The only players to average more points per minute on a higher effective field-goal percentage than Kevin Martin last season were LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Obviously LeBron and Durant bring much more to the table as all-around players, but as a scorer, Martin was elite.
Even as we better understand that a good scorer must produce in efficiency and volume, scoring remain an eye-catching contribution. That’s why Martin, who will become a free agent in an hour, has so many suitors.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
If the Thunder let Martin walk, their return for James Harden would look pretty paltry. Jeremy Lamb struggled to get off the bench last season, and the Raptors outperformed expectations, making their first-round pick sent by Houston less appealing. It was used on Steven Adams, a huge project who didn’t do much at Pittsburgh last season.
Smart teams don’t let these sunk costs affect their decision-making, and the Thunder are a smart team. So, they could let Martin go if the cost gets high.
But to all the teams pursuing him, shouldn’t that indicate something if the Thunder aren’t outbidding you? Martin, who’s slightly older than Andre Iguodala, faces many of the same age concerns, though, as a jump shooter, Martin seems better positioned to remain a high-level player for longer.
Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.
And if this headline looks familiar, it is.
LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!
No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.
It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.