When the Magic sent Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in their mega-deals last weekend, they found themselves supremely short on big men. They’re forced to trot out lineups with Brandon Bass at center and against huge teams, that’s simply not going to work. They found success against the Celtics Saturday because even with Jermaine O’Neal back, in total, the Celtics’ center rotation is still injured and old. But other teams may be able to exploit that come playoff time. So the word has been out that they’re looking for another move to acquire a center.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe suggests that Charlotte PF/C Boris Diaw may be what they’re looking for, and the Cats are looking to offer him:
Also, look for the Bobcats to try to gain cap relief by offering Boris Diaw to Orlando for the expiring contract of Jason Richardson, a former Bobcat. Diaw has a player option for $9 million next season, while Richardson’s $14.4 million comes off the books.
via Midseason deals are a shot at finding Magic formula – The Boston Globe.
The Magic have enough filler contracts to make the match work, but the question is why they would do this deal? Richardson was the best asset they pulled from the deals they made. Even as Gilbert Arenas looked great against the Spurs and Hedo Turkoglu was a huge reason they beat the Celtics, Richardson is the best player they acquired in their trades, and can be a difference maker. Trading him would be a major step back for the Magic, even if they improve their frontcourt depth.
And that step back is magnified with the fact that Diaw is not a physical presence, has lost some of his athleticism, and cannot be counted on to perform consistently. He’s not physically dominating, nor is he an enforcer, Kendrick-Perkins type down low. This move would be suicide should the Magic go through with it. But they are facing a problem at center, and they will address it before the playoffs come.
Fast times at Epcot Center these days.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
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.