Boston Celtic opponents won’t have to worry about dealing with Kevin Garrnet’s nastiness because he will be out for a while with a knee injury. Photo by Jeff Lewis
Yes, a Clipper should be an all-star, ‘Melo’ isn’t worth five picks and injuries and their implications are felt throughout the league.
By Michael Brown,
Sentinel Sports Writer
Should Blake Griffin be an all-star?
There was an interesting conversation in some quarters of the NBA blogosphere last week regarding the all-star viability of players such as Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.
No one questioned the individual merits of either player, but instead, asked the question: should exceptional players on bad teams be all-stars?
Valid arguments can be made by both sides and backed by statistics to make a particular case.
The calendar may have flipped over to 2011, but the Clippers are still the Clippers and they lost at home Sunday to Atlanta, 107-98. Griffin went 11-for-22 from the field, finishing with 31 points and 15 rebounds.
Griffin’s season averages of 22 points, 13 rebounds per game and 52 percent from the floor are hard to ignore despite the Clippers’ record.
As of Monday, Jan. 3, Griffin is sixth in fan votes among Western forwards, trailing San Antonio’s Tim Duncan by less than a thousand.
Griffin’s exceptional play and highlight-reel dunks should garner an all-star nod, but the Clippers 10-24 record won’t help. I tend to agree with leaving players from losing teams off of all-star teams. Gaudy numbers don’t amount to a hill of beans if they don’t translate into the win column.
But there are exceptions. If the criteria to make the all-star team is that you play on a winning squad, then the Spurs Dejuan Blair should start, which would be ridiculous.
Griffin should make the team because it’s a showcase for the league. One of the NBA’s most electrifying players should be on display before the nation next month when the all-star game takes center-stage at the Staples Center.
Report: Denver wants five picks for Carmelo Anthony
League sources told Yahoo! Sports that Denver wants five first-round draft picks as part of a package from any team that wants to acquire Carmelo Anthony via trade.
After trade talks were placed on a one-week moratorium due to the death of Anthony’s sister, Yahoo! reported last Friday that Denver would resume talks with New Jersey this week.
It’s been rumored that rookie forward Derrick Favors would have to be included in any deal Denver consummated with New Jersey. New Jersey is reportedly also offering guard Devin Harris, making a three-team deal possible.
I don’t know how viable these rumors are. I suspect the involved teams are floating proposals through the media to gauge and elicit response from other organizations.
On cue, one unnamed NBA executive was quoted as saying the Nuggets “need to get real” because “that’s not happening.”
I agree. When I saw the proposal, I immediately harkened back to 1989 when the Minnesota Vikings traded way five roster players and six assorted draft picks for Dallas running back Hershel Walker.
Minnesota believed it was one-player away from winning a Super Bowl and gambled ending up with the bad hand in perhaps the most lopsided trade in sports history. Minnesota struggled for several years, Walker was a bust and Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson parlayed the picks into the core of teams that won two Super Bowls.
Twenty-two years later, I’m assuming New Jersey’s general manager doesn’t want to add his name to sports infamy. If the Nuggets can pull it off, they should.
There’s no guarantee that Anthony would re-sign with New Jersey, and if he leaves–the Nets would likely be relegated to lottery status for several years–to the benefit of the rebuilding Nuggets.
Injury bug bites playoff contenders
There are several teams around the NBA who have already suffered major injuries to key players; however, the Dallas Mavericks have taken the worst hits lately.
The Mavericks, who were already without the services of Dirk Nowitski and Shawn Marion not only lost at Milwaukee Saturday night, but may have lost forward Caron Butler for the season.
Butler went down awkwardly in the first quarter and continued to play for a few minutes before limping off the floor.
ESPNDallas.com reported, after speaking with a person with direct knowledge that Butler may be done for the year. If that’s the case, the Mavericks chances of upsetting the Lakers or Spurs would be finished.
Not only did Butler contribute 15 points per game, but Dallas would be down a valuable wing defender who could potentially challenge players such as Richard Jefferson and Kobe Bryant on both ends of the floor.
Nowitski is still out with a sprained ankle and Marion returned Sunday for Dallas’ win over Cleveland.
Boston is also battling injuries. General manager Danny Ainge said Kevin Garnett will likely miss two weeks, but added that was on the “conservative side,” after the forward injured his right calf Wednesday, Dec. 29 against Detroit.
Point guard Rajon Rondo returned Sunday and the Celtics won at Toronto, 93-79. Rondo finished with a pedestrian four points and eight assists in 34 minutes after missing seven games.
Celtic’s center Kendrick Perkins and reserve guard Delonte West are still out with injuries.
Portland’s all-star forward Brandon Roy due to sore knees has been ruled out ’indefinitely” by the Blazers. Portland made the announcement before the Blazers against Utah last Thursday. With Greg Olden already on the shelf for the year, and the future of oft-injured Roy in question–Portland’s future is in peril.
Remember, Portland played Roy in the first-round of the playoffs against Phoenix last season, although he had had surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee two days before the series.
I’m not sure if this injury is a byproduct of rushing Roy back to compete in the Phoenix series while he should have been healing, but it didn’t help. With Roy out, Portland is in jeopardy of missing the playoffs this year.
The Blazers are bunched up with teams like Denver, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Houston to determine the West’s final playoff spots. The Spurs, Mavericks, Lakers and Jazz will likely control the top-four spots.
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