Heading into the contest, Houston was the only Western Conference team the Warriors had failed to beat this season. Just as importantly, a win against them would bring Golden State within four games of the third seed – still well within reach with 27 games left to play.
Tweet of the Night: Sarcastic tweet about Jermaine O’Neal from Rockets’ official twitter account backfires
We don’t want to be party-poopers, but it probably should be pointed out that the Clippers were better without him.
This does not mean that GM Gary Sacks should start exploring trade possibilities for a top-five player. And it doesn’t mean that coach Doc Rivers should go with the hot hand at point guard at the end of games.
But it does mean that if the Clippers want to win a championship this season – which is entirely within the realm of possibility – Paul has to reacclimate himself with his teammates more than they do to him.
SHOULD KOBE BRYANT COME BACK THIS SEASON?
Whether this season is worth coming back to for Bryant was the topic between Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher and Howard Beck. Beck says the guard should probably sit out the entire season because there is nothing to come back to. The Los Angeles Lakers are an injury-ridden mess and are certain to miss the playoffs, so what’s the point?
The issue with sitting Bryant out even if he can come back is this: he needs to have an understanding of where he is physically and mentally heading into next season. There is no replacement for NBA competition. Bryant has suffered two separate devastating injuries he has never had to deal with in the past. There’s no question that he struggled when he initially came back earlier in the season and looked like a shell of himself – perhaps for the first time ever – as he tried to get re-acclimated. If he doesn’t come back this season to find out what level of play he can sustain after suffering a fractured leg, he will be forced to find out next season. Is that something he or the Lakers want to take a chance on?
It usually starts December 15, the first day players who were signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. But after seeing Rudy Gay’s immovable contract somehow sent from Toronto to Sacramento, it is clear that shopping season is under way.
Come next Sunday, NBA general managers will have increased flexibility when looking to improve their rosters, which was Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro’s approach in acquiring Gay, or their payroll, which was Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s approach in moving him.
In addition to the Raptors-Kings deal, we’ve already heard reports that the Houston Rockets are telling teams reserve center Omer Asik is on the block and they are looking to move him between Sunday and Dec. 19, which is the deadline for any player acquired for Asik to be rerouted before the trade deadline on Feb. 20.
So Rockets GM Daryl Morey may make two deals. Or he may make one deal. Or he may not deal at all.
And right now, it connects the home boroughs of perhaps the NBA’s two most disappointing teams this season.
Remember all the back-and-forth this summer between members of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets? Jason Kidd retired from the Knicks to coach the Nets. Raymond Felton questioned his Knicks being ranked below the Nets. Paul Pierce said it was time for the Nets to start running the city. J.R. Smith called Pierce “bitter” about having to leave Boston.
All fun stuff to help fuel a rivalry that already had a pretty good fire raging over which was the best team in New York.
Now? Given the way the Knicks and Nets have started the season, the best team in New York might be the Gauchos.