His game has needed to mature — his post moves need a lot of polish, he needs to extend his range out a few feet — but he is still the kind of talent you just can’t ignore. He showed that against the Miami Heat where he put on a dunking clinic. For one, he shows why bigs who can run the floor are dangerous.
Second, Drummond showed James Ennis why he is so tough to stop at the rim.
(By the way, the Pistons beat the Heat 108-91.)
Brandon Jennings on LeBron James: ‘he run too much when s— gets tough’
Did LeBron run when s— got tough? Yeah, he did. He left Cleveland for a better situation in Miami and then Miami for a better situation in Cleveland. I don’t believe LeBron jumped only because he was joining better-positioned teams, but I believe it factored both times.
So what, though?
That’s what free agency does. It gives players the right to choose their workplace, and LeBron is at the level where could choose any team. I don’t consider that a bad thing.
Jennings is right: LeBron is one of the greatest of all time. Just like the other players Jennings mentioned – Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant. How many times LeBron changed teams doesn’t mean much to me when ranking this group, and it’s an unfair standard. Who’s to say LeBron wouldn’t have stayed with one team in the others’ positions or they wouldn’t have left if they were in LeBron’s?
It’s easier to be loyal to Bulls, Lakers and Celtics franchises that built contending supporting casts through each of those players’ primes. The only exception was a blip in Kobe’s career – and he threatened to leave in free agency.
The Cavaliers never got the right pieces around LeBron the first time, and the Heat were aging fast. So, having earned the opportunity to do so, LeBron left for greener pastures.
Jennings and I don’t disagree on what happened, just how to interpret it.
Report: Pistons signing John Lucas III to 10-day contract
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: faced with the prospect of a rebuild, the Knicks are apparently thinking about taking a short-term approach rather than a long-term one. Head coach Derek Fisher said on Sunday that the presence of 30-year-old Carmelo Anthony may change their window of trying to contend.
Interesting thoughts from Fisher on how to build #Knicks. Acknowledges that having Carmelo, 30, may force them to think in shorter terms.
It’s understandable to not want to waste the tail end of Anthony’s prime, but it’s also a wrongheaded approach for a variety of reasons.
First of all, there’s no short-term rebuild strategy that’s going to make them title contenders. The Knicks will have a glut of cap space this summer, but all signs point to a repeat of their 2010 offseason, when they cleared away a ton of space to go after the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. After they struck out on those names, they gave a five-year, $100 million contract to Amar’e Stoudemire, the next-best available guy, whom the Suns didn’t re-sign because of two bad knees. We know how that has worked out for the Knicks.
This summer feels similar. It’s highly unlikely that the two premier free agents, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol, will leave Portland and Memphis respectively, and if they did, it wouldn’t be for a rebuilding Knicks team. So New York will be forced to decide if they think DeAndre Jordan is worth a max deal, or if Greg Monroe is worth a max deal, and so on. And how many of those players really move the needle with regards to title contention for a team with the roster of the Knicks?
Fisher’s comments are frustrating because in less than a year, team president Phil Jackson has done a good job setting up a true rebuild. He’s gotten rid of most of the Knicks’ long-term money and accumulated draft picks. They’ll land a top-tier player in the lottery this year. If there’s ever been a time to be patient, it’s now. But it sounds like they aren’t leaning that way.
Pistons fans boo Josh Smith in his return, savor his struggles
The Detroit Pistons went 5-23 with Josh Smith on the roster. They have gone 13-7 since cutting him, including winning their first seven games in a row.
Saturday night Josh Smith and his new team the Houston Rockets came to Detroit, and Pistons fans let them know exactly how much they missed him.
Those are some homer Houston announcers (they are some of the more blatant in the league) trying to cover for Smith, although to be fair they are right in that the mistake was not Smith’s but Joe Dumars’. Stan Van Gundy fixed it and in doing so let Greg Monroe play his more natural game, where he has started to thrive. The Pistons’ offense has just flowed more naturally (at least before Brandon Jennings went down for the season).
Pistons fans booed Smith every time he touched the ball, and they savored every miss by him — of which there were plenty as he was 3-of-11. They cheered loudly when Andre Drummond blocked his shot. They nodded knowingly at his one missed three.
“It’s really not emotional to me because I haven’t been here long enough to feel any sort of way,” said Smith, who signed with the Pistons in the off-season of 2013 from his hometown Atlanta Hawks. “The booing didn’t affect me.
“If you ask me something about Atlanta I’ll have a lot more to say about emotions.”
Smith has shot the ball a little better — not efficient but better — since signing with Houston. His game hasn’t really changed he’s but trying to make that work in a new role, and there have been moments. Good ones and bad ones. Smith realizes he’s part of a team that, if it can stay healthy, could be a threat in the loaded West. He is trying to make this new home work and is trying to move on, to be the key part of a bench on a potential contender. We’ll see how that plays out.
But for a night, the Pistons savored saying goodbye.