It’s not just the snow.
Tayshaun Prince has basketball reasons for wanting out of Boston — he wants to win. And while you can make a case that the Celtics could make the playoffs in the East — they are just two games out of the eight seed and have played the toughest part of their schedule — actually winning in a serious way is not in the plan for a few years.
The former Grizzlies’ wing would love to be back playing for a contender again, he told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, and one way or another that is likely to happen. In the short term he’s just trying to be professional.
Acquired as a moveable asset in the Jeff Green trade, the Celts have been trying to roll Prince over into another draft pick for their satchel. Failing that by the Feb. 19 NBA dealing deadline, the club will resume talks with Prince’s side regarding a buyout….
“Obviously I want to be in a winning situation,” Prince said. “Everybody wants to be in a winning situation, make no mistake about it, especially toward the end of your career.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about doing what’s right and going out there and having fun. If you get to the point where I am in my career after all these years, you just want to go out there and have a chance to win and do the right things.”
I don’t how moveable this asset is because he makes $7.7 million this season, which means team have to send something of actual value back to Boston for him. Why do that if you think after the trade deadline you can pick him up as a bought-out free agent.
Prince is a shadow of what he once was but still would have value on a contender. His length and hoops IQ means he’s still a decent defender. On offense he lives in the midrange — 52 percent of his shots with the Celtics have come from 10 feet out to the arc — but he hits enough of them to keep the defense honest.
For a team needing wing depth that could play him 15-20 minutes a night he could help. And by the end of February expect him to be in a place like that. One way or another.
Jamal Murray‘s performance since signing a max contract extension? Uneven.
But this play during the Nuggets’ win over the Thunder yesterday? Brilliant.
Caught picking up his dribble and seemingly well-defended, Murray flipped the ball off the backboard then finished his own alley-oop.
That’s obviously a flashy move, but it’s also an effective one more players should use. The backboard can be an effective weapon for passing, especially for a player to himself, when he knows exactly where he’s putting the ball and can get a step ahead of the defense.
How wild is it that the Grizzlies have two rookies who can dunk like this?
After Ja Morant threw down a jump-out-of-your-seat jam over Aron Baynes a few days ago, Brandon Clarke just made Ian Mahinmi — a good rim protector — look helpless in Memphis’ win over the Wizards yesterday.
Add Jaren Jackson Jr., and the Grizzlies are onto something with their young core.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.
But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.
Popovich, via ESPN:
“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.
And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.
Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.
Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.
Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.
But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.