What does an Amar'e Nets team look like? Scary.

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The Newark Star Ledger spoke with Amar’e Stoudemire after the Nets-Suns game last week and asked him about playing in New Jersey. With the Nets. Who just recently avoided being the worst team in the history of professional basketball, record wise (though we’ve told you they’re not that bad). So surely Amar’e is going to distance himself from such talk, right?

Take it away, Ledger!

“There have been a lot of teams that have inquired about me this past
trade deadline,” he said. “It’s much respected, because those are teams
that really take notice of my game and really appreciate the hard work.
New Jersey is definitely one of them.”

Hey, now. Even if that is just polite political maneuvering to ensure he gets the best deal, it’s pretty arm, especially considering he also talks about how the team is sure to turn things around in the article.

The most likely scenario is Amar’e re-signs with Phoenix for the most money and finishes out Steve Nash’s career. But if he were to go to New Jersey? Look out.

You’d be looking at this possible starting five: John Wall, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Amare Stoudemire, Brook Lopez. That’s before you factor in the possibility of the Nets using their cap room to lure another small guard, or what the y would conceivably get from a Devin Harris trade.

A Stoudemire-Lopez frontcourt would be awe-inspiring. It would give Amar’e a big next to him to shore up his defensive liabilities without questioning or interfering his role in the offense like Shaq did. John Wall’s speed and vision would give Amar’e a point guard to run the pick and roll he’s been so succesful with, and Williams and Lee fill out a roster of shooters along with Chris Douglas-Roberts and whoever the Nets land with the rest of their draft picks.

LeBron is obviously the number one choice, Wade second, and Bosh probably third. But to pair with the core this team could very well be looking at after the lottery? Amar’e could provide them with something equally special. And Stoudemire likely finds the idea of playing in Brooklyn attractive when the Nets move in two seasons. It would give him the big-name recognition he feels he deserves and puts him on the map like he wants.

Something to keep an eye on as we start to watch all the possibilities come into play.

Dwight Howard posts just second 30-30 game in last 36 years

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Dwight Howard never played for the Nets. He almost got traded to Brooklyn by the Magic, but the deal never happened.

Which puts a dent in Dennis Schroder‘s theory Howard gets up for games against only his former teams.

Howard dominated Brooklyn for 32 points and 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 win tonight. That’s just the second 30-30 game in the last 36 years, Kevin Love notching the other in 2010.

All 30-30 games since Wilt Chamberlain, who had a ton:

  • Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets, 3/21/2018): 32 points, 30 rebounds
  • Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11/12/2010): 31 points, 31 rebounds
  • Moses Malone (Houston Rockets, 2/11/1982): 38 points, 32 rebounds
  • Swen Nater (Milwaukee Bucks, 12/19/1976): 30 points, 33 rebounds
  • Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds

Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.

Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)

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The Bucks lost, 127-120, to the Clippers tonight.

More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.

He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.

Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.

No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.

The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.

Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.

Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win


The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.

But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.

Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.

LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.

And LeBron led the Cavaliers to this win despite Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman being out.

It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.

Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team

AP Photo/Darren Abate

Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was a candidate to coach the men’s team at Colorado State, her alma mater. That would have made her the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team.

Alas, it won’t happen.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.

She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.

This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.