Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke was doing a Google hangout/chat talking all things Utah when he dropped in an interesting little nugget:
Reserve forward Marvin Williams could be back from his Achilles injury by training camp or early November, a couple weeks into the season.
Williams is in the last year of his contract and will make $7.5 million, and he is going to want to put up numbers and get paid a little. How he does that coming off a severe injury remains to be seen.
The question with Williams is fit —Locke thinks he should be more of an undersized backup four than a three. The problem is floor spacing — he shot 32.5 percent from three last year and nobody is going to follow a stretch four out to the arc who can’t shoot better than that (he shot 38 percent from deep two seasons ago). Last season he grabbed more rebounds and got to the line more in his limited time as a power forward but the shooting held his game back (he shot 42.3 percent overall and doesn’t finish all that well inside). The drop off from Derrick Favors to Williams is pretty steep.
At the three the Jazz can roll out a few guys depending on matchups, but there will be a heavy dose of Gordon Hayward there and again the drop off to Williams is pretty steep. And if he can’t space the floor knocking down shots his value drops fast. Also, he will be slowed defensively a little coming off this injury.
Williams will get a chance this season because the Jazz are not going to be good and Tyrone Corbin is going to be searching for lineups that work (or at least don’t suck). But what Williams does with this chance remains to be seen. He needs to be better than last season.
This has got to put a damper on the whole DeMarcus Cousins trade thing for New Orleans Pelicans fans. According to multiple reports, Omri Casspi — who was part of the trade that sent Cousins to Louisiana — has broken his thumb. The sharp-shooting forward will be out 4-6 weeks.
It’s disappointing news for the Pelicans, who could certainly use Casspi’s 3-point shooting ability. Casspi is shooting 38 percent from deep this season, and while the Pelicans make enough threes per-game they are near the bottom-third in percentage.
Casspi would have been a real help for Alvin Gentry’s offense, but for now it appears they’ll have to make do without him. Casspi should continue to occupy a roster spot for New Orleans, given his expiring contract and the fact that even if the Pelicans make a run for the playoffs they won’t be in a situation to add to their lineup since they won’t expect to get very far.
The good news out of New Orleans on Thursday night? Despite a loss to the Houston Rockets, Cousins nearly dropped a 5 x 5.
The race for the No. 8 seed is on.
New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee should have known better than to try to dunk this. Everyone in the arena knew better than to try this on LeBron James.
Then again, if players stop trying to do things like this, we won’t get videos of incredible chasedown blocks by Mr. James.
It’s a real catch-22.
Actually, you know what? Keep it up. Keep trying this on LeBron. I want to keep watching dudes get rejected.
I’m getting tired of writing this story.
Or this one.
Or this one.
Draymond Green — an excellent basketball player who has an unstoppable, basal need to kick everyone near him — has once again let his feet do the talking.
Let’s take a look at the tape to see what sort of hijinks ol’ Dray has got himself into this time.
In the last nine months, Green has hit or kicked James Harden, Marquese Chriss, Kyrie Irving, Allen Crabbe, and Steven Adams (twice).
The league has decided not to act with any strength on most of the incidents, the most recognizable of which came when Green hit LeBron James in the NBA Finals, causing him to miss Game 5. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for Green, which is the exact reason why we keep seeing him kick dudes.
It’s wack, I’m tired of seeing it, and you should be too. See you all here the next time Green kicks at somebody. I’m sure it won’t be before too long.
DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans will take some time to mesh together. In his first game with New Orleans, Cousins saw a difficult opponent and massive deficits against the Houston Rockets. But there was some glimmers of hope.
Cousins, for example, had a productive statistical evening. The former Sacramento King put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks — just one swat shy of the rare 5 x 5.
Plus, he had this sweet block on Rockets star James Harden:
The Pelicans lost to the Rockets, 129-99, but it’s going to be fun to watch New Orleans battle it out for the 8th seed in the West.