Also see links to all the previews at CelticsBlog.com
Also see links to all the previews at CelticsBlog.com
Charley Walters of Twincities.com gives us this new trade rumor
Timberwolves trade rumors abound, one of which involves a deal with Charlotte for the Wolves’ No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft for the Bobcats’ No. 9 pick and 6-8 shooting guard Adam Morrison. The Wolves aren’t commenting.
Via longtimeBobcatsPlanet member BIGSLAM
1: Bulls = Beasley
2: Heat = Rose
3: Wolves = Randolph
4: Sonics = B.Lopez
5: Grizzlies = Love
6: Knicks = Bayless
7: Clippers = Gordon
8: Bucks = Gallinari
9: Bobcats = Mayo
10: Nets = Batum
11: Pacers = Augustin
12: Kings = Westbrook
13: Blazers = Budinger
14: Warriors = Greene
click here for Slam’s full mock
Heres his take on how the slide could happen:
Every year, someone slides. It’s just the nature of the draft. B.Wright was said to be a lock for the 3rd pick last year and he slide to #8. Rudy Gay was tossed around as a potential 1st over all the year before and he also fell to #8.
I think that some GM will fall for a Jordan/McGee/Love/Speights/Authur type and their size combined with a soild workout and predraft measurements.
I think that Mayo might be the kid to slide this year. His “baggage” issues had been all but earased – then all of a sudden the story breaks last week that he might have accepted cash etc from USC to play there, violating NCAA rules. Once again, his character is brought into question. This “might” turn some GM’s off. That and the fact that all of the teams above us (except for the Clipps) have other pressing needs other than a SG makes me think he might fall.
Bulls – Have Gordon (and wont pass on Beasley/Rose anyway)
Heat – Have Wade (and wont pass on Beasley/Rose anyway)
Wolves – Have Foye (and need someone to help/compliment Big Al)
Sonics – Have Durant (who they foolishly play as a SG)
Grizzles – Have Miller (and need a big to round out their starting 5)
Knicks – Have Crawford (who is JUST like Mayo – and they need a PG)
Clipps – The danger team
Bucks – Have Redd (and need a SF)
Bobcats – Have Swish (but we all think he’s a better SF than SG)
See what I mean?
BTW – The Knicks are a team who I think might reach for someone like Jordan, which woulld still help us. They have Curry and Randolph (a horrible pairing) and need a defensive stopper/rebounder. Enter Jordan.
If that DID happen, look for the Clipps to draft Bayless which would really help Mayo fall to us.
Oooh yeah, three in a row! Not since the halcyon days of November 1st to the 19th have we looked this good. Apparently, Jeff McInnis’ way with the Dark Side was more powerful than even I thought. Even without Gerald Wallace, we racked up one W on the road and another over a playoff-hungry Warriors team. Granted, the Minnesota T-Wolves are the NBA equivalent of William Hung: sort of endearing and inspiring, but mostly untalented. Have you seen these guys? They’re all sort of misshapen, almost like they’re defective models off the NBA player assembly line. Craig Smith is kind of rotund and overly sweaty, Corey Brewer is skinny, Marko Jaric is squinty, Randy Foye’s kind of stocky, Bassy Telfair is kind of slow and small and can’t really shoot, Antoine Walker is kind of a salary dump, etc.
Even that “Wolf howl” sound effect blasts over the PA system at inappropriate moments. I swear I heard one after Jason Richardson drilled a 3-pointer. They also have a pair of television announcers who are unmatched in their ability to generate awkward silences after weird, vaguely homoerotic outbursts. After a generic put-back, one of them inexplicably yelled out, “Kirk Snyder is GOOD!!” (ensuing long silence). The best shout-out was, “Emeka Okafor is a MAN!” (ensuing long silence). Not “the man,” mind you, “a man.” I also took offense to one of them asserting that Jason Richardson is “the first go-to guy in Bobcats history.” Excuse me? Obviously, these guys have never heard of the legend that is Jason Hart.
None of this stopped the Wolves from getting indignant over a loss to the likes of us. Head coach Randy Wittman went all Neville Chamberlain afterward. "Tonight we tried to have a nonaggression pact with the other team, from the first play of the game to the last play of the game," Wittman said. "That's disappointing." Wait, did he just compare Sam Vincent to Hitler?
Then came the Warriors. You know how there’s been an endless debate over who are the biggest trade-deadline “winners” and “losers”? Here’s my choice for a winner: Chris Webber. He’s got to be thanking his lucky boosters that this year’s deadline wasn’t as quiet as last year’s, otherwise people would have had nothing better to do than focus on what a terrible acquisition he’s been: 9 games, 14 minutes per, 4 points, 2 assists, 4 reboards (and all these numbers rounded up). Fortunately for him, the plethora of deals has completely taken the spotlight off his disastrous reunion with Golden State.
As for the game itself, the Warrior roared out of the gate with 38 first-quarter points. Sam Vincent had to call two timeouts, and it had the same demoralizing effect as a boxer receiving two standing 8-counts in the first round. Monta Ellis was so fast that at times he seemed to be moving through people; he’s like X-Men’s Kitty Pryde if she also had the ability to draw lots of shooting fouls. Given Ellis’s speed, it’s mystifying why they didn’t just give the rock to him for the last 5-and-a-half minutes when they were ahead 106-105—he seemed a mortal lock to either score or draw the foul every time he had the ball. Instead, Stephen Jackson, Kelenna Azubuike, and Al Harrington all missed two 3-pointers apiece, and we pulled away for the win.
But I’m skipping a whole bunch. Before all this came a stunning turnaround of a 2nd quarter, in which we cut their first quarter scoring by half (just 19 points) and came storming back to take a 2-point lead at the intermission, spearheaded by Earl Boykins’ 9 points in the period. Matt Carroll scrapped for 11 boards and 4 steals, and Okafor got to the foul line 18 times. Our two most positive trends lately—Richardson and Jared Dudley—also continued to blossom. Richardson scored 42 points and Dudley did just about everything else—18 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. He also drew numerous charges and generally played like a muthaf—in’ spiteful, delightful, eyeful.
Winning feels better than anything—even better thinking of Jeff McInnis in the past tense. Over the last two games, we’ve hit 52-of-70 foul shots, committed just 22 total turnovers, had 8 of the 10 starters score in the double-digits, and exhibited crunch-time defense (just 37 total fourth-quarter points allowed)—is this how it feels to cheer for the Spurs every game? Woooowww.
And for some extra sauce to go with my bucket of hot and crispy joy, last night's victory over the T-Wolves couldn’t have come against a better team. It’s no secret I despise Minnesota. I can’t stand Ricky Davis, I refuse to accept the possibility that Mark Blount might actually be a good player, I’m thrilled that moody Rashad McCants has underachieved even more than I’d hoped, I haven’t enjoyed anything by Marko Jaric since he played Bud on Married…With Children, I hate the fact that Minnesotans inexplicably love Mark Madsen even though he’s unskilled and quite obviously out of shape (and what’s the deal with this, by the way, because the same thing happens with Brian Scalabrine in Boston, and yet look at the reaction to Jerome James in New York? What’s different here? Hmmmm).
(Ironically, Kevin Garnett is actually one of my favorite players. This seems strange to me until I consider that one of my favorite baseball players of all time is Ted Williams, and likewise with Bobby Orr in hockey, and yet both played for my all-time nemesis of a city, Boston. So actually, with every Minnesota loss—even last night’s—and with every sight of KG at the end, walking off the court and looking slightly homicidal, I also feel a brief pang of sympathy. Minnesota, please trade him already, just so I don’t have to go through this duplicity every time!)
Anyway, the story of last night’s game was Adam Morrison—more specifically, Morrison in the second half, because in the first half it was Blount and KG shooting the lights out and putting the Bobcats down as many as 17. Mike James, whose skills are really only comparable to those of a fine hooker, also was all over the court. I don’t know what happened in the locker room at halftime, but apparently Blount gave Morrison some sort of skills-transplant, because Adam scored all of his 26 points in the second half and Blount went ice cold (James, meanwhile, was only about as good as a decent hooker the rest of the way). AM went 10-for-14 from the field, and hit 4-6 3-pointers. They were seriously just falling in from every which way; one clanged hard off the front of the rim yet managed to bounce backwards into the hoop, it was almost cartoon-ish.
I liked Charlotte Observer columnist Rick Bonnell’s description of the difference between Morrison pre- and post-All-Star Break. “Before the All-Star break,” Bonnell writes, “Morrison was a self-conscious, frustrated kid…he shot poorly and felt exhausted.” Bonnell goes onto say that over the break Morrison then got into the gym and worked on his shooting—nice, but Bonnell left out the part where Morrison gets bitten by a radioactive spider.
All in all, it was a great victory. In fact, our third win in a row has brought me the greatest dose of sports-related happiness (which often seems to be the only type of happiness I’m capable of feeling) since the Panthers beat the Ravens on the road last fall. So I guess before I go out and frolic naked in the field, genitals merrily swinging to and fro, I should just remember how the rest of that season worked out.