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Thread: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Getting a little old watching us play extremely well on the road out west and see us losing in the last minute or two.

    We're outworking the **** out of teams on a nightly basis. Usually you expect to get rewarded for that. So far, we haven't.
    True. The Pistons will be rewarded with some close wins going on, I think.

    Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the Celtics. They're playing very uninspiring ball right now and not outworking anybody, not even the ballboys.

    Chris Sheridan's diagnosis:
    What's wrong with the Celtics?
    Originally Published: November 22, 2009

    NEW YORK -- I am not a Celtics fan, which put me in the minority Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden (where the loudest cheers were for, in order: Kevin Garnett's game-winning shot, Will Ferrell's appearance on the video board, the Knicks' gritty effort).

    But all those folks cheering for Boston (there were so many of them they could have nicknamed MSG "The Greenhouse" instead of "The Mecca of Basketball") had to have walked away with as much frustration as enthusiasm after watching the Celtics squeak past the New York Knicks 107-105 in overtime.

    The victory was a relief for the Celtics more than a cause for celebration, a win that excused them from having to explain why they've dropped so precipitously (losing three of four before this one) after looking like world-beaters through the first couple of weeks of the season.

    We're now 14 games into the season, and there are at least five things that clearly should be of concern to Celtics Nation -- all of which were glaringly obvious Sunday.

    Kevin Garnett is still hurting.

    Midway through overtime with Boston ahead 105-103, the Celtics ran an out-of-bounds play with one second left on the shot clock on which they threw an alley-oop lob to Garnett at the rim. The play was executed perfectly, but Garnett couldn't get up high enough for the stuff -- something that has happened numerous times this season. On defense, the Knicks repeatedly isolated Al Harrington one-on-one on the perimeter against Garnett, and Harrington repeatedly got around him with ease. The game-winning shot at the end of overtime did get Garnett into double figures in the point column with 10, but he shot 4-for-15 overall.

    Rasheed Wallace is playing horribly.

    Sheed jacked up six shots Sunday, missing them all, went 0-for-3 from 3-point range and picked up his league-leading fifth technical foul. Coach Doc Rivers yanked him with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter and didn't re-insert him until 9.3 seconds remained in overtime. Wallace has now attempted 128 shots this season, an astounding 81 of which have come from behind the arc. He's shooting 36 percent overall, but just .271 from behind the arc, ranking him 183rd league-wide in 3-point accuracy. Only Trevor Ariza (99), Danny Granger (88), Peja Stojakovic (86), Danilo Gallinari (84) and Channing Frye (83) have attempted more.

    Rajon Rondo's flaws can be quite stark.

    For instance, there was the time at the end of regulation, with the score tied at 98, when the Celtics came out of a timeout with 4.7 seconds left with a play drawn up to get the ball into Pierce's hands. But the Knicks blocked Pierce from getting open, and Rondo took the inbounds pass and stood absolutely still for nearly three full seconds before dribbling to the 3-point line and firing up a shot that appeared as though it would have been waved off (for leaving his hand too late) had it gone in. Rondo also made a change to his free throw-shooting routine that he declined to explain afterward, making a pronounced backward jerk with his right shoulder before releasing the ball. It worked on his first two FTs, but he missed four of his next six attempts. His FT percentage for the season is .333 (8-for-24).

    For a team with so many big guys, they sure don't rebound much.

    Boston grabbed 11 offensive boards Sunday, which is actually 1.1 more than the Celtics had been averaging coming into this game, when they were ranked 29th, ahead of only the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston also began the day ranked 24th in second-chance points; another stat that would be getting a lot more attention if the Celtics weren't ranked first in the NBA in field goal percentage and assists. Wallace has grabbed only 11 offensive boards all season, eight fewer than Shelden Williams and nine fewer than Rondo. (And if we take a broader look around, we can include Jon Brockman, Nathan Jawai, Damien Wilkins and Jonas Jerebko among the players with more total offensive rebounds than Wallace.)

    Ray Allen is getting no respect.

    Never mind that he bricked 5 of 6 3-point attempts, dropping his percentage from behind the arc to 30.3 percent. The refs dissed him even harder late in regulation when, with Boston ahead 98-96 and trying to run down the clock, Allen had the ball in the corner as a double-team came at him. With Wilson Chandler clearly grabbing his jersey to keep Allen from driving around him, Allen was called for an offensive foul. The Knicks then tied the game on the ensuing possession to help send the game to overtime.

    The players aren't listening to Doc Rivers.

    OK, this one is a bit of a stretch, but it was true during the Celtics' final timeout of overtime when Rivers drew up a play. "I drew up the play, and Paul [Pierce] came to me and said 'Let's not run that play.' He said 'We were going to run that other play before, let's run [a different play] because if I can get the floor flat, I'm going to get to the basket or Kevin is going to get a shot,'" Rivers said. "Sometimes a coach is a good listener, and that time I was. Honestly, Paul called that. I had a completely different play."

    Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. To e-mail Sheridan, click here.

    Checking his 5 reasons:

    Kevin Garnett is still hurting. - True, but that lob pass wasn't executed perfectly and he's finished lots of alley-oops this season. His leaping ability and explosiveness are the least of my concerns (that has a residual impact on his game), the problem is that he's playing too stiff and not as low as he used to and lacks stamina (he starts the halves strongly but ends games pretty poorly). I remember writing in the pre-season after a game with the Knicks that I was worried to see Harrington taking him off the dribble; it was happening again last night, as Sheridan notes. Too early to tell if he only needs time to get his legs back or not. Even more worrying, he still improves our defence quite a bit.

    Rasheed Wallace is playing horribly. - Meh, he's shooting horribly, but so are all the shooters. He's taking too many 3s, but, in all fairness, he's open every single time he takes one. As I predicted his good rebounding games earlier in the year were a fluke and he's only good defending the low post (he did a great job vs. Orlando and Cleveland there though). If he starts hitting 3 pointers at his normal rate, he'll be pretty much what I was expecting (I was strongly in favour of signing McDyess and not Wallace though).

    Rajon Rondo's flaws can be quite stark. - True, but he chose the wrong examples to illustrate the point. The FT shooting - he adopted a new motion and Mark Price said the results will only appear in a few months. Ainge used the "it's like a new swing in golf" analogy. If he isn't showing improvements on a few months, I hope he goes back to his old motion before the play-offs. That last possession play was broken, he kept looking for a passing lane and then took the jumper, no big deal.

    What he should have mentioned: his lack of aggressiveness as the ball-handler, especially on the open-court; his inconsistent defence; and his passiveness playing off-the-ball.

    For a team with so many big guys, they sure don't rebound much. - True, but the biggest problem isn't in the big guys (Wallace is a problem but he was never better than a mediocre rebounder at his peak, let alone now); the guards are allowing dribble penetration too much, forcing the bigs to get out of position and then not boxing out or rebounding their area. Then comes a widespread lack of hustle and work in the boards.

    Ray Allen is getting no respect. - That call was ridiculous, but it was a make-up call. The refs missed Garnett fouling Chandler in the previous play (trip); they probably understood by the reaction of the crowd, bench and players that they screwed up big time, so they made up for it in the next play. If it was some other player handling the ball, they'd still call the offensive foul. Ray Allen is in a shooting-slump, I don't think he's not being respected by the refs.

    The players aren't listening to Doc Rivers. - This isnt' a big of a stretch, rather complete nonsense. If he had been paying more attention, he'd know that the situation he describes is very common - Doc frequently allows one of the Big 3 to call the play after the time-out (apparently with very good results, as they seem to work 100% of the time - I suspect that Doc "forgets" to tell the press that one of the players called it, and not him, when the play doesn't work). This is an old Celtics tradition, btw, I remember hearing and reading guys like Tommy, Nelson, Embry, Sharman, etc. that one of the reasons that so many former Auerbach players ended up being coaches/executives was because he'd often ask for their input and allow them to draw and call plays in practices and games.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Milwaukee is looking awfully good, hanging in on the road vs Spurs.

    I hope the Pacers are watching. See? That's ball movement! It's very effective.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    Milwaukee is looking awfully good, hanging in on the road vs Spurs.

    I hope the Pacers are watching. See? That's ball movement! It's very effective.
    Milwaukee is always good with capturing San Antonio and beating them.

    Much like Charlotte does with us.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    Milwaukee is looking awfully good, hanging in on the road vs Spurs.

    I hope the Pacers are watching. See? That's ball movement! It's very effective.
    they have a point guard who pass the ball......

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Phoenix... HOW??

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Newman8r View Post
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    Phoenix... HOW??
    Steve. Nash.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    35: Charlotte's 116-81 victory Wednesday over Toronto was the most lopsided win in franchise history, with the 35-point victory margin topping the offensively challenged Bobcats' previous best of 32 achieved in a home victory over Indiana in November 2005.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Looks like the players nobody wanted are tearing it up for Memphis. I'm watching them as they're up 15 in Portland. Jamaal Tinsley and Zach Randolph fitting right in. Tinsley's running the show like you know he can. Perfect passes to the interior for Thabeet, younger Gasol, and Zach. They've got good Jamaal so far. He's still got a yellow headband on, too.

    ------------

    And Memphis gets the win. JT gets the post-game interview.

    We play Memphis 18 Dec in Memphis and the end of December at home.
    Last edited by kester99; 11-28-2009 at 12:28 AM.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Really?? Steve Nash is doing all this? I havent seen a single footage of any game as I am in the boonies, I am seriously wondering how they are doing so well. If it is Stevey then HELLLLLLS YEAH!!!!

    Also New Jersey is going to win the championship this year. MARK. MY. WORDS.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Tinsley is actually playing really well, I'm surprised... Last night against the Blazers, 26 mins 16 pts 5 ast. He even played more than Conley.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    It must make Conley very happy.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    I would not be at all surprised if a Tinsley led Memphis comes in and dominates us, with Jamaal getting a double double. We have no one who is capable of competing with Good Tinsley, or Zach Randolph for that matter, despite the fact that virtually none of us here can stand either of them.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Really nice to see all that hustle and grit get rewarded, finally.

    We beat Atlanta silly defensively, and on the glass.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
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    Really?? Steve Nash is doing all this? I havent seen a single footage of any game as I am in the boonies, I am seriously wondering how they are doing so well. If it is Stevey then HELLLLLLS YEAH!!!!

    Also New Jersey is going to win the championship this year. MARK. MY. WORDS.
    I've watched them a few times, and I'm seriously wondering how they are doing so well. Steve Nash still does his thing (which is why ESPN.com's Awards Tracker has him as the very, very early frontrunner for MVP) and they have gotten nice contributions from Channing Frye and Jared Dudley, but yeah, I'm a little amazed they are as good as they are.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    I would not be at all surprised if a Tinsley led Memphis comes in and dominates us, with Jamaal getting a double double. We have no one who is capable of competing with Good Tinsley, or Zach Randolph for that matter, despite the fact that virtually none of us here can stand either of them.
    Honestly, Memphis doesn't look that bad. A happy, healthy, motivated Tinsley can really help them.

    Marc Gasol looks like the real deal. Potential All-Star center perhaps?

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Who will be the first team to lose to New Jersey? http://www.nba.com/nets/schedule/

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by tora tora View Post
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    Who will be the first team to lose to New Jersey? http://www.nba.com/nets/schedule/
    25% chance that they either save us by beating Nellie ball, or D'Antoni ball. 50% chance that O'B will come to their rescue, and the streak will end at 22 at Conseco on Friday, December 11th with 3,000 in the building. 500 or so will remain and start booing lustily throughout the last 3 minutes of the game.

    Unless, of course, we hit our 3's for once. Hibbert will probably barely see the floor, so no post offense.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    25% chance that they either save us by beating Nellie ball, or D'Antoni ball. 50% chance that O'B will come to their rescue, and the streak will end at 22 at Conseco on Friday, December 11th with 3,000 in the building. 500 or so will remain and start booing lustily throughout the last 3 minutes of the game.

    Unless, of course, we hit our 3's for once. Hibbert will probably barely see the floor, so no post offense.
    At this point, I am almost hoping it is us, and that it is a blowout. It will take a few games like that to get us a new coach.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Small sample size, early in the season, but after losing Dahntay

    Denver 2008-09 Offensive Rating -- 110.4
    Denver 2009-10 Offensive Rating -- 114.0 = 3.6 improvement

    Denver 2008-09 Defensive Rating -- 106.8
    Denver 2009-10 Defensive Rating -- 106.1 = 0.7 improvement

    Net improvement for Denver this year = +4.3 points per 100 possessions.

    Hmmm...

    Also, if we stretch and assume that we have regressed due to his presence here (obviously a big stretch, but who really knows at this point), projecting these figures over 33 minutes per game he has played so far vs. 18 minutes per game there, that would lead to an overall effective regression of -7.9 points per 100 possessions net.

    All I am saying here is that Dahntay may bring defense, but Denver hasn't lost anything since he left in that department in defensive rating, and Dahntay attacks offensively, but Denver has improved offensively since he left, and we have stagnated offensively due, at least in part, to over reliance on dribble penetration by Dahntay, which generally may be a factor in our standing around on offense.
    Last edited by Brad8888; 12-03-2009 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Added projection for minutes per game change, etc.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by tora tora View Post
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    Who will be the first team to lose to New Jersey? http://www.nba.com/nets/schedule/
    Oh I don't think there's any question that it will be us. That's how it has been working for us lately.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    QUICK THOUGHTS ON THE FANTASY MESS IN INDIANA

    Roy Hibbert – Got off to a good start but finished with seven points, seven rebounds and a block in just 16 minutes. On one play, Hibbert dove to the rim wide open on a pick-and-roll but took a tentative lay-up instead of dunking it as the defense closed in. Then he missed a relatively easy tip-in. Pretty much sums up how lost he is at the moment. I think he'll eventually get it going again, but I can't blame you if you want to cut him.

    Jeff Foster – Had six points, 18 rebounds and a block off the bench, but keep in mind that he's basically nothing more than a one-dimensional rebounder.

    T.J. Ford – Had been better lately, but was awful on Wednesday (zero points, one assist in 20 minutes). Meanwhile, backup Earl Watson had 15 points in 28 minutes. This is a PG situation I'm very happy to avoid.

    Dahntay Jones – Started, had 16 points, and looks like a safe play at least until Mike Dunleavy gets up to speed.

    Mike Dunleavy – Had six points in 20 minutes and should remain on fantasy benches as long as he's on a minutes limit.

    Brandon Rush – Only got into the game in the fourth quarter after Dunleavy had maxed out his playing time. In other words, he's not worth owning right now outside of deep leagues.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/content/fea...eid=34259&pg=2


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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Small sample size, early in the season, but after losing Dahntay

    Denver 2008-09 Offensive Rating -- 110.4
    Denver 2009-10 Offensive Rating -- 114.0 = 3.6 improvement

    Denver 2008-09 Defensive Rating -- 106.8
    Denver 2009-10 Defensive Rating -- 106.1 = 0.7 improvement

    Net improvement for Denver this year = +4.3 points per 100 possessions.

    Hmmm...
    They brought in Afflalo, whose rep was also that of defensive player with little offense. I'm sure his addition plays a role as well as whatever the rest of them are doing.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Bulls weigh trade options for Thomas

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

    By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports 10 hours, 24 minutes ago

    So far, NBA general managers are still passing judgment on their own teams, evaluating needs and slowly, surely feeling out the market. The February trade deadline is more than two months away, but conversations are beginning to gather momentum.


    For starters, multiple league executives believe the Chicago Bulls’ shopping of forward Tyrus Thomas could result with him moving sooner than later. As Thomas has rehabbed a broken forearm, the Bulls have had discussions with several teams, but perhaps none as serious as the ongoing dialogue general manager Gar Forman has had with New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh.


    Several sources believe the Bulls are agreeable to a package of Thomas and Jerome James for Knicks forward Al Harrington. Thus far, Walsh has resisted parting with Harrington, but discussions are still active and the teams have explored different combinations in recent days that would ultimately deliver Thomas to the Knicks.


    “Nothing is imminent, but both sides would like to figure out a way to do this,” one league executive briefed on the talks told Yahoo! Sports.


    The Bulls believe Harrington’s ability to score coupled with a $10.2 million expiring contract make this a worthy exchange. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has long been fond of Thomas, a 6-foot-9 forward whose nimbleness and athleticism makes him an intriguing fit for New York.


    Thomas, 23, was the fourth pick in the 2006 NBA draft, and started to fulfill his promise with 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. Nevertheless, Chicago believes it has a worthy power forward successor on the cheap in rookie Taj Gibson, and jettisoning Thomas would also eliminate his approximate $13 million cap hold for the Bulls next summer.


    Thomas’ agent, Brian Elfus, tried to negotiate a contract extension with Chicago, but talks never pushed past perfunctory.

    Here are other teams that front-office officials, coaches and agent say are active in talks.


    Portland: Since Travis Outlaw has been lost for four to five months with foot surgery, GM Kevin Pritchard has been working the phones for an athletic forward as a replacement.

    That isn’t much of a surprise, but this is: In conversations with Portland’s front office and coaching staffs, several league officials believe Andre Miller could soon be available. As a free-agent signee over the summer, Miller can’t be traded until Dec. 15.


    After missing out on several preferred free agents, Pritchard settled for Miller and signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract, the first two years of which are guaranteed. Yet, Blazers coaches have privately insisted to confidants throughout the league that Miller isn’t working out, and the belief is that Pritchard is testing the market on Miller’s worth. Portland could stay with Steve Blake or use Miller to bring back another playmaker.


    Sources say that Brandon Roy clearly prefers playing with Blake over Miller, and that’s an issue that Pritchard must contend with.


    Houston: The Rockets continue to offer Tracy McGrady in a trade, but that will be a difficult proposition considering he’s the highest-paid player in the league ($23.2 million) and no one has seen him play in nine months. Houston seems willing to take back a longer-term contract for McGrady, but most executives believe his high salary makes it hard to put together a package.

    Rockets GM Daryl Morey and coach Rick Adelman don’t want McGrady back with the team, and have insisted that he isn’t physically ready to return to the lineup. McGrady would love a trade, but knows he must start playing again for it to be possible.


    Philadelphia: Sixers GM Ed Stefanski is desperate to unload forward Elton Brand and the $66 million owed over the remaining four years of his crippling contract, sources say, but that will be incredibly difficult. Even with several teams, including Golden State and Charlotte, desperate for low-post scorers and rebounders, no one believes Brand, who makes $14.8 million this season, has enough left to merit taking on that contract.


    Before Monta Ellis started on his scoring tear, Philly had hope that his issues with Golden State might inspire the Warriors to take a chance on Brand, but that isn’t happening. Sacramento had some interest in center Samuel Dalembert, another contract Philly wants to shed, but couldn’t work out a three-way deal with Boston.


    Los Angeles Lakers: With a league high payroll of $91 million, the Lakers are looking again to shed salary off their bench, and GM Mitch Kupchak has told teams to take its pick of reserve players – except for Lamar Odom, of course – to relieve the team of some salary.


    That idea worked out last season, when losing the salary of Vladimir Radmanovic to Charlotte unearthed the valuable Shannon Brown for the Lakers.

    --------------

    I've always coveted Andre Miller, but I haven't seen him play this year and I know he's getting older. Anyone know how he's looked?
    Last edited by Speed; 12-04-2009 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    They brought in Afflalo, whose rep was also that of defensive player with little offense. I'm sure his addition plays a role as well as whatever the rest of them are doing.
    League-wide, Defensive Ratings are down by 1.6 pts/100, from 108.3 to 106.7, and they've been climbing relatively steadily. Denver is actually pacing behind the rest of the league defensively.

    Offensively, Carmelo is simply on a completely different plane this season, and that probably explains the bulk of it.

    However, Dahntay was basically an 18-minute per game role player on last year's Nuggets. His departure does not have a huge impact, one way or the other.

    That he's been one of, if not the top performer on the Pacers this year simply underscores both the talent deficiency on this team, and how poorly it has been playing.

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    Default Re: 09-10 NBA Random Thoughts part VI: Return of the Jedi (again)

    Houston seems willing to take back a longer-term contract for McGrady, but most executives believe his high salary makes it hard to put together a package.

    --------------

    I've always coveted Andre Miller, but I haven't seen him play this year and I know he's getting older. Anyone know how he's looked?
    I can't comment on Miller's play this season, but I'm more excited by the Houston-McGrady comment. Murphy, Ford & Foster for McGrady & Chuck Hayes, for example, would be a beautiful financial colonoscopy ... and if TMac gets healthy, it may well improve our team this season. (Heck, while I'm fantasizing, imagine if he'd re-sign with us for a modest amount after this season. I'll bet his wing presence would help Hibby's game.)

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