Saturday, March 1, 2014

Random NBA observations

  • Iman Shumpert will mis six weeks with a sprained MCL. So will Nenê. You should feel truly bad for the Denver Nuggets, though. They had high hopes coming into 2013-2014, but have so far lost Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson, and Javale McGee to season-ending injuries. The Celtics' Gerald Wallace (torn meniscus) and Pelicans' Jrue Holiday (stress fracture) will also miss the remainder of the year.
  • Pierre the Pelican, the New Orleans Pelicans' mascot, no longer looks like he will eat your soul. He underwent reconstructive surgery after suffering a broken beak.
  • The Josh Smith-Maurice Cheeks beef is over. Cheeks was let go by the Pistons shortly before the All-Star break, with Joe Dumars citing the need for change as a cause. The Cavaliers parted ways with GM Chris Grant because of, well, all the losing that's been going on.
  • The All-Star Weekend came and went, and all in all it was pretty uneventful. The Dion Waiters vs. Tim Hardaway Jr. shootout in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge was certainly entertaining, and John Wall's reverse, over-the-back dunk was amazing, but overall, the events were pretty lackluster. The new Dunk Contest format, with the East competing against the West, was not an improvement, and the typically defenseless All-Star Game was a scorefest yet again, with Kyrie Irving and the East outgunning the West, 163-155.
  • If video killed the radio star, then the CBA killed the trade deadline. Some big names were rumored to be moved, but in the end, all of them stayed pat. Danny Granger was the only "star" that switched teams. The Pacers traded him to the 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, only to be bought out. Philadelphia, which acquired three second-round picks in two separate trades, is by a landslide the biggest Trade Deadline winner. The franchise has built a war chest of cap space and picks unlike anything you have ever seen before. What about trades, you say? Marcus Thornton could provide a spark in Brooklyn, but other than that, one word: fodder.
  • The buyout casualties proved more interesting, with Granger and Glen Davis (to the Clippers), Caron Butler (to the Thunder), Jimmer Fredette (to the Bulls), and Beno Udrih (to the Grizzlies) all finding greener pastures. Udrih was waived by the Knicks along with Metta World Peace to make room for Earl Clark and Shannon Brown.
  • And that's not all in the Knicks' ever-going soap opera. Point guard Raymond Felton, whose cringe-inducing shooting numbers suggest otherwise, is apparently a specialist from close range. The 9-year veteran, unsuccessfully offered to the Magic for Jameer Nelson, was arraigned on two gun charges on February 25. No problem for the Knicks: he was still allowed to practice and play without any kind of penalty.
  • It will be interesting to see what kind of sanction brand-new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hands out to Felton. Silver took over from David Stern (who was quickly elected to the Hall of Fame) on February 1 and wasted no time to announce that NBA jerseys will eventually have ads on them.
  • Jason Collins made history. He earned a contract with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the NBA's first active gay player. His jersey quickly skyrocketed to No. 1 on the NBA Store sales list.
  • How terrifyingly awesome is LeBron's face mask? Only this would have been cooler.

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