And we are back at “the Lakers are great on paper” discussion.
Dwyane Wade is all over your television, radio and Internet this week as he does the tour for his book, “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball.”
And wherever he lands there are some pretty standard basketball questions so far: About winning the title, comparing it to 2006, challenges to repeating, Jeremy Lin….
And the Los Angeles Lakers. The team that added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The team that looks like it could be a threat to a Heat repeat.
Here is what Wade told Fox Sports about the Lakers.
“They’ll be great, but they have to make it work,” Wade said with a tone that sounded something like a warning — perhaps because he’s speaking from experience. “Some people figure it out right away, some people take till mid-season to figure it out and some take until the next year if they figure it out. Obviously for them, they need to be successful as they want to be, they’re going to have to do it right away.”
That’s the conventional wisdom now, the question is how long it takes them to get it together. Something hampered a little by the fact Howard is expected to miss training camp and maybe the start of the season as he recovers from back surgery. And that they are installing a new offense.
It’s safe to say that the Lakers in March should be better than the Lakers in November. The question we have yet to have answered is how good they will be in June.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).
Norman Powell – get out of here.
Jared Sullinger – get out of here.
Dario Saric blocked consecutive dunk attempts in the 76ers’ 94-89 win over the Raptors. Philadelphia has won seven of nine and looks suddenly revitalized.
The best part of all this? Saric’s teammates’ reactions – though the actual blocks were pretty great themselves.