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thebac
11-11-2003, 08:09 PM
NBA Insider...Nov 11: Top 5 scoring teams; The Good, the Bad, the Kitchen Sink


Sacramento has been there. The Kings have done that.

Vlade Divac has been practicing survival skills in the paint going on 15 years now. Peja Stojakovic from 3 is almost cliche. Mike Bibby leads them in assists. Doug Christie leads them in steals. And Chris Webber leads them in games missed due to injury.

While several teams in the NBA have undergone major overhauls, I heard 100 player transactions league-wide and growing, the Sacramento Kings, once the most trendy and dynamic team in league, have grown monotonous in their success.

They scored 101.7 points per game last year. They're still scoring 102 points per game this year. This is after scoring 104 two years ago, 101.7 the year before that, 105 before that and 100.2 the year before that, which takes us into 1998, which brings us back to Divac and Webber and etcetera.

While every other team in the league is scoring, on average, 3.8 points per game less than last year, the Kings are within 0.3 of what they put up last year and exactly the same as they were three years ago to the decimal point.

Of the 29 teams in the league, only nine at this early stage of the season are scoring more than they did last year. The list doesn't include the Dallas Mavericks, you know . . . the new Kings (down 8.7 points from last year) and the Timberwolves, you know . . . the new Mavericks (also down 8.7 points from last year).

But there's Peja draining another 3. Vlade going up and under and begging for a foul. And the whole team patiently waiting for Webber to come off the injured list while still scoring the fourth-most points in the NBA despite not having their best player on the floor.

We know who the Kings are. We know what they can do. But here are a few teams that might surprise you in the boxscore by their scoring increases or lack thereof.

Top 5

1. Seattle SuperSonics
Difference: +11.4 (103.5 ppg. to 92.1 ppg.)
Who needs Ray Allen, or for that matter Shaq and Kobe, when Rashard Lewis and Ronald Murray are combining for more than 51 points a game while both shooting above 51 percent from the field. And this team will score even more points once Vladimir Radmanovic, a career 37 percent shooting from long range, and Brent Barry, a career 40 percent shooter, improve their 26 percent and 30 percent shooting, respectively, from distance. Oh, yeah, did we mention that last year's leading scorer has yet to take his first shot.

2. Los Angeles Clippers
Difference: +9.2 (103 ppg. to 93.8 ppg.)
Corey Maggette is averaging 25.3 points per game. Maggette is shooting 56.8 percent from the field. Maggette has made eight of 17 3-point attempts. I can't figure out which line to use as the headline after the swingman averaged 11 points per game in his previous four seasons in the NBA while shooting 45 percent from the field and 33 percent from long range. But what may be even more important down the road is the fact that he's getting to the line a whopping 7.6 times per contest.

3. New Orleans Hornets
Difference: +4.8 (98.7 ppg. to 93.9 ppg.)
If Baron Davis wasn't posting 26 points a night in NBA arenas across the country, then you would probably have already heard all about David Wesley putting up a career-high 18.3 points per game in his 11th NBA season. Or about P.J. Brown shooting a career-high 55 percent from the field in his 11th season. Or about Steve Smith shooting a career-best 57 percent from long range in his 13th season. But then, again, it is Davis, who is also handing out a career-best 8.6 assists per game even if he is in only his fifth NBA season.

4. Detroit Pistons
Difference: +4.4 (95.8 ppg. to 91.4 ppg.)
Larry Brown can take all the credit he wants for turning Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton into, perhaps, the best guard duo in the Eastern Conference or for the fact that Ben Wallace has climbed into double-digit scoring for the first time in his career or for implementing an offense that boasts seven players who score more than nine points a game. But his greatest accomplishment by far has to be that these same players who are scoring more than four more points a game are still holding opponents to 87.7 points a game, which was what they were averaging last year.

5. Los Angeles Lakers
Difference: +4.1 (104.5 ppg. to 100.4 ppg.)
We knew all about Shaq and Kobe and Karl and Gary, but who would have guessed that in the mix anyone on the team would actually double their scoring output. And who would have guessed that that someone would have been Devean George. Not only has he gone from a career average of 5.6 points per game to this year's 12.9 but done so by shooting 61 percent from the field and 52 percent from 3-point range.

Bottom 5

25. Memphis Grizzlies
Difference: -10.5 (87 ppg. to 97.5 ppg.)
This is going to take a little time getting used to. There are, and I've counted twice, 11 guys on the Grizzlies in the normal rotation who are averaging 15 or more minutes a game and that includes the new starting center they just traded for a few days ago. As a result, they've got eight guys who score eight or more points per game, eight guys who average three or more rebounds, eight guys who have taken a 3-pointer this season and eight guys who aren't exactly sure what they're supposed to be doing as I write this.

26. San Antonio Spurs
Difference: -10.7 (85.1 ppg. to 95.8 ppg.)
You'd be down, too, if the league's two-time MVP had just missed three consecutive games (of 8 total played so far) and happened to be your starting power forward. A few of the names have changed, try saying Ginobili to Turkoglu to Nesterovic 10 times fast, but this team lives and dies by Tim Duncan's slow starts and fast finishes.

27. Golden State Warriors
Difference: -11 (91.4 ppg. to 102.4 ppg.)
Antawn Jamison was their leading scorer last season and he was traded. Gilbert Arenas was their second-leading scorer and he signed elsewhere. Jason Richardson is currently their leading scorer and he just twisted his ankle. Nick Van Exel is their third-leading scorer and he just came off injured reserve. Should we go on or point out that the hopes and dreams of this year's team may rest on the slender shoulders of one Mike Dunleavy, who averaged 5.7 points per game last year but is now their second-leading scorer.

28. Orlando Magic
Difference: -13.8 (84.7 ppg. to 98.5 ppg.)
The center, you know . . . the guy traditionally closest to the bucket, is shooting 39 percent from the field while the power forward, the guy most often next to the center, is shooting 42 percent, while the leading scorer is at an all-time low 35 percent. The struggles of Tracy McGrady are well documented this year but maybe wouldn't be if someone, anyone on this squad, could help it shoot above 38 percent as a team.

29. Toronto Raptors
Difference: -15.2 (75.7 ppg. to 90.9 ppg.)
Lamond Murray is averaging 7.7 points per game. Milt Palacio is averaging 7.3 and Jerome Williams is at 7.2. We bring this up because they are, respectively, the second-, third- and fourth-leading scorers on this team. We had a pretty good idea that after a couple of seasons hobbled by injury, Vince Carter could very well bounce back and score 25 points per game. What we didn't know was that those 25 points would make up one-third of a 15-man roster's total scoring output.

The Good, the Bad, the Kitchen Sink

Week 2 of the NBA season and wondering how good Tim Duncan's career numbers would be if he never had to count the month of November.

The Good

DavisBaron Davis, New Orleans Hornets
Week's work: 2-2 record, 27 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 8.7 apg, 4.5 spg, 16 triples, 43% shooting
Who wants the Most Improved Player award when you can skip it and go straight to Most Valuable.

Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz
Week's work: 3-1 record, 18.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 3 bpg, 2 triples, 52% shooting
Started off the week with five blocks, then shot 83 percent from the field in the next game before grabbing 10 boards in the next contest and finishing the week with a 25-point outburst to push his anonymous team to within one game of the Los Angeles Lakers and three games ahead of them if you count the preseason.

Steve Francis, Houston Rockets
Week's work: 3-0 record, 22.3 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 apg, 1.6 spg, 1 bpg, 5 triples, 53% shooting
If this really is Yao's team, then how come the 7-foot-6 center can't seem to manage more offensive rebounds, 1.4 per game, than the 6-foot-3 point guard, also at 1.4 per game?

Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons
Week's work: 3-0 record, 21.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2 spg, 45% shooting
Mid-range technician stacks up points and wins with the use of only one 3-pointer all week.

The Bad



GrantBrian Grant, Miami Heat
Weak work: 0-3 record, 8.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.3 bpg, 34% shooting
Personally, I think it's about time we stop pointing at rebounding stats and Thanksgiving turkeys to justify guys making more than $10 million a year.

Mike Miller Memphis Grizzlies
Week's work: 1-3 record, 13.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 42% shooting
Too little, too late. Before this week started, Mike was averaging six points a game on 26 percent shooting but at least the team was 1-1. Since then, he's kicked it up a notch to "below average" but the team is now 2-4.

Damon Stoudamire, Portland Trail Blazers
Week's work: 2-2 record, 8.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 5.2 apg, 0.7 spg, 0 bpg, 30% shooting
Don't let the record fool you. The Blazers' only three wins all season have come against the Cavs, Griz and Hawks, who are a combined 5-14 while Damon works on a 3-for-15 stain from the field.

Andrew DeClercq, Orlando Magic
Week's work: 0-4 record, 1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 0 bpg, 11% shooting
Just because people aren't expecting much of you doesn't give you the right to meet those expectations, especially when those numbers above don't account for the two DNP-CDs. On the other hand, why rock the boat when you've got a nine-year gig going while actually producing less per game than you did as a rookie.

Michael Finley, Dallas Mavericks
Weak work: 2-2 record, 10 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.5 bpg, 29% shooting
Last year, Fin and Steve Nash averaged a combined 37 points per game. This year, with the additions of Antoine Walker and Antawn Jamison, the two new second- and third-leading scorers for the Mavs, the old two are averaging only 22.5 combined. The sad part is that Finley is the only one who lost his starting position.

The Ugly

The winless Heat had to face six teams in a row that made the playoffs last year to start this season and now go on the road for six of their next eight games with seven of their next nine games coming against teams that have .500 or better record with one of the so-called winnable games against the Suns in Phoenix.

The Kitchen Sink

SWEET AND SOUR CURRY
Eddy Curry is scoring a career-high 12 points per game. Curry is also shooting a career-low 45 percent from the field. He's also blocking a career-high 1.8 shots per game but . . . and this is a big but. An injured Tyson Chandler is averaging 4.4 offensive rebounds a game while an indifferent Curry is averaging only 3.7 defensive rebounds a game.

You take the good with the bad with this guy and hope his third NBA coach in three years, if we are to believe the headlines, can somehow figure it all out. Until then, we can marvel at the last two games he played this week in which he tallied 37 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks after cursing out his first two games of the week in which he tallied five points, six boards and two blocks.

ONE STEP BACK, THREE STEPS FORWARD
Take away Elden Campbell and the Piston starters are shooting 40 percent from the field, which isn't as bad as it sounds when you realize that they're also shooting 43 percent from 3-point range while holding opponents to 28 percent shooting from distance.



ReddREDD ALERT
Steve Kerr once shot an NBA all-time season best 52.4 percent from 3-point range (back in 1995 with Chicago) and retired as the all-time leader in 3-point percentage at 45.4 percent. But don't look now. Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks is currently shooting 55.2 percent from long range with a career mark of 44.3. The biggest difference, though, is that Kerr finished with a career scoring average of six, with a career high of 8.6 in 1994, while Redd is at 13.4 boosted by this year's 22.3.
FULL-TIME STARTER
Golden State Warrior Erick Dampier has played five games so far this year and is currently leading the NBA in double-doubles with, you guessed it, five. Not too bad for a guy who may have been a starter before but logged only 24 minutes a game over seven seasons with career averages of 8.3 points and 6.5 rebounds. This year, with 34 minutes a game, he's at 12.4 and 15.8. No, that's not backwards. That 15.8 is also leading the league in rebounds.

MAC TIRED
Where there's a will, there's a way. And when there isn't, well, then Tracy McGrady takes only 17.7 shots per game after taking 24 per game last year, 21 the year before that and 22 the year before that. As a result, he averaged only 15.2 points per game this week (on 35 percent shooting), which won't be confused with last year's league-leading 32.1 (on 45 percent shooting).

A KINDER, GENTLER RON
Over his career, Ron Artest of the Pacers has gotten to the free-throw line an average of 2.7 times per game while committing 3.2 fouls per game, himself. This year, though, he's gotten there 5.2 times per game while averaging only 2.7 fouls. As a result, he's not only on the floor longer, a career-high 41.7 minutes per game so far, but he's scoring a career high of 20.9 points per game.

SONIC BOOM
Ray Allen, former shooting guard savior
Last Year in Seattle: 24.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 44% shooting

Ronald Murray, current shooting guard savior
This Year in Seattle: 23.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg, 1 spg, 51% shooting

CHEMISTRY 101 SPECIAL
Utah Jazz (4-2) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3)
Friday, Nov. 14 in Minneapolis
8 p.m EST on NBA League Pass

One of these teams lost its only two all-stars during the offseason while the other team gained two of them not counting the No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft and the two all-stars they already had. Tune into this one and see if you can find out which is which.

THE END

"Two points is two points as far as I'm concerned. Unless you shoot a three." After scoring 36,459 points and counting, this is the best Karl Malone can come up with.


Fans tired of Blazers' wayward ways

There are few constants in life. Breathing. Death. Taxes. And a combustible Portland Trail Blazers team.

For the past six or so years, walking into the Blazers locker room was a lot like walking into Mos Eisley space port. You could almost hear Obi Wan Kenobi seethe, "You'll never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy in all the NBA."

From the arrests, drug busts and confrontations with home fans, to the utter disregard for the media and the professional obligations of the game, former GM Bob Whitsitt's roster always found a home for the league's colorful characters. The joke for years was that Whitsitt wouldn't touch you unless you had a rap sheet.

When new team president Steve Patterson drafted a kid named Outlaw with the Blazers' first-round pick this summer, no one missed the joke.

This season, new management, a few new faces and much ballyhooed "Blazer Player Code of Conduct" were supposed to bring a sense or order and harmony to the NBA's most volatile roster.

But just two weeks into the regular season, the new and improved Blazers are back to their old antics. The latest incident involved Bonzi Wells flipping off home fans and then revealing he never even read the team's new code of conduct. Hey, at least he didn't spit on anyone.

Fans are revolting. Attendance is at historic lows. A frustrated new GM is finding the rest of the NBA doesn't want his baggage. A frustrated coach claims his hair is turning grey. The Bad News Blazers are back, and new GM John Nash sounds like a man ready to concede defeat, at least in the short term.

After spending all summer trying and failing to work out trades for his most troubled players, Nash says Blazers fans may have to wait awhile for the team to clean up its image.

"We may have to suck it up until we can get some of these contracts off the books," Nash told Insider on Monday.

Cutting the Cap
If Nash sounds a little frustrated, he should be. Owner Paul Allen, one of the biggest spenders in the league, reversed course this summer and decided it was time the Blazers had a payroll similar to the rest of the teams in the league. Currently, Portland has roughly $82 million in salaries committed this season. If the luxury tax stays at the projected $57 million threshold, the Blazers will owe roughly $38 million in luxury-tax fees at the end of the season. That's a hit Allen no longer wants to swallow.

"It's a fact of life that this team was spending twice as much money on player salaries as most teams in the league, and we weren't reaping the benefit," Nash said. "Something had to be done."

In just a few short months, the Blazers lopped off nearly $20 million by letting free agents Scottie Pippen, Antonio Daniels and Arvydas Sabonis walk.


Rasheed Wallace's contract can't run out soon enough for Blazers management.
The plan, according to Nash, is to let some of the team's other free-agent contracts expire over the next two summers. The goal is to become a participant in free agency during the summer of 2005.

That means the Blazers will have to slowly add by subtraction. Rasheed Wallace's $17 million a year comes off the books next summer. While Nash said no decisions have been made about Wallace's future, it appears the team plans to just let him walk. In 2005, Dale Davis ($10.9 million), Damon Stoudamire ($12.5 million) and potentially Bonzi Wells also will come off the books. In all likelihood, none of them will return to Portland, either.

Currently, the Blazers have a projected payroll of $26.3 million in 2005. That number goes down to $18.3 million if they don't pick up their option on Wells. While you have to factor in re-signing Zach Randolph, who becomes a restricted free agent that summer, any way you slice it, the Blazers should have cap room if they stay the course.

"I think in three years, Blazers fans will be looking at a very different roster from the one we have now," Nash told Insider.

Three Years?!?
While the Blazers' plans to cut payroll are pretty straightforward, they often come into conflict with the two other goals of the organization -- continue a streak of 21 consecutive playoff appearances and clean up the character of the team.

Nash claims he has received plenty of offers for players like Wallace and Wells. The problem is, teams want to send back players with similar problems and longer-term deals in return.

"I could've pulled the trigger on a number of deals that brought back players with baggage," Nash said. "But what's the point? It's a self-defeating exercise."

Nash told Insider he believed the Blazers were close on several occasions to acquiring quality players in trades, but declined to discuss specifics.

"Teams tend not to want to send you a quality player with a short term contract and great character and get back a guy with baggage and a long-term deal in return," Nash said. "It doesn't happen very often."

A rumor floating around last weekend had the Blazers sending Wallace and Wells to the Mavericks for Antawn Jamison and Michael Finley. Both Nash and Mavs owner Mark Cuban have denied they were engaged in any serious talks about the trade.

Although Jamison and Finley fit the mold the Blazers are looking for on the character end, their long-term contracts are problematic for Nash.

Sources claim Nash reportedly also was working on another deal earlier last week that could've sent Wells to the Raptors. However, the Raptors' offer of Mo Peterson, Michael Bradley and a retiring Eric Montross was just as problematic. While the move allowed the Blazers to expedite clearing the cap, talent-wise the Blazers were giving up too much.

All of this leads to an obvious question. Is it possible for a team to cut cap, trade away talented but troubled players and remain competitive at the same time?

Nash admits he's stuck in Catch-22. "Those three aren't really in concert with each other. We have to make some tough decisions."

Preaching Patience
" I'm not anxious to rip this team apart and plummet to the bottom just to have choir boys on the roster. "
-- Blazers GM John Nash
While Nash refuses to prioritize the Blazers' three main goals, it's pretty clear by their actions that cutting payroll and still winning basketball games are the most important things right now in Portland.

Perhaps that's why fans are so disgruntled. A big deal was made when Nash and Patterson were hired about rehabilitating the image of the Blazers. In theory it sounded great. In practice, it's been much more difficult.

Ultimately, Nash believes the fans in Portland will care more about winning than they do about rebuilding.

"I'm not anxious to rip this team apart and plummet to the bottom just to have choir boys on the roster," Nash told Insider. "As upset as the fans are with player behavior, fans are anxious to see success. All fans want instant gratification. But our fans have enjoyed 21 consecutive appearances in the playoffs. They don't understand the pain of rebuilding. I don't think they want to. ... All of these small problems tend to create a level of angst that is a little unrealistic."

In lieu of trading away the trouble makers, Nash is employing other methods in an attempt to clean up the image of his team.

He hired former player Jerome Kersey as director of player programs. Kersey's job is to change the culture in the locker room, assist players both emotionally and in their day-to-day trials, and to improve the team's image in the community.

"I'm no psychologist. I'm not a professional counselor," Kersey said in an interview on the Blazers web site. "I'm just a person who has been through it: Seventeen years as a player in the NBA gives me insights into most all the problems -- the temptations and the frustrations -- that a player today may face.

"Most of the young players coming into the league aren't prepared to handle the burdens of being a professional athlete cast into a fish bowl," Kersey said. "They come in here having spent hours in front of the tube watching ESPN highlights. They've all got million dollar moves, but can't finish a $2 lay-up."

Nash is hoping Kersey, along with several other programs the Blazers have developed, will be enough to get the Blazers through the rough spots the next couple of years.

If they don't? Nash claims he's still diligently working the phones every day looking for trades that make sense for the Blazers. If he's unsuccessful in "radically changing" the roster, Nash claims he'll resist the temptation to just waive his bad boys the way teams like the Bucks have done.

"I think it sends the wrong message," Nash said. "It's like rewarding a guy for not playing. You don't want that type of thing becoming contagious. I believe suspension is a better vehicle to get our message across."

Perhaps. But to a dwindling fan base that has seen their beloved team wallow in the mud for too long, the perpetuation of the talent over character theme is starting to wear a little thin.

Around the League


-Speaking of Blazers' trade rumors, the word out of Dallas is that, right now anyway, the Mavs aren't looking to make any more moves -- certainly not for Wallace and Wells. Chemistry already seems to be an issue early on, and those two guys are both arsenic. The other concern of Mavs management has is the message all of the wheeling and dealing has sent to players.
Players, for the most part, like to know they're safe. With as many moves as the Mavs have made the past two years, no one, with the exception of Dirk Nowitzki, can really be sure where he's going to be laying his head at night. For a team that has tried to build a rep as a player friendly organization, getting labeled trade-happy isn't really a good thing. While there's nothing current Mavs players can do, it will scare off free agents in the summer who don't want to pick the Mavs only to be traded away to a team like the Warriors.

For all of those reasons, expect the Mavs to sit a little bit and see what they really have.

Derek Anderson
Shooting Guard
Portland Trail Blazers
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
1 1.0 0.0 0.0 .000 .500




-While we're on the Blazers, coach Mo Cheeks' latest fallout with Derek Anderson has given rise to rumors that Anderson, a good soldier for the Blazers last season, is also on the block along with Wallace, Wells and Ruben Patterson. While Nash downplayed the incident and claims Anderson wants to remain a Blazer, moving Anderson makes some sense.
He has one of those bad contracts that Nash has been trying to move. If he can swap Anderson for a player in the last year of his deal, the Blazers could be looking at another $9 million in cap room in 2005. Is there anyone interested?

The talk is that the Knicks have some interest. Anderson is capable of playing the point and, when he's healthy, would give the Knicks some youthful energy in the backcourt. A combo of Charlie Ward and Othella Harrington works under the cap. Ward is in the last year of his deal. Harrington's contract expires after the 2004-05 season. However, with Knicks GM Scott Layden also under orders to cut the payroll, will he really be able to get approval to add another big contract to the mix?

Ricky Davis
Guard-Forward
Cleveland Cavaliers
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
7 17.1 7.1 5.7 .450 .609




-Cavs coach Paul Silas would love for GM Jim Paxson to find a new home for Ricky Davis. What about the New Orleans Hornets? I don't have any knowledge of talks between the two sides, but I do know what each team is looking for, and this makes a lot of sense.
With an injury to Courtney Alexander, and with an aging David Wesley, the Hornets could use a full-time two guard with a handle. The Cavs, if they could get Davis' contract off the books, could be as much as $9 million under the cap next season (assuming they don't offer Darius Miles a boatload of cash in free agency). While Cleveland hasn't historically had much luck in the free-agent market, the addition of LeBron and all of the new attention could greatly improve their chances of landing a decent free agent.

A trade of Davis for Stacey Augmon, Alexander and Bryce Drew works under the cap. The Cavs get their cap room, the Hornets get a solid two guard and much more offensive firepower, and everyone goes home happy.


-We know that Magic coach Doc Rivers and Bulls coach Bill Cartwright are on the hot seat. But what about Knicks head coach Don Chaney? Chaney's Knicks are off to a miserable 2-5 start, and with Antonio McDyess not expected back until December, things don't look good.
Chaney has come under fire the past week for benching Dikembe Mutombo just weeks after begging GM Scott Layden to sign him. Chaney claims he's discovered Mutombo can't guard anyone other than other big, lumbering centers. Larry Brown and Byron Scott could've told him that months ago. Considering most Eastern Conference teams are playing younger power forwards in the middle, that's a big problem.

The frustration in the Knicks' locker room is evident. Chaney finally lost his cool at the New York media Monday night after they kept pressing the issue.

"You know it's not a good match-up, why should I do it?" Chaney told reporters before the morning practice. "Why should you guys drag it on? It doesn't make sense what you're saying. He can guard just about anyone in the league, but he can't guard a forward who's mobile. You guys are not getting it, and it drives me crazy. Let's talk about something else. Every day it's the same thing."

"I study the game, I know the game," Chaney said. "He cannot guard smaller, quicker guys. Next time we play a game, watch the game. Watch him and his match-ups. Please do that. And write what you see, not what you hear."

Chaney better be careful. Layden has been looking for a high-profile coach to take the helm ever since Jeff Van Gundy retired. With former Bucks coach George Karl waiting in the wings and telling folks he's ready to coach again, Layden may try to make a move before someone else snatches Karl up.


Peep Show

Denver Nuggets: Maybe Vince Carter was tired of chasing Carmelo Anthony up and down the court or maybe he was really trying to help him. "I usually don't give advice to my opponents until after the game, but one thing I told him was slow down," Carter said in the Rocky Mountain News. "When you have in your mind you can beat a guy, you tend to rush. You want to do it so fast. But he needs to slow down. He's got a big, strong body. He's very capable. He's proven he can get into the lane, but sometimes he's out of control. If guys are taking charges, it can get him in foul trouble. If a guy is standing there, he can't just run right over him. He needs to take his time. He can shoot the ball and he can post up. A guy who can do both is hard to guard."

New Jersey Nets: For a tad more than $250 million, you, too, can own the New Jersey Nets. The New York Times is reporting that four parties have officially submitted bids to purchase the team from YankeeNets, all within $30 million of one other and none more than $300 million. Of the four bids, only one would keep the Nets in New Jersey.

Chicago Bulls: For now, anyways, Bill Cartwright is the boss, and if he says Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford are to come off the bench, then so be it. "It would've been a controversy had we pouted and not played well or decided because we weren't starting, we didn't want to play," Rose said in the Chicago Tribune. "It shouldn't be a controversy if we go out there and do what we can to help lead the team to victory." Sources within the team said that a meeting dominated by Scottie Pippen attempted to quell dissension from the players.

Miami Heat: Tonight, Stan and Jeff Van Gundy go head to head as head coaches of their respective teams when the Rockets take on the Heat, and mom Cindy has some insight on the matchup. "I think Jeff was the better all-around player," Cindy said in the Sun Sentinel. "He was your prototype point guard. Stan was a shooter. I mean that kid could shoot the ball. If they had the 3-point line when he was playing, he would have increased his scoring a great deal. Now it might be a little hilarious if we had a little one on one between them before this game."

San Antonio Spurs: Now that the Spurs have hung David Robinson's No. 50 from the rafters, Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson could be next. "Those are two of the greatest Spurs," said Spurs assistant coach Mario Elie, who also was a member of the '99 title team, said to the Express News. "They're just great people. It's not only about the basketball; it's also about the person. I'll make a special trip here to see those guys' jerseys retired."

superheadcat
11-12-2003, 11:52 AM
nice read.
do u get insider on a regular basis? if so, pls post it on a regular basis. thx

Stressboy
11-12-2003, 12:40 PM
Hey, he read our thread on the Wallace/Wells trade.

Max Power
11-13-2003, 06:32 PM
NBA Insider...Nov 11:
-Speaking of Blazers' trade rumors, the word out of Dallas is that, right now anyway, the Mavs aren't looking to make any more moves -- certainly not for Wallace and Wells. Chemistry already seems to be an issue early on, and those two guys are both arsenic. The other concern of Mavs management has is the message all of the wheeling and dealing has sent to players.

Players, for the most part, like to know they're safe. With as many moves as the Mavs have made the past two years, no one, with the exception of Dirk Nowitzki, can really be sure where he's going to be laying his head at night. For a team that has tried to build a rep as a player friendly organization, getting labeled trade-happy isn't really a good thing. While there's nothing current Mavs players can do, it will scare off free agents in the summer who don't want to pick the Mavs only to be traded away to a team like the Warriors.

For all of those reasons, expect the Mavs to sit a little bit and see what they really have.


I really agree with this.

veruca salt
11-13-2003, 07:36 PM
Yeah it's a great point, and I was talking about it the other day with
a friend. Players won't be willing to go somewhere if they're not going to
feel safe in their job. Especially with the NVE trade, he was playing well, the team
did well...and he still lost his job.

Big Boy Laroux
11-14-2003, 11:15 AM
right. as much as we can say, hey, it's a business, they should suck it up and be traded... these guys make decisions about where they want to play as free agents based on the coach, city, playing time, etc. I wouldn't blame them if they are wary to sign with dallas.

as for NVE, he came here in a trade... so, maybe that doesn't apply to him. i felt bad when we traded hardaway, cause he signed with us...

are there no-trade clauses in the nba? if so, i can only see big name FAs signing with us (if we ever get under the cap) if we provide no-trade clauses, which is not a situation we want to be in.