Martin Luther King Day is more than a day of celebration and reflection for the NBA, which probably has done more positive things for race relations than any other sport in the Civil Rights Era. It also has become the unofficial midway point of the season. By the completion of Monday’s action, more than half of the league’s 30 teams will have played half their games. With that in mind, we present our midseason awards with this reminder from the bookie of hopeless
With the midway point of the regular season approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to give the rookies a break and rank the sophomores for two reasons. 1. It is a nice change of pace and gives the reader something new. 2. This rookie class is god-awful and we are running out of ways to describe how bad it is. At the end of the season, NBA coaches are asked to vote for five players for an All-Rookie Team. We
Since training camp opened, there have been five significant trades involving 10 teams, 19 players and seven draft picks. The big winners have been a team that got rid of the highest scorer among the traded players and a team that acquired a player who has yet to play. The big loser has been a team that swears by analytics. Another way to look at it is like this: The biggest trades thus far have been the ones that haven’t been made
Last season, the Portland Trail Blazers had one of the worst benches in the NBA. Portland’s reserves were last in minutes (13.3), points (18.5), rebounds (10.5), offensive efficiency (21.1) and defenseive efficiency (minus 17.7). It was a big reason they had three players in the top nine in minutes per game, including rookie Damian Lillard, who led the entire NBA in minutes played. It also was a big reason why those players burned out and Portland lost its last 11 games
Mitch Kupchak shouldn’t be playing hardball. In his desire to trade Pau Gasol, the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers should not have insisted on receiving Dion Waiters or a first-round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nobody has overpaid for a rental since Ernie Grunfeld sent Ray Allen to Seattle for Gary Payton — and that was a long time ago. Kupchak should have lowered his demands to match the team’s expectations. The Lakers are done for this season and should be
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has a sprained right knee and will miss at least a week. The Suns made the announcement Saturday. If Bledsoe sits out just one week, he will miss games Saturday vs. Milwaukee and the first three games of a five-game road trip – Tuesday at Chicago, Wednesday at Minnesota and Friday at Memphis. Bledsoe was a late scratch from Thursday’s home loss to Memphis with the injury, which left at least one NBA gambler unhappy. The Suns are
Andre Miller is no longer suspended. But he won’t play tonight. The Denver Nuggets on Friday rescinded Miller’s two-game suspension. However, Miller still will miss all team activities – including two games – between now and Monday for what the team called personal reasons. So he’s not suspended. But he is still missing two games. OK. Rookie coach Brian Shaw somewhat explained the decision on the team’s Twitter account.
The Orlando Magic on Friday waived Hedo Turkoglu, who likely will become a free agent. Turkoglu was in the final year of a contract paying him $12 million this season. However, only $6 million was guaranteed. GM Rob Hennigan saved the other $6 million by waiving Turkoglu by Jan. 7, the day all contracts become fully guaranteed. Waiving Turkoglu moves the Magic approximately $5 million under the cap and makes them a potential player leading up to the trading deadline as a