It’s pretty easy to picture the Clippers as a serious threat to the Thunder in the West if they added Ray Allen — the Celtics sharp shooter who takes on the Clippers Monday night.
The Clippers have struggled with production from the two guard spot since Chauncey Billups went down with an Achilles tendon injury. Allen would be the perfect fit — a veteran, championship presence in the locker room and a deadly outside shooter who would love the assists from Chris Paul and could balance out the inside game of Blake Griffin.
But the Clippers are not making the move, reports Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLosAngeles.com. The price is too high — the Clippers think they have a contender for years to come and will not risk that to win this year with someone like Allen who is a free agent at the end of this year.
“We’re willing to do anything we can to move needle this year,” (Clippers GM Neil) Olshey said. “But unless it’s piece for the future that also gives us to win a championship this year, we’re not going to give up our long-term flexibility and assets to do that.”
The price for the top shooting guards being mentioned in trade talks this spring — Boston’s Ray Allen, Portland’s Jamal Crawford and Washington’s Nick Young — has so far been too high for the Clippers. Most teams have asked for some combination of young point guard Eric Bledsoe, a future first-round pick and the expiring contracts of Randy Foye or Brian Cook.
Here’s why that is too high a price — both Crawford and Allen will be free agents this summer (Crawford can opt out and has said he will, Allen’s deal ends). You can go after both of them this summer as free agents. Why give up pieces now — and in Bledsoe a good piece — for a rental you can lose.
Olshey has it right — it is not about winning this season at all costs for the Clippers. This is a team built to contend for five years (if they can re-sign Paul), you think big picture and long term, not just right now.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.