Al Jefferson is not perfect, but the man had two 20-10 years, is 25, and gave Minnesota 17 and 9 last year trying to come back from a knee surgery he should be past this season.
Minnesota’s telegraphing of trading him was so bad Utah was able to get him for two first round pick, in a deal expected to be finalized later today according to Marc Spears at Yahoo. Utah had been considered the frontrunner so this is not a surprise.
And it’s a great pick up for Utah — they essentially traded Carlos Boozer for Al Jefferson this summer. Jefferson is half the price, scores and rebounds close to as much (Boozer is a more efficient shooter) and if you compare career PER they are very close. Neither of them plays great defense. Basically, Utah doesn’t take a step back at the four.
Minnesota wants to build around Kevin Love down low and the Jefferson/Love pairing did not work well. So if they want to move Jefferson, I get that.
But they so telegraphed what they were doing that every team in the league lowballed them on offers. Guys that can be 20-10 guys and are 25 do not get dumped out in a salary clearance for a couple picks (one of which, belonging to Memphis, is lottery protected).
Minnesota’s frontcourt now is Darko Milicic, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley coming off the bench. Not to worry though, they have plenty of point guards to make up for it.
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.
The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).
No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.
The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.
Second-year forward Sam Dekker is finding a comfort zone in the Mike D’Antoni offense in Houston. Healthy this season, he is coming off the bench for 18 minutes a night, and his game where he is quick and can also hit the three is fitting perfectly with Houston’s system, leading him to 6.7 points a game.
Also, he can run the floor. And finish.
As Enes Kanter found out when he hustled, got back in transition defense, and wasn’t going to stop Dekker from getting to the rim.
That’s a quality dunk.
The Rockets went on to win the game 102-99, despite Russell Westbrook‘s seventh-straight triple-double.
LeBron James has been climbing the NBA’s All-time scoring list fast the past couple years, passing Hakeem Olajuwon last season to move into the top 10.
Friday night LeBron passed another legend, Elvin Hayes, who spent the prime of his career with the Washington Bullets and was an NBA champion, six-time All-NBA and 12-time All-Star from the late 1960s through the early 1980s.
LeBron passed Hayes with a vintage LeBron bucket, bringing the ball up in transition, then just using his quickness and strength to power to the rim.
LeBron’s not done, he should pass Moses Malone in the next week or so. Here is the NBA’s All-time scoring Top 10. (As a side note, if you count ABA scoring in the mix LeBron is 11th because Julius Erving and Dan Issel both pass him. For now.)
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38387
2. Karl Malone 36928
3. Kobe Bryant 33643
4. Michael Jordan 32292
5. Wilt Chamberlain 31419
6. Dirk Nowitzki 29552
7. Shaquille O’Neal 28596
8. Moses Malone 27409
9. LeBron James 27315
10. Elvin Hayes 27313