Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively.
After the Washington Wizards ended a season-high five-game losing streak Saturday with a 37-point victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Marcin Gortat wasn’t quite ready to declare that their earth was back on its axis. “At the end of the day, it was Brooklyn, so we can’t get really excited,” he said. There’s nothing like perspective. And Gortat is right: One win against a plodding, tired team is nothing to get excited about. What the Wizards should be is concerned. Prior to the win
What a Saturday night. The completely unexpected —and courageous — return of LaMarcus Aldridge (torn thumb ligament) was a success, but the plague of NBA injuries continues. Playing the best basketball of his promising career over the last month, Brandon Jennings will have an MRI on a possible torn Achilles tendon and could be lost for the season.
We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6
The only major upset on Monday was the Pacers beating the Mavs in Dallas. If you had unlikely hero Donald Sloan in daily lineups, don’t spend all the winnings in one place.
The Detroit Pistons are in another rebuilding phase, with longtime president Joe Dumars out and Stan Van Gundy taking over both as chief executive and coach. He inherits a roster that remains largely intact, with the addition of some much needed 3-point shooting. Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe are all back. Jennings and Smith are either untradeable or Van Gundy isn’t interested in selling low, while Monroe took the somewhat unprecedented step of spurning long-term contract offers
The NBA offseason continues to roll along, complete with Kevin Love trade talks seeming to have spiked to an all-time high. If you’re interested, our own Chris Sheridan spoke with Dan Bickley on KTAR 98.7 regarding the latest on a potential trade. The Detroit Pistons have had a rather busy offseason. Theirs began with the hiring of a new head coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy. Lacking a first round draft pick, they drafted Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, whom
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.