Sheridan Hoops http://www.sheridanhoops.com Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:28:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 SH Blog: Cuban wants eight teams to swap conferences, Irving wants to become a great defensive player http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/sh-blog-cuban-wants-eight-teams-to-swap-conferences-trash-talking-females-angered-garnett/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/sh-blog-cuban-wants-eight-teams-to-swap-conferences-trash-talking-females-angered-garnett/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:21:09 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84952

ParkCubanMark Cuban wants the Dallas Mavericks to become an Eastern Conference team, and he appears to be dead serious about it.

Based on how the respective conferences look these days, can you blame him?

The West has absolutely demolished the East in the early going with a combined record of 55-23 (!!!). With that kind of differential, it’s no surprise to see that the West has nine teams with a 60 percent or better winning percentage, while the East only has three such teams. The Brooklyn Nets currently hold the eighth seed with a 6-8 record in the East. Conversely, the Sacramento Kings have a 9-6 record and are out of the playoffs picture in the West.

Yikes.

And lets take a look at the Phoenix Suns – a team that missed the playoffs last season despite winning 48 games. Had they been in the East, that record would have been good enough to put them in a three-way tie for third best overall. It’s almost deja vu in the early going, as they tightly hang onto the eighth seed with a 10-6 record. Again, that would be the third best record in the East right now.

Simply put, this is some B.S.

The playoffs should be represented by the best teams in the league, but the current alignment fails miserably in that regard because of the imbalance of power between the conferences.

There are plenty of folks out there who believe conferences should simply be abolished. Tom Ziller of SB Nation has been putting in some great work on ways to accomplish just that. Whether we’ll actually get to see any of it  any time soon is another story.

Cuban has another idea: do a simple switcheroo with a few of the teams. Dwain Price of Star-Telegram has details:

Although he hasn’t requested anything formally with the Competition Committee, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is seeking realignment in the NBA which will take his team from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference.

In addition to the Mavs, Cuban wants the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans moved to the East, with Detroit, Milwaukee, Indiana and Chicago switching to the West.

“I actually look up the distances between Dallas, and Chicago, Detroit, etc, (to Portland). . .and I don’t think it changes the travel,’’ Cuban said. “It doesn’t change the considerations for playoffs and I think it shakes things up in terms of balance of power today.

[...]

“Take teams that are currently in North Central, in the East, they’re about the same distance from Portland as we are. Put them in the West.’’

“It changes things up, it changes the thought process for a lot of teams and it makes both conferences very competitive, at least for the short term,’’ Cuban said “And I think based off the history of the teams, for the long term as well.

“But I think it makes things more interesting.’’

Any time there’s a major change in the league, it’s more interesting. That said, lets take a look at how things would look right now in the standings if Cuban’s proposal came to fruition.

East:  Toronto, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Washington, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami.

West: Memphis, Golden State, Portland, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix, Chicago, Sacramento, Milwaukee.

Would you look at that? Cleveland would be out of the playoffs picture (they are currently in as the seventh seed) and the fourth best team in the East would suddenly be fighting for the eighth seed in the West. Even!

It’s obviously all hypothetical at this point, but the idea would certainly balance things out much better. Make it happen, Cuban.

OTHER NEWS AND ITEMS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:

  • TelfairTalk about a tough way to spend Thanksgiving day, as Sebastian Telfair was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not nice. Unfortunately, that is sometimes the nature of this business, from NBA.com: “The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guard Sebastian Telfair, it was announced Wednesday by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. This season, Telfair appeared in 16 games (one start) with the Thunder, averaging 8.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per contest. Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 15.”
  • Kevin_Durant_Feb_2014So why did the Thunder make the unexpected move? Because somebody a tad more important may soon be ready to play, from Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: “But the most significant aspect of the move is its implications for injured stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. There is a growing belief that one or both could rejoin the lineup soon, perhaps as early as Friday against New York. They returned to practice this week and are scheduled to have their respective injuries evaluated over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Thunder’s decision to waive Telfair as opposed to apply for a third 10-day stint on Smith serves as confirmation that the team is confident that either Durant, Westbrook or rookie forward Mitch McGary will be available at some point over the next three games.”
  • Carmelo AnthonyThere has been some concern about the severity of Carmelo Anthony’s sudden back issues, but the forward believes he’ll be back in action sooner than later, from Marc Berman of New York Post: “I could barely walk or do anything yesterday so I’m doing a little better,’’ Anthony told The Post. “I’m walking.’’ Anthony stepped slowly into the arena with an arena security guard and seemed subdued. “I don’t think it will be too long,’’ Anthony told The Post. “I think the spasms will go away. But I’m not going to play with spasms.’’
  • Kyrie Irving 2Kyrie Irving wants to become a great defensive point guard. He has a long, long way to go to achieve that, but is embracing the challenge, from Bob Finnan of The News-Herald: “It’s just more or less a personal challenge,” Irving said. He took the challenge in an earlier game against San Antonio when he held Spurs point guard Tony Parker to eight points. Irving has appealed to his coaches to let him defend the opposing team’s top offensive threat at point guard or shooting guard. “Based on the lineup, whatever our team needs, (whether the ‘1’ or ‘2’) gets going, I’m going to guard them,” Irving said. “I just have to do the job at stopping the head of the snake.”
  • Stephen Curry has been absolutely lights out over his last two games, and Isiah Thomas is quickly becoming the best interpreter for what the point guard can do on the floor. Check out the hilarious, must-watch clip below:

  • Oh, and in case you missed how Curry has been getting his buckets, click here and here to find out. You’re welcome.
  • Nick Young explains how he scooped up Iggy Azalea in this clip. If you want to pick up a famous pop star, just follow the advice of Swaggy P and you’ll be set to go:

  • DeAndre Jordan made an awesome no-look shot after the buzzer sounded against the Detroit Pistons that no one cared about.
  • Kevin GarnettKevin Garnett hit a critical shot late against the pathetic Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Here’s what got the power forward going when it mattered the most, from Tim Bontemps of New York Post: “I had some females there that kind of got me going, I appreciate them,” a still fired-up Garnett said. “I want to shout them out on the baseline. They was talking that [expletive].”  Asked what they said to get him going, Garnett said, “I’m not going to get into it. They put a little kick in my juice. I needed that. … I don’t know what you call it, but I got it going.” Apparently, it doesn’t take a whole lot to get the man fired up.
  • Anthony DavisMonty Williams is surprised by how consistent Anthony Davis has been in terms of his ability to score, from Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports: “Williams said Davis, still just 21, doesn’t have a go-to move yet. “I am surprised that he is able to be this consistent with his outpouring of scoring,” Williams said. “But I look at how he works every day. The guys that work like that with his talent typically get better.”
  • Is Derrick Rose lying about his health? Is there something more going on than what’s being told? That’s what Stephen A. Smith is speculating. This clip explains his thought process behind the accusation. It’s kind of ridiculous, but what do you expect?

James Park is a blogger and editor of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.

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10 Fast Facts from Last Night’s Games — Memphis and Toronto Reach 13-2, Philadelphia Falls to 0-15 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/10-fast-facts-from-last-nights-games-memphis-and-toronto-reach-13-2-philadelphia-falls-to-0-15/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/10-fast-facts-from-last-nights-games-memphis-and-toronto-reach-13-2-philadelphia-falls-to-0-15/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:16:37 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84964

ogdenThe 2014-15 NBA regular season returned on Wednesday, November 26 with a full slate of games. 26 teams took part in 13 games, with seven outings being decided by single-digits.

The surprising starts continued. The disappointing ones did, too.

Here’s how it all transpired.

1. Deron Williams stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, two steals and one block as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 99-91. Joe Johnson scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Brook Lopez had 19 points on a mark of 9-of-12 from the field.

Philadelphia is 0-15. That ties the franchise record for the most consecutive losses to open up a season.

2. LeBron James went off for 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals as the Cleveland Cavaliers redeemed themselves with a 113-87 victory over the Washington Wizards. Rasual Butler scored a season-high 23 points for Washington, but the Wizards simply could not stop the Cavaliers’ offense.

Cleveland is 7-2 when James leads the team in scoring and 0-5 when he doesn’t.

3. Wesley Matthews scored a season-high 28 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 105-97 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Brian Roberts scored a career-high 24 points and Al Jefferson put up 21 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for Charlotte, while Damian Lillard scored 22 points for Portland.

Portland has won nine consecutive games.

4. DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Louis Williams put up 22 and Greivis Vasquez tallied 21 as the Toronto Raptors took down the Atlanta Hawks 126-115. Vasquez scored all 21 of his points in the second half and Kyle Lowry put up 14 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and one steal, while Jeff Teague posted 24 points and 12 assists for Atlanta.

Toronto is an NBA-best 13-2 and has won six consecutive games.

5. Stephen Curry’s hot shooting continued with 28 points to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Orlando Magic 111-96. Tobias Harris posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic put up 11 points and 13 rebounds, but Orlando couldn’t slow the Warriors down.

Golden State has won seven consecutive games.

6. Reggie Jackson scored 22 points, Jeremy Lamb tallied 21 and Serge Ibaka put up 20 as the Oklahoma City Thunder ran away from the Utah Jazz 97-82. Gordon Hayward posted 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four steals for the Jazz, while Lamb’s scoring outburst came on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, 3-of-3 from distance and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.

OKC snaps a six-game losing streak with this win.

7. With Ettore Messina replacing Gregg Popovich as head coach, Manu Ginobili scored 28 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs past the Indiana Pacers 106-100. Tony Parker picked up 21 points and six assists, and Kawhi Leonard had 21 points and 13 rebounds to overcome 22 points from Rodney Stuckey.

Leonard has as many games with at least 20 points and 10 assists in November as he’s tallied in any full regular season of his four-year career.

8. Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 30 points and Tyson Chandler posted season-best marks of 17 points and 25 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks picked up a 109-102 win against the New York Knicks. Jose Calderon led the Knicks with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

This was Chandler and Calderon’s first game against their former teams since being traded for one another.

9. Marc Gasol put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals as the Memphis Grizzlies pulled out a 99-93 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike Conley added 19 points of his own, while Kobe Bryant scored 22 for the Lakers.

Memphis is tied with Toronto at a league-best 13-2.

10. Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins squared off in the regular season for the first time as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-86. Parker posted 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one block and a steal, while Wiggins put up 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.

The Bucks are 9-7. Milwaukee didn’t win its ninth game of 2013-14 until February 3, when it reached 9-39.

Bonus Facts

  • Chris Paul posted 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting as the Los Angeles Clippers pulled out a 104-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Andre Drummond posted 17 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and a pair of steals for Detroit.
  • Isaiah Canaan scored a career-high 24 points and Donatas Motiejunas had a career-best 21 in the Houston Rockets’ 102-89 win over the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus Cousins posted 29 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
  • Eric Bledsoe put up 21 points and 10 assists, and Goran Dragic scored 20 to lead the Phoenix Suns past the red-hot Denver Nuggets 120-112. Gerald Green tallied 24 points on 6-of-11 shooting from distance, and Markieff Morris had 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals.
  • Ty Lawson led Denver with 17 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and two steals for his third consecutive double-double.
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Tweet of the Night: Stephen Curry posts a clip of the Warriors dancing in the plane http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/tweet-of-the-night-stephen-curry-posts-a-clip-of-the-warriors-dancing-in-the-plane/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/27/tweet-of-the-night-stephen-curry-posts-a-clip-of-the-warriors-dancing-in-the-plane/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 06:44:21 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84966

ParkStephen CurryAnother night on the road, another victory for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

After going off for 40 points on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, Curry was at it again on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic, scoring 25 of his 28 points in the first half of the contest. He also added five rebounds, eight assists, six three pointers and turned it over just once while playing under 24 minutes. By mid-third quarter, the game was already out of reach and the point guard took a seat for good with just under five minutes left in the period. 

The Warriors are now 12-2 on the season, which marks the best start in franchise history. Things won’t necessarily get any tougher for the next few games as they are set to face the following opponents in the next four games: Charlotte, Detroit, Orlando and New Orleans. Quite conceivably, Golden State could be looking at a 16-2 record before facing Chicago on the road.

In the mean time, Curry and the crew are taking it one game at a time and enjoying each other’s company on and off the court:

Indeed, these are some fantastic times for one of the best teams in the league.

Chris Webber, Reggie Miller and others make strong statement about Stephen Curry’s shooting prowess

Tweet of the Day: Greg Anthony Has Twitter Discussion On Ferguson

James Park is a blogger and editor of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.

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Photo of the Day: James Johnson and Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/photo-of-the-day-james-johnson-and-detective-carter-chris-tucker/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/photo-of-the-day-james-johnson-and-detective-carter-chris-tucker/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 04:51:42 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84963

Today’Austin Remos Photo of the Day might be my favorite one to date. If you can’t tell from the title, Chris Tucker is not Chris Tucker to me. Maybe he is to you, but I’m not too concerned about that.

No, rather he is now and forever will be known as Detective James Carter. That’s a link for those who have shamed themselves by never seeing the Rush Hour trilogy.

Rush Hour 1 & 2 are awesome movies, two of my favorites. Rush Hour 3? Not so much.

The combination of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan was sometimes unreal to me that these two polar opposites were on the big screen together. If you haven’t seen them, please do yourself a favor and go see them. Now.

On Wednesday, James Johnson of the Toronto Raptors posted this photo to his Instagram.

JJohnson Chris Tucker

“I was jus bull sh**in n you know this man @realctucker#Kc”.

Of course we do James. That’s Detective Carter!! Jealousy doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The Raptors were in Atlanta visiting the Hawks, whom they beat by a score of 126-115, good for their sixth straight victory. Possibly the hottest team on the planet now not named the Golden State Warriors, the Raps are off to a torrid start with a record of 13-2. A big part of this can be credited to Johnson and the deep bench up North.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, if people really call it that, the time of year in which we give thanks to and appreciate what we have. I’m thankful for this photo, and the hope that Carter/Tucker will push for a making of Rush Hour 4.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Mike Miller Gets Key to Hometown

 

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Tweet of the Night: D-Leaguer Willie Reed Turns To Social Media For Support http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/tweet-of-the-night-d-leaguer-willie-reed-turns-to-social-media-for-support/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/tweet-of-the-night-d-leaguer-willie-reed-turns-to-social-media-for-support/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 01:23:29 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84959

In 2011, a 6-10, 220-pound forward named Willie Reed, a junior for the Saint Louis University Billikens, went undrafted in the NBA. Since then, he has made a career of being a journeyman D-League athlete, playing for the Springfield Armor, the Reno Bighorns and, most recently, the Grand Rapids Drive.

His most recent assignment with the Rapids began November 22nd against the Canton Charge. He had a great night, finishing with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting with 15 rebounds.

Heading into his second game Wednesday night against the , he turned to fans on social media in hopes of drumming up some buzz to bolster his career.

Among the few responses that he did get, he got the attention of an NBA point guard who is making a bit of a career surge of his own in Indiana … Donald Sloan.

“New age Dennis Rodman w/o all the extra…” That is high praise.

It will be interesting to see if this latest run in the D-League will lead to a run in The Association. Hard to think that it won’t, assuming he can continue to play as well as he has been.

 

 

Previous Tweet Posts:

Chris Webber, Reggie Miller And Others Make Strong Statement About Stephen Curry’s Shooting Prowess

Tweet of the Day: Greg Anthony Has Twitter Discussion On Ferguson

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Gonzo: Players the Cavs Should Target in Trades http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/gonzo-players-the-cavs-should-target-in-trades/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/gonzo-players-the-cavs-should-target-in-trades/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:00:27 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84922

bobbygonzalezIf you are not moving forward, then you are going backward. And if you stand still, you will get run over. Those are two of my “Gonzoisms.”

We are one month into the NBA season, and in my opinion the Cleveland Cavaliers need to take some risks and make a move or they will not get where they are trying to get. You want to win a championship in that town for the first time in any sport since 1964? You need to make more moves than the big ones you have already made.

Remember who put Miami over the hump when LeBron James was there for four years? It was “The Birdman,” Chris Andersen. Yes, James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were an awesome Big Three. But that team needed a glue guy and a rim protector, and Birdman provided that when they finally became good enough to win a championship.

James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love is a nice threesome, too. In fact, it’s better than nice.

But as Chris Bernucca detailed in his column Monday, the Cavs have a ton of issues that need to be addressed. They are not a good defensive team. They are not a deep team. They are stumbling through David Blatt’s NBA learning curve. They are not just fragile. They are flawed.

Monday night’s blowout victory over an Orlando Magic team playing without Tobias Harris really proved one thing that most people already knew: When the best player on the planet decides to really get focused, he is very capable of putting his team on his back and winning a game on any given night. The problem is going forward is that James may get better but they will not win it all as currently constructed.


griffincavsGeneral manager David Griffin did a nice job pulling off the Love trade (hard to give him credit for the LeBron move, because that was LeBron’s decision no matter who the GM was), but he has unfinished business. He had a chance to pick up a number of backup point guards with more experience than Will Cherry, but he did not. He has been trying to make a trade for a rim protector, but he has been swinging and missing.

Doing this in the current climate, with salary cap restrictions and a dearth of future No. 1 picks, limits what kind of moves the Cavs can make. But Dion Waiters and Brendan Haywood (because of his contract, which jumps from $2.2 million to a non-guaranteed $10.5 million over the summer) are the trade chips at Griffin’s disposal. And let us not forget that teams can make deals without having the salaries match if they include a third team, such as Philadelphia, whose GM Sam Hinkie has a payroll of only $34 million and thus can be a facilitator for just about any deal imaginable.

But for now, I am going to concentrate on players that Griffin should be targeting who can be acquired without having a third team involved. As I have learned through my many years in coaching, chemistry and intangibles are tricky and very elusive commodities. Once you get three big superstars at their respective positions, now the challenge becomes finding and keeping the other right pieces of the puzzle needed to compete for the championship.

To examine two different extremes, look no further than the incredible job that the Spurs have done with R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich in identifying the right players – think Danny Green, Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard – to fill out their core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Or you can try to blow it up like the 76ers and build through the draft, perhaps getting a Jahlil Okafor of Duke and hope he, Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams and Joel Embiid will amount to a homegrown Big Three – all while hoping your fans have the stomach to last long enough to go through such an ugly and painful process.

Here is my list of things I believe the Cavs might be able to get done before the calendar year ends to see if they can add or change what’s needed for their Big Three to thrive.

mcgeeGet a rim protector. As I mentioned above, Miami was in some trouble until Riley added Andersen to the mix – a guy who didn’t need the ball to be effective and was actually able to guard other teams’ big men adequately to go with blocking some shots. Blatt loves Timofey Mozgov, but would JaVale McGee be an acceptable alternative?

Acquire a backup point guard. No disrespect to Australian Matthew Dellavedova, who’s hurt, but I don’t think he’s the answer. In hindsight, should they have kept A.J. Price? Yes, but maybe they can target a Cory Joseph, who moves to the third backup spot in San Antonio when Patty Mills comes back.

carrollA tough intangible energy type of guy, an enforcer if you will, or just a glue guy who makes plays. DeMarre Carroll from the Hawks would be an ideal fit . He brings toughness and defense and energy — all things every team needs, especially the Cavs. If they want to go bigger, Jeff Adrien is out there as well.

Find a big guard. This is Cleveland’s biggest need. The Cavs have two 6-foot guards in Irving and Waiters trying to defend the perimeter and not get crushed with dribble penetration. As the Raptors showed in getting 79 points from guards Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Lou Williams in their victory over Cleveland last week, this is a recipe for disaster in this league. Shawn Marion is nice, but small forward types like Mike Miller and James Jones don’t shoot like Ray Allen and cannot defend shooting guards.

Who might be the answer?

O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee. A big wing who can definitely score and is in my opinion a better defender than he gets credit for. He is in shape – unlike last season – and his trade value is good right now.

Randy Foye, Denver. I had a chance to coach Randy to a gold medal for USA Basketball at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. He is a big, strong Robo-type guard who can score and would give the Cavs some physicality. He can rebound from that spot and is a veteran different than Waiters still trying to find his niche. And the Nuggets have Arron Afflalo and rookie Gary Harris at the position.

Iman Shumpert, New York. A little inconsistent as a shooter but a great athlete who is a good defender. I have to believe that as bad as the Knicks are, they would be all ears to most any deal put on the table as they need a ton of different things. Shumpert also is entering restricted free agency, and the Knicks have J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. at the 2-spot.

Gerald Henderson, Charlotte. The Hornets have an abundance of big wings, and Henderson is another athletic big wing who is a pretty good scorer and defender who has become expendable since the arrival of Lance Stephenson. The Hornets also have Gary Neal and drafted P.J. Hairston.

Corey Brewer, Minnesota. Another big wing who is one of the top steals guys in the NBA and an underrated scorer in an up-tempo scheme.

Ben McLemore, Sacramento. I know he is young and has been a little up and down thus far, but he has shown flashes and I love his upside. He would be great for the Cavs in the open court to give them another young athletic wing who can get out on the break. James would be ideal guy to take this kid under his wing. Plus, the Kings just drafted Nik Stauskas.

Mo Williams, Minnesota. I know he’s also a little undersized combo guard, but he is a cagey veteran who once was very good and very well liked in Cleveland. He probably wouldn’t be available until Ricky Rubio returns, however.

What I can tell you is the best teams I’ve ever coached or been around, you never have everything you need. No team is perfect. You always need another shooter, more leadership, an extra point guard or big guy, more athleticism, another defender, etc.

The bottom line is putting together a team is not easy. And Griffin’s job in Cleveland is far from complete.

Bobby Gonzalez is a former Division I head coach at Manhattan and Seton Hall. He has been writing columns for SheridanHoops since March.

MORE FROM GONZO:
BEST UNDER THE RADAR NBA PROSPECTS AS NCAA SEASON OPENS
FIVE THINGS WE’VE LEARNED ABOUT THE NBA SO FAR
BREAKING DOWN BEST MATCHUP IN THE EAST: CLEVELAND VS. CHICAGO

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Fantasy Spin: $200,000 Contest at DraftKings http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/fantasy-spin-200000-contest-at-draftkings/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/fantasy-spin-200000-contest-at-draftkings/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:35:41 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84929

KentBig Wednesday means 13 NBA games and a top prize of $20,000 in the huge $200K Crossover — $27 to enter, maximum 8,400 teams, top 1,850 get paid. That entire $200,000 payout is guaranteed, even if it doesn’t fill, creating an overlay for all who enter. It’s certainly worth a shot; even finishing second ($10,000) or third ($7500) would be fine with me.

There’s no single path to DFS success or creating the best lineup. Think of a gigantic maze, with that $200K pot of gold in the middle. It has countless entrances; start anywhere you like. The closer you get, the more money you make.

Stuff happens. Anthony Davis wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday. Derrick Rose started, but left early. Jeff Teague was better than John Wall. We expected none of these developments, and lost a few bucks as a result. Turns out Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson vs. the Heat was the way to go; congrats if you built around that dynamic duo.

Plays of the Day

If you haven’t joined DraftKings yet, click for a FREE entry (worth $2) to win as much as $5,000 in tonight’s $50K Layup, where 5,750 of 28,750 teams earn cash. DK will also match your initial deposit 100% (up to $600) with bonus money that gets added to your account as you play.

The first path I’m exploring has mighty Memphis vs. the lowly Lakers; Mike Conley $7800, Marc Gasol $8700 and Zach Randolph $7900 are solid value and Courtney Lee $4300 is a possible bargain. In a possible garbage-time scenario, Jon Leuer $3000 could surprise at that rock-bottom salary.

lineup-1126James Harden $10400 is a path unto himself. With Dwight Howard $9100 (knee) questionable, opponents must Fear the Beard every night. Normally, I’d dismiss the Kings in a road back-to-back, especially with Darren Collison $7000 (quad) doubtful and Rudy Gay $8000 (Achilles) out, but who’s going to stop DeMarcus Cousins $10400? Although Ramon Sessions $4500 is 50% more expensive than last night, ex-Rocket Omri Casspi $3000 remains an extreme bargain after a 22-point outburst.

Are those ever-changing Spurs becoming predictable? Tony Parker $6700, Tim Duncan $8000, Kawhi Leonard $7000, Danny Green $4600 and Boris Diaw $5100 are the main quintet to own.  Aron Baynes $3000 has scored in double figures in three of his last four, but with Roy Hibbert $7000 (ankle) doubtful, the big Kiwi may not be needed.

Eric Bledsoe $7700 was brilliant in Toronto, Markieff Morris $6800 has a versatile game, P.J. Tucker $4600 contributes and Alex Len $3100 is gradually taking over at C. The revitalized Nuggets won their fifth straight last night with six players in double figures, but fatigue may be a factor.

It’s a mismatch between the Clippers and Pistons. Any (or all) of Chris Paul $9500, Blake Griffin $9200, DeAndre Jordan $7200 and Jamal Crawford $5400 could put up big numbers. Andre Drummond $7200 was stellar in defeat last night, against a considerably weaker opponent.

Angry with themselves for a two-game losing streak, the Mavericks catch the Knicks with Carmelo Anthony $9000 (back) doubtful. If Dallas takes out its frustration early, the starters won’t have to play big minutes and backups like Brandan Wright $4700 and J.J. Barea $3800 will get extra run.

The Wizards losing at home last night was a surprise. Now they must go to Cleveland, where the superstar trio of LeBron James $11400, Kyrie Irving $8600 and Kevin Love $8400 are still figuring out how to play together. A fascinating game to watch, if a bit difficult to predict in any profitable way.

My hometown Raptors — the Beasts of the East — are in Atlanta. Their tendency to start slow is frustrating, and the same depth that wears down opponents makes for different heroes every night. Lou Williams $4900 is on a serious roll off the bench. Jonas Valanciunas $5900 had a career-high 27 with 11 boards vs. the Suns, but is facing craftier veteran big men tonight. Another tilt to enjoy, though not necessarily a source of daily fantasy goodness.

Other matchups that do not inspire: Warriors @ Magic, Blazers @ Hornets, Jazz @ Thunder, Nets @ Sixers, Bucks @ T-Wolves. You can still find individual plays — Andrew Wiggins $4700 just had 29 points and four steals in his best performance yet, and Nerlens Noel $5700 is coming on — but my approach on busy nights is to focus on key games and hope for the best.

Good luck! See you on the leaderboard.

The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season.
Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.

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Chris Webber, Reggie Miller and others make strong statement about Stephen Curry’s shooting prowess http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/chris-webber-reggie-miller-and-others-make-strong-statement-about-stephen-currys-shooting-prowess/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/chris-webber-reggie-miller-and-others-make-strong-statement-about-stephen-currys-shooting-prowess/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:31:17 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84914

Stephen-CurryParkWhen Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry gets his shot going from beyond the arc during a game, there’s not a better show in the NBA.

After struggling over the past two games with his shot – eight-of-24 shooting from the field, including four-of-12 from beyond the arc – Curry got going against the Miami Heat on Tuesday in a big way after scoring the first three points of the game from beyond the arc. That first shot would end up being a sign of things to come as the contest progressed. 

Despite 18 first-half points from Curry, the Golden State Warriors were actually down 62-61 at the half – uncharacteristic given their status as the best defensive team in the league.

Things turned drastically in the second half, as Golden State continued to score while turning up the defensive intensity and holding the Heat to just 35 total points. Curry kept his pace from the first half and then some.

His final line: 40 points on 12-of-19 from the field, eight-of-11 from the 3-point line, eight-of-nine from the stripe, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, one block and two turnovers.

Ridiculous.

After the contest, plenty were watching Curry’s dynamite performance and had some powerful things to say about his abilities on the floor:

 

 

— Pierre Jackson (@PAPPYGAWD) November 26, 2014

NBA players upset over grand jury’s decision on Mike Brown’s case

Tweet of the Night: Dan Le Batard puts Cavaliers on blast, LeBron James reacts to all the controversy

James Park is a blogger and editor of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.

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10 Fast Facts from Last Night’s Games — Rose Leaves with Injury, Curry Drops 40, Cousins Shines http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/10-fast-facts-from-last-nights-games-rose-leaves-with-injury-curry-drops-40-cousins-shines/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/26/10-fast-facts-from-last-nights-games-rose-leaves-with-injury-curry-drops-40-cousins-shines/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:27:28 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84913

ogdenHere we go again.

The 2014-15 NBA regular season continued on Tuesday, November 25, but it wasn’t without a bug in the system. An injury-plagued MVP fell victim to yet another ailment on a night in which just two games were decided by single-digits.

Here’s how it all transpired.

1. Jimmy Butler matched a career-high with 32 points, but Ty Lawson put up 20 points and 12 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Chicago Bulls 114-109. Butler converted 18-of-20 from the free throw line, and Pau Gasol tallied 22 points and 11 boards, but Chicago allowed Denver to shoot 50.6 percent from the field.

Unfortunately, the story of the game was Derrick Rose leaving with tightness in his hamstring.

2. Stephen Curry erupted for 40 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and one block as the Golden State Warriors ran past the Miami Heat 114-97. Chris Bosh put up 26 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, but Miami shot just 38.8 percent from the field to Golden State’s incredible 57.3 percent conversion.

Since 2012-13, Curry has three 40-point games with at least eight 3-point field goals. No one else has more than one.

3. Jeff Teague put up 28 points and Paul Millsap had 17 points and 11 rebounds to push the Atlanta Hawks past the Washington Wizards 106-102. John Wall put up 21 points and 13 assists for the Wizards, while Mike Scott tallied 17 points in 22 minutes off the bench for Atlanta.

Wall is tied with Chris Paul for the most double-doubles of any point guard at eight.

4. DeMarcus Cousins put up 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 99-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Omri Casspi scored a season-high 22 points, while Tyreke Evans put up 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Kings.

Cousins has an NBA-best 10 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

5. Brandon Knight put up 20 points, eight assists, three rebounds and two steals as the Milwaukee Bucks worked past the Detroit Pistons 98-86. Jabari Parker added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, while Andre Drummond went off for 23 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Milwaukee is 8-7 after 15 games. It didn’t win its eighth game of 2013-14 until January 22.

Bonus Fact: Stephen Curry has 51 games with at least five 3-point field goals and five assists. Against the Heat, Curry passed Ray Allen for No. 1 in NBA history.

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Photo of the Day: Mike Miller Gets Key to Hometown http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/25/photo-of-the-day-mike-miller-gets-key-to-hometown-city/ http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/11/25/photo-of-the-day-mike-miller-gets-key-to-hometown-city/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:47:06 +0000 http://www.sheridanhoops.com/?p=84910

Mike MAustin Remoiller has found himself moving around the NBA throughout his 14-year career. After spending a year playing for the Memphis Grizzlies after he was amnestied by the Miami Heat, he chose to follow his old teammate LeBron James back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although he has floated around the League, Miller seems to be a much respected, well-liked teammate. Of course there’s the story about King James being angry that the Heat amnestied Miller after they won two straight NBA Titles together, a good indication of being a good teammate.

Perhaps the reason he’s been around the league the way he has is because he wanted to see the fruits of the world. The world, of course, being everything outside of his hometown of Mitchell, South Dakota.

Mitchell is home to a little over 15,000 people. More interesting though, is that Miller’s hometown is the home of the world’s only Corn Palace. Yes, that’s a real thing.

The Corn Palace has designs and exhibits inside that are actually made of real corn and other grains.

On Tuesday, Miller posted this photo to his Instagram showing his love for and from his hometown of Mitchell.

Mike Miller Key

“Honored to get a key to the city of Mitchell #southdakota #letitfly #cornpalacecity #roots”, he said under the photo.

Surprised the key isn’t made of corn? Yeah, me too.

Anyways, the city also holds the Mike Miller Classic, a basketball tournament that takes place at the Corn Palace over the past five years and features the cities high school, including a few schools from South Dakota and even other states.

I’ve never actually seen a key to a city, so this picture is very cool to me. Not only because it’s very unique, but it’s also a sign of great respect, and Mike Miller seems like the type of guy who deserves something like that. Good for you Mike!

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Jodie Meeks is No Dumb Athlete

 

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