As the NBA season kicks into high gear, two stories surfaced on Tuesday that should come as no surprise. And of course, they are centering around none other than, traditionally, the leagues two most popular teams: the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. In just two weeks, both teams who are annually expected to compete for a title, and at the very least, the playoffs, have turned into the leagues biggest trainwrecks.
When the deadline for contract extensions came and went Thursday night, point guards Eric Bledsoe and Greivis Vasquez didn’t get paid. But don’t shed any tears for them. Because when the summer rolls around, they will get their money. And it might be GMs Ryan McDonough of Phoenix and Pete D’Alessandro of Sacramento who are crying. As reluctant as McDonough and D’Alessandro may have been to pony up for point guards with plenty to prove, they should have done so. Both GMs are
Who is crashing the playoff party in the East this season? Conventional wisdom says the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are head and shoulders above the rest of the Eastern Conference and – barring a disaster – will secure the top five spots. At the other end of the conference, you can probably toss out the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats and Philadelphia 76ers, who could pool their rosters to come up with
In Elton Brand’s 14 NBA seasons, the two-time All Star has played alongside some of the league’s most respected point guards. From Sam Cassell to pre-injury Shaun Livingston to Andre Miller to Jrue Holiday, Brand has grown accustomed to excellence from his floor generals. So when Brand signed with Atlanta over the summer and was told to check out the highlight reel for his new teammate, a 19-year-old who had been nicknamed “Baby Rondo,” he was understandably skeptical of the moniker. “People
With NBA training camps now open, every team will be using October to try to answer questions about their rosters. But for teams with injured stars, the questions have greater significance. Like, how long can the Lakers stay afloat without Kobe Bryant? Is Danny Granger going to come off the bench for the Pacers? Are the Warriors really a better team without David Lee? No less than nine current or former All-Stars will start the 2013-14 season with doubt swirling around them because they
The Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks both skidded into the playoffs with uninspiring performances in April. It was only a few weeks ago when the Pacers looked solidly positioned to secure the Eastern Conference’s second seed. Instead, they went 2-5 in April and fell to third. Meanwhile, the Hawks also struggled at the end of the season and appeared to strategically tank their final two games in an attempt to avoid the Heat in the early rounds of the playoffs.
Look around the NBA right now at the creme de la creme of the point guard position: Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Jrue Holiday, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, pre-injury Rajon Rondo, post injury Derrick Rose, soon enough… It’s no wonder that Jeff Teague is often completely overlooked and, frankly, forgotten about, as a result of learning the ropes on the fly for an Atlanta Hawks squad that is constantly labeled a first-round-and-out playoff team. This might be his