Join Basketball Insiders writer Jabari Davis for his weekly NBA Chat session this Saturday at 9 p.m. EST. Be sure to add your questions and basketball topics or questions in advance!
What’s up with Okafur? Why isn’t he getting more playing time?
Also, would a Clarkson for Noel make sense for both teams? Philly gets backcourt shooter and Lakers get a young athletic big.
Hey folks, thanks for joining as always.
Thanks for leading things off for us, WBS. As someone that was a big Okafor fan from the time when I first saw him play heading into his senior year in high school, I really wanted to see him transition to this level with more success. Thing is, not only has the league really shifted over the past 3-4 years, but he also ended up in a situation with a crowded frontcourt in Philly where Embiid is simply the best of the bunch. I wouldn’t mind seeing him wind up in Washington or even back in Chicago (hometown area) at some point, since I’m not sure he’ll see his best days in Philly.
It seems like the those rumors continue to circulate, but you just never know. Not that it would necessarily surprise me to see the Lakers make a move, but it would surprise me to see them make one that would involve bringing back a player that is likely set for a big salary bump this summer when you’re already on the books for a big contact at the same position in Mozgov. Unless, of course, he were somehow headed out in the deal as well. I suppose you just never know, but if the Lakers were to consider moving one of those core pieces, I would think it would be as a part of a potentially larger deal or one with more ideal terms.
Hi Jabari, Happy New Year!!! John Co here from Manila another Laker Question brother, I am starting to believe that Brandon Ingram struggles are cause by his inability to take Nba contact when he drives to the basket, however shooting from the Nba line is a different story, physicality does not affect ones shot, why is he stuggling bigtime shooting threes? Thanks Bro
Hey John Co, thanks a lot for your kind words and for joining again this week. The trouble with how many of us have judged his early play is that some were expecting him to score a bunch of points from the start. He impacts the game in ways that don’t always show up on the box score. Your assessment of the early season is probably correct, but he’s actually shown some real improvement even in that area of late.
He’s at 13.6/4/2.8 over his last 5 games and is shooting 56.4/58.3/68.0 from the floor/deep/line over that stretch. Beyond double-digit scoring totals in 5 of the last 6, he’s also starting to make more and more plays on the defensive end and is actually one of the team’s best playmakers at 19 years old.
I try to avoid comparisons for young guys, but I fully expect Ingram to make the type of leaps guys like Tracy McGrady and Giannis Antetokounmpo took as they continued to develop and add strength. Give him more time to develop and grow, and I honestly think Ingram could ultimately wind up being the most talented of a group that I still think has a good deal of it regardless of the record.
The Rockets and Grizzlies have both been surprising and impressive so far? I was skeptical of the D’Antoni hire, but it’s working in Houston.
The Grizzlies are still a lunch bucket team but shooting more 3’s under new coach Fizdale…I don’t think anybody wants to play them in the PO’s. Gasol and Conley are both talented, crafty ole Z-Bo might play for another 10 yrs, that dude that doesn’t even need to jump? Predictably, ‘Parson Chandlers’ presence hasn’t really mattered much other than eating up precious salary cap space. I like where the Grizzlies are right now overall, don’t you?
My man, Jim. Good to have you again this week and I’m glad you brought each of those two situations up. I’ve mentioned this in previous weeks, but everything Houston decided to do thisnpast offseason has worked. In fact, it has been a total home run for Morey. Are they dependent upon some guys that have injury histories that will always be a concern? Absolutely. But while they are healthy, this roster is perfect for the way D’Antoni AND Harden like running things. That’s the biggest key of it all. The parts fit the system and complement what Harden likes to do. Somewhat of a match made in heaven, to be honest. I hope they stay healthy enough to make things really fun in the playoffs.
I can’t possibly say enough about the job they are doing in Memphis as well. Coach Fiz and his crew have done a fantastic job and that front office continues to put the pieces out there that simply get it done. Obviously to a much lesser degree, but they have a system that everyone buys into and finds a way to flourish within similarly to what we’ve seen from the Spurs over the last 25 years. Obviously, they haven’t reached the heights San Antonio has enjoyed, but they’ve really got a good thing going in Memphis from top to bottom, in my opinion. I’m glad teams like this are continuing to do well.
How does the Korner trade benefit ATL? I get it from the CLE side but not the ATL side.
To be completely honest, I’m not certain. Had there been multiple years left on his deal, I’d say it (at least) gets them out of the end of it. Maybe they wanted a vet guard (Mo Williams) around Dennis? I think they wound up also getting a protected 1st, so I suppose you never know what that might turn into. The move definitely favors the Cavs in the immediate, but we’ll have to wait to see how much of an impact it will have for Atlanta.
Does Joel Embiid get the all-star nod? should he?
I’m not certain, but I sure hope so! I know there are some that aren’t the biggest fans of his social media antics, but I find his act hilarious and refreshing. Especially since he comes to play when actually on the court. Plus, if it will help him land a date with Rihanna, then who are we to stop him???
Smiles aside, he’s my leader for ROY and his personality can be good for the game. I hope he makes it, but I also think he’s already one of the better bigs in the EC and deserves to.
What do you expect from the Cleveland vs Golden State matchup on MLK day?
There will be some that scoff at the idea of regular season games meaning all that much, but the truth is I think GS needs to get this one. Not that losing four consecutive games to one team is an indicator of what the result will ALWAYS be, but the way they lost them has to be on their minds.
Not that I fully buy into the idea of “momentum” when it comes to sports, but all of us that have played at any level can agree that you “feel” better about a few made buckets than you do about misses. Same goes for wins. Especially when it is on the biggest stage or against the team seen as your greatest rival.
I expect a phenomenal game, and even if they deny it publicly, I expect both of these teams to ramp up the intensity.
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