Author: Kurt Helin

Phoenix Suns v Philadelphia 76ers

Suns’ Archie Goodwin obliterates Jonas Valanciunas (VIDEO)

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Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas clearly did not expect that.

That’s Suns’ second year player Archie Goodwin, who hasn’t gotten a lot of run this season but showed he has some serious athleticism with that dunk.

Goodwin had 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting in the Suns 125-109 win in an entertaining game… well, not entertaining if you’re a coach who likes defense. But for us fans on the couch it was fun.

Yes, that’s really Quincy Acy with steal, behind-the-back dribble, throw down on Greek Freak (VIDEO)

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings
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Knicks’ fans have not had much to cheer of late, Sunday was the 11th consecutive loss for New York. They are just hard to watch right now.

But Knicks fans could cheer this from the always hustling Quincy Acy.

The man with the beard made the steal, went behind the back with the dribble (not exactly smoothly but it was legal) and then threw it down on Giannis Antetokounmpo. It was impressive.

The Bucks won the game 95-82 and remain the team with the much brighter future. But the Knicks fans at least have Acy.

Kobe to play Sunday, take Monday off for Lakers

Kobe Bryant
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It’s one of the toughest regular back-to-backs in the NBA — a game at Staples Center one night followed by a more than two-hour late night flight to Portland to take on a good Trail Blazers team on the back end.

The Lakers are doing that, hosting the Pacers Sunday night and playing in Portland Monday.

But Kobe isn’t.

Good choice here, the Lakers at home have a real chance to beat the Pacers (who have played better of late), but with or without Kobe they are not likely to beat Portland on the second night of a back-to-back.

Also good that Kobe and Scott have really started to embrace some rest for Kobe. When he’s fresh, when he’s trusting his teammates as he has since his three games off, he elevates the Lakers offense to the level that they can win some games (just because the offense is good enough to outscore teams, the Lakers still are terrible on defense).

Report: Wizards testing trade market for Glen Rice Jr.

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks
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This summer, Glen Rice Jr. looked like a guy ready to take a step forward — he was the Las Vegas Summer League MVP. Out in the desert he averaged 25 points a game and had been shooting better than 50 percent until a rough last outing, showing off an attacking/slashing style, and just looking like a guy who knows how to get buckets.

This season has not lived up to that hype. Rice has gotten in just five games, played just 43 garbage time minutes for the Wizards. He’s sitting on the bench in the D-League right now. He doesn’t have a guaranteed contract and on a Wizards’ team loaded with wing depth (especially with the emergence of Rasual Butler) he can’t crack the rotation.

Now the Wizards are trying to trade him, reports Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

With a gluttony of wing players and limited financial flexibility, the Washington Wizards intend to trade Glen Rice Jr. before his contract becomes guaranteed on Jan. 10, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Washington has already spoken to other teams about Rice, who was shipped to the D-League in late November and hasn’t played in the Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ last four games despite no reported injury.

They are not going to get much back for him, likely a second round pick.

Teams with interest in him may be willing to wait the Wizards out — if they can’t trade him by Jan. 10 they may just waive Rice Jr. Then a team could pick him up without sacrificing a pick.

The question is was there a GM in the stands in the corner of the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas who saw Rice play and thought “maybe he can fit what we do” and would be wiling to give up a second round pick for him (likely one with conditions attached).

Kemba Walker drops 30 on Orlando, lifts Charlotte to win

Kemba Walker
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Kemba Walker is known for his quick first step, his ability to get into the lane and break down defenses.

But he dropped 30 on Orlando Saturday night doing it mostly with the jump shot — he was 4-of-6 on above-the-arc threes and his jumper was working. We’ll add working mostly because the Magic gave him space — he was 8-of-13 on uncontested shots but just 2-of-8 when they got in his face.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Hornets.