Any time a superstar is on the move via free agency, there are a couple teams that just automatically come up in the conversation. Whether there is anything to it or not. Fans will bring it up, rumors will get flowing, logic be damned.
Like Dwight Howard to the Knicks. New York already has a very good center in Tyson Chandler who fits what they do very well — he defends, rebounds and is great on the pick-and-roll. Yet the Howard rumors and comments still swirl.
New York is another place Howard would consider settling in long-term, and the talent-laden Knicks could offer a package that could rival just about anyone’s, something along the lines of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. The Knicks, however, have not discussed this scenario with the Magic and sources say, they will get involved in a potential trade for Howard only if the Orlando center gives strong indications that he wants to play there. Otherwise, the Knicks do not believe it’s worth the risk of potentially upsetting some of their star players by including them in a trade offer that’s unlikely to be accepted.
Nothing is happening with Howard until the Magic decide they need to move him, and right now they are working to put talent around him, not move him. I’d still say it’s 50/50 or better the Magic hold on to Howard through the trade deadline. And if they do move him, they may well not like the Knicks offer best.
Howard may end up playing in New York next season, but more than likely in the borough of Brooklyn.
LeBron James says he doesn’t see Cavaliers-Warriors as rivalry
“We don’t look at it as a rival,” James said. “They’re a great team. They’ve been the best team the last couple years, last three years.”
“It’s just the next game, it’s Golden State,” James said. “They’re a helluva team, like I said the best team in the league and they’ve been that way the last three years, four years, however long it’s been, I’m not quite sure. But, listen, you guys know, we don’t put all our eggs in one basket for one game.”
LeBron just doesn’t want the Cavs to become comfortable. They’ve beat Golden State in four straight games – the last three of the 2016 Finals and on Christmas – and could extend the streak to five today. Beating a rival that frequently is a cause for celebration, and celebration leads to contentment. LeBron would rather keep Cleveland focused and hungry. Hence, saying the Warriors aren’t a rival.
Andre Drummond hits 3-pointer from inside Pistons’ own 3-point arc (video)
But Booker’s last four – which put Phoenix up for good – came directly after incorrect calls, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
First, Booker drew a (legitimate) foul on Pau Gasol with 1:08 left and made both free throws. The problem: One second before that, Suns center Tyson Chandler should have been called for offensively fouling Tony Parker, according to the league:
Chandler (PHX) sets the screen on Parker (SAS) and makes leg to leg contact that affects his ability to defend the play.
That would’ve ended Phoenix’s possession rather than allowing Booker to get to the line.
The other missed call in the two-minute report is trickier, because it directly benefitted the Spurs but indirectly benefitted the Suns.
Manu Ginobili got away with travelling with 59.1 seconds left, according to the league:
Ginobili (SAS) moves his pivot foot.
But he coughed up the ball moments later anyway, and – thrilled to gain possession with a live-ball turnover rather than a dead-ball turnover – Booker turned the miscue into a fastbreak dunk.
Rather than debate how to evaluate San Antonio getting away with a travel and it ultimately helping Phoenix more, let’s stick to just the uncalled Chandler offensive foul. That netted the Suns two points. Their lead when the Spurs began intentionally fouling? One.
Russell Westbrook puts up 20th triple-double of season, lifts Thunder past Kings (VIDEO)
Through 41 games — half the season — Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists a game. Those numbers are insane, particularly considering his 42 percent usage rate. He has to put up numbers and do so fairly efficiently or the Thunder stand no chance of winning — and he has the Thunder on pace for 48 wins this season.
The Thunder picked up another of those wins Sunday night knocking off the Sacramento Kings behind Westbrook’s 20th triple-double in 41 games — 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. The video highlights are above.
It’s going to be fun watching him and James Harden go back-and-forth in the MVP race for the next few months.