Dwight Howard has a big decision on his hand. He reportedly hasn’t retracted his trade demand, nor has he decided where he explicitly wants to go. The Magic haven’t decided to actively pursue offers, choosing to wait and see what happens after they offer another extension after March 1st. So in general, nothing new to report, and the standoff continues.
But one person reportedly has an opinion.
TNT”s Craig Sager reported Sunday night that Dwight Howard’s mother wants him to stay in Orlando.
Have fun with that , Dwight.
Look, do you do everything your mom tells you to? And if so, are you eight? And if so, can I have your pudding pack?
Howard has a decision to make and doesn’t need his mom putting pressure on him in public. If she wants him to stay in Orlando, that’s great, but he has to make up his own mind. He’s 26. He’s got an agent advising him, publicists advising him, friends advising him. He’s going to get a lot of input.
That said, when your mom tells you to do something you listen. Getting elbowed by Zaza Pachulia? Nothing. Getting hip-checked by Kendrick Perkins? Nothing. Getting worked over by your mother? That hurts. Love hurts.
But it shows you how this situation is ramping up. Everyone has an opinion on where Dwight goes, just like everyone had an opinion on James. But if he decides to leave the Magic, the fans are no longer the toughest person he’ll have to explain his decision to. Sorry, Mama.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.