You’d like to think Andray Blatche has been inconsistent this season because of injuries and the weight of trade rumors, but that would assume some basis of consistent play from his past to serve as a baseline. And no, the last couple months of the failing Wizards last season when they had to feed him the ball every time down does not count, he didn’t have to play well with others then.
Still, Blatche told the Washington Post that his name coming up in trade rumors has weighed on his mind.
“That bothers me some,” Blatche said. “But that’s the name of the game. I just gotta keep trucking along with it.”
Injuries — such as the foot surgery that kept him out of training camp, limiting his bonding time with John Wall, and the ongoing knee issues — probably play a bigger part in Blatche’s up-and-down season than the rumors, to be fair.
He has taken the court in seven of the Wizards last 10 games, scoring and average of 14.4 points but on 36 percent shooting. He has been better on the boards (9.4 rebounds per game in that stretch) and in the Post story coach Flip Saunders speaks well of Blatche’s defense — which is kind of a laugh, Blatche gets incredibly lost on defense.
Really, Blatche doesn’t need to worry about the trade rumors because he has such an onerous contract — four years and $29 million owed after this season. That is a long commitment and a lot of money for sporadic production and an injury history. If the Wizards had not just moved Gilbert Arenas I’d say he was unmovable, but it still seems unlikely anyone takes a shot on him.
Still, Blatche had better get used to the rumors because he is not in the Wizards long-term plans anymore and they are going to shop him around.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.