Author: Matt Moore

Corey Maggette

Corey Maggette to have precautionary MRI

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The Detroit Free Press reports that Pistons F Corey Maggette will have an MRI on his calf this week due to a strain he suffered against the Heat the other night. Maggette was on crutches after the game but walking on his own power Friday, and the MRI is considered precautionary.

The Pistons either desperately need Maggette or have zero use for him, depending on where you think they’re at. If the goal is to make the playoffs to show legitimate progress in the rebuilding project, he’s going to help. Veterans, even inefficient ones, help just by knowing how to operate in the flow of the offense. But long-term, the Pistons need a player they can put at the small forward spot long-term. That’s neither 32-year-old Maggette or 32-year-old Tayshaun Prince. But the Pistons aren’t there yet, and Austin Daye certainly isn’t that guy. It’ll be a bigger concern in the offseason, but for now, the older duo will do fine.

The MRI shouldn’t reveal anything big, but we’ll keep an eye out on it for you anyway.


HT: Detroit Bad Boys

The case for why Chris Paul is staying with the Clippers

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Chris Paul is technically back in that same spot so many stars have been in over the past few years which has resulted in a transition of teams. He’s a free agent at the end of this season with his contract expiring. He would have been a free agent this summer but as part of the agreement that sent him to the Clippers in a trade last fall, Paul opted into his last year on contract. The thought was that the Clippers would have to show him they could win before he would commit long-term.

HoopsWorld reports that signs point to what everyone assumed, that Paul’s plan is to re-sign.

Paul aggressively recruited for the Clippers this offseason, contacting free agents and attempting to sell them on the situation. His pitch was convincing, with talk about the promising future in Los Angeles and opportunity to compete for a championship. Paul’s recruiting pitch was instrumental in the team signing Jamal Crawford among other free agents, according to sources close to the situation. Most players who are planning to leave a team have one foot out the door as free agency looms. Paul, on the other hand, was working the phones and planning face-to-face meetings with potential teammates.

Not only did Paul play a huge role in the Clippers’ pursuit of free agents, he spent the offseason working with several of Los Angeles’ prospects. Paul trained with Eric Bledsoe, Travis Leslie and Trey Tompkins in Los Angeles, pushing the three young players every day. Paul took Bledsoe, Leslie and Thompkins under his wing, pushing them to improve all aspects of their game and encouraging them as they continue their development. He also spent a considerable amount of time bonding with his teammates, hanging out with them in Los Angeles and flying several of them (including Leslie and Thompkins) to Las Vegas, where he hosted several parties. He also organized offseason workouts and many Clippers participated.

via Alex Kennedy’s post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia.

Now, Paul would likely do much of this even if he wasn’t sold. But from the beginning, he’s essentially said that he’s where he wants to be and he’s going to be there a long-time. He has Blake Griffin who’s only going to get better, and a team of veterans which is what every star wants around him.

But is this really how Paul spends the next four years of his career, into his 30’s? The Clippers, let’s be honest, here, are not winning a title. Even with a projected improvement from Griffin, unless he has shooting touch implanted through cybernetics, he’s not going to be all-world. DeAndre Jordan can improve and will still take years to be the kind of dominant defensive center you need.

The Clippers are going to be good. Paul would have to be the best, not one of, which he already is, but the best player in the NBA for them to win the title. Can he pull that off?

Ricky Rubio is behind Derrick Rose in his recovery

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio tore his ACL in March. Derrick Rose tore his in April. Both players are point guards who their teams desperately need back on the floor, both face an excruciating journey back to the court. It’s not a race between the two, as the two teams aren’t in the same division, the two aren’t in direct competition for anything, and the two teams aren’t fighting for the same things. But it is notable that, via the Chicago Tribune, Rose is ahead of Rubio’s recovery schedule.

“It’s a tough injury,” Rubio said. “You are like six, eight, nine months without playing your favorite sport. Sometimes it’s just playing basketball where you forget about everything and just enjoy it. I just wish him a healthy recovery.”

Like Rose, Rubio has yet to start cutting. Unlike Rose, who started shooting jumpers weeks ago, Rubio is just progressing from set shots.

“Nobody had the same injury,” Rubio said. “I mean, a little more meniscus or two ligaments or just one. Every player is different. Every recovery is different.”

via Ricky Rubio: Ricky Rubio commiserates with Derrick Rose –

It’s nice that Rubio has so much empathy for Rose and that they can talk about what they’re going through.

It’s not a huge warning sign or even necessarily a warning sign that Rose is ahead of Rubio despite being a month behind chronologically. The body heals differently, and if it takes longer for Rubio, it takes longer. The focus is on his career, not this season, and Rubio’s still expected to be back in December, along with Kevin Love when his hand heals. It should be noted that Rubio’s expected back before Rose. If that doesn’t make sense, then consider Rubio’s statement above. His jump from jumpshots to playing time is likely shorter than it is for Rose. Rose isn’t expected back until after the first of the year.

But if you’re factoring in conditioning time to get back up to speed and the curve for getting back to 85 or 90 percent once he’s back playing regularly, might want to pump the brakes a bit. And if not, at least give Rose props for his work to get this far.