Word On The Street: An Honest Opinion Surrounding News in the NBA
With so many things happening around the NBA lately I thought it would make sense to throw together a post with all the news, opinion, and insight that you could possibly handle in a day. Will it cover everything? Sort of, I plan on listing everything meaningful in the league at this very moment. Some things I’ll elaborate on, most I probably won’t.
Forgive me outright if I happen to forget something that you should know about. I assure you, this will be heavy, so let’s not stall for introduction purposes and dive right in.
The Golden State Warriors booing Owner Joe Lacob during Chris Mullin Night:
So on a night where you are honoring one-third of arguably the greatest collection of talent (Run-TMC) on a Warriors roster at any time in their entire history; in a season where you traded your most popular player (Monta Ellis) for a injured and not-as-popular big (Andrew Bogut) – even if it was a great long-term deal; and having just recently been acquired by new ownership that couldn’t deliver a viable free agent or blockbuster trade this past off-season (missing out on DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, and a trade for Dwight Howard); the fans snapped and reigned down decades of frustration.
Was it right that it was directed at an ownership that hadn’t inherited this franchise for more than 2 years yet? No, but it was what it was. The night was a reminder of everything the franchise use to have and everything it presently wasn’t. It was a culmination of frustration and losing – everything a fan could want to express, but has minimal power to do it.
Oklahoma City Thunder agree to terms with PG Derek Fisher:
LeBron James was smart to mention that the recently bought-out Derek Fisher was ”… not afraid of the moment and he’s won multiple championships,” because James needs all the help he can in the clutch these days.
It’s just too bad he’ll be playing with Thunder star Kevin Durant. I’ll share with you what ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst shared that three league fixtures said concerning Fisher.
“I think he’s just about done,” said one executive.
“He doesn’t have much left but he could win a playoff game for you,” said another.
“I think he’s got something left; he could help a team,” said one head coach.
Which one is it? I can tell you that the teams that release players know much more than anyone else. If the Lakers thought he was done, there is a good chance he is. A clutch shot here or there in the playoffs, maybe, but don’t bet on it.
Miami Heat sign F/C Ronny Turiaf:
The heat need size, as HoopSmack guest scribe The Prophet noted in their Halftime Report. After being waived by Denver (he was acquired at the Trade Deadline from Washington) the Heat now have a viable big in the middle. Dexter Pittman and “The Eat” Eddy Curry clearly can’t even contribute meaningful minutes (2-3 that is) at this point.
Turiaf isn’t the greatest rebounder (7.6 per 36 minutes is horrible for a center), but he’s a good shot-blocker (2.7 per 36 minutes) and competes hard on the defensive end. And to top it all off, he’s not useless offensively (I’m looking at you Joel Anthony).
Boris Diaw agrees to a buyout with the Charlotte Bobcats and is waived:
IT’S ABOUT TIME! Talk about a player that needed to be let go because he let himself go. The unofficial french fry mascot for McDonald’s, Boris “The Hamburgerler” Diaw effort in the last few months has been embarassing. As coach Paul Silas put it “I like a player who is really committed to not only the team but to himself and then doing the best he can as a player,” Silas said. “Some of the things that would go on, like not shooting the ball, passing all of the time, that doesn’t help us.
“I needed hoops and he could put the ball in the hoop. When that wouldn’t happen, it was very disturbing.”
It’s about as disturbing as coaching the Bobcats this season or watching Diaw plainly being slack in his play this year. Word on
the street is cheek-kissing pal, Tony Parker wants him in San Antonio. You would like that Tony, wouldn’t you?
Andray Blatche deemed “too out-of-shape” to play and is sat for the season by the Washington Wizards:
From one rotund forward to another (what is it about the Southeast division and hefty big men? Eddy Curry, Blatche, Boris Diaw….), the Wizards finally found a palatable (hahaha) reason to bench the mercurial forward for the season. Probably to keep his baked goods away from the newly acquired Nene.
All jokes aside, Trevor Booker and and rookie Jan Vesely need playing time and with the amount of big men currently playing for the Wizards, someone had to be the odd-man-out. At this point we can expect Blatche to be moved this summer for the new iPad and a download of the new Angry Birds in Space app.
The Denver Nuggets sign Wilson Chandler for 5 years/$37 Million & Danilo Gallinari fractured his left thumb and may be out for up to 4 weeks:
Last nights 112-95 loss in Dallas by the Denver Nuggets was damaging not only because it kept them a game behind 6th place Memphis (and 2 1/2 games behind 5th place Dallas) and dropped them to only 1/2 game ahead of 8th place Houston, but they lost leading scorer Danilo Gallinari until at probably the playoffs.
The problem is Denver may not even make it to the playoffs based on these events. Yes, the Chandler signing was a great move, but they lose that strength when he was to step in and replace Gallinari’s production immediately. Breaking in Chandler (who hasn’t played in a month) and new trade piece, JaVale McGee, while fighting for the playoffs? That may be too much to ask.
The Chicago Bulls are a fantastic 3-1 without Derrick Rose (including wins over the Magic and Heat), while coach Tom Thibodeau becomes the fastest coach to reach 100 wins:
Are the Bulls pulling everyone’s card and showing that this is in fact not the same team as a year ago? Even with a lack of consistent scoring at the 2-guard position? 4 games is a small sample, but you certainly don’t beat a resurgent Dwight Coward-led Orlando Magic team by 26 points if you aren’t doing something spectacular. Did I mention that that 26-point margin wasn’t the amazing thing? It was holding that team to 59 points….for the game.
This team is really playing the right way (sharing the ball, producing effort on defense, a different player stepping up each night), because of coach Tom Thibodeau‘s ability to get everyone on the roster to buy-in (when you can get third-string point guard, John Lucas to mirror last year’s MVP, then you’re doing something special).
Speaking of Thibs; his accomplishment of reaching 100 wins faster than anyone that has ever coached in the NBA is great. I mean, even Phil Jackson (with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen) couldn’t do it as fast for crying out load. I guess when you can coach Derrick Rose and against the sorriest group of Eastern Conference teams for the majority of the season, you can rack wins at a breakneck pace too. Not to take anything away from what Thibs was able to do or anything.
J.J Hickson is released by the Sacramento Kings and is acquired by the Portland Trail Blazers:
Talk about a useless trade. At the time the the Omri Casspi-J.J. Hickson swap seemed like a good idea (it still may have been for the Cleveland Cavaliers – they got a first round pick out of the deal), but when Casspi still doesn’t know the Cavalier playbook and is subsequently benched and J.J. Hickson is released by the team that traded for him, the idea doesn’t look as bright at this time.
Hickson’s refusal to be the hard-nosed, rebounding, paint-roaming big man that he was in Cleveland was his downfall. As Cowbell Kingdom blogger James Ham mentioned on Podcast Episode 46 - someone got in Hickson’s ear, convinced him to “add” a jumper to his arsenal (which he started to depend on), and subsequently made him into a shell of his former self.
Can the Blazers use him? They have the space and minutes to see if he has any potential left, so it can’t hurt. Especially since former coach Nate McMillian‘s hardened approach is not longer around. Honestly I wouldn’t mind seeing a lineup of Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford, Nicholas Batum, ’10-’11 version of Hickson, and LaMarcus Aldridge. That could be a fast, push-the-pace type of lineup that didn’t quite succeed under McMillian.
Gilbert Arenas signs a pro-rated contract for the remainder of the season
Oh boy, Gilbert Arenas and Tony Allen in the same locker room? Let’s just say any and all stunts that happen in the locker room by Arenas will get met swiftly by Allen. Especially if it involves a card game. This is same guy that punched another undersized shooting guard (OJ Mayo) after hearing enough of his “lip”. I think it’s safe to say Arenas will be kept in line off the court, but what about on the court?
During his workout with the Lakers, Areans was cited as having a great deal of explosiveness and athleticism left. A question comes to mind; if that is the case, then why didn’t they never seriously considering signing him? At most, the Artist Formerly Known As Agent Zero can provide outside shooting and a stable backup that the Grizzlies don’t have in Josh Selby or Jeremy Pargo.
I just know that Arenas better have a phenomenal “Poker Face”….
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Word on the Street.
Shout out to Martin Lawrence
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