How desperate are the Denver Nuggets for another big man? Two words for you: Brian Cook.
According to Hoopsworld, Denver not only worked out Cook yesterday and are on the verge of signing the former Big 10 player of the year to a deal. He is there to fill the void left by Kenyon Martin being out to deal with his knee problem.
Cook is theoretically a “stretch four,” and those are the hot new toy everybody wants. We say theoretically because he shot just 22.2 percent from three in 15 appearances for the Rockets this season and barely ever takes a long two. But to be fair, he is a career 39 percent guy from three; he could find his touch again.
But the book on Cook is pretty simple — run at him and don’t let him set his feet at the arc. Because if he has to put the ball on the floor, shoot on the move or create his own shot things fall apart fast. More than 70% of his baskets came with an assist from someone, when that dropped to 40% last season in Houston (meaning he had to create his own shot) his shooting percentage plummeted. He does not finish well at the rim.
And the reason the Lakers early on and Orlando next let him walk was the fact they like defense and rebounding. Cook does not (he is at best an average rebounder for a four, and because he likes the wings he rarely gets offensive boards).
This is not to knock Cook, too much, his game is his game. But the fact Denver likes his game at this point speaks volumes about where they are.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”
Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.
Raptors media relations:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.
Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.
The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.