Rose and Bulls Progressing
By Moke Hamilton
The NBA recently announced the 10 starters for the 2016 All-Star game and amongst those bestowed with the honor in the Eastern Conference were some of the usual suspects: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.
It seemed like only yesterday that Derrick Rose was a perennial All-Star and a player whose anointment into the Hall of Fame was less a question of “if” and more one of “when.”
Yet now, after being selected as an All-Star back in 2010, his sophomore season, this will mark the fourth consecutive season that Rose is absent from the NBA’s midseason classic.
They Are Not Getting Traded
By Steve Kyler
The 2015-16 NBA trade deadline gets closer – 24 days and counting if you are keeping track at home. The trade market has been relatively quiet, and that does not look to be changing any time soon. However, with the lack of trade chatter around teams, fans eager to see movement have started flooding social media with speculation and trade combinations that are simply not based in reality. They also continue to include names that are not going anywhere.
Will The Hawks Make A Move?
By Lang Greene
The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away and, as usual, there are questions about whether contending teams in both conferences will look to strengthen their respective rosters. Some franchises are rather transparent in their due diligence process, while others like the Atlanta Hawks run a relatively tight-lipped ship in regards to roster decisions.
The Hawks (27-19) currently sit third in the Eastern Conference standings as we close in on the All-Star break, but the team’s play has been inconsistent and choppy for most of the season. The on-floor product has been a far cry from the 60-win team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals just a year ago.
The blame can be spread in multiple directions.
Clippers, Griffin Discuss Incident
By Alex Kennedy
On Tuesday, news surfaced that Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin had suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Jan. 23 in Toronto.
Soon, details started to trickle out suggesting that he threw a punch at the Clippers’ assistant equipment manager, Matias Testi, who reportedly had to go to the hospital following the incident.
An ESPN report says that the two are close friends, who have even vacationed together. They were apparently trading insults at dinner when things escalated, leading to the altercation. The fight left Griffin with a broken bone in his right hand, which will cause him to miss four-to-six weeks.
Rodney Hood: Ahead of Schedule
By Ben Dowsett
It’s mid-December and the Utah Jazz are playing at home against the New York Knicks. Midway through the second quarter, a Gordon Hayward drive and kick finds an open three for sophomore guard Rodney Hood at the top of the key. Brick. No matter, the rebound flies long and right back into Hood’s hands. He immediately initiates a new set, a pick-and-roll with Trey Lyles that opens up the Knicks’ rotations and puts the ball back in Hood’s hands for another open triple a few passes later. Brick.
The Jazz again secure the offensive board, and after a failed Raul Neto floater bounces off the hands of a Knick, it caroms right back to Hood for yet another open look from deep.
Predicting the Dunk Contest Field
By Joel Brigham
On the NBA website’s page for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest – set to be served as dessert on All-Star Saturday this coming February 13 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto – it simply states that “this year’s participants will be announced soon.” Since so many people are such big fans of this event, however, there’s little reason not to speculate who those participants may be, particularly since some other All-Star press releases have hit the wire over the course of the last week.
With that said, here’s a look at which talented young dunkers likely will (and will not) be taking part.
NBA’s Best/Worst Case 2016-17 Cap Projections
By Eric Pincus
The NBA’s salary cap projects to climb to roughly $90 million for the 2016-17 season, possibly higher.
A number of teams may have sizable spending power to chase a free agent list that should include players like Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade, Andre Drummond (restricted), Harrison Barnes (restricted), Bradley Beal (restricted), Ryan Anderson, Rajon Rondo and Jordan Clarkson (Arenas-rule restricted) among others.
Player options could add to the free-agent pool with individuals like LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Arron Afflalo capable of opting out.
Julius Randle Showing Signs of Improvement
By Jesse Blancarte
Earlier this week, the NBA announced the players selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend. Omitted from the list of players selected was Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott said that leaving Randle out of the Rising Stars Challenge “is an injustice” and “kind of a slap in the face.”
When asked about being left off of the list of participants, Randle declined to discuss the matter.
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