While a lot of the attention after the Lakers game was on Kobe Bryant (26 points on 7-of-22 shooting… I expect a lot of nights like that from Kobe this season) he did not have the signature highlight from the Lakers preseason win.
That came courtesy Ronnie Price and Wesley Johnson.
Price picks the pocket of Utah guard Ian Clark and is off to the races. Johnson gets out and fills the middle lane and Price hits him with a sweet behind the back pass to set up the dunk over a charging Carrick Felix (I like the play from Felix, he hustled back and tried to make a play on the ball, he didn’t just watch the highlight happen).
We learned this last year with the Lakers — Wesley Johnson is at his best in transition.
At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.
Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:
He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.
Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.
This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.
Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).
Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.
Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.
Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.
In terms of numbers that make sense…
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.
Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.
Knicks coach David Fizdale is on thin ice.
New York is 4-10. Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire Fizdale. Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressed the media after a recent game and sounded as if they were at least partially blaming Fizdale.
But does Fizdale have a key supporter at the very top of the organization?
Fizdale, via Ian Begley of SNY:
“Every game, every game. Jim Dolan comes in and gives me a vote of confidence, a pat on my back and really has just been incredibly encouraging over the last year and a half or whatever it’s been,” Fizdale said. “All we talk about is just sticking to the process of making these guys better and building for a future of sustainable winning.”
A common synonym for “vote of confidence:” “dreaded vote of confidence.” Just how bad are near-nightly votes of confidence?
This will convince nobody that Fizdale’s job is safe. Someone will likely take the fall if the Knicks’ struggles continue. It might be Fizdale. It might be Mills. But Mills – who preceded and succeeded Phil Jackson in running the front office – knows his way around Madison Square Garden. And even if Mills gets demoted or fired, a new lead executive would likely want his own coach.
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie was planning to move forward with his innovative investment plan despite the NBA prohibiting it. Then, he decided to meet with the league in search of compromise.
Without a satisfactory resolution, Dinwiddie is apparently back to barreling ahead.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Dinwiddie still plans to move forward and launch his digital investment platform, according to sources, with the Nets swingman said to believe that the NBA’s lack of approval is baseless.
“At the request of Spencer Dinwiddie and his advisors, we have reviewed a number of variations of their digital token idea,” Dan Rube, the NBA’s Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, told The Athletic. “All of the ideas presented would violate collectively bargained league rules, including rules prohibiting transferring a player’s right to receive NBA salary, gambling on NBA-related matters, and creating financial incentives to miss games.”
Dinwiddie following though would be quite daring. He could face fines, suspension or even a voided contract. With the threat of those consequences looming, who would invest, anyway?
Maybe this ends up in court. A favorable ruling there is about the only way to see this aggressive course working out for Dinwiddie.
Of course, this could be a bluff. Until Dinwiddie actually implements the investment plan, there’s still time for him and the NBA to agree or Dinwiddie to back down.