May: Is This The Year a Deadline Trade Will Impact Championship?

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nadaSome time this June, the NBA will crown a champion for the 2013-14 season. The odds tell us that the champion will have done little to nothing the previous February at the trading deadline.

NBA enthusiasts, zealots and, yes, writers obsess and go into circuit overload in the third week of February – this coming week, in case you weren’t paying attention. But if history is any guide, the chances are remote that a team will make a trade which it can later point to as a reason for winning the championship that season.

The last team that can do that? The 2004 Detroit Pistons.

Rookie Rankings, Week 12: MCW Hits the Rookie Wall

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Charles-Barkley1The 1997-98 Houston Rockets were a fun bunch.

Since winning consecutive championships behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the Rockets had added a number of veterans to challenge the dynastic Chicago Bulls. The roster included Charles Barkley, Kevin Willis and Eddie Johnson, all thirtysomethings who been around the block a couple of times.

In late February, the Rockets arrived in New York for a Sunday matinee against the Knicks. Despite sputtering near .500, they were in high spirits – probably a carryover from a Saturday night spent in The Big Apple – and there was no shortage of good-natured fun among teammates.

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The Numbers Say… Chris Paul Set an NBA Record

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Chris PaulDay 3 of the 2013-14 NBA regular season featured two games between second-tier title contenders in each respective conference. The Chicago Bulls survived the New York Knicks by a score of 82-81 in the East, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors 126-115 in a high-scoring affair that saw Chris Paul score 42 points and Stephen Curry drop 38.

If you’re looking for impressive numbers, search no further than CP3′s legendary performance.

Chris Paul’s Big Day

If you’re even remotely familiar with the NBA, you know that Paul is one of the best players of his generation. From his six All-Star Game appearances to his two seasons leading the league in assists to his five years leading the NBA in steals, CP3 has carved out a career as a future Hall of Famer.

Just two games into the 2013-14 season, Paul became the first player in NBA history to record at least 40 points, 15 assists and five steals in a single game. Steals were first recorded in 1973-74.

Paul torched Golden State for 42 points, 15 assists and six steals. In turn, he became the eighth player since 1985-86 to pick up at least 40 points and 15 assists.

The others were Clyde Drexler, Tim Hardaway, Allen Iverson, LeBron James (twice) and Kevin Johnson.

This marks the 13th time that Paul has produced at least 25 points, 10 assists and five steals in one game. Since Paul was drafted in 2005, no other player has achieved that feat more than six times—less than half as many as CP3.

The player to do it six times was the recently retired Iverson.

Paul has now put up at least 25 points and 10 assists in 66 games and at least 30 and 10 in 26. In 2012-13, however, Paul saw his scoring prowess take a back seat as he looked to facilitate before he shot. Under Doc Rivers’ guidance, it appears as if Paul is prepared to be a more aggressive player on both ends of the floor.

That’s bad news for the rest of the NBA.

Additional Notes

  • The Knicks are 1-9 against the Bulls since acquiring Carmelo Anthony.
  • Derrick Rose is 11-of-38 through two games back, but hit his first game-winner of the season just two games in.
  • During the season-opener, Klay Thompson of the Warriors finished with 38 points and Curry scored 10. During Golden State’s second game, Curry tallied 38 and Thompson scored 10.
  • Blake Griffin finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. It was the 91st time in 230 games played that Griffin has posted at least 20 points and 10 boards.
  • Andre Iguodala finished with 14 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals. This comes after he went off for at least 10 assists in just four games during the 2012-13 season.
  • After going off for 17 points and 11 rebounds in his first game of the season, DeAndre Jordan had nine points and 17 rebounds in his second game.

Tweet of the Day: Kevin Love

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All-Star Weekend is here!

Friday night kicks things off with the All-Star Celebrity Game.

Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love may be injured, but he’s on the scene at All-Star weekend. He kept tabs on all of the the pre-game action by giving a play-by-play of participants’ fashion.

SH Blog: Billy King believes the Nets can win championship, Jason Terry’s mission is to kill the Heat or the Lakers

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With the season approaching and the players gearing up for training camp, there’s not much to be done except discuss goals and aspirations for the upcoming season, as well as feelings about all that has happened over the summer. That’s exactly what today’s blog will contain plenty of – goals and feelings. See how Jose Calderon feels about backing up Kyle Lowry, why Doc Rivers blames himself for Ray Allen’s unhappiness, what Billy King thinks about the level of the Nets roster and much more below:

  • Chris Paul may play one preseason game before the start of the season as he recovers from an injured thumb, from Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles: “Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul went through basketball drills without a protective brace around his right thumb for the first time Monday, and said he anticipates playing in at least one preseason game and being ready for the Clippers’ season opener Oct. 30 versus the Memphis Grizzlies. ”Today was the first day they actually allowed me to shoot layups, so today was the best day ever,” Paul told “I hope I get a preseason game in before the season. I probably have to start off the season wearing a brace, but I get to wear the brace less and less. I wear it when I go to sleep, but I’m on track. I go to rehab every single morning at 6:30 a.m.” Paul underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb last month after injuring it during Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas back in July.”
  • Rasheed Wallace will have the choice to join the Knicks. Or don’t, according to Marc Berman of New York Post: “It’s up to Rasheed. The Knicks are willing to take a gamble on 6-foot-11 power forward Rasheed Wallace, who retired two seasons ago after finishing a disappointing one-year stint as a Celtic. But Wallace, who worked out with Knicks players Saturday at their training facility, still has not decided whether he is willing to dedicate himself to getting himself back in NBA shape at age 38. Clearly, he’s nowhere close now. Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who was on Larry Brown’s staff in 2004 when the Pistons won the title with Wallace as a linchpin, wants this to happen. The Knicks feel they have nothing to lose for the veteran’s minimum of $1.7 million.”
  • Lou Amundson had to choose the Timberwolves over the Knicks to ensure more playing time, according to Alan Hahn of MSG Network: “Amundson was concerned about being one of the last free agents standing this late in the offseason. With the reality of a veterans minimum staring him in the face, Amundson, a hustle, intangibles player best suited for a reserve role, knew he had to go where he can get enough burn to earn a better contract after this season. He wasn’t going to get that role here in New York, not with Carmelo Anthony expecting to get ticks at power forward when Amar’e Stoudemire goes to the bench. Amundson did have strong interest in playing in New York, but this wasn’t the best opportunity for him, and his career, right now.”
  • Kyrie Irving discussed a number of things with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, including his inability to do anything with his broken hand and what it meant to play against Team USA over the summer: “Kyrie Irving was back at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice facility on Monday, playing in his first five-on-five scrimmage since breaking his right hand more than two months ago… Irving improved his left-hand dribbling skills while he was sidelined, but he couldn’t do much with his right hand. ”I couldn’t tie my shoes,” Irving said. “I couldn’t put my belt on. There were a few things I couldn’t do. I couldn’t cook, open up juice. I had my best friend and my father with me all the time.”… Irving played well for the Select Team against Team USA during the Olympic training camp in early July. ”I came on a mission to prove that I was one of the best guards there,” Irving said of competing against Team USA this summer. “I came in wanting to show everybody why I was the No. 1 pick and the Rookie of the Year.”
  • Think Jose Calderon is upset about the acquisition of Kyle Lowry? Don’t expect to hear him say it, from Doug Smith of “I don’t know if we have to use that word (controversy) before even training camp,” said Calderon before flatly denying a summer report that he was put out by the acquisition of Lowry and wanted a trade from the only NBA team he’s ever played for. “I think we are just two more players for the Raptors team, we’re going to try to win games for the Raptors. “I think it’s just wanting to make a big thing before anything has started. It doesn’t matter, we have to win games, we want to make the playoffs. If he scores 20 points a game, I’ll be happy; it’s helping us win.”
  • Doc Rivers blames himself for the unhappiness of Ray Allen during his tenure as a Celtic, according to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston: “At some point, the Boston Celtics needed to get over Ray Allen. Let’s just say Doc Rivers is there. ”I tell you what,” Rivers declared, “You give me [Rajon] Rondo and Avery [Bradley] andJason Terry and Courtney Lee and I’ll take that four-guard rotation over any other in the league.”… ”It’s just not right to put it all on Rondo,” Rivers said. “Ray didn’t leave because of Rondo. He left because of Ray.”He wanted the ball more. He wanted a bunch of different things. He didn’t feel loved. That doesn’t make Ray a bad guy.”I needed to take some responsibility for [his unhappiness]. I made some of the decisions on how we should use Ray, and I would say Ray played pretty well in the role we drew up for him. ”What it came down to was I felt I’d rather have the ball in Rajon’s hands. That was Ray’s problem, not Rajon’s. Rondo was the guy with the ball. It’s not his fault.”
  • Andrew Bynum of the Philadelphia 76ers

    Andrew Bynum is feeling good after going through a knee procedure in Germany, according to Tom Moore of “New Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo confirmed that star center Andrew Bynum returned to the U.S. last week after receiving a plasma therapy injection in Germany. DiLeo said at his introductory news conference Monday that Bynum told the Sixers “he feels very good” and will be ready for next Tuesday’s start of training camp at Saint Joseph’s University. Bynum received the injection to reduce the inflammation in his occasionally troublesome knees. Bynum decided to fly to Europe for the procedure after former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant raved about how much it helped his knees. In other Bynum news, DiLeo said the team and agent David Lee have yet to speak about a contract extension. Bynum, set to make $16.5 million this season, can become a free agent July 1.”

  • Billy King believes the Nets are capable of winning a championship with the current roster, from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York: “I think we’ve got talent. I think we’ve got a good team. And now it’s gonna be how quickly do those pieces jell,” King said. “We have a team that’s a playoff team on paper. I think we have a team that can withstand injuries because we have depth. ”Can we win a championship? Yeah. But it takes luck in an NBA season to do that. You’ve gotta be healthy, get some breaks and the ball has to bounce your way sometimes.”
  • Brook Lopez is looking forward to proving the doubters wrong now that he is fully recovered from his foot issues, from Tim Bontemps of New York Post: “There has been plenty of debate about whether Brook Lopez is worthy of the four-year maximum contract he signed with the Nets as a restricted free agent this summer following an injury-plagued season. But now that Lopez has fully recovered from the pair of foot injuries that limited him to just five games last season, he’s ready for this season to get underway and for the chance to prove his doubters wrong. “I just can’t wait,” Lopez said yesterday at the opening of the Nets team shop at Barclays Center. “I’m glad that it was just talk and it has passed. For this moment, and for the foreseeable future, I’m here, and I’m excited to go out there with my comrades and play on the floor.”
  • Isiah Thomas may have a bad reputation as an executive, but he does his share of notable work off the court, from Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago: “Ninety to 95 percent of the people who are living in poverty in those situations, they’re kids going to schools, their parents are doing the right things,” Thomas said. “There’s a community of the church, community of aunts and uncles who are about contributing positively to society. ”Now, there is a fraction to be addressed, and we need to address that small minority that is in need and is doing harm to the community. We are all affected by it personally.” Thomas isn’t just saying Chicago needs help, he’s also trying to provide it. He has teamed up with St. Sabina on the South Side and father Michael Pfleger to create the PEACE basketball tournament, which will unite rival gang members through basketball in hopes of ceasing the violence between them. The tournament will be held at St. Sabina’s gymnasium from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.”
Stotts says the #Blazers starting lineup entering camp will be: Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LA and J.J. Hickson.
Joe Freeman
  • How difficult was it for Anthony Tolliver to leave the Timberwolves? Not at all, from Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida: “Anthony Tolliver is critical of Timberwolves upon his exit. Said they never really offered to bring him back. “No,’’ Tolliver, a power forward, said when asked whether it was tough at all to leave the Timberwolves after two seasons. “It’s a business. They told me they were looking to bring me back… But they never really offered me anything. They had said signing me was a priority, but at the end of the day they didn’t move forward. Everything happens for a reason. It’s all part of the business.’’
Marquis Daniels has agreed to terms with Milwaukee, per his agent Mark Bartelstein
Sam Amick
  • Jason Terry wants to kill some teams, from A. Sherrod Blakely: “First group or second group, Terry’s focus this season remains the same. ”My mission is to kill; whether it’s the Heat, whether it’s the Lakers. Hopefully both. That’s my mission, and that’s what I’m here to do,” Terry said on Tuesday shortly before teeing off at the Fifth Annual USI Shamrock Classic which was hosted by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.”
  • Clyde Drexler believes the Suns are a fourth or a fifth-seed playoff team, from Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: “They’ve got a real team now,” Drexler said in initiating a discussion about the Suns while attending the Jerry Colangelo Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic in Litchfield Park last week. “They can really play. You already got (Marcin) Gortat. Now, you got (Luis) Scola. You got (Goran) Dragic. And you got (Michael) Beasley. You’ve got three new starters coming in who can play.” But Glide, most people are saying the Suns will not be a playoff team and ESPN’s pundits figure on them being the second-worst team in the conference. ”What?!” Drexler said with slightly less shock than when Jake O’Donnell ejected him for protesting a second-quarter foul in a 1995 playoff game at Phoenix. “Are you kidding me? If they don’t get the fourth or fifth playoff spot, I’m not standing before you. They’re big. They’re athletic. They know how to play.”
  • Check out Derrick Rose’s newest Adidas commercial:

Gordon Hayward wants to be an All-Star

Nets will fight for the heart of NYC fans