After last week’s loss in Atlanta, Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger – whose team has the fifth-best record in the NBA – lamented his roster’s shortcomings. “We have to get another playmaker on the floor,” Joerger said. “We’re going to have to start playing multiple point guards (at the same time). We’ve got to be able to get inside of defenses.” It doesn’t matter that the Grizzlies have been at or near the top of the league for most of the season.
The Western Conference got a little crazier in December when Dallas acquired Rajon Rondo from Boston to become a dark horse contender, while Houston was willing to take on the volatile ways of Josh Smith, who was amazingly waived by Detroit. It seems the rest of the West won’t stay quietly as others shore up on their weaknesses. Oklahoma City traded for Dion Waiters earlier in the week, and apparently, all you have to do is pick up the phone and talk
Now that Josh Smith is gone, what does the long-term future hold for Greg Monroe? A rival executive believes he will end up with the New York Knicks. “I could see $48 million for four years. I don’t think he’s a max (contract) guy, but he is pretty good. He might get more based on who is left on the board. I could see New York overpaying him,” the executive told SheridanHoops. Monroe has a trade veto after signing his qualifying offer
I am going to tell you a couple of stories about the players that changed teams in today’s Rajon Rondo trade, but allow me to get right to the heart of matters first: Rondo is one of those rare players, a la Jason Kidd, who can totally dominate a game without taking a shot or scoring a point. If you don’t think the Dallas Mavericks just became instant championship contenders, I respectfully disagree with you. This move puts them over the top.
About an hour after I had rolled into the Audi Garage next to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and about four hours after I left San Antonio, where I had watched the Mavericks lose Game 7 of the first round of the 2014 playoffs to the eventual NBA champion Spurs, members of the Mavs spoke to the media. On the floor of their practice court, Dirk Nowitzki spoke about the disappointment of that game after taking the Spurs to the
Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams. “Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.” Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary.
One of the only things as important to me as basketball is TV. Last week, they came together fantastically when Chris Bosh showed up on the best show on TV, Parks and Recreation. Bosh was only on screen for a few seconds, but they were some very memorable seconds. Check them out here. Bosh isn’t Parks‘ first NBA player, of course. Roy Hibbert had a recurring role a couple seasons ago. Here’s hoping for a showdown in the near future —
In today’s NBA news, Mavericks forward Brandan Wright will be out of action for a while with a small fracture in his left shoulder; Rodney Stuckey fractured his thumb on a car door; and Dwayne Wade returned to action for the Miami Heat.