Posts Tagged ‘Keyon Dooling’

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Playoffs II



Shaq looks back at the last week of the playoffs and finds some special moments that demand Foolish accountability. Pau Gasol, Avery Bradley, Tiago Splitter, Keyon Dooling and the infamous Fat Philly Fan all are nominated for this week’s Shaqtin’ A Fool play.

The Truth Sets The Celtics Free





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – No Rajon Rondo. No Ray Allen. No Problem for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics didn’t let their lingering issues, Rondo’s one-game suspension for bumping into a referee or Allen’s ankle injury slow them down last night in Atlanta.

It certainly helped that they had the “Tebowing” Truth, Paul Pierce, on their side. And it certainly helped that they had a willing dance partner in the Hawks, a team that’s almost always guaranteed to do exactly what they did last night (over the years, the Hawks have a made a habit of falling down when everything seems to be lined up for them to thrive) in losing home court advantage.

For all of the posturing that goes on and all of the moves coaches make in the course of a playoff series, sometimes the final result hangs on the answer to a simple question … whose will to win is greater?

That edge in this series belongs to the men in green and white, and one in particular.

Pierce showed last night that his is greater than anyone else’s in this series, and that includes the ultra-intense Kevin Garnett, Rondo, Allen, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Hawks stars Joe Johnson and Josh Smith (who left the game with a sprained left patella tendon with four minutes to play) and anyone else you care to toss into the mix.

The Hawks led by 11 points with three minutes to play in the third quarter, a lead that we’ve learned in the past few days means next to nothing for a home team (ask the Grizzlies) and could not hold Pierce and the Celtics off.

(more…)

Rough Season For NBPA Brass

CHICAGO – More than any of their NBA peers, the nine members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee gave the most – in time and effort – toward salvaging this post-lockout season. Everyone dealt with the uncertainty and inactivity of the elongated offseason prior to, finally, this hectic 2011-12 schedule. It’s just that the NBPA exec committee dealt with it in coats and ties, in hotel ballrooms, from morning to night (and sometimes on to morning again), enduring all the rhetoric that took most of five months before it distilled into true negotiating .

Too bad they’re not enjoying it more.

Washington’s Maurice Evans, one of the union VPs, had a rare upbeat night against the Bulls Monday at United Center. He scored 14 points in 26:28 off the bench to help the Wizards bag a road victory, 87-84, over the team with the NBA’s best record. It was just his 19th appearance of the season (his third over the past four weeks) and only the second time he has scored in double figures.

But it has been that way for Evans, a journeyman on a team committed to a) young players and b) lottery position. He has averaged 3.4 points and 11.4 minutes when he has participated, down from 9.7 and 27.4 in 2010-11.

He has company among the union brass. NBPA president Derek Fisher, of course, was traded from his beloved Lakers, then cut loose by Houston before landing nicely with Oklahoma City. Fisher’s stats are off a bit too: 5.5 ppg, 24.4 mpg now, 6.8 and 28.0 then.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Celts Turn Eyes Toward West?

NBA.com staff reports

At the start of Friday’s free-agent bonanza of moves, the Celtics made small-but-saavy moves to bolster their roster. First, they worked a sign-and-trade deal that put Glen “Big Baby” Davis in Orlando in exchange for big man Brandon Bass. Then, they finalized a trade with the Bucks to acquire veteran point guard Keyon Dooling in a move that gives them a solid backup point guard to whomever mans the offense this year (right now, that job is Rajon Rondo‘s).

But then came a bombshell move in Boston, provided by our main man, TNT’s David Aldridge, who reports the Celtics are close to a deal with David West.

A source briefed on discussions Friday evening said that the Boston Celtics are close to a deal with free agent power forward David West, who has been with the New Orleans Hornets since being drafted in 2003.

West, 31, was expected to be one of the top free agents in this year’s class, but he is coming off of a torn ACL suffered late last season in a game against Utah. West has diligently rehabbed his injury in North Carolina last summer, but teams have been slow to make significant offers to him.

The move, if completed, would be a true boon to Boston’s frontcourt as the Celtics would feature Kevin Garnett, Bass and West. It also would mean the end of at least one era in New Orleans (the West one) while the Hornets await the fate of Chris Paul, too.

Wrapping Up A Wild Thursday

 

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU – Thursday, Dec. 8 was one of the wildest days the NBA has seen in recent memory, as three teams pulled off a trade that would have altered the NBA landscape, only to have the deal squashed by commissioner David Stern. And now, we have to wonder what kind of precedent has been set, and what this means for the future of the players and teams involved.

This was supposed to be the day that the new collective bargaining agreement was ratified. And it was. But that news was completely overshadowed by what happened shortly after the league’s press conference.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

After several days of talks with several teams, the New Orleans Hornets finally reached a deal to get back some assets for Chris Paul, who they clearly believed was going to leave via free agency next summer. They traded Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-way deal that netted them Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, Luis Scola and the Knicks’ 2012 first-round draft pick (via Houston).

Twitter blew up, the league was abuzz, and columns were being filed about the plusses and minuses of the deal. Many were already preparing for the Lakers’ next move. Since they were keeping Andrew Bynum, they were still able to dangle him in front of the Orlando Magic in an effort to team Dwight Howard with Paul and Kobe Bryant.

The first tweet of the deal, from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, came shortly before 6 p.m. ET. Less than three hours later, Wojnarowski reported that “NBA owners have pushed commissioner David Stern to kill the deal.”

Within minutes, other reporters confirmed that the deal was dead. Paul was still a member of the New Orleans Hornets and the Lakers’ dominant frontline remained intact. Training camps were set to open in less than 24 hours and we were all to pretend that nothing happened.

Later, NBA senior vice president of basketball communications Tim Frank issued this statement: “Not true that the owners killed the deal. It wasn’t even discussed at the board meeting. League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons.”

Either way, the situation only leads to more questions, especially since the Hornets were getting back a pretty good haul in the deal.

First, if the league didn’t want the Hornets to trade Paul, why did they allow general manager Dell Demps to waste so much of his time (and the time of other executives around the league) negotiating a deal?

Second, if Demps wasn’t allowed to make this deal, is there any deal (involving Paul) that he’s allowed to make? And if Demps can’t trade Paul, aren’t the Hornets just going to lose him for nothing next summer?

Third, is this just about keeping Paul to help the team get sold? And will it get sold in time for the Hornets to make a deal that will get them something in return for Paul?

In his recap of the night, Wojnarowski reported that Demps considered resigning. And obviously, we haven’t heard the last of this story. ESPN has reported that Paul won’t be showing up at Hornets training camp on Friday.

************

The craziness of the day wasn’t limited to the three-team trade. The first wild moment came when we learned that the New York Knicks had put themselves in the mix for Tyson Chandler, shortly after we heard that the Golden State Warriors had offered him $60 million over four years.

The Knicks, with their payroll right at the salary cap line, seemingly had no way to get Chandler. But then CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported that they were “in the lead” for the center dropping this bombshell: “If the deal goes through, the Knicks use amnesty on Chauncey Billups and move Ronny Turiaf to make room for Chandler, sources say.”

Chandler will obviously help the Knicks defensively, but by waiving Billups, they’re left without a point guard. And by signing Chandler to a long-term deal, they’re seemingly out of the running to sign Paul next summer. They should, however, get plenty of interest from point guards willing to sign for the mid-level exception.

No deal can become official until Friday at 2 p.m., but according to multiple reports, Billups is “irate” about the news and has already gone home to Denver.

************

The developments of Thursday crept into early Friday morning when ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that Howard “is preparing to ask the Magic to trade him to the Nets.”

The Magic could get Brook Lopez, another player (possibly Jordan Farmar) and picks back from New Jersey. That may not seem like a lot, but the Nets, after waiving Travis Outlaw and renouncing their bird rights to Kris Humphries, would be able to absorb Hedo Turkoglu’s contract in the deal. And that would allow the Magic to wipe $21 million off the Orlando payroll. If they then waived Gilbert Arenas using the amnesty clause, they could start fresh.

************

Here’s what else went down on an eventful Thursday, according to reports…

  • Shane Battier decided to sign with the Miami Heat, who will also sign Eddy Curry to a deal.
  • Caron Butler reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers for $24 million over three years.
  • Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko each reached agreements to return to the Detroit Pistons on four-year deals.
  • Tracy McGrady and Jason Collins each reached agreements on one-year deals with the Atlanta Hawks.
  • Shannon Brown is leaving L.A. for Phoenix.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks reached an agreement with Mike Dunleavy on a two-year deal worth $7.5 million.
  • The Boston Celtics will acquire Keyon Dooling from the Bucks for a second-round pick.
  • Jeff Pendergraph reached a deal with the Indiana Pacers.
  • Finally, the Toronto Raptors are close to being sold.

All this and the league still isn’t technically back in business yet. So get ready for another wild ride on Friday.

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

Draft Rumors: Spurs Aim For Lottery

The Spurs are targeting the No. 10 pick (Milwaukee) or the No. 12 pick (Utah) to move up from their spot at No. 29.

The Spurs are offering reserve point guard George Hill as bait to see if there’s a chance they can get a higher pick and choose center prospect Jonas Valanciunas, who is expected to stay overseas with a tricky contract buyout situation. The Bucks, who already have Brandon Jennings as their starting point guard and veteran Keyon Dooling as a backup, aren’t interested in this deal. The Jazz may still be weighing such an offer.

The Rockets-Pistons trade rumor from Ken Berger at CBSSports.com has Houston swapping its two first-round picks (No. 14 and 23) with Detroit to claim the No. 8 spot. If the trade goes through, the Rockets would be looking to add a big man (perhaps Tristan Thompson or Bismack Biyombo) while the Pistons have their eye on Cleveland State point guard Norris Cole at the No. 24 spot.

More details from Berger’s CBSSports.com are below:

Specifically, Berger reports that talks have opened with the Detroit Pistons in a two-for-one swap that would allow the Rockets to get what they really want: a big man. Berger reports that late-riser Tristan Thompson is at the top of the list, along with Congolese phenom Bismack Biyombo.

The Pistons don’t have an outstanding need beyond getting rid of their locker room-cancer vets, so this makes sense. It puts the Pistons in a position to gain more depth without getting stuck with a pick that’s too good not to take, but only in a draft this low on star power. Still, that eight spot will have one of several good prospects available, especially with some of the reaches being discussed. However, it sounds like Detroit’s not the only team Houston is chatting with in an attempt to move up.

Additionally, Berger reports, the Rockets may also be talking with the Bucks in an effort to land the No. 10 pick.

Style Tips From Zaza Pachulia

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Hawks center Zaza Pachulia fancies himself one of the NBA’s true fashion mavens. And having seen Pachulia’s style up close over the years, he’s put together an impressive body of work over the years.

SI.com named ranked his fashion sense among the top 10 players in the league, a list that also includes the likes of Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, my main man Keyon Dooling, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and veteran fashion plates Kevin Garnett and Juwan Howard.

Pachulia, however, has the designer duds to match the verbal assault he can lay on an unsuspecting observer in a locker room that has questions about the ensembles he wears in and out of arenas around the league.

Our friends at EnglishBaby.com caught up with ZP in his hotel room for some fashion tips, Georgian style, as well his schooling folks on the verb “to sport.”

See for yourself:

(more…)

All-Stars show for labor meeting

BEVERLY HILLS — LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul were among the All-Star contingent arriving at a Beverly Hills hotel for Friday afternoon’s meeting between the league and the players.

The session was billed earlier in the week as an informational gathering open to any of the players or principal owners to attend. The two sides hadn’t met formally since November.

“I’m worried about the league,” Wade said. “It’s not just about myself, it’s the future of the NBA. We want to be able to be sure this game can continue to grow and  prosper. We want this game to go on for many, many years.”

The union was also represented by executive director Billy Hunter, executive committee president Derek Fisher, treasurer James Jones, and vice presidents Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff, Keyon Dooling, Etan Thomas and Paul. All-Stars in attendance included Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Al Horford.

“We understand that a deal has to be done,” Wade said. “Both sides have to come to an agreement and neither side is going to agree until we meet halfway. Me being one of the ‘faces of the league,’ it’s just coming in and learning more and trying to understand what both sides are going through. That’s the biggest thing.”

The league negotiating team here is headed up by commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and labor relations chairman Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs. Among other owners in the room were Michael Jordan (Charlotte Bobcats), Jerry Buss (L.A. Lakers), Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) and Donald Sterling (L.A. Clippers).

The union is expected to hold a press conference after the meeting in downtown Los Angeles. Stern will hold one Saturday.

Rethinking The Central

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The departure of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the arrival of Carlos Boozer in Chicago was supposed to dramatically shift the power in the Central Division from the shores of Lake Erie to the shores of Lake Michigan.

But what’s supposed to happen and what actually takes place are often very different things. The waters on both shores are calm at this stage of the season.

In fact, much of what we assumed about the Central Division race this season (we picked the Bucks as the surprise team not only in the Central but also in the Eastern Conference overall) has not materialized yet.

Boozer’s out with that broken finger. The Bucks have struggled. Byron Scott has the Cavaliers playing hard but they’re about what we thought they’d be without James. Two other teams that many people felt would take at least a small step up this season, Indiana and Detroit, have not. And the Pistons are on the brink of disaster, with internal strife and a new ownership situation compounding their 0-5 record.

As of this morning, the entire division is on a combined 12-game losing streak.

“It’s hard to pick any one team in that division right now,” an Eastern Conference scout friend admitted. “Chicago has the best tools to work with, but they have a new coach and really a new system that they are all trying to get adjusted to, plus they don’t have Boozer right now. I think they’ll be fine, eventually. I don’t know what to say about the Bucks. Andrew Bogut just doesn’t look comfortable yet. It seems to me that he’s still favoring that right arm. But that said, they could have easily beaten the Celtics the other night and then there’s a totally different feel about them right now. It’s still too early to make any definitive statements about how things will turn out for those two. But the rest of the division … it’s just a mess right now.”

Boozer did get the pins out (he broke his pinky Oct. 2) and the hard cast off of his hand earlier this week. He gets the stitches out next week, though there is still no specific date for his return to action, per Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com.

The Bucks looked better than their record against the Celtics. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sees some signs of hope where Bogut’s bunch is concerned:

A lineup that included center Andrew Bogut, power forward Ersan Ilyasova, small forward Corey Maggette, shooting guard Carlos Delfino and point guard Brandon Jennings – with help from Keyon Dooling – was able to take the Celtics to the wire in a 105-102 defeat.

Maggette, who ranks as the Bucks’ second-leading scorer (15.0 points per game) and is emerging as a steady influence off the bench, played 22 minutes against Boston and had 11 points and three rebounds.

But coach Scott Skiles also was happy to see strong contributions from Ilyasova (15 points and seven rebounds) and Dooling (10 points on 4-of-7 shooting) as eight players gained significant on-court time against the Celtics.

“I’m not the only one with this opinion, but it’s got to be based on productivity,” Skiles said of his decision-making process to dole out the available minutes. “Then it will just show itself to you and everybody gets a comfort level in it.

“So far we haven’t gotten to that point where we can count on the productivity of all the guys, at least to the level we’re going to need it at.”

Things will only get more interesting tonight. All five teams in the division will be in action, with the Bucks and Pacers squaring off against each other, so the division-wide losing streak will be snapped.

It’s probably too soon to scrap our initial predictions — we’ll give them until Thanksgiving — and we still need to see how Derrick Rose and Boozer work together.

But we’ve got the eraser ready.