SH Blog: J.R. Smith’s return could mean Iman Shumpert leaving the Knicks

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So I’ve been playing NBA 2K14 for a few weeks now, and I’m into late January in my Association mode. I’m playing as the Mavericks, for reasons I can’t really explain except by saying I thought playing as Monta Ellis would be fun. And it is.

What’s more fun, though, is making minor trades and tweaking players’ minute allotments. Like, I just traded DeJuan Blair for Peyton Siva and Kyle Singler so I could reallocate Blair’s six minutes a game to Brandan Wright, and it was the most fun I’ve had playing a sports game in a long time. Plus I got to keep Kyle Singler on the bench for game after game, which I’ve wanted to do since his time at Duke.

The other fun thing is draining jump shots with Shawn Marion. That never, ever gets old. And yeah, I guess Monta is fun too. But not as fun as rearranging minutes. That’s where the real fun is at.

Now let’s get to something sane people might also enjoy: the latest from around the NBA.

  • Carmelo_AnthonyThe Knicks looked just fine against the Bobcats. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com might have a reason why: “Maybe Carmelo Anthony should hold a players-only meeting after every loss. In their first game since they aired out some grievances in a players-only meet, the Knicks put together their most complete performance of the season in a 101-91 win in Charlotte. “Sometimes you need to get together and talk, communicate, let it all out, just try to figure what’s the problem, what’s the issue,” Anthony said. “We responded well tonight.” The Knicks turned the ball over just 12 times Friday, five fewer than their average. They shot the ball well, particularly from beyond the arc (46 percent) and they shared the ball (25 assists on 42 makes). “We know that this was a must-win for us,” said Raymond Felton, another active participant in the players-only meeting Tuesday. “We just wanted to come out and play with some effort and see what happens with the outcome.”"
  • The Knicks also get J.R. Smith back now. Here’s what Frank Isola of the New York Daily News had to say on the subject: “J.R. Smith is back — for better or worse — and his presence in the lineup will take some of the scoring burden off Carmelo Anthony and possibly push Iman Shumpert closer to the exit. “The rest of the league seems to value Iman more than the Knicks do,” said one Eastern Conference executive. “And his value is high.” Including Shumpert in a deal for Rajon Rondo is something Mike Woodson would sign up for immediately but it’s also pure fantasy. Ask yourself, why would the Boston Celtics trade their best player to a hated rival that doesn’t have first-round picks to trade?”
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  • Interesting story from Marc Stein of ESPN.com on what the NBA is doing to avoid a situation like the Miami Dolphins’: “All 30 NBA teams received a memo from the league office Friday reminding them that no form of bullying or hazing will be tolerated, according to league sources. The memo, sources said, references the Miami Dolphins’ ongoing bullying scandal and urges NBA players to report anything if they feel the need while also spelling out specific violations of the league’s policies. Sources said the memo reiterated a number of prohibited behaviors that would violate league policy. … Also prohibited, sources said, is requiring an individual to unreasonably pay for meals, travel, entertainment expenses, goods or services that are being solely enjoyed by others as well as imposing physical activities on a fellow player — such as exposure to weather, confinement in a restricted area, or consumption of food, liquid or substance — that leads to unreasonable risk for the individual or adversely affects their mental or physical health or safety. Veterans often force NBA rookies to wear kindergarten-style backpacks to games and practices, but that is widely seen as a standard rite of passage and typically is met with little resistance. Rookies also typically have to carry bags or even bring food in for veteran players on practice days, but sources with multiple teams consulted by ESPN.com this week have said the NBA culture is different than the NFL’s when it comes to the behind-the-scenes treatment of young players. Said one Western Conference team official: “It has really lightened up in recent years.” “
  • 220px-Nazr_MohammedJoe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times also looks at the culture of the NBA in light of the Incognito situation: “Hundreds of different teammates and Mohammed says he has never seen a white player given ‘‘honorary black man status’’ allowing him to use the N-word at will. ‘‘I’m close with Kirk [Hinrich], and I’m really close with [the Okla­homa City Thunder’s] Nick Collison, and how does a conversation like that even start?’’ he said. The curtain has been pulled back on the locker-room culture of professional sports in the last week, and many who don’t understand it suddenly don’t like seeing how the steak is prepared. In the NBA, Mohammed said, it’s not about rookie hazing but rather rookie ‘‘chores.’’ ‘‘I don’t like the word ‘hazing,’ ’’ he said. ‘‘Hey, when I was a rookie, you were responsible for little chores that guys needed like soap, lotion, cigarettes, but I never thought of that as hazing. That’s your rookie chores.’’ To a certain point. Said one younger Bulls player about the Incognito-Martin situation, ‘‘There’s a line, and if it gets crossed, someone has to get punched in the mouth.’’ “
  • People are watching basketball this year. From Joe Lucia of AwfulAnnouncing.com: “ESPN kicked off their Wednesday NBA doubleheaders this week, and the early results were strong. The Bulls-Pacers and Mavericks-Thunder matchups averaged a 1.7 rating, a 55% jump from last year’s first doubleheader. The games featured last year were 76ers-Hornets and Spurs-Clippers, which only averaged a 1.1 rating, with the early matchup drawing just a 0.9. Both games this year had a 1.7. The viewership of the doubleheader also increased by 72%, rising to an average of 2.048 million viewers from 1.193 million viewers last year. It’s not surprising about the early success of the league. The Bulls are always a popular team, and the return of Derrick Rose is fueling strong early season ratings. Meanwhile, the Pacers improved to 5-0 with their blowout win on Wednesday, taking advantage of a weak schedule to jump out to an early lead in the Central Division.”
  • If you’re like me, you love gimmick uniforms. So you were extra excited for the Nets and Heat’s decision to try nicknames on the back of jerseys. Now Nets Daily has a hint as to when those jerseys will be worn: “Remember this story?  “Nets may have nicknames on jerseys this season.” The Nets and Heat agreed to wear jerseys with nicknames on them, borrowing an idea from the XFL. … Well, word is slowly leaking out as to when we’ll see the “name jersey collection,” as the NBA calls it.  The Nets calendar, distributed last week, lists January 10, as the first time the Nets will wear them. The Heat’s printable schedule lists two home games, on March 12 and April 8 vs. the Nets and one, on January 21, vs. the Celtics as “name collection uniform games.” The Nets calendar lists five games where the Nets will wear “alternate home uniforms” which appear to be separate from the “Christmas Short Sleeve Jerseys.”  The jerseys will be worn March 21 and 28 as well as April 4, 11, and 15, the last home game of the season.”

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Dan Malone is in his fourth year as a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent this summer as a features intern at the Cape Cod Times. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.

The Numbers Say… The Pacers’ Defense and Lakers’ Bench Joined Rare Company

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hibbertAfter months of agonizing anticipation, the 2013-14 NBA regular season has finally begun. Three games ushered in the new year, and as one might imagine, the numbers were quite astonishing.

No team posted numbers that were as impressive as the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana won its season opener by defeating the Orlando Magic 97-87 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul George scored 24 points, Lance Stephenson added a surprisingly strong 19 and Orlando Johnson scored nine off of the bench as the defending Central Division champions started the season with a big win.

With a closer evaluation of Indiana’s opening day performance, it’s clear that the Pacers were historic during their win.

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Tweet of the Night: Kendall Marshall Has “Old Man” Experience

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It is bound to happen to most men.

Whether it be their daughter or little sister, most guys typically make light of needing a shotgun to fend off the womanizing young beasts knocking down the door.

It is the moment in most men’s lives that they fear before it ever comes, watching the little lady in their lives grow up and walk out the door [typically, this action involves some sort of dance (junior prom, senior prom, etc.)].

For Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall, that moment was his little sister’s Saturday night homecoming dance.

Just got off the phone with my sister’s homecoming date. called me Sir, he’s good in my book.

— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) October 19, 2013

I’m gettin old. http://t.co/BQjLipOgaR

— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) October 19, 2013

In his Instagram post, Marshall states that he gave the young man “the talk” before going on to clown his hair in a hashtag, “#HerDateIsGeraldFromHeyArnoldlol.”

While the moment may make him feel old, especially being addressed as “Sir” by a young man in middle school, at least he managed a snappy reference.

For those who are completely unfamiliar with the Nickelodeon cartoon show Hey Arnold, here is a picture of Gerald for comparison.

gerald-from-hey-arnold

In all fairness, there are worse things that he likely could have made reference to.

A silly cartoon character was probably going easy on the kid, though an easy NBA comparison could have been made to either Miami Heat guard Norris Cole or New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.

Norris Cole  Iman Shumpert

Shumpert made news recently by cutting his iconic flat top look, but that’s beside the point.

For Marshall, of course, he seems to be doing right by his sister, looking out for her as big brothers should. Considering his busy NBA schedule, that’s proof positive that he’s deeply committed to his family.

There’s no telling what his talk with young man may have entailed, but it may be safe to assume that he put the fear of God in him.

 

Previous Tweet Posts:

Tweet of the Day: Nick Collison’s Awkward Experience

Tweet of the Night: Roy Hibbert Has Unorthodox Love Affair

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Michael writes the Tweet of the Day for SheridanHoops.com.

Follow @MBrumagin

Five Things To Watch: Miami Heat

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Chris BoshAs the back-to-back defending NBA champions, one could say that the Miami Heat stand in the best position of any team in the league. That’s probably true, but the 2013-14 campaign also stands as one of the most pivotal seasons in team history.

Why?

After this season, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all have the option to test the free agent waters.

Although Wade said he wants to stay in Miami, perhaps a disappointing season with an aging core could give James pause about re-upping with the Heat. Already a champion as a supporting player, Bosh may want the spotlight. Regardless of whether the Heat three-peat, it is entirely plausible that key role players such as Ray Allen and Shane Battier will retire after this season.

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Video: Hamilton on Game 2 changes for Heat, Spurs

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We know the Miami Heat have to be better in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

But can the San Antonio Spurs be better?

The Heat’s issues have been well-documented. LeBron James needs to be more of a scorer. Role players such as Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole have to contribute more than the collective 6-of-15 showing they managed in the opener.