LaMarcus Aldridge‘s arrival in San Antonio was something entirely unique. He was a big-money, marquee free agent coming to a Spurs team that historically has not chased that type of player.
Everyone expected the acclimation process to take some time, and it has. But with the playoffs fast approaching, Aldridge has found his groove in San Antonio.
Aldridge is averaging his fewest points, field goal attempts and minutes per game since his rookie season. But over the last 21 games, all of his numbers are going up.
He is averaging 21.6 points on 55 percent shooting over his past 21 games as the Spurs stay right on the heels of the Golden State Warriors in the West.
Dion Waiters has had to deal with something nobody should have to deal with — the murder of his younger brother.
Waiters had been away from the team for a week, but he returned to the team on Monday, and Wednesday he took the court again.
After shootaround before Wednesday’s game, Waiters opened up about the pain he felt, via Royce Young of ESPN.
“I probably haven’t cried like that since I lost my third cousin,” Waiters said following shootaround. “You know, I lost three cousins and my best friend. So this is like a replay. Every time something is going good, going great, there’s always something to remind you that it’s reality.
“I probably won’t be happy for a while. Long time, probably. I feel as though I could’ve done something different.”
Grieving is a process and Waiters is going to need time to go through it. Our thoughts are with him, and it’s good to see him on the court again.
We know Kevin Durant likes Boston as a city. Which is very different from saying “I’m taking my talents to Boston” but liking where you play is certainly a factor in the decision-making matrix.
So is Boston going to pursue Durant this summer when he becomes a free agent?
Celtics GM Danny Ainge is on the hunt for a superstar and is calling on every major free agent, not to mention calling on any elite player even rumored to be available via trade. So yes, expect the Celtics to go after Durant this summer, as explained by Chris Forsberg of ESPN.
With Boston positioned to fish again this summer for that elusive big catch that could propel the team forward, the Celtics would covet the chance to pitch Boston as a possible destination when Durant reaches unrestricted free agency.
Scoff if you want — and most will — the Celtics are in position to make an intriguing sales pitch to any star talent that becomes available….
It’s also hard to imagine how, if Durant elects to explore his options this offseason, he doesn’t at least give Ainge another chance to sit down with his family.
It will be interesting to see if Durant does the tour and meets with Boston or other potential suitors, KD is not the kind of guy looking to do the high-profile, recruit-me, Carmelo Anthony tour. But the smart money is on a similar result to ‘Melo in one way — Durant staying with his current team. At least for another year.
The buzz around the league is that if he leaves Oklahoma City, the frontrunner is Golden State. But if Durant does open up the recruiting, Boston could be an excellent landing spot.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said the other day that he was going to make sure LeBron James and other key Cavaliers were going to get some time off to rest down the stretch to make sure they are ready for the playoffs.
That rest starts Wednesday. Lue announced pregame Wednesday before the Cavaliers took on the Mavericks. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has the details.
Lue said LeBron will play both ends of a Florida back-to-back (Miami and Orlando) this weekend.
This is a smart move by Lue, it gives LeBron four days off between games to help his body recover from the marathon of the NBA season.
This also is a huge break for Dallas, if they can take advantage of it. Dallas is in a tight playoff race for one of the final playoff spots in the East and prediction models have them falling out because of their difficult schedule the rest of the way. Catching the Cavaliers without LeBron is a big break.
Meyers Leonard has found a groove this season with the Trail Blazers, being a pick-and-pop big who can stretch the floor — more than half his shots this season are threes, and he’s shooting 37.7 percent from three. Portland’s offense is 2.9 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court.
However, he missed seven games earlier this season with a dislocated shoulder — and now he has dislocated that same shoulder, reports Jason Quick of CSNNW.com.
He is officially just out Thursday against San Antonio, but expect him to miss more time than that.
This is going to mean more run for Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless.
Portland is currently in a three-way tie with Houston and Dallas for the six-seven-eight seeds in the West, with Utah looming just two games back. The Blazers can’t afford to have this injury cost them games.