As is happening all over the nation right now, there was a high-level pickup game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. last night. Some NBA guys, some borderline NBA guys, probably some college guys, all getting together for a little run that makes your weekly YMCA game look woefully unathletic.
New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was hanging out in the building last night — he owns it, he can hang out whenever he wants, thank you very much — and stumbled on said pickup game.
Where Gilbert Arenas was playing. This is what Leonsis said on his blog:
Gilbert Arenas played last night. It was a very good evening of basketball. Gil – our All-Star – matched up against another NBA All-Star. It was quite a show and quite a display of talent.
I won’t comment yet on Gilbert or who was in the gym last night but suffice to say Gilbert looked trim, fit and explosive. His shot was sweet and he did one left handed dunk that was something to see. It had everyone talking. I was impressed and am happy.
Clearly Leonsis is not a scout and he has a vested interest in pumping up Gil and his game. Still…
Among the things I most look forward to seeing this season is how Arenas and John Wall mesh. With a healthy and focused Arenas and it potentially is one of the best backcourts in the game. Or it could go south, Tierra del Fuego south. Who knows? But it will be fun to watch.
When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).
This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.
During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.
But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.
NBC Sports Washington:
I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.
The double technical foul called seems about fair.
The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.
That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.
The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.
Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.
On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.