Being the backup point guard in Phoenix can seem a no-win job.
No matter what you do, you are not Steve Nash. This is Nash’s team. This is Nash’s city (which is why they are not likely to trade him). You are the guy that takes the floor while Nash lies down by the bench and tries to keep his back from tightening up.
But Aaron Brooks is good with that. After being traded from Houston to Phoenix at the deadline last season he played well — 9.6 points and 4.2 assists per game in 19 minutes. His numbers were solid — not as good as in 2009-10, when he was the league’s Most Improved Player, but still solid.
He wants to come back to Phoenix whenever there is a next season. That’s what he told the Arizona Republic.
“I’m doing great,” he said Saturday shortly before playing in the H206 Charity Basketball Classic, a contest featuring many NBA and ex-NBA players with Seattle ties. “How’s Phoenix? I love Phoenix. I think they like me, too. They picked up my qualifying offer, didn’t they?”
That’s a $3 million offer, but all it really means is that the Suns can match any offer Brooks gets. Brooks is a restricted free agent. (At least it’s what it meant under the old labor agreement, whatever comes with the new one it’s likely that rule will be in place for at least this year for players like Brooks.)
Brooks struggled the first half of last season in Houston, so he likely will not see a better offer come in. Unless another team comes in with a wild offer, expect the Suns to keep him around. Which could be good for everyone, and Nash’s back.
This has got to put a damper on the whole DeMarcus Cousins trade thing for New Orleans Pelicans fans. According to multiple reports, Omri Casspi — who was part of the trade that sent Cousins to Louisiana — has broken his thumb. The sharp-shooting forward will be out 4-6 weeks.
It’s disappointing news for the Pelicans, who could certainly use Casspi’s 3-point shooting ability. Casspi is shooting 38 percent from deep this season, and while the Pelicans make enough threes per-game they are near the bottom-third in percentage.
Casspi would have been a real help for Alvin Gentry’s offense, but for now it appears they’ll have to make do without him. Casspi should continue to occupy a roster spot for New Orleans, given his expiring contract and the fact that even if the Pelicans make a run for the playoffs they won’t be in a situation to add to their lineup since they won’t expect to get very far.
The good news out of New Orleans on Thursday night? Despite a loss to the Houston Rockets, Cousins nearly dropped a 5 x 5.
The race for the No. 8 seed is on.
New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee should have known better than to try to dunk this. Everyone in the arena knew better than to try this on LeBron James.
Then again, if players stop trying to do things like this, we won’t get videos of incredible chasedown blocks by Mr. James.
It’s a real catch-22.
Actually, you know what? Keep it up. Keep trying this on LeBron. I want to keep watching dudes get rejected.
I’m getting tired of writing this story.
Or this one.
Or this one.
Draymond Green — an excellent basketball player who has an unstoppable, basal need to kick everyone near him — has once again let his feet do the talking.
Let’s take a look at the tape to see what sort of hijinks ol’ Dray has got himself into this time.
In the last nine months, Green has hit or kicked James Harden, Marquese Chriss, Kyrie Irving, Allen Crabbe, and Steven Adams (twice).
The league has decided not to act with any strength on most of the incidents, the most recognizable of which came when Green hit LeBron James in the NBA Finals, causing him to miss Game 5. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for Green, which is the exact reason why we keep seeing him kick dudes.
It’s wack, I’m tired of seeing it, and you should be too. See you all here the next time Green kicks at somebody. I’m sure it won’t be before too long.
DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans will take some time to mesh together. In his first game with New Orleans, Cousins saw a difficult opponent and massive deficits against the Houston Rockets. But there was some glimmers of hope.
Cousins, for example, had a productive statistical evening. The former Sacramento King put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks — just one swat shy of the rare 5 x 5.
Plus, he had this sweet block on Rockets star James Harden:
The Pelicans lost to the Rockets, 129-99, but it’s going to be fun to watch New Orleans battle it out for the 8th seed in the West.