This is not going to work.
That said, the Knicks are desperate for point guard help and they got a guy who can — when focused and involved — be the best guard on their roster. The only issues are he is out with a chronic bad back and that needed focus never lasts.
The Knicks have officially signed Baron Davis to a deal. Which means they have a new clubhouse leader for best beard on the team.
Because he was given amnesty by the Cavaliers and cleared waivers, he gets to double-dip on salary — he gets his old Cavaliers $13.9 million plus the $1.4 million the Knicks pay him with the veterans’ minimum. That is $15.3 million, for those scoring at home.
Davis is out right now with a bulging disc in his back and it may be a few weeks before he joins the team.
For Knicks fans who think this is a big help remember this — the Clippers and Cavaliers just did whatever they could to get him off their rosters. Two teams that could have used his talent just wanted him out the door. The Clippers gave up a first round pick (that ended up being No. 1 overall). The Cavs just ate his salary.
Toney Douglas is still the best PG on the Knicks roster.
When he is sharp, Davis is still a force. He can be fantastic in transition and has an amazing court sense, which should fit with Mike D’Antoni’s system. But he has a long history of injuries and questionable conditioning (they go hand-in-hand). His focus comes and goes game-to-game and even quarter-to-quarter. He loves to take ill-advised shots long early in the clock (and the first time he starts taking shots out of Carmelo Anthony’s hands there will be words). His defense is going to make the Knicks worse.
That said, the Knicks are desperate for point guard help and Davis is a good gamble at a minimum salary. Just don’t expect too much from him.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.