One of the reasons (and there were several) that the Nuggets cited when parting ways with head coach George Karl was the fact that they were upset that Karl stubbornly started Kosta Koufos over a player who needed development in JaVale McGee.
That won’t be a problem for new coach Brian Shaw, since Denver has reportedly agreed to ship Koufos out of town.
From Ben Hochman of the Denver Post:
Nuggets center Kosta Koufos has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, two NBA sources confirmed Thursday, in exchange for Darrell Arthur and the 55th pick in Thursday’s draft.
Koufos started all 81 games he appeared in for the Nuggets last season, and averaged 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots in 22.4 minutes per game.
Arthur was solely used as a reserve in Memphis, and averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game last season, and appeared in 59 contests but started in just three.
Koufos is a better all-around player than Arthur, and may even have more room to improve in the future. But this was about a perceived duplication in Denver, and the new regime is choosing long-term player development over maximizing its regular season wins.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies improve their big man depth behind Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, even if only marginally.
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.
The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).
No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.
The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.
Second-year forward Sam Dekker is finding a comfort zone in the Mike D’Antoni offense in Houston. Healthy this season, he is coming off the bench for 18 minutes a night, and his game where he is quick and can also hit the three is fitting perfectly with Houston’s system, leading him to 6.7 points a game.
Also, he can run the floor. And finish.
As Enes Kanter found out when he hustled, got back in transition defense, and wasn’t going to stop Dekker from getting to the rim.
That’s a quality dunk.
The Rockets went on to win the game 102-99, despite Russell Westbrook‘s seventh-straight triple-double.