Not every Christmas Day game can be as fun as LeBronfest ‘14: Heat-Cavs, but the league must still fill its Dec. 25 schedule.
With so many of the best teams in the Western Conference and many of the biggest markets on the East Coast, it’s a balancing act. Not every game in the Christmas lineup can feature two great teams.
Sometimes, a reasonable matchup between two not-terrible teams (sorry Wizards for the Knicks lowering the threshold) is good enough for the bottom-rung game.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
The Wizards just advanced their furthest in the playoffs since 1979. They have one of the league’s most exciting players in John Wall. Bradley Beal adds to a young core. Paul Pierce brings championship experience and star appeal. Marcin Gortat is an enforces and a character. And Randy Wittman’s face can be pretty entertaining.
The Knicks play in New York City.
This would be the Knicks’ sixth straight Christmas Day appearance and the Wizards’ first in six years and just second in 27 years.
TORONTO — Portland’s C.J. McCollum was joking with the media Friday when asked who he thought would win the All-Star Saturday three-point contest.
“Not me, since I wasn’t selected for it… I’m really disappointed right now,” McCollum said, then started laughing.
Now McCollum can pick himself — he’s in the competition.
Miami’s Chris Bosh has pulled out of Sunday’s All-Star Game and Saturday’s three-point contest due to a strained calf muscle. Al Horford of Atlanta will replace him in the main event Sunday.
McCollum is in for the three-point contest (he was already in town to compete in the skills competition that evening). McCollum is shooting 39.2 percent from threes this season and has made 125 of them, ninth-most in the league.
But he knows he’s in for stiff competition in the three-point contest with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick and a host of other sharpshooters.
“No, it’s a tough field,” McCollum said “You look at JJ [Redick], you look at Steph, two really good shooters. [Redick] jumps really high. I don’t know if he’s going to change his shot. Steph [Curry] has a shot he can use and a quick release. Who else is in it? Bosh, [Khris] Middleton, [James] Harden, Klay [Thompson]. Klay has a good jumper. I think him, Middleton, those guys that don’t jump as high they have a good advantage.”
Conrad Burry received a copy of an Adidas catalog, and it shows logos for every NBA team next season.
Except the Jazz, Kings and Pistons.
This is circumstantial evidence, but it has previously held up as the first sign of a new logo.
Keep an eye on Utah, Sacramento and Detroit.
TORONTO — Chris Bosh was set to play in his 11th All-Star Game Sunday night, in front of his old fans in Toronto. He was talking at media availability on Friday afternoon about how he was a different person than when he played in Toronto, and how he was excited to be part of it.
Now he is out.
Bosh pulled out Friday afternoon, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical Yahoo Sports and since confirmed bu the NBA. It is due to a strained calf muscle (first reported by Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today).
Al Horford is flying to Toronto to replace him, reports Wojnarowski. This will be Horford’s fourth All-Star Game, and he will be the second Atlanta Hawk along with Paul Millsap. That’s one more representative than the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers have.
Bosh is not participating in the three point contest Saturday night either, being replaced by C.J. McCollum of Portland.Bosh was just excited to see the All-Star Game finally come to Toronto for the first time, he still clearly has a strong affection for the city.
Bosh said he excited to see the All-Star Game finally come to Toronto for the first time, he still clearly has a strong affection for the city.
“It’s just a trip,” Bosh said about being in the Toronto game. “This was one of my goals after last season to actually accomplish this, and it hasn’t been easy, but it’s kind of poetic, a little bit, for me to be here to see it here for the first time. We talked about what if All-Star was here, and now it’s actually here, so it’s cool.”
Now he will be watching from the sidelines.
Bosh becomes the second Eastern Conference All-Star to pull out due to injury. The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler backed out as well due to a sore knee; he was replaced by teammate Pau Gasol.
The Rockets and Celtics reportedly talked about a Dwight Howard trade, though at the time, it seemed Houston was averse to dealing the center.
Now, that the Rockets are reportedly shopping Howard, is Boston a potential destination?
Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:
The Celtics currently have almost no interest in trading for Howard, 30, a talented center with a history of back issues and a questionable work ethic. He can opt out of his contract at season’s end, and even if he wanted to re-sign with Boston, the team would have reservations about offering a long-term deal. Also, Howard is not viewed as a player who would help attract another top free agent to Boston this summer.
The Celtics are in a great spot. Not only are playing well now, they have some nice players (including All-Star Isaiah Thomas and underrated Jae Crowder) and a boatload of draft picks.
They don’t need to cash in their chips for Howard.
Howard could help this team protect the rim and score inside, even as a rental. But at that point, it’s doubtful Boston would value him enough to offer the Rockets enough to deal him.
If the Celtics don’t want to pay Howard big dollars into his 30s – especially if they don’t think other stars want to play with him – there’s really no point dealing for him.
Houston will apparently have to find a team more desperate.*
*But also with assets. Sorry, Nets.