SH Blog: Scouts critical of Rondo, Irving and Rubio, D’Antoni not happy with Gasol’s public criticism

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NBA writers have been speaking with anonymous scouts as of late, and you have to wonder if some of those scouts are paying as much attention as they really should, based on some of their questionable analysis.

For example, saying you don’t like the Golden State Warriors’ chances in the playoffs because they’re not good enough defensively simply makes no sense, given that they are the third best defensive team in the league – the very best if you only count teams in the West. Objectively speaking, the statistics simply don’t back up such analysis. The Warriors are, however, a middling offensive team with too much dependency on Stephen Curry’s ability to create for the rest of the team. It would make much more sense to doubt them for their offensive woes than defense.

Still, it’s interesting to hear what people that evaluate the skill level of players for a living have to say about relevant players or teams around the league. Chris Broussard of ESPN took some notes on veteran scouts’ take on underrated and overrated players. Some noteworthy names that came up include Ricky Rubio, Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo. If you are a fan of those players, though, you’re not going to love what the scouts had to say.

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Bernucca: Feeling the Heat, Pacers Had To Make a Move

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Lance StephensonAll season, the Indiana Pacers have maintained that homecourt advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs, and their chemistry will give them a great chance to dethrone the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat.

Are both slipping away?

In the last two weeks, Indiana’s grip on the East’s best record has loosened considerably. And the Pacers’  big move at Thursday’s trading deadline, acquiring Evan Turner, illustrated that their belief in chemistry may have been overstated.

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Scotto: Midseason Report Cards for Knicks and Nets

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knicks-vs-brooklyn-nets-at-barclays-centerBefore the season, championship expectations were attached to both the Knicks and the Nets.

The Knicks were coming off the team’s first season with at least 50 or more wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals since the 1999-2000 campaign, when Jeff Van Gundy patrolled the sidelines, Patrick Ewing wrapped up his final season in New York and Allan Houston was in the prime of his career.

The Nets were coming off their first trip to the playoffs in six years and considered the winners of the offseason after landing future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, in a blockbuster trade with the Celtics.

However, neither team has lived up to the hype with the All-Star break now upon us.

With that in mind, it’s time to break down the season into four sections for both teams: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Future.

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Fixing the Knicks: Several Trade Ideas That Could Jump Start a Strong Rebuild

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Carmelo AnthonySources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that there is “no chance” the Knicks trade free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony by the Feb. 20 deadline.

Let’s face the facts: even with Anthony, the Knicks are a mediocre basketball team in a horrendous Atlantic Division.

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Scotto: Woodson Could be Fired by All-Star Break, Sources Say – UPDATED

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Mike Woodson and several assistant coaches on his staff fear they will be fired by the All-Star break, multiple league sources tell SheridanHoops.com.

Herb Williams is the leading candidate to replace Woodson on an interim basis for the remainder of the season as The Bergen Record first reported.

Sources say the All-Star break would be the ideal time for the Knicks to make a midseason change, if they elect to do so. The move would allow a new assistant coaching staff and Williams to become acclimated with each other while the team is off from Feb. 13-18.

On Friday, the Knicks crushed the Nuggets 117-90. On Sunday, the Knicks took a step back and fell to the Thunder 112-100.

New York returns home Wednesday to face Sacramento in the team’s final game before the All-Star break. Knicks management will then determine whether a new voice is needed to lead the team going forward after an underwhelming first half of the season.