NBA Lord's NBA Blog

NBA Lord's NBA Blog

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Windmill: The Phoenix Suns are exploding

     The Phoenix Suns have gone from being one of the up and coming teams in the NBA to a team that is on the verge of exploding. They are 12th in the Western Conference with a 12-21 record and are currently dealing with injury, coaching woes, and drama in the locker room. Any of those three things can hurt an NBA team's season, but when all three are happening to a team, it's a sign that things are going really bad.

     On the injury front, the Suns have lost their star combo guard Eric Bledsoe for the season due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Bledsoe was having his best season in the NBA, averaging 20.4 points per game, 6.1 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. With Bledsoe now done of the season, it'll be up to their other star guard Brandon Knight to keep the already sinking ship afloat.

     But, remember what I said in the opening paragraph. The Suns have coaching and locker room issues in addition to Eric Bledsoe's season-ending injury. The coaching issues came to our knowledge when the team fired assistant coaches Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting earlier in the week. Earl Watson and Nate Bjorkgren were promoted to fill their roles, indicating that Jeff Hornacek's job as head coach is safe for the time being.

     As for drama in the locker room, Markieff Morris was suspended two games for throwing a towel at head coach Jeff Hornacek after the team's loss to the Denver Nuggets. Morris' blowup on the bench indicates that things internally are not going well for the team, either. While it's possible that Morris' act was rogue, it certainly seems to indicate that inside the locker room, things aren't going well for the Suns in addition to their struggles on the court.

     The only good news for the Phoenix Suns right now is that despite their struggles, they are still just 3 games back of the Utah Jazz for the 8th seed in the Western Conference playoffs. It's certainly possible that they right the ship and find a way to sneak into the playoffs. But even if they do, without Eric Bledsoe, there is little to no hope of them getting out of the first round of the playoffs. With him gone, they have virtually no chance at making noise in the playoffs.

     This doesn't mean that they should pack it up and tank like the Philadelphia 76ers. They still have lots to play for in terms of building momentum for next season and ending their season on somewhat of a high note. If they were to make the playoffs, that would serve as such a high note and give them optimism that at full strength, they could be a team to make some noise in the 2016-17 season.

     Still, even with all of that as something to shoot for, it's very alarming that they have fired a couple of assistants and had one of their players have a temper tantrum on the bench. These are usually the signs of a team that is going to get a lot worse before they get better.

     What alarms me the most is that there were no signs of this kind of thing happening two months ago. I thought of the Suns as a well-managed team that was on the rise with a quality head coach. For Jeff Hornacek to suddenly be on the hot seat and for things to be on the verge of exploding just goes to show how fragile things can be in the NBA.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Slam: Mark Jackson's comments about Stephen Curry are idiotic

     Rather than complimenting the Golden State Warriors for their success and finding good things to say about their star player Stephen Curry, former Warriors coach Mark Jackson continues to find negative things to say. When talking about Stephen Curry while calling the Warriors-Cavaliers game, Jackson said:
     "Steph Curry's great. Steph Curry's the MVP. He's a champion. Understand what I'm saying when I say this. To a degree, he's hurting the game. And what I mean by that is that I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids, and the first thing they do is they run to the 3-point line. You are not Steph Curry. Work on the other aspects of the game. People think that he's just a knock-down shooter." 

     While there may be a grain of truth in what Mark Jackson is saying, as a whole, what he's saying is idiotic. What makes it idiotic is that he is acting as if Stephen Curry is the first NBA player young kids have tried to emulate. In addition, he is also absolving coaches of any responsibility when it comes to coaching their players. 

     I grew up playing basketball as a kid. I played throughout my youth and even when I kept getting cut from my high school basketball team, I still kept finding ways to play. I know what it's like to be a kid learning the game of a basketball while simultaneously idolizing those who play in the NBA. As a kid, you try to play like the pros. You see an amazing shot on Sports Center and then you go into your backyard and try to replicate that same shot. All kids learning the game of basketball do it and they've been doing it since they've been able to watch the NBA on television in the early 1980s. 

     I grew up as a kid in the 1990s, so the guys who I tried to emulate were Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Latrell Sprewell, Shawn Kemp, etc.  I remember playing one-on-one with my next-door neighbor when I was 8 years old. I was the Utah Jazz and he was the Chicago Bulls. We would play the Space Jam soundtrack as we played and we thought we were so cool. Hell, I remember trying to replicate Rex Chapman's falling-out-of-bounds shot to force overtime against the Sonics in the first round of the 1997 NBA playoffs! 

     When I was a kid, the NBA already existed as a great source for bad habits and ill-advised play. Stephen Curry is just another great basketball player who kids try to emulate without success. If Mark Jackson wants to blame the NBA for teaching kids bad fundamentals, I'm totally on board with that. They let guys get away with traveling; they don't always exhibit classic fundamentals, etc. But, to single out Stephen Curry and make it sound like he single-handedly is responsible for all the bad habits that kids are developing on a basketball court is absurd. To say that he is "hurting the game" is even more absurd. 

     Stephen Curry is one of the best things to ever happen to the game of basketball. He's revolutionized the game and in all reality sets a good example for kids as opposed to a bad example. The guys who set a bad example for kids are the guys who can't hit their free throws and only score by throwing down dunks (E.g. DeAndre Jordan). 

     Stephen Curry scores in so many ways, hits his foul shots, and is one of the most fundamentally sound players the game has ever seen. Provided you tell kids that they can't get away with chucking up ridiculous shots, Stephen Curry can actually serve as a good player for kids to try to model their games after. Curry highlights the value of having good technique and that is what every kid should strive to have. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday Windmill: Looking back on Kobe Bryant

     I know we still have more than half of the season to go, but with Kobe Bryant officially announcing that this will be his last season in the NBA, I figured now would be a good time for me to reflect on his amazing career while we still have half of a season to enjoy him. Let me first say that I am not a Lakers fan. As a matter of fact, I grew up hating the Los Angeles Lakers and every Lakers team that Kobe Bryant ever played on. That largely has to do with the fact that I have always pulled for the underdog and have always rooted against big market teams.
     The Utah Jazz is the team of my youth and still is my favorite NBA team. Whenever the Jazz went against a team with more glamor, flash, and popularity, I always wanted the Jazz to win even more. The Lakers were atop the list of teams I loved seeing the Jazz defeat and Kobe Bryant was the face of their team during my childhood and early adulthood.
     Even though I’ll always dislike the Lakers, I have to admit that I’m going to miss Kobe Bryant. In addition, I am not shy about praising Kobe Bryant for having one of the greatest careers in NBA history. Kobe Bryant was named to 17 All-Star teams; he won 5 NBA championships, 4 NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, 2 NBA Finals MVP awards, and 1 NBA MVP award. In addition, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team 9 times and is a 2 time NBA scoring champion.
Kobe Bryant’s résumé speaks for itself.

     He is one the NBA’s greatest players and also one of its fiercest competitors. Unlike some NBA players we have seen, Kobe Bryant never took a night off. He was like my childhood idols John Stockton and Karl Malone in that way. Kobe Bryant showed up every night and gave it his all. If he was unable to play in a game, you knew he had to be hurting really bad because if there were any way possible for him to play, he would be out there.

     As a matter of fact, Kobe Bryant probably should have retired a couple of seasons ago, but his passion for the game and desire to continue to compete fueled his return from an Achilles tendon tear that would end most careers and a left knee fracture that would have made most players hang up their sneakers.

     Kobe Bryant’s intense desire to win and play the game of basketball is what sets him apart from the mere mortals of the game. Kobe Bryant’s relentless and tenacious work ethic is phenomenal and can only be rivaled by Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the history of basketball.
When we look back on Kobe Bryant’s career, what will stand out to all of us is his passion for the game and his constant striving to be better.

     Kobe Bryant was never satisfied with where he was at. He always got better and strived for greatness. If there was a way for Kobe Bryant to accomplish something, succeed or fail, he gave it his all. He put it all on the line and played until it was probably unsafe for him to play.

That kind of dedication to the game is what we must always remember him for.

     When you see him play again this season, don’t view him as an aging superstar past his prime. See him as a living basketball hall of fame exhibit. Every game he plays needs to be treasured and we must appreciate all the amazing moments he has given us. Even if you were on the losing end of a Kobe Bryant buzzer beater and wanted to scream in frustration, there was no denying that your team just got beat by a true legend of the game. Kobe Bryant, you will be missed.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday Slam: The Rise of Buzz City

One of the more exciting things for me to see in today’s NBA is the rise of the Charlotte Hornets. With a 15-11 record, the Charlotte Hornets are on the upswing and promise to be one of the league’s more exciting teams in the coming seasons. Led by Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, and Al Jefferson, the Hornets have a nice combination of guard-play and post-play.
Kemba Walker, who is averaging 18.2 points, 5.0 assists, and 1.7 steals per game is one the league’s brightest young point guards. He has a knack for hitting big shots and is willing to make the necessary plays to win games. Nicolas Batum is a fantastic player who does a little bit of everything both in the post and out on the wing. As for Al Jefferson, he is one the league’s most talented big men. Especially when it comes to scoring the basketball down on the block.  
While still not quite ready to win a championship, the Charlotte Hornets are proving that they deserve to be mentioned with the other up and coming teams in the NBA like the Jazz, Raptors, and Knicks (Yes, I said the Knicks). They have a fun group of guys that are young and eager to make their mark in the NBA.
What makes this all the more fun for me is I remember watching the Charlotte Hornets of old in the 90s with Alonzo Mourning, Muggsy Bogues, and Larry Johnson. I have fond memories of watching those teams play and I was sad to see the team leave to New Orleans. The Charlotte Hornets in a way are an important part of my childhood and to see them relevant and alive is really fun for me to see.
The NBA is a better league with “Buzz City” back. I felt an emptiness and a void with the Charlotte Hornets extinct. With them now resurrected, I no longer feel that emptiness.  I feel like a part of my childhood is still with me and what’s better is that they are operated by Michael Jordan, another part of my childhood that I treasure.
But before I delve more into 1990s nostalgia and start talking about 90s hip-hop, let me close by addressing the present. The Charlotte Hornets are building a team with a very bright future that we can expect to be competitive for a long time. The foundation is there and now all that needs to happen is for them to figure out who the rest of the pieces of their team will be. Jeremy Lin is a nice addition as is Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky.

If the Charlotte Hornets emerge into a legitimate contender within the next five years, don’t be surprised. At some point, LeBron James’ Cavaliers will run out of gas and there will have to be a new front-runner in the Eastern Conference. At this point, I see no reason for that new front-runner to not be the Charlotte Hornets. Especially if they are able to sign a certain “Splash Brother” with Charlotte roots, but that’s a story for another day. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Windmill: The Golden State Warriors Are RIDICULOUS

     The Golden State Warriors just thumped the Charlotte Hornets 116-99 to extend their unbeaten record to 20-0. That's right, 20-0. It's the best start in NBA history and the Warriors are showing no signs of letting up. Stephen Curry is leading the charge by averaging a ridiculous 31.6 points per game on 51.2% shooting from the field, 44.5% shooting from three-point range, and 94.1% from the foul line.
     In addition to Stephen Curry's lights out shooting and stellar defense (2.5 steals per game), the Warriors are getting very good production from Draymond Green (13.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.4 blocks), Klay Thompson (16.3 points on 41.3% shooting from three-point range), and Harrison Barnes (13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds).
     The Warriors have a lot of weapons and what's scary is that they play very unselfishly, leading the league in assists at 29.5 per game. In addition to their offensive potency, they are holding opponents to 42.4% shooting from the field, forcing 15.5 turnovers per game, blocking 6.5 shots per game, getting 8.5 steals per game, and grabbing 35.4 defensive rebounds per game.
     In truth, it's the Warriors' defense that is primarily responsible for their historic start. By holding opponents to low shooting percentages while simultaneously cleaning up the glass, the Warriors are able to get out in transition, which is where they really excel. When they have opponents on their heels, the Warriors are deadly because there are so many ways they can attack. They can hit a transition three, connect on alley-oop dunks, or hit floaters in the lane. Plus, they are very good at the foul line, shooting 76.1% as a team.
     When you break it all down, it's no surprise that the Warriors are an elite team. They have all the pieces that any team would want: Great perimeter shooting, great ball movement, and fantastic defense. However, it is still a pleasant surprise to see them start their season with 20 straight wins and counting. What they are doing is truly special and I hope that everybody who is a basketball fan is enjoying the magic that the Golden State Warriors are performing on a basketball court.
     Stephen Curry especially is out of this world. He makes shots that even Michael Jordan would have been hard pressed to do on a regular basis. While Michael Jordan is the league's greatest player, it's hard to find a shooter in the history of the NBA that is better than Stephen Curry. Stephen Curry takes shots that most basketball coaches would consider "bad shots" and he makes them with ease. For Stephen Curry, there is no such thing as a "bad shot". He's that good.
     Now, of as to how this all ends, I think it's safe to say that the Golden State Warriors should be the heavy favorites to win the 2016 NBA championship. They won the title last season and what's scary is that they appear to have gotten a whole lot better. As for whether or not they eclipse the '96 Bulls' 72-10 record, only time will tell, but at the moment, I wouldn't put it past them to finish with the best record in league history.
     A 73-9 season or better certainly seems possible so long as they stay healthy. It may sound far fetched to already put them in the same class as the '96 Bulls, but when they continue to shatter NBA records and extend their unbeaten record into the 20s, why shouldn't we put them in the same class as that Bulls team?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Windmill: The Rockets are more dysfunctional than we thought

     Earlier today, the Houston Rockets (5-7) fired their head coach Kevin McHale and handed the interim-head coaching duties to J.B. Bickerstaff. The decision by the Rockets to fire McHale took me completely off guard as it did a lot of people who religiously follow the NBA. The main takeaway from this firing is that the Houston Rockets are way more dysfunctional than we realized.
     What initially appeared to be a rough start to the season turned out to be something so serious that firing Kevin McHale, one of the smartest minds in basketball, was deemed as the only way to save the season. Trust me on this one: When getting rid of Kevin McHale is viewed as a necessary move to save your season, that's much more of a reflection on you than it is on Kevin McHale.
     To say "Houston, we have a problem" would be incredibly cliché, but in truth, it's probably the most appropriate thing to say at this point. The Rockets have a problem and it's unclear what its source is or how it will go away.
     What's weird is that this was a team that was in the Western Conference Finals last year and appeared capable of competing with the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors. James Harden was a legitimate MVP candidate and Dwight Howard played his best basketball since 2009, which was when he led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals. They added Ty Lawson in the offseason and appeared poised to make another deep playoff run. So, what exactly could have gone wrong?
     One possibility is that Rockets GM Daryl Morey overreacted to a slow start. GMs can get quick triggered at times, but usually, it's only the bad GMs that overreact and do something stupid. Perhaps Morey is one of those bad GMs. Or, perhaps there was something really defective in the locker room that Kevin McHale didn't have the ability to fix. But if that's the case, then the solution should be to get rid of what's defective and keep McHale on board.
     The weird part about this is that Morey makes it sounds like things between McHale and the Rockets were broken beyond repair just one season after the team was in the Western Conference Finals. I'm really not sure how things could be this badly broken. It truly puzzles me.
     Anyways, I could go on and on with speculation about what went wrong or what Morey thinks went wrong, but in truth, none of us know but Daryl Morey and it sounds like not even he knows what's wrong with his team. What I can say for certain is that the Rockets are really dysfunctional and not in a good place. Teams on course to compete for a championship don't fire their head coach midseason. Given that most of us thought the Rockets were a team that was potentially on such a course, we can't help but scratch our heads in befuddlement and admit that we were wrong.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Windmill: Will Monta Ellis make the Pacers better?

     Monta Ellis is perhaps the greatest player in NBA history to never make an All-Star team. He has averaged 19.3 points per game over the course of his career and has certainly been on several Sports Center highlight reels. But for whatever reason, he hasn't ever found a permanent home or been able to play on a championship caliber team.

     Some say that this is due to Ellis' selfish play and his inability to play "winning basketball." I personally have always found this criticism of Ellis to be harsh since he never has been on teams that gave him much support. That being said, results don't lie and as of right now, Monta Ellis doesn't have much to speak for in terms of playoff success.

     This season, Monta Ellis once again finds himself wearing a new uniform in Indiana with another opportunity for a fresh start and a new beginning. Given his stature and All-Star worthy abilities, it's surprising that more people aren't asking the following question: "Will Monta Ellis make the Pacers better?"

     Last season, the Pacers missed the playoffs with a 38-44 record largely due to Paul George's ghastly injury and his lengthy recovery. With Paul George now healthy and Monta Ellis aboard, the Pacers should automatically be better, right? Barring some other serious injury, the answer is likely yes. But, let's not forget that with Paul George healthy, this Pacers team was a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals with the #1 overall seed in the conference just two seasons ago.

     What we really should be asking is whether or not the Pacers are now serious threats to win the Eastern Conference by getting Monta Ellis. Upon looking at the Pacers' roster, while it's clear that they've gotten better from last season, it is far from clear that they have what it takes to dethrone the Cavaliers in the East.

     A big reason for this is that two of their key players from their previous run to the Eastern Conference Finals are now gone, namely David West (Spurs) and Roy Hibbert (Lakers). Both of those guys, even with Roy Hibbert's mental lapses, were really solid in the paint. With those guys gone and Monta Ellis now present, the Pacers suddenly have turned into a team that will try to win by beating teams with speed and quickness as opposed to size and strength.

     The Pacers' whole style of play is undergoing a drastic change that includes Paul George playing a lot of his minutes at the power forward position. Undergoing such a change isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just that at this point, we don't know how it will all work out.

     Perhaps the change to smaller and quicker lineups led by Paul George and Monta Ellis will benefit the Pacers and make them more dangerous than they've ever been. It's certainly possible. However, it's equally if not more possible that while being perhaps more entertaining on the court, the Pacers won't replicate the same success they had prior to Paul George's injury.

     Some of this inability to replicate that same success will of course be due to the departure of Hibbert and West as well as the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers are really good. Still, even with those as excuses, that doesn't change the answer to the question of this article, which is "Will Monta Ellis make the Pacers better?" At the moment, the answer appears to be no. The front court is much thinner and outside of Monta Ellis, Paul George, and George Hill, the Pacers don't have a lot of guys who they can rely on to score the basketball.

     Now, what I want to make clear is that Monta Ellis is a nice addition to this Pacers team. It's just that I don't think he's enough to make them "better" than what they've been in years past. He'll help them score the ball and all, but he simply cannot make up for the fact that the front court is thinner and that a lot of core pieces from Pacers teams of yesteryear are gone. I guess what I'm saying is this: Don't expect Monta Ellis to make the Pacers better, but at the same time, don't use that as a reason to think that Monta Ellis isn't as good as other people think he is.

     Look at Monta Ellis as a plus that simply doesn't outweigh the negatives of losing Roy Hibbert and David West. If the Pacers still had those two guys, we could seriously be talking about Monta Ellis perhaps being the missing ingredient to an Indiana Pacers championship run.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Dunks: 10/26-11/1/15

                                                  (Credit: Andy Melton. Click here for source) 

     Here is my Daily Dunks page for Monday, October 26 through Sunday, November 1, 2015. Throughout the week, this page will be updated with news from across the NBA until a new Daily Dunks page is created for the following week. (Note: This is the final Daily Dunks page. At least for a while. This page was getting tiring to create every week! Haha. This blog will be solely focused on generating good opinion pieces)

Monday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. A former Bucks team dancer is suing the team for wage violations (Click here for details).

#2. After being cut by the Kings, Marshall Henderson will join the Reno Bighorns of the D-League (Click here for details).

#3. Andrea Mazzon is joining the Delaware 87ers as an assistant coach (Click here for details).

#4. Meyers Leonard hopes to stay with the Trail Blazers (Click here for details).

#5. Wizards center Marcin Gortat will donate $200 to charity for every shot he blocks this season (Click here for details).

#6. Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein will start at power forward (Click here for details).

#7. NBA coaches will wear a lapel pin to honor the late Flip Saunders (Click here for details).

#8. Glen Rice, Jr. was shot in the leg out of an Atlanta restaurant (Click here for details).

#9. Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks are reportedly close to an extension (Click here for details).

#10. The Heat have unveiled new uniforms (Click here for details).

Tuesday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Click here to get caught up on all the cuts from the NBA in the past couple of days. A key one was the Pistons waiving Danny Granger.

#2. Harrison Barnes and the Warriors have closed talks regarding an extension (Click here for details).

#3. The Lakers plan to transition Metta World Peace into an assistant coach (Click here for details).

#4. Hawks small forward Thabo Sefolosha has officially decided to sue the NYPD for $50M (Click here for details).

#5. Sam Mitchell will take over as the Timberwolves' head coach. Milt Newton as GM (Click here for details).

#6. John Stockton is joining Montana State as an assistant coach on their women's basketball team. His daughter Lindsay is a senior on the team (Click here for details).

#7. Bucks forward Jabari Parker is targeting a November return (Click here for details).

#8. Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday didn't play on opening night. He is day-to-day (Click here for details).

#9. The Utah Jazz will now be playing in the "Vivint Smart Home Arena". Same building with a new name (Click here for details).

#10. The Spurs exercised their 2016-17 option for Kyle Anderson (Click here for details).

#11. The Pelicans signed guard Ish Smith (Click here for details).

#12. The Suns exercised their options for T.J. Warren, Alex Len, and Archie Goodwin (Click here for details).

#13. 76ers guard Nik Stauskas is hoping to play on Wednesday (Click here for details).

#14. The Grizzlies exercised their 2016-17 option for guard Jordan Adams (Click here for details).

#15. The Hawks exercised their fourth year, 2016-17 options on guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. and guard Dennis Schröder (Click here for details).

#16. The Clippers exercised their 2016-17 option on guard C.J. Wilcox (Click here for details).

Tuesday's NBA Final Scores: 

Pistons 106 Hawks 94. Bulls 97 Cavaliers 95. Warriors 111 Pelicans 95.

Wednesday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn't give a **** about the Clippers (Click here for details).

#2. Stephen Curry is getting a wax figure at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco (Click here for details).

#3. The Warriors hope Steve Kerr is hoping to return by January 1, 2016 (Click here for details).

#4. Thanasis Antetokoumpo will play in the D-League for the Westchester Knicks (Click here for details).

#5. Michal Frissdahl is named President and CEO of MLSE (Click here for details).

#6. The idea for Joakim Noah to start coming off the bench actually came from Joakim Noah (Click here for details).

#7. Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks: "I believe in this team" (Click here for details).

#8. Craig Sager has returned to TNT sidelines (Click here for details).

#9. The Cavaliers called a players-only meeting in the preseason (Click here for details).

#10. Chris Paul wants to retire with the Clippers (Click here for details).

Wednesday's NBA Final Scores: 

Pistons 92 Jazz 87. Cavaliers 106 Grizzlies 76. Timberwolves 112 Lakers 111. Wizards 88 Magic 87. Celtics 112 76ers 95. Heat 104 Hornets 94. Bulls 115 Nets 100. Raptors 106 Pacers 99. Nuggets 105 Rockets 85. Knicks 122 Bucks 97. Thunder 112 Spurs 106. Mavericks 111 Suns 95. Trail Blazers 112 Pelicans 94. Clippers 111 Kings 104.

Thursday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Lance Stephenson is starting at the 3 for the Clippers (Click here for details).

#2. The Nuggets have some new"Whitegold" uniforms (Click here to see them).

#3. The Utah Jazz are starting rookie Raul Neto at point guard over Trey Burke (Click here for details).

#4. Derrick Rose says he is still battling blurred vision (Click here for details).

#5. The Rockets won't extend the contracts of Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas (Click here for details).

#6. Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler is likely out two weeks (Click here for details).

#7. Linda Luchetti is now the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Utah Jazz (Click here for details).

#8. Wizards forward Martell Webster may need season-ending hip surgery (Click here for details).

#9. Pistons shooting guard Jodie Meeks is out indefinitely due to a Jones fracture in his right foot (Click here for details).

#10. Clippers point guard Austin Rivers has been fined $25K for throwing a seat cushion that hit a fan (Click here for details).

#11. Pacers forward Paul George has been fined $10K for criticizing officials (Click here for details).

#12. Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons is targeting a Sunday return (Click here for details).

#13. Warriors center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely with a concussion (Click here for details).

#14. The Pelicans waived point guard Nate Robinson (Click here for details).

Thursday's NBA Final Scores: 

Grizzlies 112 Pacers 103. Hawks 112 Knicks 101. Clippers 104 Mavericks 88.

Friday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Mavericks point guard Deron Williams is out indefinitely (Click here for details).

#2. NBA Global Games London 2016 has already sold out (Click here for details).

#3. The NBA plans to put a sponsored Kia logo patch on NBA All-star Game jerseys (Click here for details).

#4. ESPN has suspended Grantland (Click here for details).

#5. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is buying control of Nassau Coliseum (Click here for details).

#6. The Cavaliers may or may not use their $10.5M trade exception this season (Click here for details).

#7. Jeff Ayres, Jimmer Fredette, and Perry Jones were picked in the Top 3 of the D-League draft (Click here for details).

#8. Pistons' head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy isn't happy with his team's early schedule (Click here for details).

#9. Click here to view the NBA's Christmas jerseys.

#10. LeBron James says he plans to play in all 82 games this season (Click here for details).

#11. Lakers head coach Byron Scott calls his team "soft" (Click here for details).

#12. Terrence Ross is hopeful that the Raptors will give him an extension (Click here for details).

#13. Erica McKinley is the NBAPA's new Chief Operating Officer (Click here for details).

Friday's NBA Final Scores: 

Jazz 99 76ers 71. Timberwolves 95 Nuggets 78. Warriors 112 Rockets 92. Cavaliers 102 Heat 92. Thunder 139 Magic 136 (2OT). Raptors 113 Celtics 103. Pistons 98 Bulls 94 (OT). Hawks 97 Hornets 94. Wizards 118 Bucks 113. Spurs 102 Nets 75. Kings 132 Lakers 114. Suns 110 Trail Blazers 92.

Saturday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Bulls exercised their contract options for Ton Snell and Doug McDermott (Click here for details).

#2. The Celtics exercised their contract options for Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, and James Young (Click here for details).

#3. Pistons guard Jodie Meeks is expected to miss 12-16 weeks after surgery on his right foot (Click here for details).

#4. The Pelicans signed guard Toney Douglas (Click here for details).

#5. The 76ers exercised their contract options for Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Nik Stauskas (Click here for details).

#6. Grizzlies guard Tony Allen has been warned for flopping (Click here for details).

#7. Pacers legend Mel Daniels has died (Click here for details).

Saturday's NBA Final Scores: 

Jazz 97 Pacers 76. Warriors 134 Pelicans 120. Grizzlies 101 Nets 91. Knicks 117 Wizards 110. Suns 101 Trail Blazers 90. Clippers 114 Kings 109.

Sunday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Steve Nash was inducted into the Suns' ring of honor earlier in the week (Click here for details).

#2. 76ers center Joel Embiid grew two inches during the off season (Click here for details).

#3. Terrence Ross and the Raptors are still discussing an extension (Click here for details).

#4. Click here for an update on Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.

#5. Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich is dealing with a sore toe (Click here for details).

#6. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker are the winningest trio in NBA history with 541 wins and counting (Click here for details).

#7. Jeremy Lamb and the Hornets are closing in on a three-year, $21M extension (Click here for details).

#8. Kobe Bryant isn't happy with how he is playing (Click here for details).

#9. 76ers center Joel Embiid is reportedly recovering ahead of schedule (Click here for details).

#10. Rick Carlisle (Mavericks) and Dwane Casey (Raptors) have set franchise records for all-time wins (Click here for details).

#11. Chandler Parsons returned for the Mavericks (Click here for details).

#12. Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins is out indefinitely with a right pectoral injury (Click here for details).

#13. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is day-to-day with a right Achilles strain (Click here for details).

#14. The Nets are declining Sergey Karasev's option (Click here for details).

#15. The Wizards won't be giving Bradley Beal an extension (Click here for details).

#16. The 76ers dealt J.P. Tokoto to the Thunder (Click here for details).

#17. The Rockets signed forward Chuck Hayes to a non-guaranteed contract (Click here for details).

#18. The Thunder and Dion Waiters won't agree on an extension (Click here for details).

#19. The Rockets picked up Clint Capela's option (Click here for details).

Sunday's NBA Final Scores: 

Hawks 94 Hornets 92. Spurs 95 Celtics 87. Heat 109 Rockets 89. Raptors 106 Bucks 87. Bulls 92 Magic 87. Thunder 117 Nuggets 93. Mavericks 103 Lakers 93.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Slam: Jimmer Fredette's arrogance may be his downfall

     Among the mass of cuts that have taken place in the NBA over the last couple of days, Jimmer Fredette is by far the biggest name. The former college basketball sensation at BYU was released by the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the week and has once again failed to prove he belongs in the NBA. While there are a lot of reasons for why he may not be making it in the NBA, one possible explanation surfaced this week that might silence the Jimmer Fredette believers.

     That explanation is that Jimmer is arrogant and thinks his lack of NBA success has to do with the rest of the NBA being too stupid to recognize his amazing basketball abilities.

     Via Yahoo! Sports: 
"Jimmer thinks everybody is stupid," said an NBA assistant who worked with Fredette. "He thinks everybody needs to come and just turn over their offense and let him shoot it anytime he wants. That's not how the league works."

     There are one of two ways to interpret this quote. You can either say the assistant coach isn't telling the truth or you can say that this is the missing piece to the Jimmer Fredette NBA bust puzzle. I tend to think it's the latter. The only reason an NBA assistant coach would say this is if he was frustrated with Jimmer for the very reasons that he is saying. In addition, a poor attitude would certainly indicate why Jimmer Fredette hasn't been able to stay in one city for very long.

     If Jimmer Fredette is indeed an arrogant, cocky dude, then it's no surprise he keeps getting cut given the fact that he isn't a great defender and is really more of a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body. While I wouldn't identify as a Jimmer Fredette fan in the same way that BYU fans are, I would identify as one who has believed that if he finds the right system he can succeed in the NBA. But with this report surfacing from one of his former assistant coaches, I've not only given up on Jimmer; I finally feel like I understand why no team has given him a chance.

     If Jimmer Fredette had a humble attitude and was willing to do whatever his coach asked of him, even if the role was small, he would have stuck in Sacramento, Chicago, or New Orleans. There's always a place in the NBA for guys who can stretch the floor and knock down threes.  Even if that is all they do. Those guys are called "specialty players" because they only play when their specific skill set is needed.

     Taking this report at face value, it sounds like Jimmer could have carved out a nice NBA career for himself as a specialty player if he had the right attitude. However, he has instead insulted his coaches and carried himself like he's a superstar when in reality, he's just another guy fighting for a roster spot.

     The most important quality a player can have is being coachable. If a player is coachable, he can maximize his potential and contribute to a team in a positive way. If a player isn't coachable and instead believes his coaches are "stupid", then he won't last for very long. Especially in a league as ruthless and cutthroat as the NBA. In the NBA, if there are two players of equal skill and one player is coachable and the other player is arrogant, then it'll be the coachable guy who makes the team every time.

     I don't blame Jimmer Fredette for having confidence coming out of college. He had one of the most sensational college basketball careers we've ever seen. However, he failed to recognize that when you get to the NBA, you have to hit the reset button. Nobody cares what you did in college. Nobody cares how many points you scored or how many highlight reels you were on.

     In the NBA, the only thing teams care about is what you can do right now. Instead of putting his nose to the grindstone and having the humility to recognize this, Jimmer instead decided to behave like a prima donna and alienate himself from anybody who told him he wasn't an NBA superstar. It's sad that he had to have this approach to his NBA career, but at the end of the day, he's the only one to blame.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Daily Dunks: 10/19-10/25/15

                                                   (Credit: Andy Melton. Click here for source) 

     Here is my NBA Daily Dunks page for October 19, 2015 through October 25, 2015. Throughout the week this page will be updated with news from across the NBA until a new Daily Dunks page is created for the following week.

Monday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Warriors signed small forward Xavier Henry (Click here for details).

#2. The Heat signed guard Briante Weber and waived guard Corey Hawkins (Click here for details).

#3. The Magic waived guard Keith Appling and guard Jordan Siebert (Click here for details).

#4. Bucks forward John Henson alleges that a jewelry store discriminated against him (Click here for details).

#5. Mike Krzyzewski will retire from USA Basketball after the 2016 Olympics (Click here for details).

#6. The Cavaliers actually did not pull their 5 year, $80M offer from Tristan Thompson (Click here for details).

#7. Tim Duncan says Manu Ginobili looks the best he's seen in years (Click here for details).

#8. Lamar Odom is improving and starting to do some physical therapy (Click here for details).

#9. Knicks owner James Dolan says the woman who sued Isiah Thomas over sexual harassment made it up (Click here for details).

#10. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr remains out indefinitely (Click here for details).

#11. Chris Webber will teach a masters class at Wake Forest University (Click here for details).

#12. Cavaliers head coach David Blatt says LeBron James "absolutely" will be good to go on opening night (Click here for details).

#13. Clippers guard Austin Rivers is recovering from a hard elbow to the mouth (Click here for details).

#14. Mavericks center JaVale McGee remains out indefinitely (Click here for details).

Monday's NBA preseason scores: 

Hornets 94 Bulls 86. Cavaliers 103 Mavericks 97. Celtics 111 Nets 105. Rockets 120 Pelicans 100. Lakers 104 Trail Blazers 102.

Tuesday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Celtics waived Levi Randolph, Coty Clarke, and Malcom Miller (Click here for details).

#2. The Utah Jazz waived Bryce Cotton and Treveon Graham (Click here for details).

#3. Report: Gregg Popovich is the number one choice to be the new USA Basketball head coach (Click here for details).

#4. Jim Buss believes the Lakers have "turned the corner" (Click here for details).

#5. Bucks forward John Henson accepts the jewelry stores' apology (Click here for details).

#6. Andre Drummond won't sign an extension with the Pistons (Click here for details).

#7. Wizards forward Martell Webster is still out with a hip injury (Click here for details).

#8. GMs have voted James Harden, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol as the best last their positions (Click here for details).

#9. NBA GMs vote Anthony Davis the player they would prefer to start their franchise with (Click here for details).

#10. NBA GMs voted the Cavaliers as favorites for the title and LeBron James for MVP (Click here for details).

#11. Lance Stephenson likes the Clippers' chances to win a title (Click here for details).

#12. Nuggets center Jusuf Turkic could return in November (Click here for details).

#13. The Magic plan to exercise Shabazz Napier's third year option (Click here for details).

#14. Boban Marjanovic says Tim Duncan has helped him a lot (Click here for details).

Tuesday's NBA preseason scores: 

Bulls 103 Pacers 94. Bucks 106 Timberwolves 88. Suns 104 Spurs 84. Thunder 113 Jazz 102. Clippers 130 Warriors 95.

Wednesday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Knicks head coach Derek Fisher confirmed today that Kristaps Porzingis will start opening night (Click here for details).

#2. The Utah Jazz signed forward E.J. Singler (Click here for details).

#3. The Timberwolves exercised their contract options on Zach LaVine, Adreian Payne, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, and Shabazz Muhammad (Click here for details).

#4. Stanley Johnson may or may not start for the Pistons (Click here for details).

#5. Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian are calling off their divorce (Click here for details).

#6. The Spurs waived Jimmer Fredette, Youssou Ndoye, Keifer Sykes, and Deshaun Thomas (Click here for details).

#7. The Bucks waived Jorge Gutierrez, Marcus Landry, and Josh Powell (Click here for details).

#8. The Bulls may use Joakim Noah as a reserve (Click here for details).

#9. The Lakers waived Michael Frazier II and Robert Upshaw (Click here for details).

#10. The Nets waived Ryan Boatright, Quincy Miller, and Chris Daniels (Click here for details).

#11. The Cavaliers signed power forward Tristan Thompson to a 5 year, $82M deal (Click here for details).

#12. Pelicans shooting guard Tyreke Evans is out 6-8 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee (Click here for details).

#13. Hornets center Al Jefferson is confident that he'll bounce back with better shooting around him (Click here for details).

#14. Suns center Tyson Chandler thinks the Mavericks have painted his departure from Dallas in the wrong light (Click here for details).

#15. Hawks point guard Dennis Schröder will look for other places to play if he can't be a starter (Click here for details).

#16. Hawks small forward Thabo Sefolosha is suing the NYPD (Click here for details).

#17. In light of the sexual assault allegations against him, Kevin Johnson isn't seeking reelection as mayor of Sacramento (Click here for details).

#18. Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will use their 27-win projection as motivation (Click here for details).

#19. John Calipari is seeking the USA Basketball head coaching job (Click here for details).

#20. Byron Scott says Marcelinho Huertas has "pretty much solidified a spot" on the Lakers (Click here for details).

Wednesday's NBA preseason scores: 

Grizzlies 82 Hawks 81. Magic 110 Pelicans 107 (OT). Hornets 99 Pistons 94. Heat 110 Wizards 105. Suns 99 Mavericks 87.

Thursday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The NBA and the NBA Players Association will begin new Collective Bargaining Agreement talks in November (Click here for details).

#2. LaMarcus Aldridge says the Trail Blazers did everything they could (Click here for details).

#3. The Kings waived guard David Stockton. Eric Moreland will make the team (Click here for details).

#4. Mavericks small forward Wesley Matthews hopes to play on Friday (Click here for details).

#5. Nike is opening a Jordan Brand only store in Chicago (Click here for details).

#6. Lamar Odom underwent two emergency surgeries, but he is doing better (Click here for details).

#7. Jason Kidd really likes Giannis Antetokounmpo's versatility (Click here for details).

#8. Derrick Rose admits to still having double-vision. He hopes to play on Friday (Click here for details).

#9. To make room for Tu Holloway on their roster, the Mavericks waived Jarrid Famous (Click here for details).

#10. Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is day-to-day with a sore foot (Click here for details).

#11. The Magic waived forward Melvin Ejim (Click here for details).

#12. The Magic waived center Greg Stiemsma (Click here for details).

#13. The Bulls waived guards Jordan Crawford and Marcus Simmons (Click here for details).

#14. The Cavaliers waived forward Nick Minnerath (Click here for details).

#15. The Hawks waived small forward Terran Petteway (Click here for details).

#16. The Thunder waived four players (Click here for details).

#17. The Spurs signed forward Julian Washburn to a non-guaranteed deal (Click here for details).

#18. The Thunder signed Michael Cobbins and Mustafa Farrakhan to non-guaranteed deals (Click here for details).

#19. The Jazz waived forward E.J. Singler (Click here for details).

#20. LeBron James is still not practicing after his back injection (Click here for details).

Thursday's NBA preseason scores: 

Pacers 98 Hornets 86. Celtics 99 Knicks 85. Jazz 98 Nuggets 78. Warriors 136 Lakers 97. Clippers 115 Trail Blazers 109.

Friday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Jimmer Fredette reportedly treats everybody on his team like they are stupid (Click here for details).

#2. Deron Williams and Wes Matthews played for the Mavericks in their preseason finale (Click here for details)

#3. LeBron James may not play in the Cavaliers' season opener (Click here for details).

#4. Pacers forward Paul George is adjusting well to the power forward position (Click here for details).

#5.  The NBA now offers direct access to game streams on Twitter and Facebook (Click here for details).

#6. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose played on Friday, returning from an orbital bone fracture (Click here for details).

#7. Rick Carlisle believes the Mavericks should retire Tyson Chandler's number (Click here for details).

#8. NBA commissioner Adam Silver expects a shorter preseason in the future (Click here for details).

#9. Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson injured his shoulder (Click here for details).

#10. The Thunder exercised options on Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, and Mitch McGary (Click here for details).

#11. The Hornets waived Sam Thompson, Jason Washburn, Damien Wilkins, and Elliot Williams (Click here for details).

#12. The Cavaliers waived Austin Daye, D.J. Stephens, Dionte Christmas, and Jack Cooley (Click here for details).

#13. The Lakers waived forward Jonathan Holmes (Click here for details).

#14. The Warriors waived Chris Babb, Jarell Eddie, Xavier Henry, and Chris Udofia (Click here for details).

#15. The Trail Blazers waived Phil Pressey and Omari Johnson (Click here for details).

#16. The Knicks waived Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Darion Atkins, DaJuan Summers, Travis Trice II, and Wesley Saunders (Click here for details).

#17. The Pistons waived Cartier Martin, Adonis Thomas, and Jordan Bachynski (Click here for details).

#18. Heat small forward Gerald Green has been fined $25K for gun gestures (Click here for details).

#19. The Rockets waived Chris Walker, Jeremy Tyler, Will Cummings, and Denzel Livingston (Click here for details).

#20. The Pelicans waived Sean Kilpatrick and Chris Douglas-Roberts (Click here for details).

#21. Gregg Popovich is the new head coach of USA Basketball (Click here for details).

Friday's NBA preseason scores: 

Magic 86 Grizzlies 76. Timberwolves 112 Bucks 108. Celtics 81 76ers 65. Pistons 115 Hawks 87. Raptors 92 Wizards 82. Pelicans 93 Heat 90. Bulls 103 Mavericks 102. Spurs 111 Rockets 86.

Saturday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. A whole bunch of guys were waived from across the NBA as teams have to get their roster sizes down to 15 guys by Tuesday. Rather than littering the page with all of them, which takes up time for me, I have provided four links that will give you all the information you need as to who was waived this weekend. (Click here for link 1. Click here for link 2. Click here for link 3. Click here for link 4.)

#2. Knicks guard Arron Afllalo is expected to miss two weeks with a hamstring strain (Click here for details).

#3. The Hornets' D-League team will play in Greensboro, North Carolina (Click here for details).

#4. 76ers forward Robert Covington is out two weeks with a sprained MCL & bone bruise in his right knee (Click here for details).

Sunday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Timberwolves president Flip Saunders passed away at the age of 60 (Click here for details).

#2. Robert Upshaw has cleared waivers and will play for the Lakers' D-League affiliate (Click here for details).

#3. The Pelicans hope to sign point guard Ish Smith, but the 76ers may snatch him (Click here for details).

#4. The Utah Jazz claimed point guard Phil Pressey off waivers from the Trail Blazers (Click here for details).

#5. The Utah Jazz signed guard Eric Atkins (Click here for details).

---Ben Parker: Follow me on twitter @nba_lord to keep up with the NBA. Also, like my NBA Facebook page NBA Lord Nation and follow my NBA google plus page NBA Lord