We have no idea what really happened in the negotiation session between the NBA owners and the Players Association. And trusting any crafted public statements from them is about like trusting one from your congressman.
Still, here is the report out of today’s session, according to Art Garcia at NBA.com.
“We held another bargaining meeting today that included frank and direct dialogue that allowed us to discuss some key issues. We still have much work ahead of us and we agreed to meet again in December.”
We know that on hand was NBA Commissioner David Stern, his right hand man and lead negotiator Adam Silver, NBA Players Association President Derek Fisher, and NBAPA Executive Director Billy Hunter. So, all the big guns.
We can only hope it was frank and direct, because the two sides are a long way apart. Both sides have said the All-Star weekend negotiations probably will give us a much better indication of where everything stands. But at least they are talking at a conference table over their Diet Cokes and turkey sandwiches. And they will again. It’s all we can really ask.
Steve Nash sat out Thursday night’s Suns game due to a “sore groin” according to the Associated Press.
According to the TNT broadcast team, Nash was resting with what was called “pelvic instability.” I have no idea what that is (there is an easy a joke here about a girl I dated in college, but I’m better than that; well, almost).
Suns coach Alvin Gentry probably put it best, saying this was precautionary. The Suns were playing their fourth game in five days on a road trip, and that is the kind of game where you rest an older player like Nash.
Without Nash the Suns started Goran Dragic and turned the ball over on 30 percent of their possessions in the first quarter. They were quickly down double digits and stayed there through the first half.
Thursday morning, eight days after the initial injury, David Lee walked out of a Bay Area hospital.
Which is strange because when Golden State’s Lee’s elbow collided with the face of the New York Knicks Wilson Chandler going for a rebound, it looked like Chandler got the worst of it. By far. Chandler lost a couple teeth, Lee needed stitches on his arm.
But Lee’s arm became infected and doctors said it looked like he had been hanging out in bars late at night. He needed two minor operations to clean out the infection and he got to spend several days in the hospital. But now he is out, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lee’s left arm has been splinted to restrict movement and he will be provided home IVs and antibiotics. (Dr. Frank) Chen will monitor Lee’s progress daily and re-examine him Tuesday.
No return date set, but it likely will be a couple weeks with the doctors saying this needs to be rested so as not to stir things up and recur.
Blazers president Larry Miller is going to have to make some tough decisions regarding perennially injured center Greg Oden’s future over the next couple of years. On the one hand, it can’t be fun to devote resources to a player when you don’t know when he’ll actually be playing NBA basketball, let alone if he’ll ever return to 100%. On the other hand, how terrible would the Blazers feel of Oden actually got healthy and started playing up to his potential for another team?
Since being drafted in 2007, Oden has played in exactly 82 games and has had, essentially, a promising rookie campaign. He’s raw offensively, turns it over too much, and doesn’t have enough post moves to be a 15-20 point a night scoring threat yet. He’s a fearsome shot-blocker and one of the best rebounds in the NBA, but commits too many silly fouls.
If he woke up tomorrow morning magically healthy, he’d be one of the best true centers in basketball, as well as somebody a defense could be built around. Oden doesn’t need to learn anything or add any skills to be a very, very good NBA player at a position where it’s very hard to find very, very, good players — he just needs to not get hurt. This isn’t Dwight Howard adding an 18-foot jumper or a McHale-like set of post moves we’re talking about, or Amar’e Stoudemire learning defensive rotations and how to box out — it’s being able to run and jump and not getting injured in the process. What if, after recovering from this injury, Oden just stopped getting hurt and didn’t suffer a major injury for a few years? It happened for Grant Hill. It happened for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. It didn’t happen for Bill Walton. It has happened for just about every other player in the league.
As a player and a prospect, Greg Oden is clearly worth keeping around, even if he has to miss a good chunk of the 2010-11. It’s Greg Oden’s knees that nobody wants to be in business with, but Miller is looking at Oden as a player rather than a set of problems. Here’s what the Blazers president had to say about Oden today:
“If Greg Oden plays up to his potential he is worth that,” Miller said of the $8.8 million qualifying offer. “We will see where (rehabilitation) things are at that level. But at this point, I don’t see us not giving the offer if Greg is doing the things we need to see him doing to get back on the court. That’s how I feel. If he is doing those things, we want to keep Greg around. I don’t feel like I’m ready to give up on Greg Oden. I don’t think anybody in our organization is ready.”
The Wizards are 26th in the NBA in points allowed and 23rd in defensive efficiency. In the next nine seconds, you will figure out why. We’ve known that Andray Blatche is a terrible defender for a long time now, but now there’s conclusive video proof. Blatche guesses that Rondo is going to reject a Kevin Garnett screen and takes a few hard steps in that direction, then completely gives up on the play when Rondo uses the screen and Blatche is left nowhere near any Celtics player.
JaVale McGee doesn’t look much better on this play, but by staying on Shaq instead of stepping out to actually stop Rondo, he confused the Boston point guard and caused Rondo to throw up a floater/lob that fell short of the rim. The apathy defense, ladies and gentlemen. (Hat tip to Zach Lowe of The Point Forward for finding this video.)