Derrick Rose is not 100 percent, but even 85 percent of Rose can put a lot of pressure on a defense.
And make some plays.
Which is what happened in the Bulls win over the Pistons Monday night. Rose had 24 points, seven assists (plus three hockey assists) and basically just put pressure on the Pistons, especially in transition. He was attacking, aggressive and good things flowed out of that… unless you’re a Pistons defender.
The Bulls won 102-91, improving to 6-2 on the season.
That is what the league feared when LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love got together.
Those three clicked finally and put up 61 points between them in the second half alone as the Cavaliers pulled away from the Pelicans for probably their best win of the young season, 118-111. LeBron looked like LeBron again with a triple double of 32 points, 12 boards and 10 assists. He showed off his speed, his shooting and his court vision. The Pelicans didn’t do a terrible job defending him, but LeBron hit 7-of-11 contested shots on the night (via NBA.com’s Sports VU cameras). He looked every bit the best player on the planet and a guy more comfortable in the offense.
Irving had 32 points — he was creating shots all game, and not just for himself — while Love had 22 on the night.
As a team the Cavaliers had a ridiculous offensive rating of 128 points per 100 possessions. (What bothered coach David Blatt after the game was they gave up a rating of 117.1 to New Orleans, led by another big night from Anthony Davis with 27 points and 14 boards. Blatt’s right to worry about this.)
The Cavs have won a couple in a row and are starting to find a comfort level. That should scare the league.
Oh, by the way, LeBron also did this:
Perk on getting a standing ovation in the first quarter:
“It felt good. I thought I heard a couple MVP chants.” I told him I didn’t hear any of those. “Yeah, neither did I. Just in my head.”
—Kendrick Perkins, via Royce Young at Daily Thunder.
As Royce said, Perk is the best.
Perkins has slid out of the starting lineup this year, with Steven Adams getting those key minutes (as he should, their offense is better with him). But when Perkins is a free agent next summer he’s going to get a pay cut ($9.4 million is a bit steep) but don’t be shocked if the Thunder bring Perkins back. They like him.
Drew Gordon was one of the guys not drafted back in 2012 that probably should have been. Coming out of New Mexico his offense was raw but he hit the glass hard and had good energy. Instead he spent a couple years in Europe sharpening his game, then coming back and showing it off at Summer League. This year he got a spot in the Sixers training camp but didn’t make the cut and was down in the D-League with the Delaware 87ers.
But he impressed enough to get called back up to the team on Monday, the Sixers announced.
Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com has the details.
The Sixers had nine players available each of the past two games. Monday, the organization increased its depth by signing free agent Drew Gordon… Gordon appeared in six preseason games for the Sixers, averaging 7.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 15.9 minutes….
In addition to adding Gordon to the roster, the Sixers waived Malcolm Thomas. Thomas missed the last two games because of left knee effusion. He decided to undergo surgery, and that will sideline him 4-5 weeks.
Drew Gordon is the older brother of Orlando rookie Aaron Gordon out of Arizona.
Drew finally made it to the show, now we’ll see if he can stick.
You can forgive Mark Cuban if he had a little beef with Dwyane Wade, he watched the 2006 NBA Finals like the rest of us. Wade attacked and drove against Dallas and was rewarded with trip after trip to the free throw line. The aggressor usually gets the calls in the NBA and Wade won an NBA title with that mantra.
But Cuban has matured and moved past it. He’s good with Wade now (I supposed winning his own title in 2011 over the Heat probably helped with that).
Here is what Cuban told Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
“Not anymore,” Cuban said when asked if he dislikes Wade. “At the beginning, I did because I think he thought he was entitled to everything that happened in that (2006) series. But it’s been eight years. I mean, I take a little bit of joy in games where he doesn’t go to the free throw line. But I like D-Wade now. He’s a guy who does a lot of good things off the court and I have to respect that.
“But if you’d have asked me eight years ago, it would have been a different answer….
“I give him credit off the court,” he said. “He’s gone from flash to being a good representative of the NBA. I respect that. He seems to be more about family and community. He went through some off-the-court hardships, I guess. But yeah, I have a lot of respect for him now. I think he and LeBron helped each other grow up. I don’t hold a lot of animosity at all.”
So he’s matured. By that I mostly mean Cuban.
Wade was doing what Wade was supposed to do back in 2006 and the Mavericks didn’t have an answer. That’s basketball. One guy can swing a game or a series, something Cuban has seem plenty of with Dirk Nowitzki over the years.
We should start a pool on which player Cuban will dislike next. I’ll put my money on James Harden.