PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid passed the ball effortlessly, the navicular bone in his broken left foot hardly seeming to present a problem. His endearing smile lit up the place and thrilled the crowd, happy to see their hoops savior looking well and wondering if the civic basketball nightmare was about to finally end. Don’t worry, Sam Hinkie. Nobody’s raining on your “parade,’’ which continues to look more and more like the only celebration Philadelphia 76ers fans will ever see — if
It seems the only thing that you hear about the Minnesota Timberwolves these days is the on-again-off-again, never-ending swirl of Kevin Love trade talks. Whether the other team involved is the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls or the Golden State Warriors, it almost seems to go on forever. Where will Love end up? As of now, no one knows. What we do know, as of Monday, is that the Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Flip Saunders has added some
This is the final edition of the Rookie Rankings, and we will allow Kobe Bryant to have the final word on a race that was decided long ago. Bryant is a student of the game who understands its history and normally is not given to hyperbole. So when he offers an evaluation of an opponent – most of whom he holds in disdain – it should not be taken with a grain of salt. And here’s what he had to say about
If Anadolu Efes is supposed to have merit as a contender, they sure aren’t supposed to let a team with ten losses take them to overtime in their own building. But for a second straight week, Jordan Farmar scored 20-something and Istanbul’s darlings resisted the urge to tumble into their old ways, closing it out against Bamberg 89-86.
Thomas Robinson just caught a huge break. With the possible exception of Austin Rivers, Robinson had been the most disappointing 2012 lottery pick this season. An All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year, he went fifth overall to the Sacramento Kings, who weren’t exactly loaded in the frontcourt. There appeared to be an opportunity for Robinson to make an impact as a rookie, but he did not. He has averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in just under 16 minutes.
Last week, rookie big men Tyler Zeller and Andrew Nicholson weren’t even in these rankings. This week, they are in the Rising Stars contest that kicks off All-Star Weekend on Friday night. Zeller, the center of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was among the original field of nine rookies chosen for the game. Nicholson, a power forward for the Orlando Magic, was added this week to replace injured Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond.
Damian Lillard’s path to Rookie of the Year just seems to get easier every week. In addition to his unwavering play at the game’s toughest position, the point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers has yet to miss a game this season, which many of his fellow classmates have been unable to say lately.
Pistons No. 1 draft pick Andre Drummond There is a developing groundswell of support for Andre Drummond as an alternative to Damian Lillard for Rookie of the Year. This is a borderline insane notion, of course. Drummond is a big man who doesn’t even start for the awful Detroit Pistons, who harbor only faint playoff hopes despite playing in the Eastern Conference. Lillard is a point guard, the toughest position in the NBA, and is playing it so