At this point, what’s another injured Laker having to sit out?
Metta World Peace tried to give it a go Friday night against San Antonio — he’d had fluid removed from his knee less than 24 hours before but tried to get out on the court. He was moving stiffly and shot 0-6 in the first half. Coach Mike D’Antoni sat him in the second half.
Now World Peace says he may sit out Game 4 Sunday as well (a literal must-win game for a Lakers team down 3-0 to the Spurs in a best-of-seven).
“I’ll probably sit out Sunday,” World Peace said after the game. “Then these guys will be at full strength and they’ll be a strong five for a consistent game. We lacked that tonight. I was the weak link tonight, I missed defensive assignments and went short on a lot of shots. I couldn’t hustle on defense.”
I bet Mike D’Antoni talks to him and we hear a different story by Sunday. What is MWP saving himself for?
If he sits Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison likely would get more minutes (more good reasons D’Antoni should push him to play). And I don’t know who else because Mike D’Antoni is running out of bodies.
Kobe Bryant and Steve Blake are both out for the Lakers Sunday as well, while Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks missed Game 3 and are doubtful for Game 4. Jordan Hill is playing but is limited off hip surgery.
Also doubtful for Game 4 are the Lakers chances of extending the series against a team that beat them by 31 Friday night.
Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likely” LeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.
Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.
Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.
LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.
But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.
When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).
This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.
During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.
But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.
NBC Sports Washington:
I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.
The double technical foul called seems about fair.
The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.
That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.
The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.