|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
Juan Ocampo/Getty Images
Pau Gasol dished the potatoes during a recent event. Lakers fans are grateful the Grizz dished him.
Steve Babineau//Getty Images
"Hey Rajon, give us 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists." He did. Boston beat GSW 119-111.
Chris Bosh's over-the-top performance included 39 points and 11 boards in a 93-86 win over Charlotte.
Jesse D. Garrabrant /Getty Images
Rashard Lewis launches a 3 with 4.7 seconds left to lead Orlando to a 96-94 win over the 76ers.
That Derrick Rose has brought hope to Chicago. -- Eric (Chicago)
That Bulls GM John Paxson made the right choice with Derrick Rose over Michael Beasley. Rose already has the ability to take over games, and he's only played 15 of them in the NBA. As for that low-post presence? We'll find one sooner or later. -- Ricky (Glenview, Ill.)
For the memory of Paxson draining a "3" in Phoenix for a title. Without that memory, I would be forced to look at the horrific job he's done as GM -- Jeff (Chicago)
Beijing. Though not because of Phelps, women's beach volleyball or watching Usain Bolt run a 9.69 100 and realizing he could have gone faster! No, I'm thankful because the determining factor in the NBA free agent summer of 2010 will be the bonds that were developed in the summer of 2008 between the members of the USA Men's Basketball team. Bonds that, money and marketing potential aside, will bring some combination of LeBron, Wade & Bosh to the New York Knicks. -- Dean (New York)
For the utter misery, disappointment, and relentless frustration of being a Cleveland sports fan. -- Danny (Cleveland)
To live in a country where you become royalty through mercilessly dunking on people, monster swats, and no-look dimes. All Hail King James! -- Dan (Oxford, Ohio)
The fact that I will get to watch (barring any injuries) at least 10 more years of awe-inspiring basketball from LeBron James. I mean, what is the limit for this guy? 35-9-9? more? Does he even have a limit? -- Adam (Alexandria, Va.)
1. Cleveland's offense. 2. San Antonio's injuries. 3. Ron Ron's mental stability. 4. D-Wade's resurrection. 5. Shaq's throwback 20 and 10 nights. 6. "LeBron 2010" articles 7. The demise of the once Big 3 (SA/Dallas/Phoenix) 8. Chris Paul back-to-back trip dubs 9. DHow/Amare/Bosh 10. Kobe's 4-point dagger in the Olympics. -- WitnessThe Mavs gave all their free agent money to DeSagana Diop so he could come back to Dallas and contribute 2.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and .92 blocks in 18 minutes per game. Wait, no, that's not it. I am thankful that the Mavs have won five straight to get back to .500. Hmmm. Yes. I am thankful. -- Brent (Dallas)
That my owner (Suns' Robert Sarver) had the foresight to save money the past few years. He must have known how bad the economy was going to get. Good thing we didn't re-sign Joe Johnson or pay Shawn Marion to keep him happy. And while we are here, I am thankful Marion was too scared to sign an extension with Boston, essentially, destroying the Garnett trade for Phoenix because who would want to be stuck with Garnett when you could have a 36-year-old, 475-pound (approx.), 7-1 center who can't make a free throw or defend the pick and roll to save his life?! -- Marc (Tempe, Ariz.)
That Yao Ming finally realized that he's bigger than 100 percent of his competition in the post and is finally using his mass to clear a path to the hoop. It started in the game against the Wizards when he bullied JaVale McGee to the hoop and then posterized a dunk on him. Call it aggression, call it simple physics, I don't care; I'm just glad the light has turned on inside his head. Watch out NBA! -- Daniel Bustos (Eugene, Ore.)
That Chauncey Billups made everyone's stats worse, for the sake of making a better team. -- Kevin (Denver)
For Tim Duncan pretty much playing his entire career as a San Antonio Spur! You don't see that with many superstars today. -- Fred (Richmond)
That Manu Ginobili is back for the Spurs. The Sixth Man of the Year played in his first game of the season and scored 12 points in 11 minutes. Welcome back, Manu! -- AWF (D.C.)
Chris Bosh is a Raptor (let's keep it that way come 2010). -- David (Toronto)
For the Jason Kidd trade. The man was my absolute idol and the only thing Jersey could be excited about since the Finals' runs in '02 and '03. But damn am I glad that Rod Thorn worked his magic. The Nets have been exciting and watchable lately, and as a broke college student I am amazed that I would lay down $189.00 to watch this team every night. It's been great. Now if only Bruce Ratner (can't we just call him "he who shall not be named"?) would realize this team belongs in Jersey. -- Matt Gaudio (Long Valley, N.J.)
That Kobe Bryant is the star player for the Lakers, and not the general manager. -- Casey
I am thankful to Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace. He gave the Los Angeles Lakers the greatest gift of them all! -- Jake (Santa Barbara, CA)
I know that there are far more Dans -- Ferry, Gilbert and the like -- in this world than there are LeBrons. The superstar ultimately holds the cards, and everyone else should act accordingly.
But that doesn't mean you stand idly by as they loot the store. If at any point the Cavaliers believe LeBron James is going to leave as a free agent in 2010, it's time to start preparing Cavaliers fans for the fact that you might trade the guy.
At the very least, it might dim the lights a little on the LeBron James flirtation show.
Or it might end up being smart to actually trade him.
If he walks, top teams will have cap space in 2010, but it's a good bet that the premium markets will be the ones to attract the blue-chip talent like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. In other words, Cleveland's Plan B for cap space in 2010 is probably not as sexy as New York's. So better to trade for an asset that you can then pay more than anyone else to keep.
And let's not pretend this free-agent negotiation is really going to come down to some team executives wowing LeBron James with a nice tour of the city two summers from now. The Knicks, Nets and Pistons have made their moves. The cards are on the table. There's no good reason the decision-makers in the LeBron James camp wouldn't already have a good idea how they'd rank the contenders at this point. The only information to come is who is going to win the championships in 2009 and 2010, and who else might gain cap space.
So my point is, if you're Danny Ferry, and you don't have strong private conviction that LeBron James is harmlessly flirting, don't you have to at least know what's out there?
To see the full TrueHoop entry Click here
Reader Menachem in New York wonders, "How did the Knicks not make the 15 surprises of the season article? They went from horrible the last 5 or so years to decent."
I've seen this sentiment expressed in several different places -- that the Knicks, based on their 6-5 start, were now a good team capable of making the playoffs.
Sorry, you're reading too much into an easy early-season schedule. Though New York is currently 7-8, it ranks only 22nd in the Power Rankings thanks to a very easy schedule (.441 opponent winning percentage), two more home games than road games, and a strongly negative average scoring margin (-2.64).
The Knicks' 6-5 start wasn't that surprising, in other words -- the schedule set up for them to get out of the gate fairly well. Now that their schedule is getting appreciably tougher, it will be much harder for them to stay above break-even -- especially since they traded their two leading scorers for two players (Al Harrington and Tim Thomas) who are about as redundant as any duo in the league. On a positive note, at least they're both from the good side of the Hudson.
Click here to see the full story.
Heath (Cleveland): Would a Kobe Bryant/LeBron James final be the most-watched sporting event ever (in the U.S.?)David Thorpe: No, but it'd be huge.
Gerry (Indy): Does Jamaal Tinsley have value?
David Thorpe: Only to his family.
Delonte West (Cleveland): Why did it take more than 4 NBA seasons for someone to realize I should play off the ball?
David Thorpe: You mean considering that's all you did in college?
Click here for the full chat
Deron Williams, whose sprained left ankle limited him to two games this season, returned to action with 15 assists in 29 minutes in Utah's 117-100 win over Memphis.