Kurt Helin

Dwyane Wade’s driving layup forces overtime, where Heat beat Pacers

4 Comments

The Heat and Pacers played a thriller down to the wire Monday. They didn’t always play it well, there was plenty of slop, but both teams were putting out a genuine effort.

In the end, Miami had a little bit more — they had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Bosh had 31 points on the night, but Wade had the dynamic plays — including the layup that forced overtime. With 2.7 seconds left Paul George wanted to be aggressive, but he was trailing Wade coming off a Bosh screen and when Wade turned toward the rim nobody was in his way. He made the play.

Wade also had a couple of points in overtime and a key tip of a rebound after a missed free throw. However, this was his most spectacular play of the day, a turn-back-the-clock moment.

 

Warriors’ Stephen Curry to play against Charlotte

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, right, drives over Sacramento Kings' Ben McLemore during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Stephen Curry returned from missing a couple of games with a bruised calf, and promptly got kicked in the same spot. That led to speculation he would sit out Monday night’s game against Charlotte (his hometown team is visiting the Bay Area).

Nope. He’s good to go.

The Warriors play Tuesday night against the Lakers in Los Angeles on a back-to-back.

The Warriors are +6.4 points per 100 possession better when Curry is on the court; they could use that against a scrappy Hornets team (but one that has struggled lately).

Byron Scott pulls Julius Randle, who is irritated as to why

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle wears glasses after being injured during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 120-109. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
13 Comments

With 4:43 left in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 20-point win against the Suns Sunday, Lakers’ coach Byron Scott yanked Julius Randle from the court, the first of him pulling all the bench players and re-inserting the starters to preserve the win. That would be three wins in a row for Los Angeles, something to celebrate.

After the game, Scott expressed his frustration with Randle. From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

Randle didn’t exactly show deference to the coach when he heard the comments.

My first thought: Byron Scott wants to single out a particular Laker for not playing defense now? This team hasn’t played defense all season (they are tied for the worst defense in the NBA heading into Monday’s games).

My second thought: I like players who don’t want to be pulled out of the game.

Scott’s skill at developing young players has been a question mark all season (and at a couple of coaching stops before this one). He pulled the team’s future to get the starters in (which does include Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson) so they could preserve the win and improve to 8-27 on the season. It’s fair to ask if the Lakers are not better served long term with their highest ceiling young players learning to play through trouble.

Was he wrong in this particular instance? That can be debated. But the trend of leaning on veterans and sacrificing long-term growth for the sake of short-term wins seems to be a season-long trend for the Lakers.

Bulls say MRI shows no structural damage to Rose’s leg

2 Comments

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say an MRI shows no structural damage to the right leg of star point guard Derrick Rose.

Rose is a game-time decision for Tuesday’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks after sitting out the past three games because of a hamstring problem. He had the MRI on Monday to rule out any issues with his right knee, which he has had surgery on twice to repair his meniscus.

The Bulls have won four in a row and are second in the Central Division at 20-12.

Elton Brand on joining Sixers: “I’m not through with this game yet, that’s why”

Elton Brand
4 Comments

After 16 NBA seasons, two All-Star Games, a Rookie of the Year Award, being the College Player of the Year award, and $167 million, why would Elton Brand come back to the NBA on it’s clearly worst team?

Brand is honest in a must-read piece he wrote for The Cauldron at Sports Illustrated — he wasn’t ready to leave the NBA. It’s not the money, it’s certainly not to chase a ring, it’s about legacy.

The truth is, my decision to return to the NBA isn’t about money, and it isn’t about rings. It isn’t even about me, really, although every athlete would like to go out on his or her own terms. It’s about repaying what’s owed, about making sure that the young men who follow in my footsteps get what they’re entitled to (and what I haven’t always given them).

It’s not so much that I failed the guys I was tasked with mentoring over the years; it’s that I barely even tried. I never took the time to share the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s writing with them. I never sincerely answered their questions about what David West was trying to warn them about during NBPA meetings. I didn’t tell them why they should be reading Etan Thomas’ essays….

You might’ve noticed we’ve got a pretty talented kid on the roster in Jahlil Okafor, someone I happen to share some things in common with. Despite how he’s been portrayed, I know Jahlil. He’s a good kid with a good heart. He’s not unlike most 20-year-olds you probably know, and he’s definitely not at all different than most of his fellow players. Hell, if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest, and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.

It is about legacy for Brand, and it is about his adopted hometown.

With Jerry Colangelo calling the shots now, the Sixers have talked about having a more mature, veteran voice in the locker room. Someone who could guide the young players on the team. Would that have kept Okafor off TMZ? Probably not the first time, but what about the second time?

Young players need a role model to follow, someone to show them what it takes to be a professional in the NBA in the locker room. Coaches and agents can only do so much, peer pressure matters. Okafor can bring that to a team in need of it.

Most importantly, he’s eager to do it.