Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:57 am

Shootaround 11.30.10: Riley doesn't want back

Posted by Royce Young
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "The Heat knew going in that LeBron James would be high maintenance. Superstars almost always are. But pair that with a young, intellectual sideline purist and you have what you have right now, a leadership void that allows the ancillary to dominate. So reports emerge from within the locker about unease with the sideline guidance, with the same coach who first found a way to get two rotation rookies to the No. 5 playoff seed in 2009 and then a cap-conscious team to that same seed a year ago. And to the coach's aid steps ... Not a word from Pat Riley, even though a source close to Riley and his family insist that the last thing Riley wants to do right now is return to the sideline."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "Unless --- knock on wood --- he is felled by a catastrophic injury, Dwight Howard is destined to join basketball's hall of fame. 'He's a sure-fire hall of famer' if he remains on course, agrees Magic coach Stan Van Gundy of his 24-year-old center. Oddly, 16 games into Dwight's seventh season, that heady forecast is more sure-fire than Howard ever being awarded MVP."
  • And on cue, Stan Van Gundy says Howard doesn't get fair treatment in the media : "Maybe it's a size thing. Maybe people are harder on that. But he's a guy who clearly is the best guy in the league at his position, and has been. He's still very young, he's improving, he's won, he's a damn good person. I don't understand why there are so many negatives on him in comparison to the other guys. I've always felt since I've been here that he's taken more of a hit than the other people."
  • Stephen Jackson was ejected again a few days ago but his coach says he doesn't think Jackson ever change: "I don't know how things are going to change. I understand from his perspective what's going on, but that's the way it is: As hard as it is for a player to understand that, you've got to play through (emotion). You're too important to our team. We need you on the court."
  • John Rohde of The Oklahoman: "The novelty of Oklahoma City serving as the New Orleans Hornets' temporary home from 2005-07 seems to have all but disappeared. Crowd reaction during pre-game introductions drew only polite applause for Chris Paul and David West. Monday would have qualified as one of the most lethargic crowds in Thunder history, but the eighth sellout (18,203) gathering of the season finally came to life with 4:17 left in the third quarter when Jeff Green sprinted down court and blocked Paul's wide-open layup attempt."
  • Hornets24/7 on last night's loss to OKC: "Dear Coach Williams, West is moderately efficient as a scorer, but he is not brilliant.  Paul is a brilliant scorer and distributor.  Crunch time should be Chris Paul time, not David West time.  Actually, let me change that.  It can be David West time, but ONLY when he’s shooting after Chris Paul has broken down the defense.  The ball needs to start in Paul’s hands.  It can end wherever, but Paul needs to be creating the shot. Thanks.  Great job so far, by the way."
Posted on: November 26, 2010 10:35 am

Shootaround 11.26.10: Shopping for a forward?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Shaq to WEEI: “This is a great team. The best team I’ve been on. They’ve got a lot of weapons on this team, so on any given night anybody can be the leading scorer. The team’s very unselfish, so the shots are going to drop off and they easily could have shot them and did that but…great game. Great team effort. And now we’ve just got to keep it going.”
  • And the Clips won another game, making that two straight. ClipperBlog: "Perhaps the Clippers players are beginning to realize that they have a rare talent in their midst, an unstoppable force that can leave opponents demoralized and turn around the fortunes of a franchise, its history and curse be damned. Whether that story will be written in the coming months and years remain to be seen. But the first draft of that narrative is beginning to look promising."
  • Sactown Royalty: "We criticize, of course, but does anyone see an easy fix? Re-inserting Beno Udrih for Head would have left Gordon with 40. Moving DeMarcus Cousins into the starting five for Dalembert would have meant Cousins or Landry (who had some feisty back-and-forth with Griffin) would have been in early foul trouble. Putting Omri Casspi into the game between Evans and Greene probably wouldn't have helped force Evans to be more aggressive; the team's ubiquitous dependence on one-on-one play would have been re-emphasized. There are no answers until these players get better."
  • Hamed Haddadi has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. That's not good.
  • Darren Rovell on LeBron's return to Cleveland: "They joked that when LeBron James returned, they'd make him play in an empty arena. In reality, former fans of the star who left them for Miami have paid top dollar to witness his return to Cleveland next week. It actually might be the most expensive regular season ticket in Cavaliers history. Fans are paying an average of $234 per seat on the secondary market for the Dec. 2 game, according to StubHub That's the highest average price for a non-playoff game for as far back as StubHub's data goes. The previous high was January 2010 when the Lakers came to play in Cleveland. The average price for that game was $202, StubHub's Joellen Ferrer said."
Posted on: November 25, 2010 10:07 am

Shootaround 11.25.10: Gobble-gobble

We're thankful for you, Mo's a hero, and Mikhail Prokhorov is scarier than an overcooked turkey, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

First-off, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We here at CBSSports.com NBA Facts and Rumors want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and let you know how grateful we are for your readership. We've loved our first four months doing this, and we're excited for the next, well, forever. Thanks for your continued support. Enjoy your tryptophan-inspired comas, everyone.

The Cavs are likely thankful for Mo Williams this morning, who nailed the game winner for the Cavs over the Bucks last night. Don't believe me? Watch!

Mike D'Antoni is taking the right approach to handling the Knicks after they won their fifth straight to get back to .500: "I told them we have good news and bad news," D'Antoni said late last night after sweeping a home-and-home against Larry Brown's Bobcats. "The good news is we have a five-game winning streak. The bad news is we're .500. Let's be real."

Brandon Roy may play Friday , despite his knees being bone-dry like that turkey you're prepping.

A look at Brian Windhorst , who has covered LeBron since high school, and now covers him for ESPN in Miami, and the growing dissonance between the two now that the world is remarkably different. Regardelss of your feelings on LeBron, I ask that you be civil in the comments. Writing doesn't pay nearly as well as you think, and making that move was the logical career step for Windhorst, who is honestly one of the better scribes in the league.

The Player's Union may be targeting the elimination of the age restriction this summer. College coaches refer to this as "a return to oligarchy."

A piece on Shannon Brown and how he worked hard to get to where his contract required him to.

Obvious alert: Dwyane Wade says this is harder than he expected .

The touching story of why Kevin Durant wears No. 35.

Wait ... Mikhail Prokhorov said what?!

Indy Cornrows thinks the improved defense down low is due to Troy Murphy no longer being around. Scapegoat!

Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 8:38 pm

Shootaround 11.24.10: Winners and losers

People trying to keep LeBron out of the All-Star Game, Jarrett Jack doubts the Heat, Durant and Beasley as young guns, and T-Will is out of sight, out of mind, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • There's a movement afoot specifically to keep LeBron James out of the All-Star Game. It's things like this that trot the fine line at the nexus of funny, pathetic, and mean. Props for the idea, but just because you don't like a guy's ego, is that really reason to sully a system to honor play that's been in place for decades? And this is all beyond the fact that it would take coaches about forty five seconds to select him as a reserve and then all of a sudden the person atually voted in would have a hamstring injury.
  • Terrence Williams looked like a star in the making last year. Now he's been suspended for two games for "violations of team policy" whle Avery Johnson is talking about him "not getting" it. A perfect example of how a coaching change can dramtically alter a player's forecast. Meanwhile, if Williams is on the block, the Grizzlies and Bulls should both be on the horn to see if they can grab him at a bargain bin price.
  • Jarrett Jack, a winner his whole career except for when he wasn't winning, which was most of his career, is already ready to pack it in on the Heat, saying their failure could curtail others from going the superstar route. In other news, Jack put the cart before the horse and said "Done!" before walking off. The Hornets are 0-1 since Jack arrived, clearly indicating he's not a winner. See what I did there? You see? Because he said ...
  • Spurs fans were joking about Ime Udoka being signed last week, and now it has happened . Still bizarre they thought Udoka was more valuable than Gee.
  • Flip Saunders, getting digs in on Doug Collins. Better hurry to get them in, he may not be around long.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 10:12 am

Shootaround 11.22.10: Conspiracy and tragedy

Posted by Matt Moore

  • The Raptors are already considering a trade or buyout of Peja Stojakovic if he doesn't like his role in Toronto. Flipping Peja at the deadline along with the remaining Traded Player Exception they ahve from the Bosh deal could land them a significant chunk of assets if they find a team desperate enough for cap relief in a bad year. It's unlikely that they'll find a superstar out there, unless it's someone like Baron Davis, who if they trade for, they're only hurting themselves.
  • Celtics fans' explanations for losing to the Raptors? The fix is in !

Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:21 am

Shootaround 11.19.10: Friends and enemies

Posted by Royce Young
  • Joey Graham is making friends in Cleveland: ''He'll be in the rotation for a little while,'' Cavs coach Byron Scott. ''I wanted to try something different. With Joey, I know I can get some scoring in the post. He's kind of made his living there.''
  • Cole Aldrich is blogging for Dime : "Someone asked me the other day to compare Coach Brooks and Coach Self. I would say the main thing that sticks out is both of their philosophies are defensive-minded. If you look at the teams that have won NBA championships, they were strong defensive teams like Boston and the Lakers. In terms of differences, Coach Brooks is probably a slight bit more laid back than Coach Self. He always expects a lot out of you, and he’ll get after you a little more."
  • J.R. Smith is losing his role to Gary Forbes: "I think J.R. knows exactly where we're at," Karl told The Denver Post Wednesday. "I think right now, it's J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what's going on. I've got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don't have minutes to share."
  • Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball on Orlando's win: "There was no one from Phoenix that could slow down Howard, let alone stop him, so they were forced to double-team him nearly every time he touched the ball in a 4-out/1-in offensive set. This forced Howard to be a passer and, aside from a few turnovers here and there, he was able to spur some ball movement. Perhaps the one thing to takeaway from Howard’s performance on offense was that he was able to make two jumpshots on the left elbow with the third quarter winding down."
Posted on: November 18, 2010 9:53 am
Edited on: November 18, 2010 2:20 pm

Shootaround 11.18.10: Everything besides Oden

Delonte's back in the act, the Nets could be moving Murphy, and Michael Beasley is an Alpha Dog? All this and more in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore

We'll have a wrap-up of our Oden coverage in today's GameChanger shortly for those that missed it. Here's everything else going on in the NBA this morning in today's Shootaround.
  • Delonte West came back last night from his suspension and wound up with a decent line . Boston gets a little stronger, as they will when Perkins gets back. It's a pretty tremendous opportunity that West has fallen into, and a sign of his career coming full circle. As long as he keeps his head straight, he could be part of what puts Boston over the top.
  • There's talk that the Nets could be moving Troy Murphy... already. The question would be what they could get for him. Any team that's looking for him is a contender looking to add pieces, which means their draft pick wouldn't be very high and they wouldn't want to give up much for him. What is trading him really going to get you that you can't get from his cap space?
  • Wolves fans are all excited because Michael Beasley is becoming an Alpha Dog and nailed a game winner. Of course, the game before he lost his dribble and gave up a game-ending steal. But hey, whatever. Beasley really does look like the real deal for now. If he keeps his head he could be a huge step forward for the Wolves.
Category: NBA
Tags: Shootaround
Posted on: November 17, 2010 10:03 am

Shootaround 11.17.10: Lakers need some backup

Posted by Royce Young
  • With Theo Ratliff out 4-6 weeks and Andrew Bynum on the shelf still, the Lakers might be in the market for a short-term backup: “We have to have some support there interim until Andrew comes back,” Coach Phil Jackson said Tuesday. The Lakers will talk to the representative for free-agent Erick Dampier , though it might not be a good match for either side. Dampier will want more than a short-term contract, and the Lakers are looking for a little more mobility in the post."
  • Wilson Chandler wants to stay with the Knicks: "I'd love to be here," Chandler told FanHouse . "Just the city and just being close to the people in the organization. I just love being here. ... I think the future looks great (for the Knicks)."
  • Alan Hahn of Newsday: "Carmelo Anthony is making two franchises miserable right now. The Nuggets don't know whether their star will be back after this season and the Knicks are barely surviving without him. And before a lifeless crowd here at Pepsi Center, Anthony and the Nuggets barely held off the Knicks, 120-118, Tuesday night. The defeat extended the Knicks' losing streak to six games. Shooting was once again a major issue, especially from three-point range, where the Knicks were 9-for-31. It certainly wasn't a performance that would motivate Anthony to think he could be the missing piece to a championship team."
  • Blazersedge: "Sean Marks played six minutes and hit a mid-range jumper. I look forward to the day, reportedly coming soon, that Joel Pryzbilla's name appears on this line in place of Marks'. Paging you video fiends: a highlight reel of Marks running in circles while playing defense in the halfcourt would be pretty re-watchable."
  • By the Horns on a big performance by Derrick Rose: "Derrick Rose. Wow. When Rose got benched because of his fourth foul with 5:31 left in the third quarter, the Bulls were leading 60-58. By the time coach Tom Thibodeu subbed him back in to start the fourth, Chicago had fallen behind 71-63 and the Rockets seemed to have all the momentum on their side. Honestly, the Bulls couldn’t have looked any more discombobulated. Then Rose got ’em “combobulated” again."
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