SH Blog: Love rips Timberwolves management, Magic Johnson says Pau Gasol being misused

  • Anderson Varejao may be moved before the trade deadline, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoops World: “While Varejao has many fans within the Cavaliers organization, multiple league sources believe Cleveland will trade him as the February 21 trade deadline approaches. One league source thinks the Cavs would part ways with Varejao if they were able to add one or two more pieces to their young core that includes Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller. At 30 years old, Varejao will likely be out of the league once Irving, Waiters, Thompson and Zeller each reach their prime. While Varejao has been an excellent leader and mentor for Cleveland’s young core, he’s not in the Cavs’ long-term plan, which is why trading him for young talent and draft picks while his stock is high seems to make the most sense.”
  • LeBron James wanted Charles Barkley to shut up about Dwyane Wade, then changed his mind. Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida has the story: “Wade claimed after Monday’s game he “really didn’t listen to the noise” that is mainly coming from Barkley. But Wade’s teammates disagree, saying Wade, 30, knows quite well about Barkley’s claims that his game is falling off rapidly. “It means Charles Barkley, you shut up,” Heat forward LeBron James said about what Wade showed Monday. But when James thought more about it, he doesn’t want Barkley to close his mouth. It sure seems to be motivating Wade. Barkley was critical of Wade during a Nov. 29 TNT broadcast and Wade two days later scored a season-high 34 points against Brooklyn. After Barkley continued to rip Wade last Thursday, Wade has scored 26 points in each of the past two games while shooting 20 of 25. “The man is shooting 80 percent the last couple of games,” James said. “Come on. That’s crazy. Seriously . . . He’s unbelievable. I do (want Barkley to keep criticizing Wade). I love it. When someone’s not saying stuff about me, I’m glad that somebody finally got off me for a change.”
  • Magic Johnson said Pau Gasol is being completely misused and that Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun style makes no sense for the Lakers, according to Melissa Rohlin of Los Angeles Times: “His system doesn’t fit the talent that the Lakers have,” Johnson said. “You can’t run with this team. Where are the runners? You got one dude who can get up and down the court and that’s Kobe [Bryant]. Ron [Metta World Peace], love him, but he’s slow. Both of our big men, not fast guys. [D’Antoni] has got to say, ‘Maybe I should scale it back.’ ” Johnson believes D’Antoni’s biggest mistake so far is how he’s used Pau Gasol. “He’s still one of the best passing big man, I’m sorry, he is the best passing big man in the game, but you have him at the free throw line” waiting for the ball, Johnson said. “That makes no sense. That’s not his game. His game is catch it on the low block, face his man, one dribble left or right, he’s in the cup, nice hook, nice move, because he’s got great moves.” Gasol, who missed his fifth game Tuesday because of knee tendinitis, has struggled this season, averaging a career-low 12.6 points a game. “Now all the blame is on his shoulders, like he’s not performing well,” Johnson said of Gasol. “He can’t take that. That’s not who he is. They got to put him in a winning situation because once Gasol starts playing well, I think the team will play well.”


  • Rick Bonnell of Charlotte Observer has further details about how Jordan still plays one-on-one with his players from time to time: “He’s the best ever to play and he’s still got that competitive nature. He always feels he can help you,” said team captain Henderson. “We played one-one-one. That’s always fun. He wants to win.” How much does a 49-year-old Jordan have left? “He’s still got it. He can still shoot,” Henderson said. “I don’t know about his defense, but he can still score.” Jordan’s participation started out with him showing Kidd-Gilchrist some post moves. It escalated into some one-on-one. Naturally, players started migrating over to form an audience. Then Henderson, a former Duke Blue Devil, joined in against Jordan, a former North Carolina Tar Heel. Everyone knew what that meant.”
  • Henry Abbott of Truehoop detailed quotes from Kobe Bryant about the current state of his team: “We’re playing just terrible basketball… I think I’m doing a pretty good job just sitting on my lily pad, staying patient through this process… It remains to be seen how well we’re going to play… Mike D’Antoni is a “very very smart offensive coach… Pau “needs to be in the post more” and “when he gets back he’ll be in his spots more… I’m a bit of a psychopath when it comes to [results]. I don’t expect my teammates to share my level of concern… I think the roster’s fine … I don’t want to over-react… Kobe on Pau Gasol: “I think he’s the key to the whole thing… You can’t let frustration or urgency choke the process.”
Kobe Bryant said Carmelo Anthony is harder to guard than LeBron James in his interview with Stephen A Smith this AM
Jill Munroe
  • Stephen Curry opened up about how serious his offseason ankle surgery could have been, from Marc J. Spears: “If my ankle was unstable it could have taken up to a year to rehab and recover from,” Curry said. “They couldn’t tell me if I would be able to play the way I used to or if my ankle would ever feel the same as before. That’s a tough thought to have before you go in [the operating room].”… “I didn’t want to be the player that was forever limited in what he could do on the court because of a serious problem with my ankle, with the alignment … ” Curry said. “But when I came out my wife told me they just got the scar tissue out. I thought she was lying at first because I had some concerns and anxiety about it.”… “It feels good to be healthy,” Curry said. “The one thing I can worry about is how I am playing, not just being on the court.”
  • LeBron James had very high praise for Curry prior to their matchup on Wednesday: “Q: You buy the Curry-for-MVP talk? “I think he’s playing at a high level. He’s definitely MVP for that team, for sure. And with the way that they’re playing as a team, he’d get a few votes, of course. It’s early in the season. If you had to stop right now, no one would’ve said that they’d be where they are right now — second in their division and in the middle of the pack as far as playoffs. So he’s definitely playing at a high clip right now.” Q: What drew you to Curry back then? “Just the way he played the game at a high level and his ability to raise his teammates to another level. Can anyone name one of his teammates in college? Right now. Go. … My point exactly. And he raised all their levels to another height because he was able to transcend their games and play at that high level. So I kind of gravitated towards that. To have one individual be able to make other people play at another level than they possibly can is awesome.” Q: So it’s not because he was born in Akron?  “Of course. I know that for sure. (Laughs) I wasn’t even going to say that. That’s self explanatory.”

Why Jason Kidd became a great 3-point shooter 

Scouting report on Duke center Mason Plumlee


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