News and opinions

Bulls get thwacked
Luol Deng is out for the year... which means Andres Nocioni (10.08 PER, -10.9 Roland Rating) is going to have to take over even more time at the small forward spot. So far this year, Deng's had 44% of the time at the 3 spot and Nocioni's had 37%... still not sure why Skiles plays the latter so much. Don't expect a Bulls win in round one without Deng, even if they break their tie with Washington and get home court advantage... he's too integral to the team and his backup is next to useless, as you can see. So, solid year for the team, but it's not going to take them anywhere. Next year, provided Curry and Chandler are back, could be the one they really break through.

My take on who should be coach of the year
This year's a tough one. Many people are saying Mike D'Antoni, but it's pretty clear that it's been mostly Nash that's improved that team, which removes him from my view on the contention. Before the recent trouble in the locker room, I would've said Nate McMillan was number one, but now I'm not so sure. Scott Skiles is a good one too, but he needs to stop playing Chris Duhon (8.99 PER, 52% of team's minutes at PG) and Nocioni so much. All nice candidates, but if I had a vote, it would go to one George Karl. I know he hasn't been there all year but, as Marc Stein said in Monday's Power Rankings:

Throw out their last two games against Phoenix and Furious George has Nuggets on a stunning 17-0 run. Overall they're 14-1 at home for the new coach and 10-5 on the road.

"It's fantastic!". I thought the Nuggets would be one of the four best teams in the West at the start of the year and thanks to Karl, they're playing like it. My hat's off to him, he's done a wicked job, especially considering the widely held opinion that he wouldn't mesh with young guys like Carmelo and K-Mart.

Hall of famers
Article here. Calhoun and Boeheim getting in makes sense, as does Hubie's entrance. I'm not really familiar with Sue Gunter, so I won't comment there. Can't say I'm familiar with "Hortencia", either... yeah. Naturally, the biggest complaint is about the Human Highlight Reel/Film getting snubbed, which I have to agree with. Dominique was a scoring machine and a good rebounder throughout his career, as well as electrifying enough to earn him that famous nickname. I suspect he'll make it in eventually, though. Joe D also got snubbed and I don't think he'll get in as a player (but I'd certainly be happy if he did), but the way he's going as an executive, he might get in that way instead.

ESPN.com features Globetrotter news in the NBA section
I really don't get this one... I can understand why they put up the Kemp story, since he's a former NBAer, but why the heck is Globetrotter news up there?

Skip Bayless thinks JR Smith is an all-star candidate
It's quite possible he meant Josh Smith... but let's take a look at the stats.

Josh Smith
15.73 PER, 45.8 FG%, 1.18 PPS, 26.2 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.89 BPG
Slanted up to 36 minutes... 12 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.6 BPG

JR Smith
12.01 PER, 40.6 FG%, 1.09 PPS, 23 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG
Slanted up to 36 minutes... 15 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.7 SPG

Presuming he meant Josh (which is likely, as he is the more famous of the two what with winning the dunk contest and all), this comment is fine, as he looks to be an all around talented player. If he actually meant JR... well, something's clearly wrong with that statement.

8th spot races
In the East, Philly's got a 1 game lead on Orlando and a 1.5 game lead on the Nets... don't count on them dropping it. Even without Webber, I think they can hold onto the spot. In the West, Denver and Memphis have a 3 game lead on Minnesota. The Timberwolves have won 6 of their last 7, but I already mentioned how Denver's been going and Memphis has won two straight since their return of Gasol tumbling. Don't expect anything to happen here... but expect a very unhappy KG when the Wolves are officially eliminated. Side note, I still stand by my prediction that Memphis would wipe out Seattle if the two were clash in round one, but they're really going to have to come on strong for the matchup to happen. Denver's in their way and Houston has a 2 game lead on them for the 6th spot. As for if Denver can make an upset happen... I think they could take out anyone other than Phoenix and San Antonio (if they have Duncan) in the West right now.

No Piston news right now, perhaps more later.


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