George Karl loves Arron Afflalo on the court because he was a consummate professional — he plays hard on defense, can knock down the three and gives you his best effort nightly.
Now he’ll be doing that in Orlando. And just like on the court, Afflalo handled news of the trade like a professional.
Here is what he told Hoopshype, who caught up with Afflalo in Barcelona.
“Yeah, I’m happy. I just wanted to thank the Denver organization, the teammates that you play with, the fans, but I think it’s a great opportunity there in Orlando from a player standpoint. With the coaching change and the management change, I think it’s a great time to be a part of the organization….
“I plan on being the best player I can be, period. I’d love to continue to grow as a person and as a player offensively and defensively. Personally I don’t think there’s a better place to do it at this time than Orlando.”
Afflalo is going to go from a role player the coach loves but most fans don’t notice to one of the Magic’s key players the next couple years, along with Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis. Afflalo was a bit player in the Nuggets offensive structure compared to what role he will have now. He’s going to get a lot more shots and has said before he has spent his summer trying to work on his offensive game.
We’ll see how that pans out. But he’s handled this like a pro.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.