Tag: Houston Rockets

Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets

Corey Brewer excited to reunite with Ty Lawson, spark Houston


Back in 2012-13, when the Denver Nuggets were racking up 57 wins under George Karl, Ty Lawson and Corey Brewer meshed well together. When those two shared the court the Nuggets played at a fast 100.5 possessions per game (that’s the Warriors pace from last season) and the team scored 108.3 points per 100 possessions (that would have been third best in the NBA).

You can see why Brewer is pumped to be playing with Lawson again.

They are teammates in Houston and Brewer told James Herbert of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball expects they can recapture that magic.

“I had some good years in Denver with Ty so I know how to play with him and I love the way he plays because he plays fast like I do and he’s going to push the pace, push the tempo. That’s what we need here. That’s what we like to do. We like to run.”

But before that can happen, Ty Lawson needs to get past his personal battle with alcohol, which has led to two DUI arrests this year. Brewer clearly subscribes to the theory that put on a contender with a lot on the line, Lawson will get his life back in order.

“Yeah he’s going to be able to do a lot. You got to think about the different guys he’s going to play with. Denver had some good players, they didn’t have James Harden or Dwight Howard. It’s very different when you play with guys like that.”

For Lawson’s sake, I hope so. It may not be that simple, but I hope so.

Lawson and Brewer did generate offense together, but they also didn’t get a lot of stops — they outscored opponents by just two points per 48 minutes because the defense wasn’t good. It will be interesting to see how Kevin McHale mixes and matches with them to keep the defense solid.

No doubt, however, that the Lawson/Brewer punch can put some points on the board while James Harden rests his beard on the sidelines. The Rockets need that.

An excellent Kobe Bryant impersonation (video)

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers

This is really great, but I have one question: Why does he show Kobe Bryant making such a high percentage of his shots?

If you liked this and haven’t seen the prequels (or even if you already have):

Report: Adidas makes $200 million offer to James Harden


James Harden has been a Nike guy. While he didn’t have a signature shoe — yet — the Nike Hyperchase was pretty much his shoe.

However, Nike let their contract with Harden lapse as they tried to renegotiate and Adidas — still looking for a fulcrum, a superstar to build brand around — have jumped in with a $200 million offer, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

The company has submitted a bid of $200 million over 13 years to sign Houston Rockets guard James Harden, sources told ESPN.com. Nike, whose deal with Harden recently expired, has until the end of next week to match the deal or lose him…

With incentives, if the deal is consummated, Harden could very well make more from Adidas in the coming years than the Rockets. Harden signed an $80 million contract extension with Houston in 2012 that goes through the 2017-18 season.

If they land him, Adidas will make Harden and his beard the face of their basketball shoe line. Nike has been incredibly successful building its brand around stars (and great shoes) and they have long had the best in the game inked, from Michael Jordan up through LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Adidas has struggled to land stars and have that translate to shoe sales.

Despite having the NBA (jersey and apparel) deal, Adidas has slipped in recent years due to a lack of individual basketball stars. In 2012, the company signed a massive 14-year deal with Derrick Rose, only to see him miss plenty of action because of knee injuries. Its other star is Damian Lillard, whose Portland Trail Blazers aren’t really showing much promise. Endorser John Wall shows plenty of flash, but his first signature Adidas line fell relatively flat this year.

Adidas is giving up its uniform deal with the league after Nike came in with a massive bid to take it over.

While getting out of the uniform game, Adidas has shifted focus to finding the stars that can sell its shoes. They have Andrew Wiggins under contract and the Rookie of the Year shows potential to be a breakout star on an up-and-coming Minnesota team.

But Harden is an already established star with crossover appeal outside of just the basketball world — with his beard, sense of style, and being linked romantically to Khloe Kardashian, people know who Harden is who are not big hoops fans. Combine that with an MVP-level on-the-court game and this is a great gamble by Adidas.

Nike may match, Rovell says. Nike is still stung by getting outbid by Under Armour for Stephen Curry by $4 million, only to see him blow up into a superstar. They don’t want to lose another top NBA player.

Either way, Harden is about to get PAID.

Contrary to prior reports, Nuggets not waiving Kostas Papanikolaou. Yet.

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

When Denver acquired Kostas Papanikolaou from Houston, reports came almost immediately that Denver would waive the small forward out of Greece. Denver already has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, most teams only carry that many players, and if the Nuggets keep a 15th it could be Erick Green (who is set to make nearly $4 million less).

Maybe the Nuggets ultimately will waive Papanikolaou, but not yet.

From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.

For more detail, there is this from eurohoops.net, transcribed by Hoopshype.

On Saturday night, there were rumors about Denver releasing him. However at this point there are just rumors. Until now, the player’s side has no knowledge for this matter and the Nuggets hasn’t informed them about those kinds of intentions. According to Eurohoops sources, the Nuggets’ plan when they acquired Papanikolaou was to keep him in their roster and take their decision about him during Eurobasket, probably at the end of the tournament. That was their intention and that’s why they didn’t try to use his contract as a trade asset.

The Nuggets have until Oct. 4 to make a decision on Papanikolaou, that is when his $4.8 million contract for the next season becomes fully guaranteed.

What Denver wants to see is what kind of growth he has made. Papanikolaou was the best Houston player off the bench the first month of the season — he could play the three or the four and was a fantastic passer. As the season wore on the league seemed to catch up with him, and once the team traded for Corey Brewer and Josh Smith Papanikolaou dropped far down the rotation. Then he suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain and barely saw the court after the All-Star break. For the season he got in 43 games, shot 35 percent overall and 29.2 percent from three. To use a good snapshot, he had a PER of 7.8, which usually means a guy should be in the D-League or overseas.

The Nuggets can afford to watch Papanikolaou through the upcoming Eurobasket then even at workouts at their facilities at the start of training camp. They can see if the guy from the first part of the season is still there.

But the smart money — because Denver would save so much of it — is that he still eventually is cut. He’s going to have to prove

Report: Nuggets to waive Kostas Papanikolaou, acquired in Ty Lawson trade

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

Probably the most noteworthy piece the Nuggets got back from the Rockets for embattled point guard Ty Lawson in last month’s trade was second-year Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou. He didn’t play much in his rookie season in Houston, but the former second-round pick showed flashes of versatility and seemed like a candidate to stay on the Nuggets’ roster despite his $4.7 million salary being unguaranteed.

Apparently not. Eurobasket.com’s David Pick says the Nuggets are cutting him loose:

As former Nets executive and salary-cap guru Bobby Marks points out, letting Papanikolaou go puts Denver about $7 million below the salary cap, leaving them well-positioned to take back salary in a trade, either trading for an impact player or taking back a contract to get a pick from another team. If they didn’t view Papanikolaou as a long-term piece in their rebuild, the cap space is probably more valuable to them going forward.

There’s a good chance Papanikolaou gets picked up by another team between now and training camp, as he’s still a highly regarded prospect around the league.