Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:09 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:13 am
 

Report: Rasheed Wallace works out for Miami Heat

Rasheed Wallace and the Miami Heat. Really? (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

It's about that time of the year for title contenders to stock up on veteran talent for the playoff push. But, really?

Fox Sports Florida reports that the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat recently worked out retired forward Rasheed Wallace.
A source close to the situation confirmed Rasheed Wallace has worked out with Heat, but source said he hasn't decided if he'll play again. Source on whether Rasheed Wallace would be interested if Heat wanted to sign him: "It’s something he may consider.’'
    
Source said Rasheed Wallace staying quiet on if he might play again because "doesn't want to cause a lot of hoopla'' if decides against it.
Wallace, 37, last appeared in an NBA game in June 2010, more than 20 months ago, as a member of the Boston Celtics. During the All-Star break, he was linked to the Los Angeles Lakers in a report, but so far nothing has officially materialized. Reports of a potential comeback previously arose in January 2011 and back in January of this year. During the lockout, Wallace played in the North Carolina Pro-Am. Austin Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers and a freshman guard at Duke University, dunked over Wallace during one of the Pro-Am games. 

The Heat always seem interested in big bodies, and were reportedly linked to free agent center Joel Przybilla before he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in February. It's not clear what Wallace would bring to Miami -- besides hilarious jokes and sideline antics -- that Miami's big man rotation of Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Eddy Curry, Dexter Pittman and Juwan Howard don't already provide. The Heat already has old age and hard fouling pretty well covered.

Wallace posted career averages of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game during a career that included stops with the Washington Bullets, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics. Wallace was fairly durable into his 30s, playing at least 75 games in five of his final six seasons. According to Basketball-Reference.com, he made more $156 million in salary during his 15 NBA seasons.

Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:52 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 11:00 am
 

Heat make pitch for Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is being lobbied by NBA players. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Dwyane Wade lobbied to bring in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010. Now, Wade and James are trying to bring in another superstar to Miami: Peyton Manning. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“I’m just sayin’,” LeBron said. “Dolphins need a quarterback, and Peyton’s available.”Later, I asked LeBron if he was trying to recruit Manning to Miami.

“Oh, you guys heard me?” he said with a smile. “I gave my pitch, my one and only pitch. We’ll see what happens.”

Are the two superstars friends?

“No, not a friend of mine,” LeBron said. “But I’m a Miami Heat player, and I want Miami sports to be great: The U, the Dolphins, the Marlins, the Heat, of course.

“Peyton Manning is a great player,” LeBron continued. “No matter what happened this past year, his resume speaks for itself and it would be great to have him down here.”
via LeBron makes his one and only pitch for Manning to be a Dolphin - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

 And from the Palm Beach Post:
“I’m already working on that,” Haslem said. “I’m thinking Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. If we can work that out, we’ve got big Brandon Marshall, then we’re on our way. We got a solid defense. So, if you all hear me, Peyton and Reggie, you know what I mean, wink, wink, make it happen.”
via Ready to share spotlight: Heat stars pushing for Peyton | Heat Zone blog: Miami Heat & NBA news | The Palm Beach Post.

And from the Twitter account of Dwyane Wade himself:  
I'm just gonna put it out thr..peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let's go.. marlins & heat style..All in
via Twitter / @DwyaneWade: I'm just gonna put it out ....

It says something about the immense power of the NFL that a quarterback returning from multiple neck surgeries is being publicly courted by NBA players. There's obviously no concern of tampering since the players are unconnected to any NFL team. But if Manning were to head to Miami to play for the Dolphins, that would be a lot of star power in what is not considered a large market. 

Manning is clearly the biggest story in sports right now after parting ways with the Colts as they get set to move forwards with Andrew Luck. You could say Luck is the Colts' Kyrie Irving. Except the Colts wanted to move on and the Cavs were left devastated. Also, when Manning left the Colts on national television, the Colts agreed with it and saw it coming.

Should Manning elect to join the Dolphins, there's going to be even more dislike for South Beach as a sports city. In that regard, maybe it's a match made in heaven, the Triad and Manning.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:23 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 12:25 am
 

Video: Kyrie Irving end-to-end game winner

By Matt Moore

With 15 seconds left, down 1 to the Nuggets, the Cavaliers inbounded from their own basket, eschewing advancing the ball to half-court in favor of getting Kyrie Irving at full-speed going to the rim. The Nuggets essentially only needed to get in front of him as he was the Cavs' whole offense down the stretch. Instead...

 

Ty Lawson would miss a driving layup and the Cavaliers hang on to win, 100-99. 

You have to give credit to Byron Scott for trusting Irving in that situation and for getting him the room to operate by inbounding full-court. It goes against traditional thought and involves trusting a rookie to go basically 94 feet against a defender. For Denver, what in the world were they thinking letting him get all the way to the rim? Unbelievable let down by the Denver bigs who needed to step up to help there. 

Irving is 19 years old. Wrap your head around that.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:11 am
 

Nick Young daggers the Lakers



And that's how the Wizards downed the Lakers, sending them to their second loss in two nights to bottom-feeder lottery teams, after their big win Sunday against Miami. The Wizards were down 21 points in the third quarter, before rallying to close it within one possession by the start of the fourth. 

Kobe Bryant was 9-31 for 30 points in the loss. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol had 19 shots combined. The loss comes a day after Rodney Stuckey crossed over Bryant for a late-game bucket and now Young drains this one. The Lakers looked like one of the elite teams in the league on Sunday. Four days later, they're taking on water again. The trade deadline is one week away. 

For the Wizards, it's their best win of the season, and something for Randy Wittman to hang his hat on. Trevor Booker was the player you need your bigs to be, John Wall managed the offense even on a bad night, and his team got the win. In a long, dark season, it's nice to have nights like this. 
 
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:07 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 1:53 am
 

Bulls G Derrick Rose game-winner vs. Bucks video

Posted by Ben Golliver    

The Milwaukee Bucks elected not to send a second defender at Derrick Rose, and the reigning NBA MVP made them pay.

With the score tied at 104 and just seconds remaining on the clock, the Chicago Bulls spread the floor to allow Rose to work on Brandon Jennings one-on-one on the perimeter. Rose took his time, methodically dribbling to the right of center court as he eyed Carlos Delfino to see whether he would offer a double-team. Delfino instead chose simply to clog the paint, discouraging a drive. Recognizing that Jennings was by himself, Rose hit him with a right-to-left crossover and a leap back gather step, easily creating a clean look as Jennings flailed a bit in closing the gap. 

Jennings rose to contest Rose's resulting fadeaway jumper but it didn't matter, as the shot looked good as soon as it left Rose's hands. The ball swished cleanly through the net as the buzzer sounded, and Chicago left the Bradley Center with a dramatic 106-104 victory on Wednesday night. Rose finished with a game-high 30 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 11 steal and 1 block in 39 minutes.

"I’m blessed to be on this team," Rose said aftewards, according to the Chicago Tribune. "They gave me the ball at the end. It shows how much respect they have for me."

Here's the video of Derrick Rose's dramatic game-winner against the Milwaukee Bucks via YouTube user chiddybang40.


Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:50 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 1:54 am
 

Jordan Farmar game winner over Clippers video

Posted by Ben Golliver   

New Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Los Angeles Clippers after the assist from Deron Williams

"I'm sure you'll replay it plenty of times," Farmar said in a post-game interview.

Farmar finished with 16 points, 3 assists and 21 steals in 19 minutes. His three delivered a 101-100 win at the Prudential Center.
 
Here's the video of Jordan Farmar's game-winner against the Los Angeles Clippers. 



Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Dwight Howard could determine whether or not this is a busy NBA trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

Will we see two hectic NBA trade deadline days in a row? Las Vegas seems to think so.

The 2011 trade season was crazy, but the biggest deals -- Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- were both completed in advance of the Feb. 24 deadline. Even so, Gerald Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green were just some of the names that moved on the final day of the trade season.

This year, Vegas oddsmaker Bovada anticipates a similar level of activity. On Wednesday, the site set the over/under on trades that will happen on the March 15th deadline at 6.5. Of course, this number is for entertainment purposes only.

It goes without saying that the biggest potential trade chips are Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Both are listed at even odds if you want to bet "yes" on them moving. 

So will we see seven trades? Given the slow run-up of rumors it looks a little bleak right now. Let's take a look from both sides.

If this does wind up being a quiet trade season, you can bet on the following factors emerging as explanations after the fact.

Howard's uncertainty

Teams with top-tier assets are on hold as they wait for the Howard situation to clear up. If it gets closer to the deadline and he winds up staying in Orlando, rival GMs will have the choice of scrambling to execute a back-up plan or simply holding their cards until the offseason. It's essentially the same thing if he winds up moving late. For teams not in the transaction, they won't have days to weigh their options as they did following the Anthony and Williams trades last year.

Lockout schedule

The delayed start to the 2011-2012 season also pushed back the trade deadline. With six weeks until the playoffs, the temptation to fold the tent and wait until Draft season could be strong for teams that either aren't true contenders or have already dropped out of the playoff chase. It's much easier to write-off a 66-game season than it is an 82-game season. A number of teams have tanked hard since the beginning of the season using the same logic.

Established dominance in the East

In the East, Chicago and Miami have separated themselves so far from the pack that GMs may have trouble selling their owners on a win-now move that requires taking on salary. Why stock up only to get cut down by two truly elite teams? That train of thought is compounded by what is expected to be a strong free agency class. Taking on salary now means less flexibility later.

If, on the other hand, we do see a flurry of deals, here are a few factors that might trigger them. 

Wide open West

If there's activity for basketball reasons, there's a good chance it happens out West given the possibility that 4.5 games separate seeds 3 through 11. If someone wants to pay to make a push, they will be able to do so.  The Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Timberwolves would all seem to have interest in making their team better for a little postseason fun.

Luxury tax  

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, high payroll teams are set to be hit with major fines for going over -- and eventually, for staying over -- the luxury tax line. Already, we saw one high-profile salary dump for tax purposes, when the Lakers moved Lamar Odom to the Mavericks.  It doesn't have to be big names or big salary numbers that move, though. Simply shipping an extraneous smaller-salary (over multiple years) guy to a team with cap space for oblique future Draft considerations could wind up saving a taxpayer real money when everything is added up down the line.

Danny Ainge 

The Boston Celtics are always active and this year they have assets galore plus plenty of motivation to move them given the uncertain direction going forward. Last year, Ainge made trades both big (Kendrick Perkins) and small (Luke Harangody). It's difficult to imagine he could sit on his hands with Boston limping along as the No. 7 seed.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Jason Kidd fined $25K for blasting refs

Jason Kidd was hit with a fine. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Everyone seems to agree that Jason Kidd will one day make an excellent NBA coach. He got a jump on his future this week, when he blasted off on a group of officials for doing a poor job and for not paying his Dallas Mavericks the respect they deserve as defending 2011 NBA champions.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Kidd has been fined $25,000 for comments he made following a Monday night loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks led late but wound up losing 95-91 and shot just 10 free throws while Oklahoma City attempted 33. Kidd was upset about that free throw disparity as well as a late, questionable foul call.

Here are the offending quotes via ESPNDallas.com.
"We don't get the benefit of the whistle," Kidd said. "I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But, he doesn't."

"He didn't foul him. It was a bad call. Clean block," Kidd said. "I just said [to referee Pat Fraher] it wasn't a foul. He blocked the ball and after the play he said he bumped him with his body. I don't think so. It was a bad night for the officials. It happens."
According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Kidd, 38, is on the books for $9.6 million this season.
 
 
 
 
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