The Pelicans need help at the point guard spot. Jrue Holiday is coming off an injury and has a minutes limit, Norris Cole just suffered a high ankle sprain that will sideline him for a while. That leaves Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, who can jump in and share that role, but actually they should be sharing the two-guard spot.
Enter Nate Robinson. So reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Robinson is a fan favorite because he is a fearless shooter who is constantly hunting his shot. He’s a coach’s nightmare because he is a fearless shooter who is constantly hunting his own shot. And because he gets exposed defense.
Remember last season he struggled with the Nuggets, who traded him to Boston but the Celtics bought him out; then eventually he signed some 10-day contracts with the Clippers. However, despite needing depth Doc Rivers chose not to keep him around. Robinson shot just 34.5 percent overall and 27.7 percent from three last season.
Robinson will put up points for New Orleans, the fans there will want to see him on the court, and he will make some highlight plays. However, the sooner he can be relegated again to a third point guard spot, the better things will look for New Orleans.
When talking about Dion Waiters, too often the focus is on what he doesn’t do well — shot selection — and the guys the Cavaliers could have drafted instead (Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes).
What Oklahoma City sees is a guy who can fit in their rotation — if he can accept a bench role and work more off the ball (his catch-and-shoot numbers are not bad). He averaged 12.7 points a game for them last season.
And if he will come in at a fair price. That’s what the two sides are talking about now, a contract extension that would keep Waiters with the Thunder, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Waiters, 23, has been enthusiastic about working toward a deal with the Thunder, eager to compete on a contender and comfortable with his growth in a strong atmosphere for player development.
As part of the NBA’s 2012 draft class, Waiters is eligible to extend his deal. Waiters’ agent, Rob Pelinka, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have met and had ongoing discussions on the deal over the past several weeks, league sources said.
He’s got the Kevin Durant seal of approval.
An extension at a fair price also could also be a good financial deal for a Thunder team looking to spend big the next two summers to retain Durant and Russell Westbrook. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks noted on Twitter Waiters’ cap hold is $12.8 million, if they can bring him in for less than that number they have a little more flexibility.
Look for a few teams to come in with extensions for players that may not have lived up to expectations or blown people out of the water, but who are solid rotation players the franchises would love to lock up at a good price. Waiters is one of those guys.
Miami is going to be a lot better than some people realize. At least during the regular season.
While the Bulls are adjusting to a new coach and the Wizards’ old coach is learning new tricks on offense, Miami is loaded this season. They start Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, then bring Josh McRoberts and Justise Winslow among others off the bench.
The bold prediction from the Twitterverse for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado is the Heat win more games than the Bulls. It will be close, but I can see that happening.
Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich talked about it recently — he is harder on Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili than other guys on the team. He knows if he calls out his stars in practice or film sessions, it sends a message and the other players fall in line.
That’s not how things typically go in the NBA’s star system. Elite players get deference. Now Carmelo Anthony wants Derek Fisher and the Knicks coaching staff to act more like the Spurs’ and not shy away from calling him out, he told Ian Begley at ESPN.
“Call it out in the film session so everybody can see that and hear that. By them doing that, it kind of forces me to be at the top level of my game on both ends of the court,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 94-88 preseason victory over the Sixers on Monday. “I think it brings the best out of me and if you bring the best out of me, I think it will bring the best out of everyone on the team.”
If they’re going to call him out every time ‘Melo misses a defensive assignment or stops the ball on offense, it could lead to some long film sessions for the Knicks.
Easy jokes aside, this is what Knicks’ fans should want their star player to say — lead by example. Fisher has publicly praised Anthony’s efforts on both ends of the court through the preseason, and Anthony has said he feels healthy (which is a big start after he missed half the season with a knee injury last season). But praising in public and being harder on him in private is not a bad way to go.
It’s been a pretty good preseason for New York; now we’ll see if they can carry that over once the games matter.
It’s gotta be the hair! Jeremy Lin is averaging 14 points a game on 52.8 percent shooting through four preseason games with the Hornets.
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for the season, Lin is going to get a lot of run this season in Charlotte, but what kind of year is he going to have? Sixth Man of the Year? That’s the question in this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.
Also Hornets fans, Jeremy Lamb may well start for you, but I’m not sure I’d say that’s a good thing.