Morning Shootaround — Dec. 15


VIDEO: The Daily Zap for games played Dec. 14

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Mo Williams uses Trail Blazers win as therapy | Lakers call Knicks, talk trade | Rondo won’t play until New Year | Paul talks the talk 

No. 1: Blazers’ Williams rides emotional wave in Philly – Portland guard Mo Williams had a hand in the Trail Blazers’ 3-pointer-fueled barrage against the Philadelphia 76ers. But unlike his teammates, it wasn’t all smiles for the veteran point guard. He played with a heavy heart while dealing with the loss of a loved one. That didn’t stop him from joining the party as the Blazers made a franchise-record 21 shots from deep. On a night when LaMarcus Aldridge did his usual MVP work and Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum, Dorell Wright and rookie Allen Crabbe all took part in the 3-point party, the three 3s that Williams knocked down had extra special meaning, as Joe Freeman of The Oregonian explains:

On Dec. 5, Williams’€™ uncle, Jerome Coleman, died after a lengthy fight with colon cancer. He was 63. Coleman’s funeral was Saturday morning in Mobile, Ala., and Williams wasn’€™t about to miss the chance to say goodbye to “€œUncle Roni.”€
So after the Blazers’€™ Thursday night victory over the Houston Rockets, Williams left the Moda Center and boarded a charter flight to Mobile. He didn’t sleep a wink the entire way, touching down in Mobile at 8:30 a.m. What followed was an emotional whirlwind of consoling family, attending memorials and taking part in countless talks that reminisced about “Uncle Roni,” the older brother of Williams’€™ mother.
“I’€™m just emotionally drained,” Williams said after the game. “Time will heal. Basketball will help. But you still have those times where you just can’€™t let it go. Being at the funeral, holding my grandma, holding my mom, then jumping on the flight coming here. It’€™s been a draining day.”€
The NBA allowed the Blazers to set up a charter flight for Williams so he could play Saturday, and the moment he walked into the visiting locker room — about 90 minutes before tipoff –€” his stress and sadness washed away. LaMarcus Aldridge cracked a joke at his expense as soon as he saw his teammate, and Williams smiled for seemingly the first time all day. Then he dove into his pregame routine.
There were no deep talks. No one asked for stories about the funeral. It was as if it was any other day. And it was exactly what Williams needed.
“That was kind of therapeutic for me, being around the guys,” he said. “Throughout the game, they didn’€™t beat me up with the fact that they knew I was going through something. They just treated me like they treat me every day. I needed that.”€

***

No. 2: Knicks fielding calls on Shumpert and Chandler? – Kyle Lowry is low-hanging fruit, as Kobe Bryant would say, when it comes to trade talks. The Los Angeles Lakers apparently have something a bit more aggressive in mind since they are now engaging the New York Knicks in discussions about two of the teams main rotation players, the seemingly always available Iman Shumpert and defensive anchor Tyson Chandler, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:

No trade is imminent, and sources say the Lakers’ call was more about doing their due diligence; it’s well-known Shumpert is available. The Lakers are unlikely to make a deal before the end of their current four-game trip, which concludes Tuesday night in Memphis.

But with Steve Blake, who is expected to miss at least six weeks with an elbow injury, joining point guards Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar on the injured list, the Lakers could be interested in strengthening their backcourt.

Shumpert is more of a shooting guard, but with Bryant taking on more of a playmaking role — averaging a career-high 6.7 assists while attempting fewer than nine shots a game — since returning from a torn Achilles tendon last Sunday, it’s easy to see the two playing together.

Shumpert is struggling through a disappointing season, and the Knicks have discussed trades involving him with several other teams, including the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors.

Sources say the Lakers also are interested in another Knicks player — center Tyson Chandler. The Lakers did not inquire about Chandler when they called about Shumpert, but they are weighing whether to propose a Pau Gasol-for-Chandler trade, according to sources.

The Knicks are not looking to move Chandler — several teams have contacted them about him, sources said — but if a club agreed to take back struggling guard J.R. Smith, the Knicks would consider such a deal.

***

No. 3: Rondo won’t play until January – There won’t be any speculation about an earlier than anticipated return date for Boston’s All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. Now that he’s been cleared for full contact, Celtics coach Brad Stevens moved swiftly to ease the pressure on his star by announcing that he won’t play in a game until January, at the earliest. That gives Rondo a minimum of at least two and a half weeks to get himself ready for live action and potentially much more time if he doesn’t progress as the Celtics hope. But is he, as Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald examines, the missing piece for a Celtics team that has already surpassed most people’s expectations?:

And Rondo, according to Stevens, looked “pretty good.”

“Rajon is doing more and more in practice every day. He had a good trip yesterday as far as getting good news,” said the Celtics coach. “He’s on schedule to be closer, but it still seems like we’re not going to see him on the court this month. Hopefully, the beginning of January he’ll be closer.

“He’s been cleared for that in practice. He wasn’t cleared 100 percent until yesterday,” said Stevens. “But he’s done more and more, and today was the most he’s done. He looked pretty good.”

Though Stevens repeatedly has said his system is designed to fit Rondo back into the team as seamlessly as possible, the coaching staff actually has to start the implementation process.

“I haven’t thought a ton about it, because it really hasn’t presented itself,” said Stevens. “My focus is what we’re going to do on Monday, but certainly your focus is on not only getting him into it, but also how you’re going to manage everything around that.

“Certainly there’s a lot of players who play at a high level (on this team),” he said. “The key is to continue those guys playing very well, and add in another very good player.”

***

No. 4: Paul lives up to his own words for Clippers – It’s a bit early in the season for must-win declarations, but the Clippers’ Chris Paul doesn’t care. He’s mandating that his team step their collective game up and that starts with the man in the mirror. And that meant he had to prove his point against the Wizards, wearing them out to the tune of 38 points and 12 assists. He joined Clyde Drexler as the only player in the last 40 NBA seasons to post a 38 and 12 line while also shooting 78 percent or better (he was 10-for-13) from the floor. Drexler did it when Paul was barely out of diapers ((Nov. 13, 1990). But Paul’s point was made, writes Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com, so much so that Doc Rivers shouldn’t have to come up with any fire and brimstone speeches now that the Clippers’ road trip is over:

Paul stood by his bold statement, scoring 38 points — the most since his 42-point performance on Halloween against the Golden State Warriors – on 11-of-14 shooting and dishing out 12 assists in the Clippers’ 113-97 victory at Verizon Center. He’s the first player since 2009 to go for 38-plus points, 12-plus assists and three-plus steals in a game, and he already has done it twice this season.

While Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagreed with the notion that the game was a must-win at shootaround, he admitted that going 3-4 against mainly sub-.500 Eastern Conference teams would be a major disappointment at any point in the season.

“I think they’re a little frustrated on this trip,” Rivers told reporters. “They think it should have gone better. It still can go well. If you win this game, 4-3 on a seven-game trip — that’s good. It’s not what we wanted. We want to win all seven of them. But you just keep plugging along.”

With the win, the Clippers finished the trip above .500 at 4-3 and are now 16-9. That isn’t necessarily where they expected to be at this point in the season, but at the very least Saturday’s win showed that if they need to win a tough road game to ease their mental psyche, they can.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Bulls’ Joakim Noah insists we’re going to find out what his team is about now that they are facing another round of adversityMike Woodson has grown tired of J.R. Smith’s antics, the break up can’t be far off … and make sure and take a look at Ray Allen becoming the sixth active player to join the 24,000 point club.

ICYMI: Josh McRoberts didn’t have the Dunk of the Night, that honor was bestowed upon his Bobcats teammate Jeff Taylor, but he did get loose against his former team for Saturday night’s Play of the Day …


VIDEO: Josh McRoberts shows off his bounce against his former team

59 Comments

  1. Roger Anderson says:

    Gasol is too soft .The Lakers are giving up too many points in the paint. ..Chandler is good fit for Lakers he is a good defensive player and rebounder.

  2. Sillzforreal says:

    Most of the people who are leaving these comments have never played the game of basketball! Very funny!

  3. James says:

    They should trade Gasol for Raymond Felton or Beno Udrih. The lakers have lots of shooting guards already and they need a point guard.

  4. bataar says:

    lakers need to change mike d’antoni. he cannot rule players. lakers have a quite good guys. I think get chandler give kaman.

  5. gssdgsdg says:

    lakers need to trade d antoni horrible coach, and kobe playing with melo is worse idea ever two ball hogs on one team lol chandler and shumpert for gasaol would be a great trade buy the lakers though gasol getting old and shumpert a good young guard. and they could trade for jeremy lin he could be a good point, houston isnt using him good enough, he playing good till he got hurt too

  6. kobe fan says:

    i think chandler for gasol is a good idea……all though i think he is one of the best fowards in the nba he doesnt fit in with the dantoni system…..tyson chandler would bring much needed defense in the paint…..and if they get amari and shumpert as well is great cause amari also brings defense and shumpert makes up for gasol 14 ppg….doesnt iman shumpert,kobe bryant, wes johnson,amari studamaier,and tyson chandler sound like a good starting five in la with jode meeks nick young and steve blake coming off the bench

    • Lakers are done says:

      amari brings defense… best stuff I ever read on April fools day. Except that it’s December 16th…

    • Davro83 says:

      Shows you dont actually watch basketball. Amare brings defense? … Are you mad. Worst defender big ive ever seen. Literally stands and watches the ball go in the hoop.

  7. Dave says:

    Talk about fall from grace… JR Smith 6th Man Award, now cant even score and is not wanted from the Knicks…… Spudding it up big time

  8. Support for the Lakers, they will always be the best

  9. thebadguy1974 says:

    I would have a 4 team trade between Knicks,Lakers,Rockets, and Nuggets. The Nuggets would get Iman Shumpert and Omar Asik The Lakers would get Tyson Chandler and Randy Foye The Knicks would get Timof Mosgov and first round draft pick

  10. vincent says:

    just an unimportant comment, but: how does this dunk of the night beat play of the day??

  11. Ghed says:

    Melo for l.a verygood tandem melo and kobe.. Or else get rudy gay…

    • KareemoftheCrop says:

      Toronto got rid of Gay cause they don’t want him. That sums it up about Gay really. He’s not that good.

  12. blackmussu says:

    Haven’t we already been through this?

  13. theaandthea says:

    the knicks serious problem is anthony, the lakers serious problem is d’antoni.
    these 2 guys need to be reunited, only 1 team will be sacrified.

    • KareemoftheCrop says:

      Melo is balling. How is he the big problem? Here are bigger problems: Dolan, Injured Chandler, Metta World Peace, JR Smith, no point guard.

      • justsayin says:

        If NY is serious about tanking trade Melo to Suns and get to rebuilding w some picks!

        kotc – great handle. I lol’d.

  14. tru says:

    Get melo it will be the big 3 again but with melo Kobe and gasol

  15. Leo says:

    HAPPY ALL TRADE…..

    LAKERS GETS CHANDLER & LIN
    KNICKS GETS ASIK, GASOL & BROOKS
    ROCKETS GETS BARGNANI & SHUMPERT

  16. ANTWAN says:

    GASOL FOR CHANDLER, NO WAY

  17. ELISEO SORIANO OLDPATH says:

    Tyson Chandler for De Andre Jordan… CP3 to Chandler… N.O. days…

  18. FrankL2010 says:

    Just a new coach for the Lakers…Bring Back Bernie B (BBBB)

  19. NYC FAN says:

    If the knicks make trade to move Shump, Hardaway, or Chandler, they are proving to be the dumbest organization ever. The knicks are terrible because they do not have a good point guard play. Night in and night out they get out played by a pg. Felton isnt cutting it. Prigioni is too old to be be consistant and even if he was it would only last a year. he wouldnt be a long time answer. Murry hasnt been given a chance and Udrih is just not good enough. 2nd problem they have is the miss use of Shump/ style of play. shump arguable could be a pg for the knicks. if they are going to be and isolation heavy team they need someone to push the ball up. shump would be ur best guard to do . rather than giving it a legitimate chance. they cut down his playing time and give him less touches. Then comes JR. … smh. from the day he first put on a knick uniform i saw this coming. he has talent but compared around the league he just doesnt care about winning. has good as he was last year he wasnt doing if for the right reasons. Hes just not a winner, not to type of player to make a consistent impact. 3rd, theres no Chandler. and when he comes back. there are going to be issues. I truly feel bad for the guy cus he got heart and now hes going to be asked to save the knicks. way too much pressure. he has to do too much for us to be good. people who understand ball get it. 4th and ultimately most important is coaching. poor adjustments. lack of accountablity. I remember when woodson go the job. thats all he preached. that clearly is a thing of the past. woodson hasnt made one move that has caught the other team off guard. not one decision that has made a team uncomfortable. Teams see the knicks and they get hungry. they want to play the knicks because they know what to expect. He doesnt hold everyone the same way. Think about the end of last season after the playoffs. Shump the only one in that organization that wasnt satisfied with how the season ended. Read his quotes and compare it to the rest of the team. Yet hes the guy on the trading block? I cant get over how bad JR is and how many chances he gets.

    All this is management. frauds. in a city that is known for basketball and business, you have the worst basketball business deals of all time. and it knock it off with putting the blame on Melo. Dude plays ball. hes good but hes not superman. just isnt. ignore the contract and just look at him on the court. If he played any better, hed be lebron. he just isnt. so dont kill him for it.

    guys lose and say “the other team wanted it more” which is an insult by the way to the team that u just played. U lost cus the other team is better than you. simple. they have better HEART. Woodson fraud.. Smith .. fraud.. management fraud. felton super fraud. hes soft. some how in his mind he never fouls and his man his guarding is the best dude ever.

  20. Brendan says:

    seems foolish for anyone to trade for gasol seeming as he is a free agent next year and has expressed possibility of wanting to play for grizz again. a sign and trade mayb but what do teams even offer pau in his aging years? certainly not a max but we will see what happens you never know. but pau will definitely be a question next year mainly where and how much.

  21. Roy says:

    The TRUE best point guard in the NBA is on his way back! LET’S GO RONDO !!!!!

  22. phatknuckle says:

    Let me get this straight. Shumpert and Tyson Chandler for Gasol but NY makes LA take J.R. Smith. And don’t forget, Carmelo is goin’ to the Laker’s next year (eye role)…

    1) How dumb are these teams?

    2) LA: “I Really like what they are building in NY. Let’s do that.”

    3) Just trade teams. That’s the only thing that would be awesome about this. We wake up and Carmelo’s knicks are in LA and uh, um, Nick Young and the guys are in NY! Awesome! – It could be a reality show for those team’s cable channels: “NBA Team Swap… See what happens when things get real up in here.”

    4) The slogan of this trade would be, “If you can’t make it here you can’t make it anywhere.”

    $) Two of the richest teams in the NBA (Heck lets throw the three richest teams in with Brooklyn too) – No talent, no cap, no draft, no future. But wickedly large cable channels evidently. That’s a lot of terrible entertainment. – How do dumb people get so much money? Dumb like a fox I guess.

    6) I hear D’Antonio, “If I just had Shumpert and JR Smith and an injured big my system would work damnit!”
    6.5) Phil Jackson: “LMFAO”

  23. phil atti says:

    get Mike D’Antoni out of here gasol win two with Lakers they do not need any other players I mean this is just bs this man never win anything

  24. dustydreamnz says:

    New York won’t let go of Chandler surely.

  25. lakersfan4life says:

    That sounds like a good Trade, We need JR Smith and Chandler Maybe shumpet, I think Gasol will be happy in New York, coz I don’t think he is happy playing for Mike D’Antoni, But I think we need a new Coach in stead ofdoing a trade, George Karl 1st choice and Lionel Hollins 2nd amd McMillans 3rd.

    • qqq says:

      why would you need JR? he is terrible right now, as a knick fan id say goahead would love it if you took him on, JR is the same player as nick young, but JR is playing horrible and nick isnt.

    • KareemoftheCrop says:

      At SG you already have Kobe, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson. Why do you need JR again?

  26. Trade Talks says:

    I like how the Knicks trade rumors usually involve 1 or more of their 3 good defensive players heh. hey, you know we’ve been playing horribly without our defensive anchor? well lets trade him for gasol. cool idea!

    Also, Kobe can’t be chasing around the young point guards of the league this year, give the guy a break. he old as hell and recovering from a serious injury.

  27. asdf says:

    if the knicks trades chandler for gasol im gonna kill myself. that would be the worst trade ever!

  28. franz says:

    Stoudemire+Chandler for Pau Gasol would be good for NY and LAL both

    • Trade Talks says:

      that would be good for LA because Pau’s contract is up next year. that would be bad for LA though because that would use up there cap room for next year. if Amare was healthy, which he’s not, that would be an interesting lineup. better yet that would have been a sweet line up like 6 years ago.

  29. h-town fan says:

    it could happen. remember how the lakers got gasol

  30. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Lakers are stupid for paying Kobe all that money, now they cant afford any other players.. good job Lakers!

  31. Game Time says:

    The Clippers record isn’t too bad considering that the lineup keeps changing due to injuries. The three things/players that need to improve for them to live up to the hype are Blake, DeAndre, and Collison. Blake and DJ need to get better defensively, and Collison has to play more like a PG and not a SG. Their still the 4th seed and would have been 3rd if it wasn’t for the surprising performance so far from Portland. Nothing to be disappointed about.

  32. Paul James says:

    Gasol for Chandler!!!??? If that would happen, it would have been the worst trade of all time!

    • good trade! says:

      Lakers would be lucky to grab a defensive anchor like chandler for an ageing gasol.. Gasol certainly a more skilled player but chandler would be a good fresh start for a lakers team that needs to add some punch and try something different if they want to be competing for a championship,if not this year but next.

  33. the lakers could use a defensive anchor like chandler

  34. lol says:

    Kobe might record a double double tis year, points – turnovers, gj Kobe.

  35. okc2014 says:

    Hmmm. JR Smith, Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, for Marc Gasol trade? Is he worth all those players? Just askin.. Lakers would be looking pretty good almost instantly. And if Gasol is healthy, starts, gets along with his new coach and teammates, I guess New York would be looking okay too? These trade talks are all so interesting.. But wait, what about Lowry??