Geoff Petrie

Geoff Petrie has the Kings all wrong

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The last thing that any sports fan wants to read or hear is that their team’s leadership — owners, coaches, GMs, etc. — doesn’t seem to know something that they obviously should. With that in mind, I’d encourage all Kings fans who planned on feeling good about their team’s direction today to move along and look for rosier content elsewhere.

In a meeting with Kings season ticket holders, Geoff Petrie, the team’s President of Basketball Operations, apparently conveyed that Sacramento’s biggest struggles lie on the offensive end. That inspired Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty to bust out an array of statistics as a counterpoint, along with an embedded worry over the fact that Petrie’s evaluation was so misguided:

On the season, Minnesota is averaging 100 points per 100 possessions. In two games against the Kings, the Wolves have produced 113 and 102 points per 100 possessions. The Cavs produced 114 points per 100 possessions against the Kings, and just 104 against eight other teams. The Raptors: 105 against the NBA, 120 against the Kings. Memphis: 103 against the league, 108 against the Kings.

And the real coup de grace, the magnificent capper in what felt like a huge game for the immediate future of the Sacramento Kings: the team managed to hold the Detroit Pistons, they of the 104 points per 100 possessions average on the season, to a completely understandable … 116 points per 100 possessions. The Pistons shot 54% from the floor, by the way. On the season, they have shot 44%.

But defense isn’t the problem for the Kings? #RUKIDDINME?

At some point, most of the people who make decisions in the NBA will be forced to answer public questions in order to either assess or justify those decisions. That leads to a lot of cliché-obscured sound bites, but in some cases, we get this: just a blatantly wrong evaluation by someone who needs to know better. The Kings are the worst defensive team in the league, and Petrie really wants to pawn off the idea that offense is the problem?

Even if Petrie is dumbing down his message for his audience, that only makes this a bit less worrisome and a bit more sinister. When asked point-blank about the regard in which a team is struggling, we should expect every coach, executive, or owner to give a straight answer. The intent matters, but there’s no way around viewing this as a negative for Petrie and the Kings. Either Petrie is willingly attempting to deceive all of us on the outside for his own purposes and amusement, or he doesn’t fully understand why his team is bad. If forced to choose, I suppose misdirection is less depressing than incompetence, but neither suits Petrie particularly well.

Jose Calderon, Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings all officially waived; contenders line up for their services

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It was only a question of when, not if, but it has happened.

Jose Calderon, Andrew Bogut, and Brandon Jennings have been waived and are about to hit the free agent market, according to reports.

They have to clear waivers (Wednesday) before they can sign with a new team. However, all three seem to be headed to teams with dreams of going deep into the playoffs.

The Golden State Warriors want a little depth at the point for the postseason, and they are going with the steady but aged veteran Calderon. He will have limited run behind Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston, but he will have a role in the playoffs and as a steadying force.

The Washington Wizards are going another, more talented but more combustible direction, and appear the frontrunners to sign Brandon Jennings (Chris Haynes of ESPN had that link. . The Wizards have not loved the play of Trey Burke this season and have leaned on Tomas Satoransky to run some point, expect Jennings to get some healthy run if and when he arrives in Washington.

Bogut is expected to sign with the Cavaliers, although the Spurs could have a shot at him and other teams are asking to get in the mix (not his former team the Warriors, however).

NBA: Bulls beat Suns after two key missed calls late in fourth quarter

Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (21) celebrates his game-tying shot late in the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Chicago. The Bulls won in overtime,p 128-121. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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The collective ‘we’ were happy the Bulls reached overtime against the Suns on Friday, because we saw Dwyane Wade‘s fantastic dagger dunk.

The Bulls were happy they reached overtime, because they won the game in the extra period.

But with correct officiating down the stretch, Phoenix probably would have won in regulation.

The Bulls got away with two key violations late in the fourth quarter, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

First, Jimmy Butler got away with traveling with 1:58 left, per the league:

Butler (CHI) move his pivot foot.

Instead of a Chicago turnover, Butler kicked the ball to Nikola Mirotic, who hit a 3-pointer.

Then, Denzel Valentine got away with a defensive three-second violation with a minute left, per the league:

Valentine (CHI) is in the paint without actively guarding an opponent for longer than three seconds.

A correct call would’ve given any Sun on the court — either Eric Bledsoe (who’s making 85% of his free throws this season and 80% for his career) or Devin Booker (82%, 83%) — a single free throw and Phoenix a fresh shot clock.

Instead, the Suns — facing a tougher road penetrating the paint — turned the ball over.

On their own, those missed calls were each big swings. Together, they were huge in Chicago’s win.

Nets waive Luis Scola

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04:  Luis Scola #4 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at Barclays Center on November 4, 2016 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets have waived veteran forward Luis Scola.

Scola averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 36 games this season, falling out of the rotation as the league-worst Nets focused more on their younger players, even though the Celtics hold swap rights on Brooklyn’s first-round pick.

General manager Sean Marks said Monday the Nets felt that Scola “deserved the opportunity to contribute to a playoff contender.” Because he was waived by the March 1 deadline, Scola would be eligible to sign with another team and appear on its playoff roster.

Scola has averaged 12 points while playing for five teams in his 10 NBA seasons, and won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004.

Raptors’ Kyle Lowry undergoing surgery, aims to return for playoffs

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 25: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Kyle Lowry playing through injury in the All-Star game then missing the Raptors’ first two games after the break has gone from a bad look to a major problem.

Raptors media relations:

Lowry is the Raptors best player, and answering his call, they upgraded around him by trading for Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. Now Lowry isn’t around to lead the charge.

Maybe I’m reading too much into the wording, but merely aiming to return for the playoffs is hardly convincing. Does that mean there’s a chance he could miss the postseason?

That’d be a disaster for Toronto, which has put eggs in the basket for this season, Lowry’s last before unrestricted free agency.

Even if Lowry misses “only” several weeks and returns fully healthy for the playoffs, this harms the Raptors majorly. They’re fourth in the East, but barely behind the third-place Wizards and a chance to avoid the Cavaliers until the conference finals.

This is welcome news to Washington and the Celtics, who might be underdogs in the second round to Toronto’s souped-up roster. Now, it seems increasingly likely Cleveland would face the Raptors in the second round — if they get that far.

Cory Joseph is a fine backup, and Delon Wright offers intrigue as a third point guard. Pressing both up a level just invites problems.

Toronto’s trades positioned the Raptors to rise down the stretch. Now, they’ll just try to hold their ground.