Author: Kurt Helin

Steve Nash

Steve Nash calls out twitter troll: “Watch your mouth or temecula”

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Steve Nash is a favorite whipping boy of some frustrated Lakers fans who see him as a guy the team spent a lot of money on but has barely played for the team. It speaks to the depth of knowledge of said Lakers fans who: 1) Don’t blame management for bringing in a guy pushing 40 and saying he’s a foundational piece; 2) Do blame one of the most well condition and hard working players in the game because an injury did knock him out.

Nash got called out by one of these “brilliant” Lakers fans on Twitter — and he had the best comeback.

And if you don’t get the Temecula reference, you have some reading to do.

Nash has been out all season with a nerve issue that runs from his back down into his leg. He worked hard at both rehab and trying to train his body to move differently and not aggravate the injury, but to no success.

Nash was on Twitter live-tweeting the big Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester City.

Report: Sixers claim Thomas Robinson off waivers

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns
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There was a time when Thomas Robinson was so highly thought of he was the No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft, taken in front of guys like Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond. And at the time some thought No. 5 was too low for a guy with this kind of athleticism.

But drafting is an inexact science. To say the least.

On the day of the trade deadline, Robinson was sent from Portland to Denver as part of the Arron Afflalo trade. However, rather than have Robinson suit up in the powder blue the Nuggets just agreed to buy him out. After that, he planned to sign with the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season.

But before he could sign in Brooklyn Robinson had to clear waivers — and he did not clear, the 76ers jumped in, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired forward Thomas Robinson through a claim in the NBA’s waiver process, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The Sixers needed the sum of Robinson’s remaining salary to honor the obligations of the collective bargaining agreement that dictate a team needs to reach within 90 percent of the NBA’s salary floor before season’s end – or pay out that shortfall amount equally among the rest of the players on the roster. Robinson’s $3,678,360 salary pushes the Sixers over the salary floor. Denver is no longer responsible for paying Robinson’s salary.

The Sixers can waive Robinson and meet their financial obligations. However, they plan to keep him on the roster and take a look at him to see if he fits whatever the heck it is they are doing in Philly (at some point all these assets need to become players).

If the Nets still think there is potential in Robinson — he can rebound and he’s shown flashes of playing with the energy he would need to be part of an NBA rotation — they can do it this summer. On offense Robinson still gets most of his shots near the rim where he is a pedestrian finisher, plus he turns the ball over a lot. But the Blazers found a use for him as an energy guy off the bench last season, it’s just that the addition of Chris Kaman cut off his minutes this season (and Robinson struggled with turnovers, among other things).

But he’s athletic big man, he’s going to get another chance. Somewhere.

Knicks legend Anthony Mason “improving”

Anthony mason knicks
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Things looked bleak for Anthony Mason when news first broke he had suffered multiple heart attacks.  But if you were going to use two words to describe Mason, they would be “tough” and “fighter,” so you know he wasn’t going down easily.

And he hasn’t. While not out of the woods by any stretch Mason’s son Antoine told the New York Post things are looking better.

“I actually spoke to him today,” Antoine Mason told the website on Monday. “He can’t talk yet, but he can hear things and respond by blinking and shaking his head and things like that. When I talked to him, my mom and him, they’re telling me he’s getting better.”

Mason played 13 NBA seasons and bounced around a little, but is best remembered as a fan-favorite of the Knicks in the Patrick Ewing era. He was tough, could defend multiple positions, and on a team known for physicality and grinding the other team down Mason was arguably the most physical. Mason went to South Beach with Pat Riley and while a member of the Heat Mason won the Sixth Man of the Year in 1995. He averaged 10.8 points, and 8.3 rebounds a game over the course of his career.

His former Knicks teammate gave this recent tribute to Mason, reports the Post.

“He was a hard-nosed player. We came to the Knicks around the same time and he fought for everything he got in this league as well as growing up,” Starks said during the 16th Annual Knicks Bowl at Chelsea Piers. “He’s fighting right now for his life, and I believe he’s going to pull through.

“I think I was at a game when I heard about it. It was a shock. He’s still a young man. Unfortunately these things do occur in life. There’s no rhyme or reason why it happens, but it’s something he continues to fight. His family continues to pray. We continue to pray. It’s just tough right now. Mase is the type of guy who’s going to fight every inch of the way. He’s going to pull through this.”

Sixers’ Isaiah Canaan hits ridiculous buzzer beater (VIDEO)

Isaiah Canaan, Dwyane Wade
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Maybe Isaiah Canaan should take all his shots like it was a game of hot potato.

That is the definition of bailing your team out on a broken play. It was near the end of the third quarter and Luc Mbah a Moute drove the lane, the ball got kicked out to the opposite corner but the Sixers never had control of it. The ball got volley balled to Canaan and…

That will be on highlight reels the rest of the season.

The shot tied the game at the half (of what was not a defensive struggle), but the Heat owned the third quarter and cruised on to the win.

Five Things We Learned in NBA Monday: Good luck slowing James Harden down

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets
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If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while dying from an uppercut from Batman

1) James Harden is a force of nature. The Houston Rockets are now 8-4 with Dwight Howard sidelined getting his knee healthy; winning two-thirds of their games has been enough to hold on to the third seed in the West. The Rockets can thank James Harden for that; he has been a force of nature in this stretch. Monday night he started out slowly (he shot 0-of-7 to start the game) against the Timberwolves but by the time it was over Harden had put up 31 points on 20 shots, pulled down 11 boards and dished out 10 assists to record a triple double. He was why the Rockets held off the Timberwolves comeback and won. And he just abused Ricky Rubio on this play at the end of the third quarter.

2) Derrick Rose’s shooting woes are raising some eyebrows. Derrick Rose made his first shot Monday night, a three from the wing. He missed his next 12 shots. He is now 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) in his last three games. Rose had said after his rough shooting night last Friday he doesn’t worry about the missed shots, it’s the quality of shots he gets. I would suggest that when your shot chart looks  this you should start to be a little worried.

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To be fair, Rose has had some impressive stretches of play this season, but he is in a slump right now. One that has people wondering what is going on.

3) Isaiah Thomas stuck the dagger in his old team in Phoenix. You know he loved this. Isaiah Thomas has felt underappreciated at his first two NBA stops. In Sacramento they kept bringing in point guards to take his place, so he eventually bolted for Phoenix last Summer. But there the three-guard rotation (with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe) didn’t work so the Suns sent him off to cold and rebuilding Boston. So when the Celtics faced the Suns Thomas was looking for revenge — he scored 21 points and  dished out seven assists. More importantly, he had nine points in the final six minutes of the game to seal the Celtic win, which included this four-point play (and the dagger a couple possessions later).

4) On his 20th birthday Andrew Wiggins showed how he is developing into a star. Minnesota fell to Houston Monday, and while The Beard stole the show Andrew Wiggins put on one of his own. He was attacking (he shot 7-of-11 at the rim), was knocking down the midrange jumper (4-of-7) and finished with 30 points. His jump shot has developed quickly this season. He’s already a pretty good defender (although he was asked to corral James Harden most of Tuesday night, and that has been a struggle for everyone this season). His athleticism is off the chart. He’s going to win Rookie of the Year going away — in part because he’s the only guy still standing, but also he’s looking like a real star in the making. The kind of guy Cleveland may regret trading in a couple years (we’ll see how the Kevin Love thing plays out).

5) We said it yesterday, we’ll say it again: Don’t sleep on the Grizzlies. Memphis just beat Portland and the LA Clippers on both ends of a back-to-back. Two nights in a row they ground down two of the top teams in the West, completely controlled the tempo and got the win because it was their kind of game. You knew the Clippers game was going to be played in the Grizzlies’ style when the teams were 0-of-11 shooting combined to start the game. Memphis remains the two seed in the West and while we talk about Golden State and an up-and-coming Oklahoma City team as contenders in the West, do not sleep on Memphis. They can knock off anyone.