He’s the No. 2 overall pick from the last draft, and he is now the No. 2 shooting guard on his own team.
After looking at a variety of options — including the bad idea of Evan Turner the point guard — Philly coach Doug Collins has decided to bring Turner off the bench, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jrue Holliday will start at the point with Andre Iguodala at the two, giving the Sixers a very good back court. It also has been what Collins has been running in practice. Top picks usually can force their way into the starting lineup but that has not happened this case.
Look for Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes to round out the starting five. Turner, Lou Williams and Andres Nocioni will be first off the bench, although the rotation will likely get tweaked during preseason. Turner has been getting some run at the point in practice, but that seems a questionable fit.
Turner did not impress at Summer League and now has not been able to push his way into the starting lineup. It’s taking some time to figure out how to fit his game into the far more athletic NBA game. He may well get there — he is talented — but for now he seems to be getting off to a slower start than other rookies.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.