Friday, February 27, 2009
- The Cavaliers lose Ben Wallace to a broken right tibia. The Plain Dealer's Brian Windhost assesses the damage: "The Cavs have been keeping their eye on what happens with Joe Smith and the Oklahoma City Thunder. These events, though, might make Smith more valuable and ratchet up the pressure. The Cavs have $5.1 million left on their midlevel exception and could make a hefty offer to Smith if he were to get out of his Thunder deal, which ends this season. 'We're going to be impacted a lot,' [LeBron] James said. 'Defensively, [Wallace is] one of the best on-ball defenders in the post, and his intimidation factor out there. We can't escape it, I know it hurts him a lot and it hurts us as a team. We'll see what happens around the league. Guys are going to have to step up.' Rookie forward J.J. Hickson will get more chances after seeing his playing time dry up after guard Delonte West and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas returned from their injuries. The Cavs will also do what they have been doing all season, which is play smaller lineups more. But while those small lineups have meant plenty of success, they have a downside. What happened Thursday was a prime example. In two games against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs were smashed in the interior by the Lakers' overall big-man depth, and the Rockets did the same in their own way."
- A case that the Thunder should keep Joe Smith.
- Flip Saunders, the last person to coach Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury together, says he expect Marbury will do well in Boston. The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reports: "'When he left for New Jersey, he called me about a week after he was traded,' Saunders, who coached Marbury and Garnett with the Timberwolves, said yesterday. 'There was never any need for us to patch things up -- we just went on. But the last thing I told him was, 'I hope in 25 or 30 years that you, me and KG can sit around a table and talk to each other about what if -- what would have happened if we had all stayed together, what if we had gone all the way.' But now those two have another chance together.'"
- The statistical case that taking minutes from other Celtic guards, and giving them to Stephon Marbury will not help the Celtics, because Marbury has always been below average at everything that isn't scoring, and even his scoring relies on more shot volume than it ought to. On top of all that, he's getting older.
- Zach Lowe of CelticsHub on Marbury could help a lineup shuffle: "My best guess is that Doc does not trust the ball-handling of the primary back-up guards (Eddie House and Tony Allen) enough to leave them alone with KG and two bigs. So when the bench is in, he makes sure either Pierce or Allen (and not KG) is in with them to act as a stabilizing ball-handler and scorer. Marbury changes that, because he can be that stabilizing ball-handler. That might free Doc up to play KG without the other members of the Big Three-to in effect turn KG into the big man with a jump shot we all think the bench could use."
- Ron Artest says he sees a lot of Ron Artest in LeBron James. He's not strictly wrong -- they are both way too big and strong for their positions, in a delightful way. They are play furiously at both ends of the court. But he won't live this down for a long time, because "Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy..."
- David Beckham and Kevin Garnett hang out in the driveway with some prominent branding messages, and try to kick in a 3-pointer. UPDATE: And as long as it's NBA players playing soccer on video day, here's Shaquille O'Neal, goalie, vs. Leandro Barbosa, native of Brazil with actual soccer skills.
- With all this losing for the Pistons, who can now argue that it's not Rip Hamilton's turn to start over Allen Iverson?
- Kids eat lunch at school, but in hard times, what do they eat on weekends? Dwight Howard helps to provide healthy meals for kids to take home with them at an Orlando school.
- The Pacers -- a team with poor attendance -- say they are not among the NBA teams that will take advantage of the NBA's new line of credit.
- Get to know one of the NBA's busiest message boards: "To some," co-founder Kori Ellis tells Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell, "Spurs fans arguing about the 15th roster spot for 20 pages may seem a bit crazy, but on SpursTalk that has always been the norm."
- Thoughts about two different kinds of bad blog comments: there are mean ones, and there are stupid ones.
- Scottie Pippen on the deaths of Norm Van Lier and Johnny "Red" Kerr Video of Van Lier. A fantastic tribute to Kerr from the archives.
- Reviewing the latest work of European players whose rights are held by NBA teams: Tiago Splitter (Spurs), Fran Vasquez (Magic), Joel Freeland (Blazers) and others.
- Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel on why Dwyane Wade is not the long-term Heat point guard: "It was one thing for Wade to be able to walk the ball up the court, gaze at Detroit's stagnant defenses, and then either initiate for himself or a teammate. But once Wade at the point becomes part of opposing scouting reports, it will mean point guards picking him up 94 feet, making him work his way across the time line, harassing him enough to perhaps diminish his energy for when it's needed in the waning minutes. Detroit was kind enough to do none of those things. Teams with scrappy point guards won't be nearly as forgiving. Can you envision Wade chasing Nate Robinson on Saturday night on the second night of a back-to-back? (Then again, could you envision Chris Quinn doing that?)"