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2017 PBT Awards: Rookie of the Year

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Kurt Helin

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Joel Embiid, 76ers

3. Willy Hernangomez, Knicks

The vote on this comes down to one simple question: Is 31 games enough? Because undoubtedly Embiid was the best when he played, but he only played in 37.8 percent of his team’s games and he played nearly 1.200 fewer minutes than Brogdon. That’s not enough for me. I went with the Bucks’ rookie because he became a steady part of the rotation for a playoff team, making a bigger contribution than his peers. Also, no Dario Saric — he put up a lot of numbers for two months after Embiid went down because the Sixers needed someone to take shots, but he wasn’t terribly efficient and was more of a gunner.

Note: Helin has an official ballot this year.

Dan Feldman

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Joel Embiid, 76ers

3. Dario Saric, 76ers

The question for me with these awards: Who contributed most to his team this season? Obviously, a player can’t contribute when he’s injured. So, did Joel Embiid contribute more in 31 games or Malcolm Brogdon in 75 games? It was close – extremely close. Embiid was so good when healthy and the rest of this rookie class was so weak, when he got hurt, I thought he’d deserve this award. But Brogdon had a big enough March to help lift Milwaukee into the playoffs that his steadier production overtook Embiid’s far-higher peaks.

Dane Carbaugh

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Dario Saric, 76ers

3. Joel Embiid, 76ers

I was just like you at the beginning of this season, dear reader. I wanted to give Rookie of the Year to Joel Embiid even on a minutes restriction, and even if he started the season late. But, even if he was still the best player of this rookie class, I cannot in good conscience do that. So we turn to Milwaukee, a team with their own budding superstars who Malcolm Brogdon has had to work around. He gets the edge over Saric thanks to a playoff appearance, but mostly because I can’t trust the process much longer.

Draymond Green thought Warriors might trade him after fight with Steve Kerr

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Draymond Green is the backbone of the Golden State Warriors, not just because he was the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Green sort of does it all, including passing, scoring, rebounding, and myriad other scrap work that doesn’t show up on regular box scores.

But there was some doubt in Green’s mind in 2016 that he would stay with the team. Green was involved in an argument during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and after things settled down the Warriors big man was concerned the team might trade him.

The thought of doing so is sort of ridiculous, but apparently that was something that flashed into Green’s mind given the tenseness of the situation between he and Kerr.

Via Bleacher Report:

But Green’s mood was still foul, and he left the arena that day believing his days as a Warrior were numbered. He feared the relationship had been fractured, that the Warriors would choose Kerr over him. That he’d be traded.

“One hundred percent,” Green tells B/R. “Especially with the success that he was having as a coach. Like, you just don’t get rid of that.”

The thing that makes Golden State great isn’t just the players, or the system, or Kerr. It’s the human resources management aspect of their organization that allows them to compete on the court in the way they do.

It’s not crazy to think that a player could be shipped out of town thanks to a disagreement with a coach, although the leverage players have these days likely has put a stop to that realistically happening. But that Kerr, Green, and management were able to get things back under control that season was to the benefit of everyone involved.

Rockets wear jersey patch to honor Santa Fe High School vs. Warriors

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The Houston Rockets have been supportive of the Texas community after a gunman killed 10 people and injured 10 others at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

Rockets point guard Chris Paul called NBA basketball “minor” compared to what those in Santa Fe are having to endure, and on Thursday the team took things a step further and donned special jerseys for their playoff matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

As Houston prepared to take on the reigning champs in Game 5 back in Texas, the team tweeted out a photo of the jerseys — complete with a special patch on the left shoulder — to honor the victims of the shooting.

Via Twitter:

The NBA has a lot of advocates for social and political change, not just individually but organizationally. How the Rockets responded is good to see in the face of yet another school shooting.

Andre Iguodala out for Warriors again in Game 5; Klay Thompson available

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The Warriors missed Andre Iguodala in Game 4 against Houston. They don’t have a Death/Hamptons 5 lineup without him. Without his depth, the Warriors had to lean more on players such as Kevon Looney (who started), Nick Young, and others who are can be a liability at the high level of play in this series. Not having Iguodala to keep minutes down, play fierce defense, move the ball on offense, and be a stabilizing force was one of the issues that led to the Warriors fourth-quarter issues in Game 4.

Now they are without him for Game 5, too.

Having Klay Thompson on the court is huge for Golden State, although it will be worth monitoring to see how he moves.

The Warriors have gotten sucked into the switching/isolation game the Rockets want to play, if they are going to take Game 5 on the road they need to get back to “the beautiful game” they want to play. That would have been easier with Iguodala.

Two years after NBA retirement, Amar’e Stoudemire talking comeback

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NBA teams seemed to have moved on from Amar’e Stoudemire. After an impressive NBA career — five-time All-NBA, Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star — he wasn’t physically the explosive player that dazzled with the Suns. Teams were interested in getting younger and more athletic, and Stoudemire was doing neither. He retired from the NBA and played for a season in Israel where he won a league title. This summer he’s signed up to play with the Big3.

After that he’,d like another crack at the NBA. When asked about an NBA comeback, here’s what Stoudemire told CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter on ‘Reiter’s Block’:

“I am. I am. I’m definitely planning on (coming back). I’ve been training like you wouldn’t believe, my body feels great. I had an amazing year last year playing overseas and so I’m gonna definitely continue to work my way back to top shape and see if there’s a team that needs my talents.”

I’m not sure there’s going to be much demand. Maybe a team does an old friend a favor and brings him in for some workouts. However, his knees and body struggled with the physical grind of the NBA the final few seasons of his career, and it’s unlikely with age that got better. No doubt he’s worked on his conditioning and strength, but Father Time always wins the race and it already felt like this chase was over.

That said, good on Stoudemire for not giving up on the dream. His agent should be making calls, maybe he can become the second player to make the Big3 to NBA leap.