Posts Tagged ‘Dorell Wright’

Monta For Iggy … Would You Do It?

DALLAS — It’s not easy making headlines during The Finals if you’re a lottery team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in the past few years and don’t appear to be in danger of doing so anytime soon.

But the Golden State Warriors have found away. Not only did they make a splash with the hiring of former All-Star point guard and ABC analyst Mark Jackson to take over as their head coach, now there is significant chatter that Monta Ellis could be on the trade block in a rumored deal for Andre Iguodala.

Before we dive into the trade we have to make one observation about Jackson taking over as coach of the Warriors. It is one of the few recent moves of this sort that we can remember it actually staying completely quiet until it was done. Kudos to Jackson and the Warriors for handling their business in such a stealth manner in the Twitter age.

It will be interesting to see how Jackson fares in his sideline debut after all of these years of analyzing and critiquing others doing the same thing. He’s on the right path, chasing a guy like Mike Malone, one of the best assistant coaches in the business, to join him.

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Executive decisions


BOSTON — Everywhere you look, the Heat are up on the Celtics. The series is 2-0 Miami. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are leading Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. And Pat Riley is one-upping Danny Ainge.

Yes. About that last item. The Sporting News didn’t bother waiting for the NBA Finals verdict and instead named Riley the Executive of the Year, and if there was an award for Executive On His Rear, well, Ainge might make a few ballots. After all, Celtic Nation screamed in horror when Ainge made the dandruff-scratching decision at the deadline to swap Kendrick Perkins for a backup forward who’s getting 15 minutes a game in this East playoff showdown. And nearly three months later, the trade still doesn’t make sense.

If you haven’t noticed, the Celtics’ window is closing. Their best players, Rajon Rondo the exception, are four steps slower than LeBron Wade. Doc Rivers has one foot out the door, and the other foot is on a roller skate. This was Boston’s chance for one last championship push before age settles in and the young upstarts in the East (Chicago, Miami, etc) blow up. But Ainge had an eye toward the future when he grabbed Jeff Green, a player he probably could’ve signed in the off-season without trading Perk.

Would Perkins have made a big difference in this series, had he stayed? Perhaps not significant, but yes. Remember, when healthy, the Celtics lineup of KG, Pierce, Rondo, Allen and Perkins never lost a playoff series in three years.

Look. Ainge did bring a championship to Boston. And yes, while his buddy Kevin McHale did Ainge a major by giving him KG, Ainge did hire Rivers and drafted Rondo and traded for Allen. Those moves erased most of the so-so decisions Ainge made prior to the Big Three. But right now, it’s all about Riley, because his Big Three, barring injury, will likely prosper longer than Ainge’s Big Three.

Riley’s award shouldn’t be based on signing LeBron and Bosh. His award was stamped for the work he did in the two years prior, when he dumped salary and still found a way to keep Miami competitive. He also covered his ears whenever Wade asked for help during that time, explaining the need for cap relief and the chance to do something unprecedented.

Has Riley’s record been spotless during this time? Not quite. You can quibble with the decision to draft Super Cool Beasley and then give him away for nothing (yeah, for cap space, but still) and also let the Warriors steal Dorell Wright after Miami groomed him. And how’s that Mike Miller signing looking right now?

Finally: Gar Forman and Sam Presti arguably had just as good a run as Riley.

But this is about Miami leading Boston right now, and by extension, Riley leading Ainge.

StatsCube: Three For All

It was one of those nights. You’re tired and ready to go to bed, but there’s one more game still going on League Pass and the score is kind of close. So you put it on and end up catching one of the most entertaining games of the year.

It happened back in December with this crazy finish. And it happened again Friday with the Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors.

“That was a shootout right there,” Dorell Wright said in the aftermath of his team coming back from a 21-point deficit (with a few minutes left in the second quarter) to beat the Magic 123-120 in overtime.

The score doesn’t do the game justice, because it doesn’t account for a wild double-turnover sequence near the end of OT, nor for how much we were all shaking our heads at the shots the Warriors were making in the final minutes. And though the Magic lost a huge lead, it’s hard to stress it too much, because teams just aren’t supposed to make all of those shots.

Led by Wright, the Warriors hit 21 3-pointers. That set a record for the most in franchise history and tied for third most in NBA history.

Most 3-pointers, single game, NBA history

Team Opp. Date 3PM 3PA
Orlando @ SAC Jan. 13, 2009 23 37
Phoenix @ LAL Nov. 14, 2010 22 40
Golden State vs. ORL* March 11, 2011 21 35
Toronto vs. PHI March 13, 2005 21 34

* Overtime

Of course, the Magic were hitting some bombs too, 15 to be exact. And the 36 combined threes crushed the previous record of 32, set by the Sonics (14) and Suns (18) in a double-overtime game on Jan. 22, 2006.

And the most prolific 3-point shooters in the game happened to be the league leaders in treys. Wright was 8-for-11 from 3-point range and, for the Magic, Jason Richardson was 7-for-11, allowing him to maintain an edge for the season.

Most 3-pointers, 2010-11

Player Team G 3PM 3PA 3P%
Jason Richardson PHX, ORL 65 159 389 0.409
Dorell Wright GSW 65 154 391 0.394
Ray Allen BOS 63 145 312 0.465
Kevin Martin HOU 64 137 349 0.393
Channing Frye PHX 61 132 333 0.396

Only two of the five guys above were in the 3-point contest, by the way.

Richardson has hit a lot of 3-pointers, but he would have to hit seven in each of the Magic’s 16 remaining games to eclipse Ray Allen‘s NBA record of 269 threes, set with the Sonics in the 2005-06 season.

One last note on this incredible game: The 41 combined points in overtime was the third most in NBA history. The record belongs to the Mavs and Rockets, who combined for 46 points (23 each) in a single overtime period on April 11, 1995.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

All-Star Saturday Night Predictions

LOS ANGELES — After detailed debate and two intense days of examination, the Hang Time crew has come up with our own set of predictions for All-Star Saturday night.

As you might expect, Blake Griffin‘s name came up often. Piling up 137 dunks by All-Star Weekend has a way of making you a favorite for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

Same goes for Ray Allen in the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest. But there’s more to All-Star Saturday night than just those two competitions. We’ve got the Haier Shooting Stars and the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to think about.

So without further ado, our picks:

Steve Aschburner

Shooting Stars — Team Los Angeles

Skills Challenge — Derrick Rose

3-Point Contest — Paul Pierce

Slam Dunk — Blake Griffin

Fran Blinebury

Shooting Stars — Team Texas

Skills Challenge — Derrick Rose

3-point Contests — Ray Allen

Slam Dunk — Blake Griffin

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Celtic Pride on the (3-Point) line

ATLANTA — From what we gather, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen get along fabulously. They’ve won a championship together. Allen attended Pierce’s wedding last summer. They have other common interests, perhaps. There’s a bond.

Oh, but can you imagine the trash-talking that’s going on between them right now?

Pierce will defend his 3-point championship in L.A. on All-Star Saturday and who’s the biggest threat? None other than the guy who’s poised to become the all-time 3-point shooter in NBA history. Yes, that would be Allen, who will take down Reggie Miller first for that career honor, then take aim at Pierce. Surely, this rift will divide the close-knit Celtic locker room and possibly destroy team chemistry for the season. Doc Rivers‘ job just got tougher, trying to referee such a bitter contest between two of his most important players.

OK. Joking.

Besides, Allen doesn’t talk smack; his verbal confrontation with Kobe Bryant years ago was the exception, not the norm. Still, there will be some good-natured give-and-take between now and Feb. 19. The burden is on Allen, obviously; he’s made a career from the 3-point line, while Pierce is a streaky long-distance shooter.

The title will probably be decided by a Celtic, because the rest of the field isn’t as good as it could’ve been. There’s no Kyle Korver, a 41-percent shooter. Or Matt Bonner, the Spurs’ specialist who’s making half his shots this season. Or Steph Curry, who lost to Pierce in the final round last year (perhaps Steph is being punished for that). Or Mike Bibby, a veteran 3-point shooter, or Kevin Love, a rare power forward with range. At least there is an interesting subplot between James Jones and Dorell Wright; the Heat gave up on Wright last summer partly because they were sold on Jones.

I suspect Pierce, in order to gain a psychological edge, might remind Allen of that 0-for-13 stretch in the NBA Finals last summer. Is that out of bounds? We’ll see.

California Love?

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — For a team that didn’t pile up many wins last season, the Golden State Warriors certainly racked up their share of highlight plays.

When you start with the dynamite backcourt tandem of Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, that should be expected.

But much has changed for this team since we saw them last.

New owners, new uniforms, plenty of new faces and maybe some renewed vigor for a team that has never had to worry about the passion of its immense fan base.

With training camp just days away, we’re still trying to figure out how coach Don Nelson is going to integrate eight new faces — All-Star forward David Lee, Dorrell Wright, Louis Amundson, Rodney Carney, Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and rookies Ekpe Udoh and Jeremy Lin — into the Warriors’ mix.

But Nelson is the league’s resident mad scientist, so if anyone is capable of cooking up something, it should be him. And he’ll be coaching (for as long as the new ownership group will have him) the sort of motley crew that should be easy to show some California love for all those Warriors diehards in the Bay Area.

Whether or not this team will inspire any reaction beyond their home base, however, remains to be seen.

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Warriors undecided on Morrow

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Posted by Art Garcia

LAS VEGAS — Restricted free agent Anthony Morrow is expected to sign an offer sheet of three years and $12 million from New Jersey on Monday, giving the Warriors seven days to match. Golden State’s front office hasn’t decided whether to match, according to league sources.

The sources stressed that the Warriors haven’t ruled out matching the offer sheet.

The team wants to study how the contract is structured before making a decision. Morrow, one of the league’s deadliest 3-point shooters, averaged 13.0 points last season, starting 37 of 69 games.

The 24-year-old former undrafted free agent could be caught in a numbers game behind starting guards Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. At 6-foot-5, Morrow can also log some time at small forward. The Warriors are thin at that position, even with the recent addition of Dorell Wright.

Money is also going to play a large role in keeping Morrow. In addition to the $11 million committed to Wright over three years, Golden State signed new power forward David Lee to an $80 million deal over six years.

The decision facing Golden State general manager Larry Riley is whether Morrow is worth $12 million or if there’s a more cost-friendly alternative.