December, 28, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- Kevin Pelton says whoever takes over as head coach in Brooklyn will have his work cut out for him (Insider): "At an average age weighted for playing time of nearly 30, the Nets are the league's sixth-oldest squad. [Deron] Williams and Gerald Wallace are in the tail end of their primes, and shooting guard Joe Johnson has already begun an inevitable descent because of age. Among the team's top players, only 24-year-old center Brook Lopez can be expected to maintain his value going forward. Based on the development of similar players at the same age in terms of Wins Above Replacement Player, the core showing its age figures to cost Brooklyn a win or two next season and at least three by 2014-15."
- In his Per Diem column (Insider), Tom Haberstroh offers suggestions for how the Nets can improve their roster this season, including a trade for DeMarcus Cousins: "The framework of a deal might require a third team, but a starting point could be sending Lopez, Blatche and a future pick for Cousins, Chuck Hayes and Francisco Garcia. Such a deal would give the Nets the defensive stud they desperately need in Hayes and a potential star in Cousins who could fit Prokhorov's high-risk, high-reward nature perfectly. And if the Zen Master winds up in Brooklyn, what better coach to unlock Cousins' potential?"
- Kevin Durant puts on a show.
- Rajon Rondo is as quick as they come and has the ball all game, so why does get to the line so infrequently?
- SB Nation selects the top 15 NBA characters of 2012.
- Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the ever-controversial Russell Westbrook: "We need to find a middle on this whole Russell Westbrook debate. People who yell that a team will never win it all with Westbrook as point guard are probably the same people who doubted that LeBron James could ever get a ring. 'Will never' is usually a flawed place to start an argument or discussion. I'm also not with the people who say that we must accept the bad Westbrook plays because it's all part of his aggressive style. Why sell the guy short if we believe he can be great? There's no reason why Westbrook has to take contested pull-up threes with 20 seconds on the shot clock. He should cut that out because it'd be a mighty squandering of talent not to."
- What struggling Hornets rookie Austin Rivers can learn from Tony Parker and Stephen Curry.
- Does a history of dirty plays make Dwyane Wade a dirty player?
- Marc Berman reports that Carmelo Anthony's swollen knee will keep him out until around Jan. 1.
- Philadunkia's Tom Sunnergren on whether the 76ers, who went 0-4 without Jrue Holiday in the lineup, should make a move for a better backup point guard: "Fact, but so does everybody else. There are only so many Eric Bledsoe’s floating around the Association. Plus, with all that’s gone (and is going) wrong with this team, fixating on our problems at the point would be like looking at the federal budget and pitching a fit about janitorial fees at the Lincoln Memorial."
- The 9-22 Pistons are still deciding whether to focus on winning now or playing their young guys as much as possible.
- Chris Broussard talks to a NBA scout who loves David Lee's game (Insider): "We paid a ton of attention to him in our game plan. His 19-foot shot is just about automatic and he's so good in the pick-and-roll. He's got a nice one-dribble move off the face-up and spin, and his post-up game is deadly. He's got a hook with either hand. He's almost ambidextrous. We couldn't stop him. He's maximized his potential. Even when you know what he's going to do, you can't stop him.
- Mike Dunleavy is from Brooklyn and would love to coach the Nets.
- The Milwaukee Bucks have a roster in flux, who should stay and who should go?
- Are the Clippers winning too easily? J.A. Adande quotes Doc Rivers on why the 66-win 2007-08 Celtics were unprepared for the playoffs: "I really believe what helped us was we had a seven-game series in the first round [against the Atlanta Hawks]. I thought that's why we won it. Because we had a test flight and we passed it. That whole year was literally too easy. Sometimes you don't need that. You don't want that."