It’s not LeBron, but it’s not bad, either.
Actually, it’s pretty smart — the Los Angeles Clippers have reached a deal with Ryan Gomes, as reported by Associated Press. Combined with the signing of Randy Foye yesterday, the Clippers have upgraded themselves. Without breaking the bank — three years and $12 million for Gomes.
You need to look at Gomes and Foye together this way — they are versatile players who can play multiple roles. The Clippers have not been built that way: Chris Kaman is a center, Baron Davis is a scoring point guard, Blake Griffin is a pure power forward, and so on down the line. This was a team built largely to a traditional model.
Gomes, a product of Providence (go Friars!) can do a lot of things pretty well. Good three point shooter (36.1 percent from three) who can post people up. He’s the kind of player some dismiss as a “tweener” but it depends on how you use him — he can help create matchup problems. He can be a small four that pulls a big help defender away from the basket so Kaman has more room and Davis has driving lanes. He can be an oversized and overpowering three. He’s not great at any of these things, but he’s solid.
The Clippers added some versatility to their roster. It may not have been a home run, but it was a smart little move.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.
Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.
The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.
But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.
LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.
Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”