Posts Tagged ‘Glen Davis’

Now Is Not The Time For Nice, Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — They represent a hospitable Midwestern city that’s fond of greeting strangers with a folksy “hi, ya’ll!” Their coach is friendly and approachable. Actually, the players themselves are really nice guys, quite a contrast from the rough and tumble clowns that engaged in the bloodiest fight in NBA history.

Yep, these Pacers are mighty swell and fun to be around, which is all good. Unless they’re trying to close out a tight game or a playoff series. That’s when being nice guys is all bad.

“You’ve got to be a little angry,” said Danny Granger, Indiana’s leading scorer in the playoffs at 20.5 ppg.

You’ve got to step on the other guy’s throat, and then again just to make sure the body isn’t twitching. Such is the mentality that’s necessary this time of year, when a team is ready to move to the next challenge. The Pacers took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Magic into their house Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV), an ideal setting to clinch the best-of-seven first round, although the Pacers’ cut-throat mentality has been anything but against Orlando.

They blew an eight-point lead with three minutes left in Game 1 (which they lost), then saw a 19-point lead evaporate in Game 4. They were able to salvage that game in overtime, but the question persists with this group: are they nasty enough to challenge for a conference title?

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Hibbert Vows To Atone For Game 1 Play

INDIANAPOLISRoy Hibbert has a six-inch height advantage and surely an XXL wingspan advantage over Glen “Big Baby” Davis, but the one figure that separates the two in this series is 8-3.

Davis had eight buckets and Hibbert three in Game 1.

The one obvious advantage the Pacers tried to exploit against Orlando did not go as planned in this Dwight Howard-less first round. Hibbert was a non-factor offensively, and while that didn’t cause the Pacers to lose — they crumbled in the clutch — it did help make the game closer than it should’ve been.

And while Hibbert was named to the All-Star Game for the first time, what Game 1 proved is his offensive skills remain prehistoric, no matter the height advantage. His numbers since the All-Star break are down across the board as well. For the season, Hibbert averaged only 12.8 ppg and was Indiana’s third or fourth option. And despite his size, he shooting less than 50 percent for the season. That spilled over against the Magic, where Hibbert shot three-for-11 and looked like he had two left feet, his footwork was so plodding.

“I’ve got to do better,” he said. “And I will do better.”

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Rosen’s Report: New York at Orlando




Jeremy Lin is down for the count and who knows when/if Amar’e Stoudemire will return to action. That means what’s left of the Knicks’ roster will have to carry New York for the duration. While the Knicks are still battling for the last playoff slot, they also have their sights set on the No. 6 seed in order to play Orlando in the opening round instead of either Miami or Chicago. And on the heels of last week’s trampling of the Magic, a repeat performance would not only greatly enhance the achievement of both of these goals, but also make Orlando shiver in anticipation of encountering New York in the money season. After their fourth-quarter meltdown in Indiana on Tuesday, the Knicks also has to prove that they do have a necessary killer instinct.

On the flip side, the Magic need the win to demonstrate that their humiliating performance in New York was a fluke, and that they are indeed legitimate championship contenders.

HOW THE KNICKS CAN WIN

  • Forget about LeBron, Kobe and/or Kevin DurantCarmelo Anthony is the most versatile scorer in the game. If KD is a better long-distant dialer, Anthony’s 3-point shooting is more reliable than the other two elite scorers. The difference is ‘Melo’s dynamic post-up game. With Stoudemire out, Anthony is now filling the power forward slot, which makes his offense even more unstoppable (plus he’s a better rebounder than his predecessor). There’s certainly no way that either Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson (if he makes a miraculous recovery from a freshly sprained ankle), or Glen Davis can put up any meaningful defensive resistance without considerable help. The problem is the Knicks’ spacing forces defenders to come a long way to double Anthony. And should Anthony bring his A-game into the last period, the Magic will run out of tricks.
  • Assuming that Dwight Howard has recuperated from the infamous phantom punch, Tyson Chandler has the length and the defensive chops to make him labor mightily to score in the low post.  In addition, Howard gets flustered when he’s doubled on the move and tends to force shots, make wayward passes, or simply commit turnovers.  Chandler’s timely dive-cuts on high screen/rolls should also put him in dunk city. (more…)

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Episode 10



After a brief hiatus to make way for the college kids, Shaq is back with his latest batch of foolish plays. DeMarcus Cousins, Big Baby, Dwyane Wade, Sky Hawk and of course, our main man JaVale McGee are all in the running for this week’s Shaqtin’ A Fool play. Vote now!

Blogtable: Trade Deadline & Dwight

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Give me one smart, totally speculative, maybe outside-the-box trade scenario involving Dwight Howard in which everyone wins. Possible?




Steve Aschburner: Get Steve Nash to Orlando. The ingenious point guard – who already has shown us that Canadian calendars count years differently than U.S. editions – could be the guy who convinces Howard to stay in Orlando. He would wring extra creativity out of the Magic offense and, with some success this spring, perhaps lure a helpful free agent to what ought to be a destination market anyway. Phoenix, assuming Magic GM Otis Smith could put together a satisfactory package of picks, cash and/or players, would be doing Nash a “solid” and could move on to its next phase. That would be win (Suns), win (Magic), win (Howard), win (Nash), win (Dallas, if Deron Williams decides to head home this summer) and … oops, lose (Nets). Hey, five out of six ain’t bad.

Fran Blinebury: No way. Outside of fantasy leagues and Twitter, you don’t trade a franchise player, especially a big man, and have both sides come away singing Kumbaya. Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Shaq … the championships follow the star.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Not possible. There is no such thing as outside-the-box in this case. Sometimes, the obvious is the obvious for a reason. If indications are true and the Magic are only interested in players who can deliver wins now, as opposed to prospects and picks, the options have all been considered. It doesn’t matter, though. Orlando isn’t dealing him before March 15. (more…)

How Does Lopez Injury Affect Howard?





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Deron Williams scored an NBA season-high 57 points Sunday night in Charlotte, but the bigger story coming out of the Nets’ win was an injury to Brook Lopez, who would be the centerpiece of a trade for Dwight Howard.

The Nets said Monday that Lopez suffered a sprained right ankle and will be out for three weeks. The bad news is that the trade deadline is in just 10 days, and after playing every single game in his first three seasons, Lopez has suffered two injuries with his team’s sights set on Howard.

The good news is that the injury, though it’s the same foot, is unrelated to the broken bone that forced Lopez to miss the first 32 games of the season. No injuries are good, but this one isn’t too bad.

So does it affect the Nets’ ability to acquire Howard before the deadline? Not really.

Whether or not Howard gets traded still comes down to Magic owner Rich DeVos and president Alex Martins. If they decide in the next 10 days that they can convince Howard to stay in Orlando beyond this season, they’re not going to trade for Lopez, healthy or not.

But if the Magic realize that Howard’s time in Orlando is definitely coming to an end, they have no choice but to make a deal, so that they can get what they can (players, picks and cap relief) for their star. And if Howard and agent Dan Fegan make it clear that Howard will be playing in Brooklyn no matter what next season, the Magic have little choice but to make a deal with the Nets.

Even with Lopez hobbled, the Nets can still offer a decent package. In addition to Lopez (there’s no restriction on trading for an injured player), they have rookie MarShon Brooks, a bevy of first-round picks, and enough expiring contracts to absorb the contract of Hedo Turkoglu (owed at least $17.8 million after this season) or Glen Davis ($19.4 million) in a trade. The ability to offer Orlando salary relief is an asset in itself, one that New Jersey has been sure to maintain as it has struggled through a 12-26 season.

If Orlando decides to keep Howard, the Nets will wait, hoping to sign him as a free agent in July, an option that would allow them to keep Lopez and their other assets. But they’d surely jump at the chance to trade for Howard in the next 10 days.

Lopez’s latest injury shouldn’t really affect that scenario, because the possibility of a trade is really about what the Magic believe regarding Howard’s long-term intentions, and not about Lopez’s short-term health.

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Rosen’s Report: Celtics at Magic



In the aftermath of their annihilation of the Magic on Monday in Boston, the Celtics have a chance to further deflate Orlando’s confidence with a repeat performance.  Another victory might also put to rest the widespread belief that it’s time for Danny Ainge to back up the truck and initiate a long and painful rebuilding process.

On the other side of the equation, it’s commonplace for a team to relax when several of their opponent’s key players are down and out — which was the case on Monday with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus, and even Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox unavailable. The Magic couldn’t avoid thinking beforehand that the game would be a cakewalk. Instead, several of Boston’s subs took advantage of their increased daylight by playing with unexpected passion and discipline. As a result, the home-standing Magic have their pride on the line tonight in an early season must-win situation.

HOW THE CELTICS CAN WIN:  Neither Hedo Turkoglu nor Ryan Anderson can come close to containing Paul Pierce.  Because of Boston’s nifty ball movement, Orlando’s defensive rotators were too far away to provide meaningful help when PP was placed in wing isolations.  More of this same tactic is advisable.

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Shaqtin’ A Fool: Episode 2


Shaq takes a tour around the NBA for the latest in the bizarre, weird and well, foolish plays of the past week. From some questionable dunking choices by JaVale McGee and Rudy Gay, to Metta World Peace‘s not-so-peaceful play to Byron Mullens‘ nose-picking and the continued adventures of Dwight Howards and Big Baby, vote for your favorite Shaqtin’ A Fool moment!

Can New Celtics Still Handle LeBron?

HANG TIME TEXAS – Seasons change and teams change. It’s part of the circle of life in sports.

An interesting angle to watch tonight when Boston plays at Miami is whether the Celtics have changed too much to contend with the new-look LeBron James.

A year ago, whenever James tried to take the ball inside against the Celtics, he was confronted by the hulking and sometimes snarling likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis.

Now the Boston front line consists of the aging Jermaine O’Neal along with Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox.

Bass came up big on Christmas Day in New York, hitting the boards hard for 20 points and 11 rebounds, which our good friend Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald says delighted the men in green:

“Kid can play,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s tough. He can finish. He can offensive rebound. He can do a lot of things. He’s doing it right now, but he’s second guessing half of the things he’s doing because of the execution part of it.

“He’s late on a lot of stuff because he’s just not sure yet. He’s just going to keep getting better and better as the year goes on.”

Kevin Garnett was equally impressed, though when asked about Bass he preferred to refer to the bench as a whole.

“Brandon is going to give us a more mature, consistent scorer off the bench,” Garnett said. “I actually like our bench — not just on paper, but in practice and in games. Not just Brandon, but Chris Wilcox and Keyon (Dooling), too.”

The question can the Celts’ new threesome derail James’ plan to use the post-up drills he did with Hakeem Olajuwon during the summer to do most of his work closer to the basket this season? While the powerful slam dunks and the pretty tip-pass to Dwayne Wade was nice, maybe the most impressive part of James season-opening effort in Dallas was that he did not attempt a single 3-point shot. Neither did Wade.

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Welcome To The NBA’s Nuclear Winter

– For labor updates, follow: @daldridgetnt | @AschNBA

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In a matter of hours Monday, the NBA’s labor impasse went from maddening to certifiably ridiculous thanks to raging emotions on both sides of a nasty fight.

What’s that phrase Kobe Bryant uttered a few weeks ago? It’s the same one NBA Commissioner David Stern used yesterday in the aftermath of the union rejecting the league’s proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement and disbanding (read up on the details here), the first step in an anti-trust lawsuit being filed by the trade association formerly known as the union.

“The union decided in its infinite wisdom that the proposal would not be presented to membership,” Stern said. “Obviously, Mr. [union attorney Jeffrey] Kessler got his way and we are about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA.”

Raise your hand if you’ve had enough of this already.

We spent 137 days waiting for something that could have come July 1. If this affair was going to end up in the courts with one side suing the other, we only wish it had come right away instead of months later, when it seemed the sides might be working their way to an uneasy alliance for the greater good of the game.

Instead, we’re left with the prospect of that aforementioned nuclear winter.

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