Kurt Helin

Anthony Davis

Bruised hip will keep Anthony Davis out vs. Raptors Friday

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In the last five full games he played, Anthony Davis had averaged 26.6 points on 52.9 percent shooting. After a rough start to the season, he was getting back to his old self, the one that many thought could be MVP worthy.

However, on Friday night he will miss his second straight game due to a bruised hip, coach Alvin Gentry has announced. The Pelicans are in Toronto to take on the Raptors (who will get DeMarre Carroll back from his injury).

This isn’t a surprise, he missed the last game and was listed as questionable for this one. Gentry had said before the team would err on the side of caution with bringing their franchise big man back from injury.

Kendrick Perkins (pectoral injury) is out as well for New Orleans up front, so expect to see a lot of Ryan Anderson and Omer Asik.

The Pelicans are 1-7 this season, tied with the Lakers for last in the Western Conference. It’s going to be very difficult to climb out of that hole and reach the playoffs.

Watch high school freshman Karl-Anthony Towns interview Kevin Durant

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
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There is a generation of players coming up who view Kevin Durant as their idol. Which shouldn’t be a surprise.

Maybe what’s surprising is they are already here — Karl-Anthony Towns is one. The NBA rookie — averaging 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, with a true shooting percentage of 54.3 percent and a PER of 20.9 through eight games — is a massive Durant fan.

You can see it from this interview when Towns was a high school freshman in New Jersey who got to interview KD for a segment on MSG Varsity, a website trying to teach youth about journalism.

The crew at NBA on TNT found the video.

Notice that even at that age, Towns is almost looking Durant in the eye.

Grizzlies unveil tight ABA-inspired throwback jerseys

Grizzlies throwbacks
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From 1970-75, there were the Memphis Sounds of the ABA (they were called the Tams before that and the Pros before that).

It was the first professional basketball team in Memphis — long before the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver and kept the regionally inappropriate name — this ABA team played and represented the city.

For five games this season — starting next Monday against the Thunder — the Grizzlies will wear some tight, ABA-inspired throwback jerseys (and of course, there will be plenty of gear for fans to buy).

From the official press release:

This season, the Grizzlies are celebrating basketball’s rich legacy in Memphis and the Mid-South through the Hardwood Classics Nights at FedExForum. On five home dates this season, the team will wear throwback Memphis Sounds uniforms in recognition of the ABA (American Basketball Association) team that once called Memphis home from 1974-75.

Hardwood Classics at FedExForum will feature groovy entertainment programming and unique “old school” giveaways including Monday’s Memphis Sounds Pennant giveaway (to the first 5,000 fans in attendance) and Memphis Sounds Tacky Holiday T’s and Memphis Sounds Car Air Fresheners on future Hardwood Classics nights.

These may be the best throwbacks a team has done. Love them.

I’m not sure jerseys are going to help turn around the slow start of a team that has lost four straight and has the worst offense in the NBA this young season. But at this point, maybe a little uniform luck can’t hurt.

Now, if they’d just play with the old red, white, and blue ABA ball, that would be perfect.

Brian Scalabrine: Paul Pierce is NBA’s best trash talker

Paul Pierce, Garrett Temple
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The NBA’s best trash talker? Ask guys around the league and Kevin Garnett‘s name still comes up, although Draymond Green is the current consensus leader.

Former NBA player now Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine says Paul Pierce has them all beat back in his prime, part of a Q&A at the Players’ Tribune.

Paul Pierce is the greatest trash talker I’ve ever encountered in this league….

Paul’s trash talk was devastating because he’s so witty and smart. I mean, the guy is off the charts smart. It’s one thing to say something outrageous or offensive to throw someone off, but I would hear Paul just cut through guys with his words. And the fact that he was so respected made his insults hurt even more. Nobody wants to get told they’re human garbage by The Truth.

You can see why Paul’s had so much success with poker. He understands how to employ psychological warfare to his advantage. To him, that’s all part of the game. He didn’t back down from any player, and there was never a time when he appeared rattled. Guys could try to talk smack back at him but it wouldn’t get through. He was too ice cold on the court.

Pierce still has the gift. Last season during the playoffs, then Wizard Pierce said Toronto didn’t worry him as an opponent because they didn’t have “it.” That became a talking point for days around the series, and it bothered the Raptors. The Wizards swept the series, and Pierce hit the dagger shot in one game.

The Clippers could use a little of that psychological warfare come the playoffs if they want to be a real threat to get out of the West.

 

Watch Stephen Curry drop 46 on Minnesota

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Ten games into the NBA season, Stephen Curry already has three 40-point (or more) games.

The latest came when he dropped 46 on Minnesota Thursday night, shooting 15-of-25 (you can see his buckets from the game above). He is shooting 47 percent from three on the season, he is getting to the line, and he is finishing in the paint better than previous years. There are no weaknesses. Check out his shot chart from this season:

Shotchart_1447415495598

Teams that trap him pay a price. Some teams have gone to putting their best perimeter defender on Klay Thompson in sort of a Michael Jordan/Steve Nash approach of “let him get his but don’t let him set up others.” Nothing has worked, the Warriors are 10-0, and Curry has been the best player on the planet.

And there is no end in sight.