The LeBron James sweepstakes are not over.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in Miami, and it is possible that James will join them (if Toronto will take on Michael Beasley’s contracts or if the big three are all willing to take a pay cut). But other teams are trying to provide an alternative.
That alternative is Carlos Boozer.
The Cavaliers, Bulls and Nets have all intensified negotiations with Boozer, according to Chad Ford. In large part that is to help lure LeBron to their cities.
If LeBron can’t go to Miami, he still wants to go to a place he can win (he’ll get the same max money at any city outside Cleveland). He has never had a true superstar running mate, such as a Pau Gasol for Kobe or the big three in Boston.
The New York Knicks can offer Amare Stoudemire. Not much else right now, but remember at the trade deadline last year LeBron was pushing Cleveland to trade for Stoudemire (they got Jamison instead).
The Bulls have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but with Carlos Boozer in the fold that is a team that would be a contender instantly in the East with LeBron. Even without LeBron Boozer makes that team much better.
Cleveland has won the most games in the East two years running and with Boozer alongside LeBron they would be a contender. However they would need a sign-and-trade to get him out of Utah, and they would bring Boozer back to a city where he has been reviled after leaving them at the alter for Utah five years ago.
The Nets also have a nice young core that looks better with Boozer, and with LeBron would set a new record for biggest single-season turnaround ever.
None of that may matter. But nobody knows what is in LeBron’s mind right now, and the speed at which things have changed this off-season means another change could come. Or maybe two.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.