Sunday, December 8, 2013

Random NBA observations

NBA observations november december

  • In case you have been living under a rock: Derrick Rose is out for the season with a torn meniscus. The injury bug has not been kind to the NBA this season: Andre Iguodala could return soon, but Marc Gasol (MCL sprain), Anthony Davis (left hand fracture), J.J. Redick (hand fracture, elbow ligament tear), Paul Pierce (right hand bone fracture), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand fracture) join a list of notable inactive players that includes Tyson Chandler, Javale McGee, Danny Granger, Larry Sanders, and Steve Nash, among others.
  • Even with Dwyane Wade fostering knee injuries, the Heat are getting by. The team has so far had 11 different players in its starting lineup. Forward Michael Beasley is not one of them, though you must applaud the Heat for how picking him up and keeping him in line. He is playing his tail off every chance he gets.
  • It's been 240 days since Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles. He will return against the Toronto Raptors tonight with a fresh two-year, $48.5 million contract extension in his back pocket, eating up a huge chunk of the Lakers' cap flexibility next summer. Kobe doesn't do paycuts. Those are for championship-chasing suckers like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
  • Rajon Rondo, who I announced last time could be back in December, is not yet close to returning. GM Danny Ainge in a recent radio interview said that the All-Star point guard is still more than a few weeks away from returning to action. And why would he rush back? The Celtics have currently won two straight and five of their last seven.
  • The Minnosota Timberwolves were early birds when it came to in-season trades, sending former No. 2 pick Derrick Williams to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah A Moute. More trades are underway, though, as the Houston Rockets seek to deal Omer Asik as soon as possible. The Heat's Joel Anthony, Knicks' Iman Shumpert, Raptors' Rudy Gay, and the Magic's Jameer Nelson could all be donning new uniforms fairly soon.
  • The Boston Celtics Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen has come and gone, and somehow the San Antonio Spurs, written off years ago, are 15-3 with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili still producing steadily. Duncan recently became the oldest player to record a 20/20 game, notching 23 points and 21 rebounds versus the Hawks.
  • The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets continue their dysfunctional ways. These teams were supposed to be title contenders, paying $86 million and $101 million in salaries respectively, but after five weeks of play, they have collected just 11 wins among them. The Knicks don't play a lick of defense, they lack chemistry on the court, and coach Mike Woodson is reportedly already on the hot seat. The Nets have somewhat more of an excuse with injuries to Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, and now Paul Pierce, but Gatoradegate, the iso-heavy offense, and the Frank Lawrence fiasco are not working in the favor of first-year coach Jason Kidd.
  • You can label the Cleveland Cavaliers as dysfunctional, too. Andrew Bynum has shown flashes, which is nice, but apparently he plays in pain every time and has given serious thought to retirement. Anthony Bennett's numbers are an eye sore, sophomore shooting guard Dion Waiters is reportedly on the trading block, and Kyrie Irving is struggling to be consistent, shooting .394 from the field and .300 from beyond the arc.
  • The NBA keeps expanding, teaming up with SiriusXM for its own 24/7 NBA radio station. NBA Radio will cover more than 14 live games every week, as well as a daily schedule of NBA-focused news and talk.
  • Keep voting for your 2014 NBA All-Stars. Just 44 days left!

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