“We’re going to see,” Nick Young said after the Lakers’ 127-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday. “I hope his shooters is messing up. I hope Ray Allen ain’t making shots. Right? So, I hope (LeBron James) is worried.”
The NBA set up the Heat/Lakers Christmas Day game as a showdown between two of its biggest stars — LeBron vs. Kobe Bryant. However a fracture to his left knee will sideline Kobe for this game.
Which means the nation will get introduced to Swaggy P (Young’s nickname). He is a fearless gunner, a guy that never met a shot he didn’t like, the kind of player that fans love and who can get hot, but the kind of player that gives coaches ulcers.
Young is pumped for the Sunday showcase game.
“I know we should be pumped playing on Christmas, we’re at home,” Young said. “It’s my first time playing on Christmas Day so I’m going to be pumped. We just got to have fun and enjoy it …
“Christmas Day should be fun. I think everybody is looking forward to that game. Like I said, it’s my first time playing on Christmas Day. I’m ready for my new uniform and I got some new shoes to go with it.”
We’ll see if Santa brings Lakers fans a good game from their ragtag group, or if it’s another lump of coal.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.