Please join Susan Bible for her NBA Chat this Saturday at 11:00 am EST. Susan is a Newlines Editor and a member of the fantasy team at Basketball Insiders. She covers the Oklahoma City Thunder and the NBA at large.
I know everyone’s clamoring to find out why a favorite player didn’t make the All-Star Reserves. But, seriously, no Westbrook? Just because he’s been injured? (Chris Paul?)
Good morning…and welcome to my chat!
Though Russell Westbrook was logging All-Star numbers before his latest setback in late December (21.3 ppg, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds in 25 games), he’s missed too many games overall, and there’s been no indication whatsoever that he’s returning to action before the All-Star Break. NBA rules say a player must play in a game with his team before he’s allowed to play in the All-Star game. The voting coaches know this, and they surely know that Chris Paul – who’s appeared in 34 games this season – is projected to return around Feb. 9th.
Missed seeing Westbrook on sidelines a few nights ago when he’d gone to CA to consult with his surgeon – presumably as to his progress and potential ETA to the court. Do you know what happened? Thought it might be in the paper but, if it was, I missed it. PS – Please say SOON.
I can’t confirm the first part of your question, but your suggestion sounds plausible. Sources say Westbrook has completely recovered from the latest knee procedure. Though he could take the court now, as a precaution, they are keeping him out until after the All-Star Break. In fact, the return date may well be on February 20th when the Miami HEAT come to Oklahoma City. That’s going to be fun!
Obviously, the Miami Heat is loaded with talent. Having won back to back titles, they seem disinterested half of the time. Does Insiders think they can turn it on in the playoffs and win a 3rd title?
Speaking for myself only, the answer is yes. I won’t discount back-to-back champions. It won’t be easy, but nobody ever said winning a title was easy. And as we all know, the playoffs are a different animal than what we see in the regular season. Miami is currently second in the East at 32-13, and the first-place Pacers are just three games ahead. As a team, Miami is leading the league in eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and opponent turnover percentage….and they have, arguably, the best player on the planet. I’d say they really need the home-court advantage though.
Will Adam Silver do much differently as NBA commish than his predecessor, David Stern? (Almost called him Howard Stern)
The two Sterns are pretty much on the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of personality, that’s for sure.
Fortunately for Silver, Stern has left the NBA in pretty good shape. Silver, just 51, won’t be tasked with saving the league, per se, as Stern virtually did when he took over 30 years ago. Instead, Silver will probably focus on growing the brand overseas (what do you think about an entire NBA division in Europe?), and perhaps revamping the draft system and division realignment. We may see advertising on NBA uniforms. Another thing we may fully realize under his term is a change in small-market teams being able to truly vie for a title, i.e., because of salary cap restrictions, players are going to be more evenly distributed instead of certain teams stockpiling talent. Another of his visions is to bring NBA owners to the forefront publicly.
Any way the basketball success of the Thunder, Sooners, and Cowboys overshadow College Football’s National Signing Day coverage in Oklahoma this week?
Just for fun, I jumped over to newsok.com – the top story was the Thunder’s rout of the Nets last night, and the second story was defensive tackle Courtney Garnett giving a verbal commitment to OU. To be fair, the Nets story was two days newer. I’d say college football is still king here though so on Feb 5th, Signing Day will rule…unless the NBA playoffs were going on.
Now Indiana Pacers get Andrew Bynum, are they Kyle Lowry away to win the championship? Thanks you.
The Kyle Lowry situation is an interesting one to watch. I think any team would be thrilled with a (healthy) Lowry, including the Pacers as they prepare to make their run. Of course, what would they have to give up to acquire him? Further, remember Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent in July, so would they risk losing him? I would think the Raptors try to sell high so they avoid losing such an asset with nothing in return.
Do you expect, the Lakers to be active at the trade deadline? they look really bad.
Yes, they do look bad. I think the Lakers will make some trade deadline rumblings. I’m not sure who they are targeting exactly, but I hear they want a power forward…an athletic one, at that. I think Gasol stays – they want too much in exchange in their rebuilding efforts.
Why CH Bulls try to trade Taj Gibson, he is really good player in friendly contract.Is no better for them try to trade D Rose and his big contract if they can find somebody to take him? Thanks you.
I don’t believe they are trying to trade him. The Bulls are answering calls, like every other NBA team, but I can’t see them moving Gibson. It doesn’t make sense with him being the heir-apparent to Boozer.
Susan, what types of moves do you see the Boston Celtics making before the deadline?
Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Kris Humphries all look like potential trade bait with Ainge aiming for a top pick.
If “sources” are correct, the Celtics are interested in moving Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley at the deadline. They are officially in rebuilding mode and want to collect draft picks. I can’t imagine any of this is going to make Rondo especially happy.
This whole Omer Asik saga is making me a sick. I just want healthy players who are happy to be here and play.
Morey has to trade him, right? I think Boston still makes a lot of sense. Dallas, Charlotte, and Atlanta still come to mind.
Tell me Morey is going to trade him!
I wish I could tell you that with certainty. The Asik situation is just crazy. I will say that I, personally, think he’ll be traded by the deadline. His value has just plummeted, but they definitely could get something of value in return. If I were Morey, he’d be so gone.
There’s one hour — I got to each one! Have a great week.
If you were Danny Ainge, would you sign Rajon Rondo to a long term deal or offload him for picks, young players, and cap space to help with the rebuild?
Oops – one more. I may be on an island on this one, but I would move him and concentrate on the complete rebuild.
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