The Memphis Grizzlies took a big step forward last year, they got almost all the way to .500. One of the best turnarounds in the league. But if they want to take another step — maybe into the playoffs? — they are going to need some more key contributors.
That does not mean project rookies. Which is all they would get with picks No. 12, No. 25 and No. 28 in the upcoming NBA draft. So the team may try to package those picks in a trade, according to what owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal.
“We’ll be trying to trade from now through the draft,” Heisley said. “If we can get an impact player, we might trade all three of (the picks). If we can’t do that, then we hope to use those three picks to get an impact player.”
Stockpiling multiple picks rather than having one really good one is a fantastic strategy in the NFL, with its massive numbers game. In the NBA, where the pure talent of one player can carry a team a long way (see: James, LeBron) impact players matter a lot more.
Which is to say Heisley is on the right track. Not that getting an impact player is going to be all that easy, but he may be able to get someone of quality from a team looking to cut costs (two or three rookie contracts at once can help with that).
They are not alone, the Rockets are looking to move up as well. There may be more trading than normal leading up to this draft.
Kawhi Leonard scored 16 straight points for the Spurs at the end of regulation to give San Antonio the lead and a chance. Then Mike Conley hit a floater in the lane forced overtime.
There Mike Conley hit a floating bank shot that had the Grizzlies up three with :47 seconds left, only to have Leonard answer with a three to tie the game. Marc Gasol would break that tie and get Memphis the series-evening win.
Conley and Leonard traded blows through the clutch parts of Saturday’s epic Game 4 between Memphis and San Antonio. It’s worth checking out the highlights again.
There’s not going to be many plays better than this in the entire playoffs.
There wasn’t a lot for Wizards’ fans to cheer in Game 3, the Hawks took control early and routed Washington, making it a 2-1 series. But there was this, John Wall going coast-to-coast with the ball, going around-the-back and throwing it down left handed.
Wall is just so fast end to end.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.
Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.
The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.
Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 32 points, while Damian Lillard added 31.
The Atlanta Hawks owned the Washington Wizards from the opening tip Saturday, making it a 2-1 series with an easy win.
It’s a series now — and that includes trash talk.
Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.
The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”
Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.
“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”
These two have already had a beef this series.
Game 4 in this series just got a lot more interesting.