Tag: Joe Johnson

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls

PBT NBA Power Rankings: It’s the Hawks, Warriors then a step back to everyone else


The best teams in January are not necessarily the ones that we will see playing in June — at this time last season the top of the PBT Power rankings was Indiana and Portland. (The Spurs were third, the Heat fifth, obviously they met in the finals.) That said, right now Atlanta and Golden State are separating themselves from the pack. After that there are a lot of teams on the second tier, all pretty close to one another.

source:  1. Hawks (33-8, Last Week No. 1). Winners of 12 in a row and that includes a gauntlet of the other best teams in the NBA — several of those wins with at least one of their stars Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford. Question is how many of them the coaches put on the All-Star team.

source:  2. Warriors (32-6, LW 2). MVP-candidate (he’s got my vote at the halfway mark) Stephen Curry is going to be voted in an All-Star starter by the fans. But will he be the only Warriors representative? Klay Thompson will be on the bubble with the coaches’ vote because the West is so deep with guards.

source:  3. Spurs (26-16, LW 5). They get Kawhi Leonard back Friday night and promptly go out and beat Portland (then crush Utah Sunday). This team is just getting healthy and they have six of their next eight at home, don’t be shocked if they go on a little run.

source:  4. Grizzlies (29-11, LW 9). Another West test on Monday against Dallas, although Memphis has a great record against other playoff teams out West at 10-3 (while Dallas struggles against good teams). Another deserving player on the All-Star bubble, Mike Conley.

source:  5. Clippers (27-14, LW 7). Doc Rivers wants the Clippers to play faster, but the Clippers defensive inconsistency has made that difficult. “One of the things that I have said since I’ve been here is that it’s hard to run when you are taking the ball out of bounds.” The Clippers have done that a lot lately.

source:  6. Trail Blazers (30-11. Last Week No. 3). They have the third best defense in the NBA on the season but that has slipped the last five games (14th in the NBA in that stretch). Well, to be fair, they have struggled on both sides of the ball lately. The good news is Robin Lopez got his cast off and is getting closer to returning.

source:  7. Rockets (28-13, LW 6). That loss to Golden State last week was ugly because Houston’s regularly solid defense got roasted. Same thing happened against Orlando. The Warriors and Suns are on the schedule this week and Houston needs to get that defensive groove back.

source:  8. Mavericks (28-13, LW 8). Dallas is in the middle of a heavy road stretch of games, something that runs through early February. They are 4-3 in their last 7 games and the offense is struggling. With Nowitzki and plenty of scorers on the roster we’ll call this an offensive slump for now and see if it continues.

source:  9. Suns (24-18, LW 11). The eight-seed Suns see the Thunder three games back in the rear view mirror, but they also know have a heavy home schedule the second half of the season. The Suns are on a 47-win pace right now and they will likely beat that number — and they are working the trade market hard offering Miles Plumlee up.

source:  10. Wizards (28-13, LW 12). The Wizards are playing well and that is mostly due to their starters — John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene, and Marcin Gortat are +12.4 per 48 minutes when on the court together. Consistent play out of the bench is something the Wizards still are searching for.

source:  11. Raptors (26-13, LW 10). DeMar DeRozan is back and this team still isn’t getting stops and still isn’t winning, having dropped 7-of-9, including blowing a lead to a Pelicans team without its two best players Sunday. Maybe they can find themselves on the road, where they are for six of their next eight.

source:  12. Bulls (27-15, LW 4). The Bulls’ mid-season slump continued last week and there is no one simple answer — Joakim noah needs some nights off to recover from ailing injuries, Derrick Rose is inconsistent, and Jimmy Butler is having a personal slump. Add to that a tough slate of games — Cavs, Spurs and Mavericks are up this week. The Bulls need to find their missing defense.

source:  13. Cavaliers (21-20 LW 16). Two wins in a row and it’s amazing how much better this team looks with LeBron James back. Well, on offense anyway, their defense still struggles (Timofey Mozgov hasn’t solved the issues in the paint) and there are questions of depth, but right now this team just needs to rack up a few more wins and get its confidence back.

source:  14. Thunder (19-20, LW 13). Quality win over Golden State on Friday night, reminding everyone what this team can do when right. But they are not right consistently. They better start with a tough rest of the month ahead — to make sure they pass the Suns the Thunder needs to go 30-12 the rest of the way.

source:  15. Bucks (21-19, LW 15). They had a nice London vacation last week (that includes picking up an easy win over the Knicks) but the injury gods continue to turn their wrath on Milwaukee — now backup point guard Kendall Marshall is lost for the season.

source:  16. Pelicans (20-20, LW 14). Anthony Davis (toe injury, nothing major) and Jrue Holiday have missed time yet the Pelicans found a way to win two of their last three. Good to see Alexis Ajinca step up Sunday with a 22-point game, if he can become a solid role player for them off the bench it would be a huge boost.

source:  17. Pistons (16-25, LW 18). . They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are just one back of the Nets for the eight seed in the East. We’ll see if the hot streak continues with the Hawks, Bucks and Raptors on the schedule this week (I have a feeling it will).

source:  18. Heat (18-22, LW 17). Remember the “space and pace” offense the Heat were going to keep this season? Not so much. They are playing at a crawling pace of late and are the slowest team in the league this season. With that their offense hasn’t been impressive.

source:  19. Hornets (16-25, LW 20). What does it say about Lance Stephenson’s reputation around the league that his hometown Brooklyn Nets were thinking about trading for him, did their due diligence asking around the league about him, and pulled out of the deal?

source:  20. Nuggets (18-22, LW 19). The most interesting thing about the Nuggets the next few weeks is the trade watch — Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler and others are available at the right price. After that we can focus on what kind of team the Nuggets are trying to build and who should coach them.

source:  21. Nets (17-24, LW 24). The Nets want to move two of their big three contracts and it seems likely that they will find a taker for Brook Lopez — pulling back from trades now was just an effort to get a higher price. Now, finding a taker for Deron Williams or Joe Johnson will be far more difficult.

source:  22. Pacers (15-27, LW 21). For a team that prides itself on defense letting Mo Williams go off for 52 had to hurt. So did losing to a Hornets team without Kemba Walker or Al Jefferson. This team has playoff dreams still but the Pistons seem more likely to catch the Nets right now.

source:  23. Kings (16-24, LW 22). Blake Griffin says DeMarcus Cousins deserves to be an All-Star and I think the West coaches will agree with him and vote Cousins in. Good for him, but don’t expect much from a Kings team with a very heavy road schedule the rest of the season.

source:  24. Magic (15-28, LW 26). They went 2-2 through a gauntlet of good teams last week thanks to wins over the Bulls and Rockets. They are just 3.5 games back of a playoff spot in the East but will need to get hot the rest of the way, relatively, to make up that ground.

source:  25. Jazz (14-26, LW 23). The Utah offense is still the Gordon Hayward show, he is the glue that makes it all work. The Utah defense doesn’t work period. They can outscore a team like the Lakers (as they did last week) but they are not consistent enough defensively to get guys like Derrick Favors talked about seriously as an All-Star.

source:  26. Celtics (13-25, LW 27). They have more trades to come — no chance Tayshaun Prince is on this roster past the deadline, for one. In theory they could make a run at the playoffs, they are just 2.5 back of the eight-seed Nets, but management has no interest.

source:  27. Lakers (12-29, LW 25). If you think Kobe Bryant is going to not play next season, then clearly you’ve never had $25 million sitting on the table in front of you before. He’ll be back next season, likely playing fewer minutes a night and taking some off, as part of a farewell tour while the Lakers continue to struggle.

source:  28. 76ers (8-32, LW 28). Michael Carter-Williams has played fairly well of late for the Sixers, giving them an offensive boost to go with their solid defense. So why is he mentioned in trade talks? Sell high, and some with Sixers not convinced he’s a quality starting point guard in the league.

source:  29. Timberwolves (7-32, LW 29). They finally won a game last week thanks to 31 from Andrew Wiggins, who has developed as a good shooter much more quickly than people expected (he’s got a ways to go but is improving at a rapid rate). He’s the kind of shooter that the Cavaliers could use.

source:  30. Knicks (5-36, LW 30). If your choice is to watch a Knicks game or go see American Sniper, go to the theater. Not that the movie is all that easy to watch, but it’s less painful than a Knicks game.

Report: Nets having ‘accelerated trade discussions’ for Brook Lopez, inquiring about Lance Stephenson

Brooklyn Nets V Memphis Grizzlies

The Nets put it out there earlier in the season that any one of their high-salary stars could be had in trade, but with the contracts of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, it was always going to be difficult to find a willing partner.

Lopez is perhaps the most tradable of the three, given the combination of his deal and skill set.

It now appears as though the Nets fully intend to move him, and are interested in doing so quite soon.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Brooklyn has accelerated trade discussions for Brook Lopez with the intention on moving him soon, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Nets talking to several teams, but officials around league say Nets making second hard push for intel on Charlotte’s Lance Stephenson.

Lance Stephenson is an intriguing prospect, but has baggage in the form of locker room issues firmly attached. The veterans in Indiana were able to largely keep him in check, but in the playoffs last season, once LeBron James was on the other side of the floor, all bets were off.

Stephenson has underperformed during his first season in Charlotte, a combination of being asked to take on an expanded role while also dealing with injuries. His contract isn’t great, but it’s better than that of Lopez, who has had problems conforming to Brooklyn head coach Lionel Hollins’ demands, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

But this report only says the Nets are looking into Stephenson, and many other teams are involved in the discussions. All we really can glean from this is that Brooklyn is determined to deal Lopez by the Feb. 19 trade deadline, which is still more than 30 days out.

Report: Nets still trying to trade Brook Lopez, Heat showing some interest

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

The Nets are on the market, Mikhail Prokhorov is selling. And just like selling a home or car, you’d like a team you are selling to look attractive to potential buyers so you clean it up. In the case of an NBA team, that means dumping your worst contract.

Which is why Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are available in a trade. They all have oversized contracts the Nets would like off the books.

Lopez is the only one likely to be moved — he has value on the court as a scoring big man and he is owed just one more season after this one (at $16.7 million). Talks are ongoing to move him, reports Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com.

I’m not sure why the “space and pace” Heat want to bring on the plodding Lopez. Yes, he would provide them more traditional post scoring, but he doesn’t seem a fit for their system at all.

It will be difficult to make a deal work because of the size of Lopez’ salary. For example, it fits under the rules if the Heat send Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts back, but that wouldn’t really solve the Nets’ “lets get some money off the books” plan.

Still, until the trade deadline in a month this is something to watch. The Nets are trying.

Report: Mikhail Prokhorov selling Nets

Mikhail Prokhorov

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was reportedly listening to offers for the franchise in June, though he denied any interest in selling.

Reports in October said the Nets and Dodgers were discussing a type of merger that some believed would have been a straight sale, but talks broke down.

Now, it seems Prokhorov is actually committed to selling.

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News:

The Brooklyn Nets are for sale.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov retained Evercore Partners (EVR) to sell the National Basketball Association team he bought in 2010, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Prokhorov, 49, the first foreign owner of an NBA team, holds 80 percent of the club and 45 percent of the Barclays Center, its 2 1/2-year-old arena which next season will house hockey’s New YorkIslanders. Only the team is for sale, the people said.

Remember that part of the reason Prokhorov bought the Nets was to get a share of the Pacific Park — formerly Atlantic Yards — retail and residential development that goes around the Barclays Center. It was really a real estate deal with a team attached. Notice that only the team is for sale, not his share of the real estate.

It’ll be interesting to see how this sale compares to the Hawks’.

The Nets are 16-22 and sinking. They have tons of committed salary for underwhelming players, and they’ve traded away many future draft picks. They lost a lot of money last season, and they’re in danger of triggering luxury-tax repeater penalties.

The Hawks, on the other hand, are an Eastern Conference-best 29-8 and the NBA’s hottest team. They have a relatively clean cap sheet and no outgoing draft picks. They even have the right to swap first rounders with the  Nets this year, something that will surely come in handy.

But they play in Atlanta, and the Nets play in New York.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement, with more revenue sharing and stiffer penalties for big spenders, has leveled the gap between markets. I think a team’s current level of play is more important than ever when it comes to franchise valuation, as the current rules encourage roster turnover. If a new owner can mold his franchise in a few years regardless, better to have Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the interim rather than Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.

The Nets will cost more than the Hawks, and Brooklyn will fetch more than a $1 billion. Market sizes still matter, and owning an NBA team is still about status — something better achieved in New York than Atlanta.

But I’m curious just how wide the gap will be between the Nets and Hawks.

Stephen Curry makes 1,000 3-pointers quicker than anyone else. Much quicker

Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard

Stephen Curry could have stopped shooting 3-pointers for more than a full season and still made 1,000 career 3-pointers in fewer games than anyone in NBA history.

Of course, Curry wouldn’t do that.

The Warriors guard became the 74th player to make 1,000 3-pointers, draining four triples in the Warriors win over the Pacers last night. He needed just 369 games to achieve the mark – 88 fewer than second-place Dennis Scott.

Here’s how long it took everyone in the 1,000 3-pointer club:


And despite his early injury troubles, Curry was also the youngest to 1,000 3-pointers:


Player 3s Games to 1,000 3s Age at 1,000 3s
Stephen Curry 1003 369 26-299
Dennis Scott 1214 457 29-076
Ray Allen 2973 473 27-167
Gilbert Arenas 1079 476 28-323
Peja Stojakovic 1760 488 28-145
Mike Miller 1553 527 27-319
Nick Van Exel 1528 534 29-025
Jason Richardson 1577 551 28-001
J.R. Smith 1344 561 27-097
Michael Redd 1045 570 31-218
Ben Gordon 1162 585 29-005
Kyle Korver 1607 585 30-001
Jason Williams 1238 587 31-100
Baron Davis 1332 589 28-334
Jamal Crawford 1765 591 28-360
Wesley Person 1150 595 31-267
Chauncey Billups 1830 598 29-182
Brent Barry 1395 600 32-317
Jason Terry 2009 602 29-121
Tim Hardaway 1542 605 31-213
Glen Rice 1559 606 29-265
Kevin Martin 1043 608 31-043
Paul Pierce 1981 611 29-029
Antoine Walker 1386 615 28-092
Eddie Jones 1546 615 32-025
Rashard Lewis 1787 626 28-098
Reggie Miller 2560 627 29-207
Quentin Richardson 1167 633 29-277
John Starks 1222 642 33-184
Vernon Maxwell 1256 652 31-153
Cuttino Mobley 1085 654 31-218
Mookie Blaylock 1283 654 31-012
Manu Ginobili 1231 657 34-253
Joe Johnson 1645 660 28-196
Stephen Jackson 1252 661 31-338
Vince Carter 1847 670 31-025
Allan Houston 1305 682 30-354
Damon Stoudamire 1236 691 31-151
Kirk Hinrich 1123 693 32-103
Dan Majerle 1360 698 32-170
Morris Peterson 1009 701 32-217
Mitch Richmond 1326 702 32-162
Mike Bibby 1517 706 29-306
Steve Nash 1685 734 32-334
Dana Barros 1090 736 32-312
Nick Anderson 1055 745 32-040
Steve Smith 1148 746 32-330
Dirk Nowitzki 1513 746 29-269
Hersey Hawkins 1226 747 31-062
LeBron James 1184 749 28-068
Tracy McGrady 1081 766 29-203
Mike Dunleavy 1165 769 33-070
Chuck Person 1220 775 31-261
Lindsey Hunter 1075 781 34-119
Michael Finley 1454 783 32-352
Hedo Turkoglu 1200 784 31-286
Dale Ellis 1719 784 33-225
Shane Battier 1250 794 33-154
Jason Kidd 1988 803 32-259
Latrell Sprewell 1104 810 33-172
Allen Iverson 1059 815 32-286
Kobe Bryant 1688 820 29-143
David Wesley 1123 834 34-138
James Posey 1035 834 33-329
Metta World Peace 1119 844 33-019
Dell Curry 1245 860 34-251
Antawn Jamison 1163 935 35-223
Derek Fisher 1248 996 35-178
Terry Porter 1297 1001 35-005
Rasheed Wallace 1086 1018 35-055
Danny Ainge 1002 1037 36-020
Clifford Robinson 1253 1109 36-340
Gary Payton 1132 1121 36-128
Derek Harper 1070 1125 36-121

Yes, I too was surprised J.R. Smith previously held the record for youngest player to make 1,000 3-pointers. (Smith has surprised me quite a bit lately.)

In no uncertain terms: Curry blew the competition out of the water.

I’ve long believed Curry will retire as the greatest 3-point shooter of all-time, and obviously him breaking these records reinforces that belief. But he has strong competition sooner than I ever imagined.

Damian Lillard (red) has made 500 3-pointers in 199 games, putting him ahead of Curry (blue) at the same point:


Even by age, despite Curry entering the league younger, Lillard has passed the Warriors guard:


Lillard (2.5 3-pointers per game in his career) trails Curry’s overall pace (2.7), and Curry deserves credit for improving even after his fast start. But it’s also possible Lillard makes similar improvements.

Of course, volume isn’t the only factor in determining the best 3-point shooter. Curry has a healthy lead in career percentage (43.5 to 38.3), and that’s a big reason I remain confident in my Curry prediction.

Still, if we’re going to discuss how Curry smoked the field in games to 1,000 pointers, it’s worth noting Lillard could get there even more quickly.