Posts Tagged ‘Derrick Caracter’

First-round Fabs and Flops

The ballots are just about in, and while there are still first-round games to be played, it’s not too early to see who’s bringing it in the playoffs and who left it at home.

A handful of players have risen and taken their games above the regular-season level, while others are crashing and inviting unwanted questions about whether they’re rolling down the other side of the hill. This is the time of year when reputations are born, others are made, and still others start to crumble.

We take a sampling.


Jamal Crawford. Nobody takes more crazy shots than Crawford, and just the same, nobody makes more, either. He’s playing the best ball of his career and the main reason Atlanta is pulling off a surprise.

Ray Allen. Jesus Shuttlesworth destroyed the Knicks from deep, hitting an astonishing 65 percent. Jee-zus.

Chris Bosh. Not the best, only the most consistent of the Big Three in the postseason so far. Bosh has had his way against the Sixers’ big men, but we’ll resist going full slobber until he does this against KG.

Dwight Howard. The league’s leading scorer and rebounder in the playoffs is being wasted by an inferior surrounding cast. Is he starting to look forward to 2012 free agency?

Marc Gasol. I guess he snatched all the “tough guy” pills from the cabinet and kept them away from his brother Pau when they were kids.

Rajon Rondo. After a late-season swoon, he’s finally playing like the point guard who drove the Celtics in last year’s playoffs.

Chris Paul. He’s been the best player on the floor in the Hornets-Lakers series, and no, we didn’t forget about Kobe.

That guy who coaches the Pacers. As interim coach, Frank Vogel spent much of his three months on the job hearing how Mike Brown was the favorite to take over the Pacers next season. Well, right now, the job is Vogel’s to lose. Pacers have represented against the Bulls.


Hedo Turkoglu. Not a missprint: 23-percent shooting through four games with Atlanta. It’s a long way from three years ago, when he was a major factor in Orlando’s reaching the Finals.

Tim Duncan. He. Looks. Old. And it’s painful to watch Duncan being outplayed and outhustled by players who couldn’t carry his bank shot in his prime.

Pau Gasol. How can he look this soft against a Hornets team without a franchise big man? Pau is a better player than this, and for the Lakers’ sake, that player better show up in a hurry.

Derrick Caracter. Push (allegedly) a pregnant woman? What a character.

J.R. Smith. On a team of few if any stars, he was supposed to stand out and take the load from the departed Carmelo Anthony. Instead, the Nuggets are getting 35-percent shooting and plenty of pouts from J.R.

Carlos Boozer. He’s shooting 37 percent and at times outplayed by Tyler Hansbrough. If the Pacers had pulled even with the Bulls, he’d be catching a lot of heat by now.

The Knicks. Still without a playoff win since 2001.

Your turn to add to either list.

Six Degrees Of ‘Melo

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The TNT schedule makers hit a home run with a blindfold on and they did it months ago.

Who knew back then how important it would be to feature the Lakers and Celtics and the Nuggets and Mavericks on a Thursday night doubleheader?

Ray Allen is on the verge of breaking Reggie Miller‘s record as the most prolific 3-point shooter in NBA history and we get Game 9 of the 2010 NBA Finals, not to mention a glimpse of the hottest team in the league (the Mavs have won 10 straight).

Yet, the fates of all those teams are intertwined this season, or at least for the next two weeks, courtesy of Carmelo Anthony and his ongoing saga. The latest comes from ‘Melo himself, suggesting that he is still mulling his options, which include signing that three-year, $65 million extension and staying in Denver if he isn’t moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

That’s exactly what Anthony told Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post last night:

“As the days go on, that’s something that I think about, that nothing might happen, that I’ll be here, whether I have to deal with the free-agency market or re-sign the extension here with the Nuggets,” he said.

Asked specifically to clarify whether he might sign the extension if not traded, Anthony said, “Yeah.”

— “Nothing” happening is great for the Nuggets, who could scrap those rebuilding plans and start thinking about retooling their roster around a relieved Anthony and whatever other parts they can salvage from a team that is clearly in need of some tweaking. (A pipe dream, of course, since we all know that the Knicks remain the most diligent suitor for Anthony.)


Wall leads All-Tournament Team

Posted by Drew Packham

LAS VEGAS — Washington point guard John Wall took home top honors as Most Outstanding Player in Las Vegas after leading all players in scoring (23.5 ppg) and assists (7.8 apg). Fellow rookie DeMarcus Cousins was honored as T-Mobile Rookie of the Month for his impressive Summer League showing. Below are the rest of the players named to the All-Tournament team.
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T-Mobile Rookie of the Month
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento)

Most Outstanding Player
John Wall (Washington)

All-Tournament Team
Sam Young (Memphis)
JaVale McGee (Washington)
Reggie Williams (Golden State)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)
JJ Hickson (Cleveland)
Ty Lawson (Denver)
Dominique Jones (Dallas)
Derrick Caracter (LA Lakers)
Larry Sanders (Milwaukee)
Gani Lawal (Phoenix)
Jermaine Taylor (Houston)
Alonzo Gee (San Antonio)

Weight and see

Posted by Scott Howard-Cooper

CHICAGO – Quite a day as the top U.S. prospects endured the first of two media sessions in as many days as part of the pre-draft gathering, with DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Caracter conceding they have been getting questions from teams about their commitment and attitude as soon as the interviews began Wednesday, Caracter taking responsibility for falling out of shape and Cousins determining who is to blame for maturity problems: not DeMarcus Cousins.

“That’s been the question the whole year,” he said. “My so-called red flags. But I’m misunderstood a lot. It’s just something I’m trying to show them now.”

Asked where that misunderstanding comes from, Cousins said, “You guys,” meaning the media.

Or there’s always the other possibility, that NBA executives winced at Cousins’ poor drive and questionable attitude all season at Kentucky and just maybe didn’t need the media to point it out. It was so prevalent that he had interviews with the Raptors, Warriors and Timberwolves on Wednesday and the issue came up each time. Not as much with Golden State, the potential top-five pick said,  because “they were more on my body weight and conditioning,” as if that’s avoiding the topic.

Caracter, meanwhile, took responsibility for his poor conditioning at Texas El Paso and said his postseason work has paid off in going from 310 pounds to 280 now while hoping to get to 270 or 275. Caracter is enough of a talent and well regarded from his time at Louisville, before transferring, that teams will notice the improvement.

The conditioning issue is a tough read. NBA executives generally question a player who falls out of shape during the college season and only gets fit when money is on the line, a hint of what may happen when the player has locked up a guaranteed contract. But teams also reason that a lot of college kids are undisciplined and benefit just by being in the every-day structure of the pros.