Once trade rumors get rolling, they are almost impossible to stop. Even when they made no sense.
Like the Hornets trying to trade Chris Paul. That’s not a normal kind of insane, that’s like Charlie Manson level insane. It makes no real sense. So owner George Shinn came forward to put an end to that with a public statement:
“The resolve that my partner Gary Chouest and I have will always remain the same – to continue to build our legacy in New Orleans, and to develop a path and plan to win an NBA Championship for New Orleans and all of Louisiana. We are about building and sustaining a winning tradition. Chris Paul is the cornerstone of our franchise and brings us unequaled support on and off the court. We will continue to build around Chris Paul, and we want to see him in a Hornets uniform for the remainder of his career. We have an exciting future, and with the leadership of our new head coach and players like Chris Paul, we know the best is yet to come. We plan to take advantage of any opportunities to improve our team.”
So that should clear everything up, right? Exactly. Read that last sentence again. He’s like a kid with his fingers cross behind his back. Somebody wants some wiggle room, just in case.
Chris Paul said he wants to stay in New Orleans if the team is committed to winning. Right now we’d all be happy if they settled on a clear and definitive statement.
So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.
But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.
But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.
When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.
Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.
Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.
Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.
Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.
New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.
I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.
But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.