What’s going on? Are the Nets really this bad?
They lost to the Pistons (who have also started a bit sluggishly) today. And that was with Joe Johnson going bonkers from deep.
Also losing today were the Jazz. They’re really this bad. Not as bad as that time in the video game when I traded all their players away for draft picks and had Jason Kapono and Brian Scalabrine in the starting lineup, but pretty bad.
Of course, bad teams can mean good ticket prices. Looking for Jazz tickets? Look no further.
Elsewhere in the NBA, everyone is still coming to grips with Derrick Rose’s latest knee injury. That’s the subject of three news items in today’s roundup of the latest news from around the NBA:
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune looks at what Derrick Rose’s injury means for the Bulls: “While Rose’s absence will add drama to the sputtering start the Bulls have experienced, particularly on top of the week-to-week loss of Jimmy Butler, it should avoid the career- and franchise-altering event of a second torn ACL. Knowing Rose would return, management kept the 2013-14 Bulls intact for one, final championship run. Whether the reshaping of the roster, widely assumed to transpire next summer, will be accelerated could depend on for how long Rose is sidelined. If Rose misses the remainder of the season, attempts to trade Luol Deng, who can walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer, could be accelerated. This much is certain: The Bulls aren’t a championship-caliber team without Rose. So well-versed to playing without him, all associated with the franchise understand what losing their star for any time means.”
- Also on the Bulls, here’s Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski: “Several players, including Rose, have fully lined up with coach Tom Thibodeau in his never-ending battle with the front office. Rose and Luol Deng carry resentments with management, too. Thibodeau doesn’t want to lose Deng to free agency, but management seems determined to choose the younger Jimmy Butler’s contract extension over Deng for the future. Thibodeau is in the second season of a four-year contract extension, but those close to him and the Bulls wonder: Is this a partnership doomed to perish sooner than later? With Rose and a championship contender, there was reason for Thibodeau to push through a most toxic environment. Now? Rose returns to perpetual rehab, Deng plays out his deal, and Thibodeau and his nemesis, general manager Gar Forman, could come to a crossroads sooner than later. Everything revolves around Rose, everything with these Bulls. Across these 11 games in his comeback, he was far from his old self. His left knee was strong again – stronger and more explosive than it had ever been, he insisted – but his timing, his shot, his presence resembled little of his superstar yesterday. There was time to grow back into it this season, time to be Derrick Rose again, and now it is slipping away again.”
- Eliot Shorr of the Newark Star-Ledger has an idea for the Bulls: “If there is one positive from the Sixers surprising 6-8 starts, it is that the strong play of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes have a lot to do with it. That value of both players has never been higher, which is why there has been plenty of speculation as to where the two players will ultimately land. The Bulls would be smart to try to have it be in Chicago. Turner, a Chicago native, would be an ideal fit for the Bulls to replace Rose. He isn’t the player that Rose is, but he has shown over his career that he is best with the ball in his hands. With Rose now gone, there are plenty of touches open in Chicago. Rose was first on the Bulls in total touches this season, with his 832 touches ranking him 31st overall in the NBA. That is less than Turner, has 929 touches this season, but it isn’t that far off. For Turner to continue to average the numbers he is right now for the Sixers – 21.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists – he is going to need to go to a situations where he could continue to get the same amount of touches. Before that wasn’t going to happen in Chicago, but now, it might.”
Pierce says Nets not adjusting: “Teams make adjustments, especially when they’re down. And we have to realize that and adjust with that.”
— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) November 24, 2013
- Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post says Danilo Gallinari still isn’t nearly ready to return: “Two months of knee rehab with the Nuggets has brought some clarity to forward Danilo Gallinari about the time it’s actually going to take to get back on the court. It won’t be next week, as he’d hoped – and said prior to the start of training camp – it would be. In fact, he does not know when it will be. He is officially out of the prediction and timetable business. What he does know is he is very far away from even thinking about a return. He talked about it all in an interview with the Denver Post. “Ahead of me I have a lot of things to do – running on the court, being able to do cutting and everything that you do on the court, and be able to play,” Gallinari said. “So a lot of stuff. What we are doing now, we are able to run on the AlterG, this anti-gravity machine. We’re able to do that and other stuff in the weight room.” And that’s about it. Gallinari doesn’t have a date for when he’ll begin on-court running. For those expecting a quick return from the Nuggets second-leading scorer last season, patience will be needed. Gallinari admitted he was a bit overzealous with his initial time frame for returning.”
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) November 24, 2013
- Some ugliness yesterday, first in the Portland-Golden State game. Joel Odom of the Oregonian reports: “A third-quarter fracas broke out late in the third quarter of the Portland Trail Blazers’ game at the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, leading to the ejection of Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams. Golden State’s Draymond Green also was ejected, and technical fouls were assessed to LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Freeland and the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut. Matthews was assessed a technical as well, but the ejection came because it was his second technical of the game. Williams received a straight ejection. The pushing and shoving came after Bogut threw an elbow to the jaw of Freeland as they were battling in the paint with 3:42 to play in the third quarter. Multiple players from both teams got into the scrum, though no punches were thrown, as Aldridge, Williams and Matthews came to Freeland’s defense.”
- Also, when the Kings played the Clippers, Travis Outlaw was ejected. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes: “Kings forward Travis Outlaw had never been ejected from an NBA game in his career before Saturday afternoon’s 103-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Outlaw was was ejected with 8:06 to play in the game for a flagrant foul 2. On the play Outlaw was trying to stop Clippers guard J.J. Redick from making a layup and reached out to grab him and made contact with Redick’s right shoulder near his neck. Redick landed hard on the floor and his teammates rushed to confront Outlaw and the Kings stepped in to defend Outlaw. But after review, the officials ruled Outlaw’s foul was worthy of an ejection. “When I reached out I couldn’t stop him from falling,” Outlaw said. “I was trying to but he was too strong and he went on down. It happens I guess.”
Chris Paul on DeMarcus Cousins preventing Thomas from shaking his hand: “He young man. He don’t know better. He needs some guidance”
— John Dickinson (@JDJohnDickinson) November 23, 2013
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times looks at how Kobe Bryant will fit into the Lakers’ offense: “What do the Lakers expect Kobe Bryant to be able to do when he returns? Here’s the scary part: No one in the organization really knows. There’s some optimism but also plenty of shrugging. He recently practiced hard for two consecutive days and then stopped after feeling “general soreness” in his left foot, the same one that housed his torn Achilles’ tendon. There appears to be only one consensus. Bryant adjusted his slash-and-burn game a few years ago to become one of the NBA’s top perimeter players, and now he’d have to retool again by doing more damage from the post than outside. It’s a potential problem because Coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense relies heavily on high screen-and-roll sets that players are enjoying. Irresistible offense meets immovable Bryant? Add it to the many story lines when Bryant returns.”
- Teal fans everywhere, rejoice: the Charlotte Hornets are returning. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports: “The Charlotte Bobcats will go purple-and-teal when they become the Hornets next season – as it was in 1988 and as the fans want it to be again. Bobcats management revealed the color scheme in an exclusive interview with the Observer. The purple-and-teal scheme will be accented by black and light shades of gray and blue. A formal announcement by the team is expected later Sunday. Returning to the teal-and-purple look in the original Alexander Julian-designed uniforms seemed a no-brainer after the Bobcats received permission from the NBA in July to adopt the Hornets nickname. The original Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002 and switched nicknames to the Pelicans this season.”
Dan Malone is in his fourth year as a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent this summer as a features intern at the Cape Cod Times. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.