Kevin Martin can see the future, likes it

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Thumbnail image for martin_rocket.jpgPrediction: Next year, Kevin Martin will be an All-Star.

Next year, those passes into the post that are going to Luis Scola will be going to Yao Ming. That means on the kick-outs Martin should be getting some open looks. And he can bury open looks all night long. So Martin’s numbers should be good.

Plus, the continent of China will be voting for him online.

It’s hard when watching the Rockets on League Pass, not to start daydreaming of next season just a little. Even Martin feels that way a little, something he told The Sporting News.

Long term, here in Houston, whether we make the playoffs or not, it is very positive. They want me here, they let me know that right away. When you look at it long-term, you look forward to what this team can become in the next few years with all the good young players and with Yao Ming coming back healthy. There is a lot to look forward to.

As for right now, he thinks he’s fitting in quite well.

There have been some things about (coach Rick Adelman’s) system that have just come natural to me, but there are some twists now, some things are different. You have different personnel, so you have different twists for those guys. When I was playing for him before, I was just a young guy. I was way behind guys like Brad Miller, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic. I got all the wide-open shots back then, because no one was guarding me. Now, I have to adjust to be more of a featured player. It’s a different role. But I like it, because it is a system that definitely accentuates what I do best and what I think my strengths are.

The playoffs are a long shot for the Rockets this season — making up four-and-a-half games on Portland at this point is going to take a lot of luck to go with a hot streak. But if it doesn’t work out this year, there’s always next year.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.