Tag: Kevin Garnett

Philadelphia 76ers V Chicago Bulls

Nazr Mohammed plans to play another season


The 10 oldest players to play in the NBA this season:

1. Andre Miller

2. Tim Duncan

3. Kevin Garnett

4. Vince Carter

5. Pablo Prigioni

6. Manu Ginobili

7. Nazr Mohammed

8. Jason Terry

9. Kenyon Martin

10. Paul Pierce

With Duncan, Pierce and Ginobili noncommittal about their futures, the 37-year-old Mohammed could climb the ranking next year.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Mohammed, who spent the last three seasons with the Bulls, will become a free agent this summer.

He’s a serviceable third center, though his production has slipped noticeably from even last season. At his age, it’s surely only downhill from here.

Chicago has plenty of talent in front of him with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson (and Nikola Mirotic, who takes power forward minutes that could otherwise go to one of the preceding three players). The Bulls will likely keep another big for depth, but the stability of their top bigs could afford them to use that roster spot on developing a younger player.

It’s no lock an NBA team will sign Mohammed, but he seems to be liked by teammates and coaches. It’d hardly be surprising if some team sees value in having him around on a minimum contract.

How did DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul overcome Clippers’ defensive mediocrity to make All-Defensive first team?

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game One

All-Defensive team voters must think little of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick and the Clippers’ reserves.

That’s because DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were voted to the All-Defensive first team despite the Clippers being roughly average defensively.

The lack of faith in the Clippers’ bench is understandable. But Griffin, Barnes and Redick are all capable defenders – not liabilities holding back Jordan and Paul. Considering the Clippers’ starters played together more than any other five-man unit this season, the Clippers’ reserves alone don’t explain the disconnect between the teams’ overall defense and Jordan’s and Paul’s accolades.

The Clippers ranked 15th in defensive rating, allowing 0.1 points fewer per 100 possessions than NBA average. They’re also the 34th team with multiple players on the All-Defensive first team.*

*Counting only players who spent the entire season with an All-Defensive teammate. Dave DeBusschere was trade mid-season to the Knicks in 1968-69, joining Walt Frazier in New York. 

Here’s how each of those 34 teams rated defensively relative to league average that year:


Team All-Defensive first-teamers Defensive rating relative to NBA average
2015 LAC Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan -0.1
2011 BOS Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo -7
2008 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -5.7
2007 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -6.6
2005 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -7.3
1998 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -5.2
1997 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -4.3
1996 CHI Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -5.8
1995 SAS David Robinson, Dennis Rodman -2.9
1993 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars 0.9
1993 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -1.9
1992 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -2.9
1992 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -3.7
1990 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -4.6
1989 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -3.1
1988 HOU Hakeem Olajuwon, Rodney McCray -2.3
1987 BOS Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale -1.5
1986 MIL Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief -4.5
1985 MIL Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief -4.3
1984 PHI Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks -3
1983 PHI Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone -3.8
1982 PHI Bobby Jones, Caldwell Jones -3
1981 PHI Bobby Jones, Caldwell Jones -6
1978 POR Bill Walton, Lionel Hollins, Maurice Lucas -3.7
1976 BOS Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Paul Silas -1.6
1975 BOS John Havlicek, Paul Silas -3
1974 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -3
1974 CHI Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier -4.1
1973 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -4.3
1973 LAL Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain -5
1972 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -1.6
1972 LAL Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain -5.3
1971 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -3.9
1970 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed -6.6

The only worse defensive team to get two players on the All-Defensive first team was the 1992-93 Pistons, who placed Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman despite allowing 0.9 points MORE than league average per 100 possessions.

It was Dumars’ and Rodman’s fourth straight season making the All-Defensive first team together, and Detroit defended very well the prior three. Some of the Pistons’ downturn was due to the Bad Boys aging – and that probably should have applied more to Dumars. This was his last All-Defensive selection. But Isiah Thomas declining rapidly and Terry Mills filling a larger role aren’t the fault of Rodman and Dumars.

Plus, the Pistons played at a vey slow pace. Though they ranked just 15th of 27 teams in points allowed per possession, they ranked seven in points allowed per game.

Jordan and Paul have no such explanations. The Clippers’ core isn’t moving past its prime, and they play at a reasonably fast pace. I didn’t have Paul on my All-Defensive first team, but he’s at least close. Jordan, on the other hand, didn’t stack up favorably to Rudy Gobert, Andrew Bogut, Nerlens Noel and Marc Gasol. Yet, he topped them anyway.

The best rationale I see: Doc Rivers is a heck of a campaigner.

The time Kevin Garnett head butted a hole in the wall of his own home because of “Making The Band”

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls

If you read one thing today, it should be the oral history of Kevin Garnett at Bleacher Report. It is a brilliant bit of work by Howard Beck.

If you take something away from the history, it’s that KG is intense. All the time. His relaxation is more intense than your average work day.

The best story about that intensity comes from longtime Garnett friend and current Cavaliers assistant coach Tyronn Lue.

“The proudest moment for me was when he won that championship, and I got a chance to see his emotions and how he reacted. It was the best thing for me. […] A lot of people do all their howling on the court and they’re faking just for attention, but what he does is genuine. So one day we were at his house and we were watching Puff Daddy’s show Making the Band, and in one of the scenes, some new guys came in and were trying to sing and were trying to compete against the guys who had been there. And KG just got so hyped, “Motherf—-r, you’ve got to stand up for yours! You’ve got to fight! Motherf—-r, you’ve got to come together!” He’s going crazy, he’s sweaty. And he just head butts the wall and put a hole in the wall of his house.”

We’re going to miss KG when he’s gone.

Phil Jackson says Lakers and Timberwolves had “handshake agreement” on Kevin Garnett trade in 2007

Kevin Garnett

When the Timberwolves traded Kevin Garnett to the Celtics in 2007, it changed the balance of power in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics won the 2008 title immediately after acquiring Garnett and Ray Allen, and made the Finals again two years later. The Big Three of Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce was the NBA’s defining superteam until LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up in Miami in 2010.

But Garnett was almost a Laker. According to Phil Jackson in a new oral history of Garnett’s career by Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck (which is worth reading in its entirety), the Lakers had a deal lined up for Garnett centered around Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, before Minnesota ultimately went with Boston’s package.

Here’s the account of the almost-trade from Jackson, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Garnett’s agent, Andy Miller:

The Lakers offered a package built around multi-skilled forward Lamar Odom and 19-year-old center Andrew Bynum, a promising second-year player who would eventually become an All-Star. Odom had a history of flaky behavior, however, and Bynum was unproven.

The Celtics’ package was built around another talented, but still-developing young center, Al Jefferson, along with several other young players and draft picks.

Phil Jackson: Dr. [Jerry] Buss came to me and said, “I have a handshake agreement with Taylor, that he’s going to come to L.A. But McHale hasn’t concurred yet.” So I said, “Well that’s a good excuse.” You always, as an owner, say, “I’ll do this, but …” So I kept that hope out there, that he was gonna be a part of the Laker organization.

Glen Taylor: Odom, I was a little afraid of. I thought Bynum was gonna be a star.

Andy Miller: I think that what McHale was looking for, on top of picks, was a core young piece, and he was infatuated with Al Jefferson at the time.

Glen Taylor: It became the Lakers, and it became Boston. And they both said, what does [Garnett] want to get paid? And I told them what he wants to get paid. I told them the kind of contract. And those two teams said they would do it.

The package from the Celtics that ended up netting Garnett involved Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and a future first-round pick. The Lakers’ package of Odom and Bynum probably had more short-term upside — Odom won Sixth Man of the Year in 2011 and Bynum was an All-Star the following year. But both have since flamed out of the league.

More than anything, this is a fascinating what-if, because Garnett going to the Lakers changes a lot of things. If the Celtics’ Big Three never happens, maybe the Cavs or Magic get another couple of Finals appearances. The Lakers wouldn’t have traded for Pau Gasol if they’d had Garnett, either, which means the Grizzlies wouldn’t have wound up with his brother Marc, and that franchise’s fortunes could have been vastly different. This just goes to show how one domino can have a lasting effect on the entire league.

Report: ‘Bank on’ Celtics trying to trade for DeMarcus Cousins

Boston Celtics v Sacramento Kings

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Celtics trying to trade for DeMarcus Cousins.

But this is a bit more definitive.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Will they open their war chest of future draft picks to try to pry DeMarcus Cousins away from the Sacramento via trade? The early word out there is: Bank on it.

The Celtics sure have a fetish for stars who accuse Boston’s current players of dirty play.

Cousins got ejected from a December game against the Celtics for throwing Marcus Smart to the floor, and the Kings center accused Smart of taking a cheap shot beforehand. More recently, of course, Kevin Love accused Kelly Olynyk of intentionally dislocating his shoulder.

That might hurt the Celtics’ chances of signing Love, who was once reportedly their top target – which leads to Cousins.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has said he’d ideally like to trade his treasure trove of first-round picks – up to 10 over the next four years – for veterans. I doubt Ainge would do that at any cost, but that route sure worked well last time with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joining Paul Pierce in Boston.

Cousins isn’t ready to win like Garnett and Allen were, but he’s extremely talented and productive. Of course, for that reason, the Kings probably aren’t in a rush to trade him – even if George Karl says nobody is untradeable.

If Sacramento is willing to deal the center, though, Boston could put together a nice package of picks. Unfortunately, the Celtics’ most valuable player – Isaiah Thomas – probably would neither intrigue the Kings nor fit well with Cousins in Boston.

There are plenty of hurdles to clear before Cousins winds up with the Celtics. The biggest, by far, is getting the Kings on board. But, for whatever it’s worth, it seems the Celtics already are.