2012 NBA Trade Deadline Round-Up
So Dwight Howard opts in for another year in his contract for Orlando, but that doesn’t mean this year’s trade deadline wasn’t full of surprises and head scratchers. Let’s recap:
The Warriors look towards the future. The Lakers get a solid, young point guard and a solid, young F/C, adding depth. The Blazers start rebuilding by taking on expiring contracts. The Clippers get an offensive minded, tall off-guard. The Spurs and Popovich get Stephen Jackson back. The Nets do work to try and keep Deron Williams. The Pacers get a nice offensive minded guard. The Cavaliers have four top 40 2012 draft picks. The Wizards get smarter. The Nuggets get over their buyers remorse of Nene (in the expense of McGee and his expiring deal). The Rockets are trying to get better. The Grizzlies give Sam Young a home after finding no place in their roster.
And there you have it. The trade deadline, everybody. Enjoy the rest of your NBA season!
Good job Gallo, you made up for the horrible defensive play you made last week with an amazing offensive show against the Grizzlies. Good job.
Give the Gift of the Memphis Grizzlies this Valentines Day
In case you’re having trouble telling your loved one how you feel this Valentines Day, why not have the Memphis Grizzlies do it for you? This is truly amazing and I wish I had a way to get a hold of these. Especially the Tony Allen card. That one’s a classic.
I’m going to rant a little bit about this whole NBATV Fan Night voting.
I understand that there are a lot of Lakers fans, Bulls fans, and Heat fans. It makes sense because they all have superstars (Kobe, D-Rose, Lebron, D-Wade) and they’re all winners. With winning teams, though, also come fair-weather fans, and thus padded votes like this.
Let’s take a look at this closer, though. Granted, none of these matchups are bad. As a matter of fact, they’re all pretty good. The winning matchup is a Suns visit to the Lakers, which doesn’t surprise me at all. But, if anyone has been actually watching the NBA lately, this would be my least favorite pick, which makes me sad. Steve Nash is one of my favorite players of all time, but this Phoenix Suns team is really hard to watch. They don’t have the same fun and explosiveness that they did back when Stoudemire was on the team. Also, the Lakers are always on TV, so do you really need another game? Especially when it comes against a lackluster Suns squad?
The Heat vs. Warriors matchup is just as low as the Suns vs. Lakers to me. There are only three reasons to watch a game with these two teams (except if you’re a diehard fan of either): Monta Ellis, Dwyane Wade, and Lebron James. I’m a huge Warriors fan, but they just aren’t as fun as anyone’s used to because with their new roster, they’re offense has dropped to an almost unwatchable rate. Those three players are the only ones that can save that game. Granted, the Heat are also another team that is always on TV and they’ll most likely have an incredibly easy win.
I’m actually happy that the Bulls vs. Timberwolves got 2nd place because it’s the best matchup when it comes to having a very fun game. Derrick Rose automatically makes every game fun to watch, and the tandem of Rubio-Love-Williams is a great game. The Wolves need more TV time and it would be tons of fun, though the Bulls are slated for an easy win. Too bad it got 2nd place.
The Clippers vs. Blazers game I would have loved to see. The Blazers are arguably the best team in the Western Conference right now and the Clippers are fun to watch with CP3 and Blake. I’m surprised the hype behind the Clips didn’t give this game more votes. Only 13%? That’s a travesty.
My personal pick would have definitely been the Thunder vs. Grizzlies game. How can you not choose this game? These two teams went through a great 7 game series in last year’s playoffs, and (at least in my opinion) both are slated to be in the top 4 in the Western Conference by the end of the season. These are two great young teams who have matured more since last season, and this is the best matchup when it comes to talent out of the 5 games slated for Tuesday. Sure, Rudy Gay isn’t a superstar, but he’s getting damn close. I’m just surprised that Durant and Westbrook didn’t get more than 9% of the votes. I guess that’s the disadvantage of having two great teams in small-ish markets.
So if I were to rank these games for watchability?
Get it together NBA fans. I doubt that a good amount of the voters even have NBATV, so they won’t even be able to watch the Suns vs. Lakers game.
2010-2011 Bold Statements: Western Conference Standings
I doubt anyone will agree with these standings.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be amazing this year. All of their main players will be back: Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Perkins, Sefolosha, Maynor, Collison, and Cook. A full year and training camp with Perkins will also be really beneficial to their success. There won’t be a problem with Westbrook taking too many shots this season and Durant will be a top consideration for MVP. This team has it.
I almost didn’t put the Dallas Mavericks this high because they are getting older and Jason Kidd will not be playing all 66 games this season. They also lost great pieces in JJ Barea, DeShawn Stevenson, and defensive cornerstone Tyson Chandler. The main reason why I have them this high is because they replaced those players with a lot of talent. Delonte West, Vince Carter, and Lamar Odom are all great talents that will contribute a lot to this team. Beaubois should also be back for a full season. I have high hopes for this team.
The Los Angeles Lakers at the 3nd seed is a stretch to me. They lost a lot of chemistry with the losses of Lamar Odom and Phil Jackson. How Mike Brown’s system will work with this team is a total coin-flip. With that said, this team still has too much talent that you cannot ignore. Kobe is still Kobe and will score a lot of points. Bynum will be really good this season (once he’s back from his suspension). Josh McRoberts isn’t Lamar, but he will be a great player off the bench. Devin Ebanks looks like he will break out this season. The Lakers will still be really good.
This is probably my most ridiculous prediction. Yes, I think the Memphis Grizzlies will be good enough to take the #4 spot in the Western Conference. Their young core of Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, Mike Conley, and OJ Mayo is still in tact. I actually had this team up at #2 (huge stretch, but I believe), but once Darrell Arthur went down with an Achilles injury, my hopes dropped a bit.
I’m surprised I don’t have this Los Angeles Clippers team higher. I’ve given in to “Lob City” but you also have to remember that it’s only their first year together; they haven’t even had a full training camp together. Their starting line-up is deadly, though, with CP3, Billups, Butler, Blake, and DeAndre, with a solid bench of Mo Williams, Foye, Gomes, and Reggie Evans. If I’m so high on them, then why are they only the 5th seed? Vinny Del Negro.
Like the Pacers, I’m probably a lot higher on this Portland Trailblazers team than many others. Brandon Roy and Greg Oden being out will be a big blow, but you also have to take into account how neither of them were around a lot last season, and they still got the 6th seed. They still need another big man to make up for Camby’s absence in the beginning of the season, but LaMarcus Aldridge’s due for a huge All-Star season. Plus, with the addition of Jamal Crawford, they have a nice back court with Wesley Matthews and Raymond Felton.
The San Antonio Spurs are in the same situation as the Boston Celtics: win enough games to make the playoffs. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili definitely won’t be playing 66 games each. Antonio McDyess just retired and George Hill is now a Pacer. That means players like Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal and Kawhi Leonard are going to have to step up more, but only to a low playoff seed. The Spurs’ championship window is closing and sadly, this doesn’t look like their year.
There is no team more confusing than the Denver Nuggets this year. They lost JR Smith, Wilson Chandler, and Kenyon Martin to the Chinese Basketball Association until March; two out of those three more than likely would have returned to Denver. Nonetheless, they still have enough on their team to make the playoffs. Both Nene and Arron Afflalo will be back and will have more touches. Gallinari is due to step up his game, and Andre Miller and Ty Lawson will be a great point guard tandem. Rudy Fernandez is also a really good pick-up from the Mavericks, and Kenneth Faried will be a really good rookie. Now it’s just about George Karl putting this all together cohesively.
The Unfortunate Ones
I feel bad for the Houston Rockets. They are always stuck fighting for that 8th seed in the playoffs, but eventually falling just short. Kevin McHale will be a good coach for this team (even Jordan Hill looked good during the preseason), but with a roster like this, one can only do so much.
10th seed seems a little high for the Phoenix Suns, but Steve Nash and Grant Hill have had a taste from the fountain of youth. Nash is the kind of point guard that makes everyone around him better, and they’ll keep fighting to make that last playoff spot.
The Golden State Warriors’ success all depends on how the team responds to Mark Jackson’s devotion to team defense. Also: Stephen Curry’s ankle. With this roster, though, realistically I only see them around the 9th-12th seed. That means that they don’t make the playoffs and they lose their top-7 protected 2012 draft pick that the Utah Jazz have. Luck of the Warriors.
I am buying into the Minnesota Timberwolves this year. They are no longer the worst team in the Western Conference with Kevin Love getting even better and the additions of Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, and JJ Barea. Granted, they still won’t be good enough, mostly because Rubio and Williams have still yet to prove their worth.
I’m not nearly as high on the Utah Jazz as anyone else. They lost too much talent with Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan. Though they have a great front line with Favors, Jefferson, Millsap, and Kanter, I just don’t see enough talent to push them back to relevance. They can easily go up to 10th, though, but I doubt it.
What can I say about the New Orleans Hornets… I think Aminu’s, Gordon’s, and Kaman’s faces say it all. At least Gordon can let loose and have an All-Star worthy year!
And that leaves the Sacramento Kings. At first I didn’t want to put this team so low, but I couldn’t put myself to write them any higher. They have a lot of solid players in Tyreke, Jimmer, Thornton, Salmons, Garcia, Honeycutt, Hickson, Cousins, Thompson, and Hayes… but honestly, how is Paul Westphal going to implement these players cohesively?
Day 25 of Lost NBA Games
14 games originally scheduled. Am I really gonna go through this? It’s the day after Thanksgiving and everyone’s lethargic from all the food and exhausted from Black Friday shopping. Today would have been a perfect day to just sit in front of the TV and watch a few games. (It would have been a) good thing there’s a lot to pick from.
Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Bobcats - Firstly, I need to stop typing “Charlotte Hornets.” That’s the 3rd time I’ve caught myself. Secondly, I’d watch this just to watch their two tiny point guards in Jameer Nelson and DJ Augustin go at it.
Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - I never thought I’d see the day when the Timberwolves have a bigger (and possibly even better) front court than the Rockets. This is arguable, but the Wolves have a good amount of potential now.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics - Two great defenses would be going at it. Boston wins 75-70. Forreal tho, out of the 3 games these two teams played last season, they reached over 90 once in an overtime game. And the last one? The Bucks only scored 56 points. FIFTY-SIX. Jesus christ the Bucks need to find some offense. I guess they’re hoping S-Jax’s streaky shooting helps them.
New York Knicks vs. New Jersey Nets - I think these are just worth watching because this will be the Nets’ last year in New Jersey before moving to Brooklyn. Then it’ll forreal become a New York battle.
Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat - The Raptors would have gotten kiiiiiiiilled. No way will the league’s worst defense contain Wade, Lebron, or even Bosh.
Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers - Hello first round of the 2011 playoffs. That doesn’t really mean anything, but this time the Pacers have George Hill who is the closest person they have that can keep up with Derrick Rose. But then again, no one can keep up with Derrick Rose (unless you’re 6’8”, 250 lbs, with a 7 ft wingspan, but then again you’re a freak of nature).
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - Ah, a meeting from the WC Semis. That really was a great series going into game 7. I hope that these two squads keep going at it because both teams are pretty similar in my opinion. Great matchups. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to see Rudy Gay go up against Kevin Durant?
Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons - I don’t even think Detroit or DC fans would want to watch this. Or maybe I’m just a hater. At least there’s John Wall?
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs - I’d honestly watch this just for Kyrie Irving going up against Tony Parker. Otherwise… c’mon, it’s the Cavs.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets - If the Thunder and Grizzlies weren’t meeting, this would definitely be the game of the day. Two great and exciting teams with crazy, tattooed Shooting Guards. Who wouldn’t want to see this? (Yes, I was talking about JR Smith and DeShawn Stevenson).
LA Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns - I just wanna see Blake Griffin get this dunk back from Marcin Gortat (even though that was a Clippers home game). Otherwise, this would’ve been a super fun game. Fast pace + highlights = NBA gold.
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trailblazers - I’d watch this just to see the Jazz throw all of their big men at LMA. Also, Wes Matthews should have a good game, if last season is any indication.
Sacramento Kings vs. LA Lakers - Tyreke vs. Kobe looks cool (both matchup wise and name wise). Cousins vs. Bynum also looks fun. With that said, Metta World Peace would kill in this game. Just a hunch.
New Orleans Hornets vs. Golden State Warriors - 2nd meeting of the year. Dope matchup. I’m super sad this isn’t happening.
I’m only allowed up to 10 photos? lame.
Day 23 of Lost NBA Games
10 games we could have kept track of while you wait for it to be Thanksgiving.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Charlotte Bobcats - I’m gonna be frank here, but the Bobcats would get killed inside. Non-sequitur, but I first typed Charlotte Hornets, but then caught myself. I miss those days.
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - I can’t help but SMH when I look at the Cavs’ roster. They don’t have much outside of Kyrie Irving, Boom Dizzle (barely), Omri Casspi, Antawn Jamison, and Anderson Varejao. And even then, that’s a bit sketchy (besides Kyrie). The Pacers, on the other hand, have Darren Collison, George Hill, Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, Paul George, and Psycho T. Very promising.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - Why wouldn’t you want to watch a game between these two teams. Classic Kobe vs. Durant. I would write more, but it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics - You would have had the worst defense (30th in Defensive Efficiency with 110… wow) against a team with one of the best defenses (2nd with a Defensive Efficiency of 97.8). Um, yeah, that basically explains it all.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Detroit Pistons - Every now and then you see a matchup that doesn’t really matter too much. They meet only twice a year, and honestly none of the matchups look very promising. Raymond Felton vs. Rodney Stuckey maybe? Otherwise, I actually don’t know how to approach this game. Sorry folks.
New Jersey Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks - I would love to see Deron Williams light up for 50 over Brandon Jennings. I’m still sore from the time Jennings scored 55 on the Warriors back in his rookie season. Brooke Lopez vs. Andrew Bogut also looks like a very intriguing matchup.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets - The best and the worst out of the Southwest Division. Granted, the Rockets are still a very solid over-.500 team, so that statement doesn’t even mean much. This should’ve been a really fun game with Kevin Martin and Dirk Nowitzki shooting the lights out.
Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - I guess we’ll have to wait until next year to see Dorell Wright drop 9 three-pointers at the Target Center. Can’t believe that was already almost a whole year ago (Nov. 27, 2010).
Orlando Magic vs. San Antonio Spurs - You can’t not love the idea of this game. Two great defensive big men duke it out in San Antonio, and it would have been great. Dwight Howard. Tim Duncan. Damn.
Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings - Wow, I actually think the Kings own this matchup. Granted, the Jazz’s front line is deeper and looks stronger, but the Kings’ backcourt should’ve made up for it.
Day 22 of Lost NBA Games
Seven games scheduled. Mmmmhmmmm.
Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Besides the Nuggets, the Pistons have got to be one of the hardest teams to predict for next year. For one, they have a new coach with Lawrence Frank who does look very promising, but who knows if the Pistons will start off the season 13-0 or 0-16 under him. Also, out of Hamilton, Prince, Gordon, and Villanueva, at least one or two of them won’t be on the team by the time a season rolls around. This team is rebuilding and they need help after last year’s chaos. As for the Pacers? They more or less have it figured out. Vogel is showing that he’s a capable coach and they got a good piece in George Hill. My money would be on the Pacers, but who knows how Frank would be doing 22 days into the season.
Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards - Rajon Rondo vs. John Wall alone would be so much fun to watch.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat - I see nothing but a BLOCK PARTY when you have a game with both Lebron and Josh Smith. This would be a good game to watch if you’re into watching highlight-worthy defensive plays. If not, just watch some more charity game highlights.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies - I really love this matchup. For one, you got both Gasols going at it. You also gotta wonder who’ll light up more, Kobe or Rudy Gay. These games aren’t just fun, but they’re competitive, with these teams splitting the series last season 2-2.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Dallas Mavericks - I don’t really have much to say about this one. I like both teams for various different reasons. I guess the main reason to watch it is because the Mavs won the Championship last season. Otherwise, unless you’re a fan of either team, it just seems like a pretty normal game.
Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets - This actually looks like a great matchup. The Nuggets would’ve looked to run, because their pace (#2 in the league last year) can be backed up by their offensive efficiency. The Bulls? #1 in Defensive efficiency. This could’ve been a great battle of the best of both worlds.
New Orleans Hornets vs. Phoenix Suns - Two of the greatest point guards in the league right now would have been going head to head. Who doesn’t want to see that? I wanna say that there would have been at least a combined 50 assists between both teams with Nash and Paul dishing the rock to the likes of Gortat, West, and Okafor. Pick n’ rolls all day!
Day 19 of Lost NBA Games
I’m skipping Day 18. For one, I’m already two days late, and the only game that was really worth watching out of the 12 that day would have been a Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder matchup. That actually looked really good, being a rematch from the first round of the playoffs last season. Though I’ve been calling out a lot of Denver games during this “season” it is a bit hard to really gauge how they’ll be next season with how many free agents they have, a good amount of which you don’t know will be coming back. At at this point in the lockout, three of them are in China with a “no-out clause” for the lockout.
There was also a Portland vs. Indiana game scheduled. LMA vs. Hibbert would have been pretty dope.
Alright here we go, Day 19 - Saturday, November 19th
Dallas Mavericks vs. Atlanta Hawks - One great team vs. a very solid team with some good match-ups. Josh Smith would have a huge assignment against Dirk. Tyson Chandler would have a lot to handle in Al Horford. You got an aging Kidd going against Teague (most likely). I like how this game would look, in my opinion.
New Orleans Hornets vs. Orlando Magic - A little bit of bias here because I really like both teams, but honestly why wouldn’t you want to watch this game? The team with (arguably) the best point guard in the league right now would go against the team with (unarguably) the best center in the league right now. This may have been one of the last times these two might see each other with these two teams too, both going into free agency in 2012. Further than that, though, you have Okafor, West (maybe), and Landry working down low for NOLA and Orlando with a plethora of outside shooters. Should make for a fun game.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies - This one might seem crazy and it might seem like I keep pushing for the Grizzlies this season, but hear me out. Kevin Love and Derrick Williams vs. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Of course, Rudy Gay makes this no contest, but I love the matchup at the post.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks have a really good defense (4th best Defensive rating last season with a 102.5) so I’m wondering if their defensive powerhouse Andrew Bogut could contain a guy like LaMarcus Aldridge. Could have been fun, if the Bucks could find their offense, that is.
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers - Derrick Rose vs. Blake Griffin. This matchup already happened in Day 8, so whoever made up this schedule is an asshole for finishing their series together in the season by the 19th day. Either way, this game would have had the most explosive point guard against the most explosive power forward. It’s always a sad day when these two don’t play.
Day 16 of Lost NBA Games - Wednesday, Nov. 16th
I’m skipping the 15th because there were only 4 games and they were all pretty much “meh.” Today, though? Wednesdays are usually packed with tons of games to make up for the 2 or 3 scheduled for Thursdays. Boy, did we miss a good day today. 13 games slated with a great amount worth watching. Let’s get into it!
Phoenix Suns vs. Toronto Raptors - I’d feel bad if this whole “season” I barely talk about the Toronto Raptors, so I’m choosing this match-up for two reasons: Toronto Raptors’ horrible defense matched up with the Suns’ fast pace should make for a pretty fun offensive game to watch. Key word: fun, not necessarily great.
Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Hornets - I mentioned on Day 12 how any matchup between any of the five teams in the Southwest Division is a must watch, and there are no exceptions. Of course, a Yao-less Rockets squad is lacking down low with Chuck Hayes at starting Center, and Lowry and Dragic will get killed against Chris Paul, but Kevin Martin will do work against whoever the Hornets have at the 2. Should be a good one to watch.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat - Oh man, this one would have been on ESPN. Pretty much THE marquee game of the night. Two great defenses, two great teams that would be fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and will more than likely meet again in the Playoffs. This one’s basically a “no duh.”
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - You might think I’m crazy for putting this up… and maybe I am. I’m just down to see a showdown between Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings, along with Andrew Bogut going at it Derrick Williams and Kevin Love down low. You also have Stephen Jackson matched up against Michael Beasley… lol.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies - They already met up on Day 11, so I won’t get too much into this one. Nonetheless, this would’ve still be a great game to watch. Also, both teams will be retaining most of their players, saving that Gasol, Randolph, and Chandler don’t get moved whenever the offseason starts, but it seems unlikely that the Mavs will get rid of their defensive centerpiece, and Randolph wants to stay with Gasol. Either way, great game.
Chicago Bulls vs Portland Trailblazers - It’s already pretty great getting a game with either Derrick Rose or LaMarcus Aldridge, and you only get these two meeting up twice a year. It’s sad we’re missing it because of the lockout.
New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets - Can you believe that this would have been their first matchup ever since the Carmelo trade last year? Another ESPN game and this one would have been epic. Who knows how Denver fans would react to Carmelo’s return? Well… other than the people of Denver, but I guess the rest of us will never know. Sad day.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors - I’m putting this one down mostly out of bias. I went to this Warriors home game vs. the 76ers last season with some of my best friends and had a great time. Of course, now a couple of those friends are in LA and the game has been cancelled, so recreating it is a no go (plus, it’s a Wednesday) but it would’ve been fun to do it again. Plus, I’m a big fan of Andre Iguodala.