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Rasheed Wallace says 2004 Pistons would ‘run through’ 2017 Warriors

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Oh boy, here we go again with this. Let’s play a Mad Libs. I’ll give you the bulk, you fill in the blanks.

(NBA veteran player) says that his (team from the last three decades) would beat the Golden State Warriors because (reason they’ve not fully vetted).

You’re sure to reuse this template often over the next few years. Today’s fully executed NBA veteran Mad Lib comes to us courtesy of the eternal Rasheed Wallace, who says that his championship 2003-04 Detriot Pistons team would not only beat the 2017 Warriors, they would dismantle them.

Wallace said as much recently on a podcast called Timeout with Taylor Rooks.

The quote comes courtesy of Slam:

Sheed: “Oh, we’d run through them. Not even close. We play defense.”

Mike Brown compared the defense of today’s Warriors and that Pistons team. Do you agree?

Sheed: “I’d agree to a certain point. But I think the Warriors’ defensive strategy is, I’ma put up more shots than you. And if you try to match that, then you assed out because they got exceptional shooters.

“So that’s their whole defensive thing. I don’t call it good defense if the man came down and he shot a jump shot or shot a three and missed it, and the Warriors went back down to the other end and scored it.

“That’s not good defense, and that’s what happens a lot in this game now. They’re not shutting nobody down. Even though you can’t shut a scorer down—you can slow him down.

“With the way that we played in Detroit, we’d lock [players] down. The things that we did in Detroit will never be done again.

This was a topic of discussion on Wednesday on Twitter despite the thrilling-but-inevitable win by Golden State over Cleveland in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. It’s nice that Wallace put in his two cents.

But again, this is obviously just a thought experiment and probably one that smooths the wrinkles in our brains instead of adding to them. Since we don’t have a time machine, or even some kind of scientific chart to correlate rule and style changes from a decade ago to the modern NBA, it’s all moot.

I have a hard time thinking any team from history could beat the Warriors in the modern game given their dominance and the amount of trophies on their roster. Last season you could make an argument, but adding Kevin Durant pushes them over the top for me.

Then again, that’s an opinion and Wallace is due his. Of course, saying the Warriors don’t play defense is patently false. If you’re not seeing the Warriors play defense (the second-best team in the league at it, according to Basketball Reference) then you’re not watching the games.

In any case, feel free to link back to this article and use the aforementioned Mad Lib template whenever it seems necessary. I’m sure we’ll need it here again soon enough.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

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In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

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Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.

Report: Eric Bledsoe requested trade from Suns before season

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Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:

In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.

Another Hornets backup PG injured

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Hornets backup point guard Michael Carter-Williamsout.

Nicolas Batum, who handled a lot of playmaking with Charlotte’s second units – out.

Julyan Stone, another Hornets backup point guard – out.

Hornets release:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that guard Julyan Stone has suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. The injury occurred in practice on Sunday, Oct. 22 and he did not travel with the team to Milwaukee.  Stone is listed as out for tonight’s game against the Bucks and his expected recovery time is estimated at four to six weeks.

The Hornets have been outscored by an astounding 35.8 points per 100 possessions without starter Kemba Walker, producing an offensive rating of just 61.4. That’s in just 23 minutes, but the problem dates back to last season, when Charlotte was outscored by 7.0 points per 100 possessions with a 100.7 offensive rating sans Walker.

Now, the Hornets have little choice but to turn to rookie Malik Monk. Monk is a scoring guard, but his 6-foot-3 size means he has at least worked on playing point guard. Is he ready to play the position full-time for a team eying the playoffs. Probably not, but he’ll just have to do his best to keep Charlotte afloat in the few minutes Walker rests.