix also was the starting point for a new contest, which will soon rival the other Saturday events, and that was a good ol' friendly game of HORSE, only instead of using those letters, the NBA was given help by their little green friend: GEICO. All-Star Joe Johnson, Super Sophomore Kevin Durant and future both of those things, rookie OJ Mayo were the contestants. The game started off slow, and it seemed as though it would continue that way since all three players were a little nervous and not hitting tough shots. It looked over for Kevin Durant, who fell behind fast and couldn't find his stroke. Soon after, it was Durant with the comeback win, who was hitting 50 footers, and non-stop three pointers to seal the deal. Very impressive outing from the future super-star and congrats on winning the NBA's first HORSE, er, GEICO competition.

The 3-point contest had some new faces, all matching up against the winner of the previous two year's contest, Jason Kapono. Kapono was the heavy favorite in this one, but couldn't quite get his stroke going in the fashion it was last year. Perhaps that's because he's hasn't gotten his FG% back up to where it was in his last year with Miami, where he went over 50% from downtown. Speaking of Miami, it was Daequon Cook who stole the show and won the coveted award. The only other observation I had, was the fact that i never knew how ugly Rashard Lewis' form was. It's a two-handed, high release, ugly mess. I guess he's doing something right, considering he's one of the league leaders in 3-pointers made, as well as the only competitor who was also playing in Sunday's All-Star Game.

The Dunk contest....was all Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson. In fact, there was collusion and cheating involved! I'm sure JR Smith and Rudy Fernandez had no idea that you could do things like...bring out a 12-foot hoop, and a phone booth..?! Those two guys had no chance, even though i saw Rudy Fernandez dunk it from a bounce pass on the backside of the hoop that looked like he had NOOOO chance of making. I still can't believe he pulled that off...too bad it took about 15 attempts and drained the energy from the arena. But in the final round, it was Superman, Dwight Howard, who finally met his KryptoNate. After leaving the court, Nate Robinson returned in all green. Green shoes, green Knicks jersey, even a green basketball. Supposedly Nike had Nate's back and custom made KryptoNate shoes, specifically for beating Dwight Howard in the Slam Dunk contest. It worked, specifically with the help of Superman himself, who allowed Nate to dunk over him, in similar fashion to when Nate cleared Spud Webb two years ago. The big news of the Dunk contest didn't even include any of the contestants. The big news was LeBron James announcing on the sideline's that he's throwin his hat in for the 2011 Slam Dunk contest, in front of 100,000 people in Dallas next year. I choose not to get excited about that until its official, which probably won't happen for another 11 months.

We haven't even talked about the All-Star game yet, which unfortunately wound up not living up to the expectations of the rest of the events. Of course, there was the Shaq introduction, which was unbelievably spectacular. Video on that below. The game was dominated by the West most of the time, and in the interior. The East had one big man, literally, ONE big man in Dwight Howard. After him, was Kevin Garnett, who in his 37th or so all-star game wasn't going to play big minutes, and then Rashard Lewis....who clearly can't guard any of the West's bigs. As TrueHoop broke it down for us...Points in the Paint? West 96, East 58. Glass? West 51, East 38. Shaquille O'Neal: 17 points, 8-9 FGs in 11 minutes. While only playing 11 minutes, Shaq was still able to get another All-Star MVP, sharing it with Kobe, who didn't look all that happy to share another success with Shaq when he deserved it all to himself. However the story was too good to pass up on, and the award went to both Kobe and Shaq.

As for trade chatter, not much going on. The Suns have fired their coach Terry Porter, and replaced him with Alvin Gentry, the only survivor from Phoenix's 7 seconds of less era. My thoughts on this are that the Suns are trying to scare other teams into them keeping Amare and therefore raising his trade value. There are a few offers on the table, including the Cav's offer of an expiring contract (Wally), a young power forward with a lot of potential (JJ Hickson), and a future draft pick (or Varejao). It's a decent deal, but the Suns want more, and specifically from the Bulls who saw John Paxson also resign this weekend. Hopefully those two front office changes don't mean those two teams stand pat at the trading deadline, especially for the Bulls who really need and deserve a big splash after passing up on all of those low-post players they've needed for so long.

Only a few more days of non-stop refreshing the NBA news sites...we'll try to keep this updated as much as possible to follow the trades and rumors that come along with the excitement of the trade deadline. Until we get something to report....enjoy this video. Hopefully it won't get taken down too fast by the NBA.

Shaq's All-Star Spectacular

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Breakdown

*That's it for me and Bill Simmons. No mas. Every year Simmons puts out an article ranking the trade value of NBA Players. This is what he had to say about David Lee:

Yeah, he's a lousy defender ... but should we really pick nits when he's on the books for $1.76 million this season and $2.68 million next?

However, David Lee is a restricted free agent this summer. For him to say this, means he's either assuming David Lee won't get ONE reasonable offer, or (again) he just doesn't have a clue what he's writing about. I'm not sure which one it is, but both are extremely unintelligent. The Sports Guy has officially lost his mojo.

*Elgin Baylor filed suit against the LA Clippers for discrimination. While I don't know the whole story and I'm sure no one ever will, have to love this quote from the Clippers owner:

"It's hard to believe that he would now make these ridiculous claims after the organization stood by him during 22 years and only three playoff appearances. It would be hard to find any sports team that has demonstrated greater loyalty to its general manager."

*Not much as far as trade chatter...but Ken Berger has the latest on Amare.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Breakdown

*Either BDTG reader Dave's hatred for Bill Simmons is rubbing off on me, or 'The Sports Guy' is just really stretching to find good material. In an article about how he doesn't hate Kobe Bryant, he goes on saying that unlike Kobe, LeBron dominated his game at the Garden. Mr. Simmons obviously did not watch the game. See yesterday's post for details on this. I lose faith in Simmons material more everyday, since his stupid banter is more teeny gossip and Lost than sports discussion.

*The trade talks are heating up, but today's most exciting news comes in the form of a multi-player swap featuring the Bobcats' Raymond Felton and the Pacers' Jamal Tinsley. Since the Cats' are even considering getting rid of Raymond Felton, make sure DJ Augustin is not available in your fantasy leagues.

*A true sign of real consistency and commitment...Coach E Muss talks about Loyola Marymount and their horrific losing streak, yet, they never stop competing. Exact opposite of last year's Knicks team, which I still haven't been able to erase from my memory. I've said it a hundred times, great to see the Knicks competing on a nightly basis, and great to see the city get into Knickerbocker basketball.

*The Bulls, actually, I'm going with John Paxson here, has passed on opportunities to use all of this "assets" to land a big name player. This is what happens when you don't take any risks. Low risk, low return. They passed up on KG, Gasol, and I think Bulls fans would go crazy if they pass up on Amare at this point. Years later, he's left with depreciated assets, and just looks like an ass who waited too long to pull the trigger.

*Staying with SLAM, Mike D'Antoni admits they made a big mistake not fouling with 4 seconds to go and a foul to give. He also is not happy with comments made by Jeff Van Gundy relating to David Lee's motivation. Dude has 37 double doubles, second to Dwight Howard (by 1). That's not a lazy watch yo mouf JVG!

*Adding HORSE to All-Star weekend has been a dream of many people for years. Finally, it's happening, with the help and marketing genius of GEICO. You guessed it...its no longer HORSE, but players will have to spell GEICO instead. The 3-player contest includes Kevin Durant, OJ Mayo, and Joe Johnson.

*What happened to T-Mac? This is awful....and if he doesn't step his G up, people will be calling him T-Wack sooner than later.

*Lil' Penny is back! Also from Nicekicks, your 2009 All-Star kicks.

*Finally the Cavs whining is paying off. Mo Williams got the nod over David Lee for the injured Chris Bosh in the All-Star Game. Considering David Lee plays a similar position, it would have been nice to see him there, but after all the talk from the Cavs about feeling disrespected, I don't think even David Stern had the balls to deny them of a second All-Star, after the C's and Magic had 3 each.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Breakdown

First a short and sweet recap of what the Knicks called, "Dream Week." Started with Kobe going off for 61 points. Then LeBron came into town to try and top Kobe, getting a 50 point triple double, which was last done by Kareem back in 1975. There was some talk about taking away the triple double, and they eventually did because of one rebound that wasn't really LeBron's, but if they're going to take away one, then they should have given this one back. The week ended with the championship Celtics coming into the Garden, after playing a tough overtime game against the Lakers the night before (and losing).

So what'd you miss? A lot...

Kobe didn't just score 61, the most EVER at Madison Square Garden. He totally dominated the game. There's been much argument of who's game was better, Kobe or LeBron, and after seeing both in person there's no question to me. LeBron had a stupid hot hand in the first quarter, draining every shot, finishing with 20 points, but that was it for his hot hand. Like the Celtics game (Until the 4th quarter), the Knicks were in the Cleveland game the whole time, even taking the lead in the 4th. This was not the case with Kobe, who repeatedly came off the bench to nail big shots and take the air out of the arena (well, except for those pesky Laker fans). So I'm taking Kobe's game, because the Knicks had NO chance, and it was all by Kobe's hand (Gasol also scored 31, but was vastly overshadowed by Kobe's 61...yes...61!!). For the Celtics game, all you really need to see is this dunk.

Since this is all old news, i don't want to go to much more into it. The only other thing I'll say about the Knicks and their tough week is that they went into Portland and were in position to win the game. I have NO clue what they were thinking with 4 seconds left and a foul to give, not to take it. Greg Oden even said after the game that they drew up two plays, since they 'knew' the Knicks would take the first foul. So the element of surprise was a good idea, but as soon as Brandon Roy put the ball to the ground, he needs to get fouled. I can understand not fouling right away, since they don't want Roy faking the shot and going to the line, but when that ball hit the ground, no excuses, Jared Jeffries must foul and leave 2 seconds on the clock for the Blazers to force a quick shot.

Very, very, tough break (no pun intended) for Minnesota and Al Jefferson. Last night with 20 seconds left on the clock, Al heard a pop, and it was a torn MCL that will require surgery and end his season. Damn shame since Al was playing his best ball before he went down (does that sound familiar? Bynum? Dunleavy? G.Wallace?).

But the biggest news of the day, and probably will be the focal point until the Febuary 19th trade deadline, are the trade rumors, most notably around Amare Stoudemire, who has been a little too excited to change zip codes. It's ironic that the GM's of the NBA (which Simmons frequently calls the No Balls Association for their lack of risky moves), have always been looked at as being bearish in the trade market. Not Steve Kerr, that's for sure. Kerr is looking to make another big splash and get some good pieces in return for Amare. It's too bad the people in Phoenix would riot if he was to trade Steve Nash, because his ridiculous lack of defensive ability is really what is holding this team down. The Suns are currently ranked 25th in the league in Defensive Efficiency, and I'm willing to bet it's not Amare (although he does have a lot of trouble paying attention on the pick n rolls, most notably when David Lee destroyed them in New York).

So what do you think the Suns can get in return for Amare? I've heard a lot of enticing possibilities. David Lee and Marbury's expiring contract for Amare and Barbosa? Jason Maxiel and Rasheed Wallace's expiring contract for Amare? How bout a Chris Bosh for Amare swap?

Any other trade ideas? Drop em below...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Oh, What a night...

The jumbotron at the Garden said this week is "Dream Week," with the Knicks facing the Lakers, Cavs, and Celtics all in 5 days. I wouldn't quite call it that....maybe Hell Week? Anyway, history was made tonight at the Garden, where Kobe Bryant went off for 61 (!) points. The most ever scored at Madison Square Garden (and made it looks sweasy, so easy). Kobe went 19-31 from the field, and 20-20 from the line. The Knicks tried to hang with the Lakers, but Kobe and Co were just too much.

*Injury bug is back. Bynum got the word that he's out 8-12 weeks. Chris Paul didn't look good limping off the court, and Jameer Nelson is out for quite some time (and definitely the All-Star Game) with a separated shoulder injury. Tough break for the newbee All-Star.