Right now, the whole basketball-watching world is in Bash the Cavs mode. They took Anthony Bennett #1 overall, and for the production he’s given them, they might as well have taken Nerlens Noel. Kyrie Irving, depending on who you want to believe, either can’t wait to get out or just hasn’t made that decision yet. Dion Waiters went at #4 last year and this year he’s been linked with every team needing help at shooting guard. Tristan Thompson changed his shooting hand.
After starting off the season atop the Sixth Man Rankings and quickly dropping out, Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris has climbed his way back into the top spot following consecutive weeks of efficient scoring.
Despite playing the entire month of January without star point guard Eric Bledsoe – out indefinitely due to knee surgery – Phoenix still surprisingly stands seven games above .500. They are currently the seventh seed in a loaded Western Conference.
Coach Jeff Hornacek is in his first year and doesn’t have an All-Star (although Goran Dragic deserves consideration). The Suns are the fourth-least experienced team in the league. Miraculously, they just keep on winning.
Markieff Morris has been a huge reason why.
If you’ve ever played basketball in a recreational setting, whether at the YMCA or the local city park outdoor court, you have probably experienced the inexplicable, near magical quality that old men often display when running the court.
Some old guys have that unstoppable post game, anchored by an unfailing hook shot. Some have that mid-range jumper that never misses. Still, others school young guys in the lost skill of abusing the backboard with that timeless bank shot.
In continuing his part in promoting Pepsi Max, Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson—who plays the role of point guard “Lights” in the most recent “Uncle Drew” video alongside Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving—took to twitter to discuss the magical qualities of old men who still play pick-up basketball with his followers.
In today’s NBA news other than the big Wizards-Suns trade, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will be forced to wear a splint on his left ring finger for about 6 weeks, and Bulls backup point guard Kirk Hinrich has been cleared to return from his concussion.
Monday, October 21
Daily Trivia: For more than 40 years, which mascot has been entertaining Chicago Bulls fans? Answer below.
Pistons could let Greg Monroe test restricted free agency
Posted at 10:48 PM ET
The Detroit Pistons will likely let Greg Monroe test restricted free agency next summer, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Stein said the word out of Detroit is the 2010 No. 7 overall pick would likely be available in 2014. The Pistons just spent big money to sign Josh Smith and are believed to be sparing their wallet for young center Andre Drummond. In the 2011-2012 season Monroe broke out as one of the league’s top big men, putting up about 15 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game.
Nuggets’ Robinson fined $10K
Posted at 05:08 PM ET
Denver Nuggets’ guard Nate Robinson has been fined $10,000 for pushing Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams from behind and striking him in the chest, the NBA announced Monday. On Oct. 15, Robinson received a Flagrant Two foul and was ejected from the game for the incident.
Hayward could get big payday
Posted at 12:40 PM ET
The Utah Jazz have apparently come to the instant realization that they want Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward to be a part of the franchise longterm. Rumors are the Jazz will offer Hayward an 8-figure a year extension, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Just the other day it was reported that Favors and the Jazz had agreed to a deal reportedly worth $49 million-plus over four-years. Hayward is entering his fourth season with Utah and has increasingly improved over his first three seasons. His minutes have doubled and points nearly tripled since joining the league and his three-point shooting remains among the top in the NBA at about 40%.
Trivia Answer: Benny the Bull is one of the longest-tenured mascots in the NBA. Benny was named after Ben Bentley, the Bulls first Public Relations Manager and Stadium Announcer. Benny is one of the many secret characters featured in the video game NBA Jam Tournament Edition. Via ESPN.
Brett Poirier manages the Rumors and News page for Sheridan Hoops. Follow @BrettNBA