We already told you that when asked during the rookie photo shoot who their favorite player in the league was, the majority of incoming NBA players said Kobe Bryant.
But those rookies to be were asked a lot more, too — and it was the Celtics Kelly Olynyk and the Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum who scored high.
Historically the NBA rookies have been pretty hit and miss with their predictions in the annual survey, but there are some interesting insights this year in the survey results, which were posted by John Schuhmann over at NBA.com.
Asked who would be Rookie of the Year, Portland’s McCollum and Orlando’s Victor Oladipo tied for the top spot. Olynyk finished third while Utah’s Trey Burke finished fourth. (I predict Burke one, Oladipo two, I like McCollum but he will be playing behind Damian Lillard so is he going to get enough minutes to really win this?)
As for who would have the best career, Oladipo and Olynyk tied with McCollum third. The winner of the most athletic rookie was Tony Mitchell of Detroit in a landslide (47.2 percent).
Best playmaker went to Burke with 47 percent of the vote followed by Michael Carter-Williams of the Sixers. Best shooter went to Ben McLemore of Sacramento, followed by the Clippers Reggie Bullock, then tied for third was McCollum and Tony Snell of the Bulls.
Oladipo won best defender (which seems a good call), followed by a tie between Solomon Hill of the Pacers, Nerlens Noel of the Sixers (who shows up little on this survey) and Peyton Siva of the Pistons.
Everyone else thinks Dwight Howard is getting out of Houston this summer.
Jason Terry isn’t convinced.
Dwight Howard has a player option this summer, which he is expected to exercise and become a free agent. For one thing, he’d do it for the pay raise — he wants a max contract, starting at about $30 million. The other reason is he and James Harden have not blended in Houston, and Howard wants a fresh start.
But Jason Terry isn’t convinced yet. Terry was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and told Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson Howard may stay put. Here is the quote, via Hoopshype.
“I wouldn’t rule (a return) out. He has yet to opt out. Again, it’s just going to depend on if you get the right coach in there. At this point in his career, he’s not going to be the focal point offensively. They’ve made that clear. He’s gonna have to, if he remains in Houston, buy into the role fully, commit himself to setting screens, rebounding, running the floor, blocking shots and working on his free throws, obviously.”
In theory, a coach could come in and convince Howard to stay. In theory, I could capture Bigfoot and prove his existence to the world. Those have about the same odds of happening.
Forgetting the whole “Howard wants another max contract” thing, what Terry said about Howard accepting a role is the issue. Howard said he went directly to Rockets GM Daryl Morey and asked for a bigger role — and he was shot down. Howard does not want to accept a lesser role where his primary job is rebounding and defense, just like he never wanted to accept running more pick-and-roll and working less from the post even though he was much better at the former than the latter. Howard wants what Howard wants.
And I’d be shocked if he doesn’t want out of Houston.
A good rule of thumb: If LeBron James is getting few breakaway dunks, the other team is in trouble.
Enter the Toronto Raptors, who got to watch a dunking clinic by LeBron as he had multiple breakaways during the Cavaliers’ 38-point win on Wednesday night. LeBron played well, and the Cavaliers got a balanced attack from their stars — 25 points from Kevin Love, 23 each from LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Watch LeBron’s night above. Toronto needs to find a way to keep him from having another game like this Friday.
After a beatdown at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 — a loss where he was just 5-of-12 shooting, a loss that has the Raptors on the brink of playoff elimination — Kyle Lowry did what he had to do and went in front of the media to answer questions and try to explain that loss.
But really, his face when he walked into the interview room and saw the box score summed up the Raptors night perfectly.
Lowry and the Raptors need to turn it around and win at home Friday night to keep their playoff dream alive another day.
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man — Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has been offered the head coaching job in Memphis. He’s a smart coach who earned the trust of elite players and was a key part of the staff that helped Miami to a couple of rings.
It’s a good hire. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what a couple Heat players from that era had to say.
Mario Chalmers had a first-hand view — he was traded from Miami to Memphis in the middle of last season. The point guard who went the other way in that deal, Beno Udrih, also helped push the deal along.
Fizdale is going to be a popular hire with the players. That said, if the Grizzlies can’t keep Mike Conley in free agency the team is going to have struggles this season, regardless of who coaches them.