Rose leaves game with hamstring injury


Man, Rose just can’t stay healthy. There’s no way the Bulls make the Finals with his inconsistent health.

Originally posted on | Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith:

[nba-video vid=games/nuggets/2014/11/26/]
VIDEO:Rose leaves in second quarter in Denver, doesn’t return

Chicago’s Derrick Rose suffered another injury setback Tuesday night, leaving the game at Denver with what the Bulls said was tightness in the left hamstring.

Rose had just returned to the lineup the night before after missing the previous four games with a hamstring injury. He played 25 minutes in the 97-95 win at Utah and a night later at Pepsi Center was attempting to make it through a back-to-back for the first time since 2013-14.

Instead, Rose played 9 minutes 52 seconds against the Nuggets, all in the first half and did not return for the third quarter. Kirk Hinrich started the second half at point guard.

Rose was trying to come back from a series of knee problems before the hamstring became an issue.

The Bulls next play Friday, at Boston.

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Could Kentucky actually beat Philadelphia?

There is a lot of talk right now about whether or not the Kentucky Wildcats could beat the Philadelphia 76ers; yes, the NBA 76ers. This talk is following Kentucky’s blowout win over the 5th ranked Kansas Jayhawks, and the continued horrid season the 76ers are having once again. This argument seems fair when you look at the talent John Calipari has accumulated, but is it really?
First off, we’re talking about an NBA team going up against a college team. Even though Kentucky has probably nine or ten players that will play in the NBA, the 76ers have 12. For the sake of argument let’s say Kentucky will have ten players off of their current roster make the NBA. How many of Kentucky’s players have practiced or played against players that have played in an NBA game on a consistent basis? Zero. How many of the 12 current players on Philadelphia’s roster have practiced and played against NBA players consistently? Every single one of them.
Aside from the fact that the Kentucky players have no NBA experience, they also are still in their teens. Sure, there are guys like Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett who have been drafted to the NBA straight out of high school, but what’s the common trend amongst these three? They are all first ballot Hall of Fame players and widely considered to be some of the greatest players of their time.
Even though those guys will go on to be Hall of Famers, they weren’t superstars in their first year. Tracy McGrady only averaged 7 points a game his rookie season. Kobe Bryant only averaged a mere 7.6 points a game his rookie season. Kevin Garnett only averaged 10 points in his rookie season. Do you see the trend? These guys were about the same age as the majority of Kentucky’s roster when they made their NBA debut, and I can almost guarantee there aren’t three guys on this Kentucky squad that will go on to be no-brainer Hall of Famers.
The Philadelphia players might not be world beaters against other NBA guys, but they’re still in the NBA. For example, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted out a video of Tony Wroten (76ers guard) dropping 53 points in a pro-am game against a mix of NBA, NCAA and D-League guys. He scored 53 points against a squad with a roster not full of 17 and 18 year old kids. These NBA players are men who play basketball for a living. Kentucky is a college team full of teenagers who still have to go to class.
Earlier today a Las Vegas book put a hypothetical line on Kentucky versus Philadelphia on a neutral court at -17, meaning the 76ers would be the 17 point favorite. I would take the over all day on that line. The 76ers are more developed, more experienced, and overall better players at this point in time.

Blogtable: Eye-opener out of the gate

Originally posted on | Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith:

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Stumbling in the East | Revisiting the Sixers’ plan | Early season eye-opener

> Give me a lesser-known player who is opening your eyes. What do you like about him?
Jimmy Butler (Gary Dineen/NBAE)
Jimmy Butler (Gary Dineen/NBAE)

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comLooks like I was wrong about Chicago’s Jimmy Butler – again. I didn’t share the Chicago Bulls’ high hopes for Butler when they drafted him No. 30 in 2011; “short arms, flat shot, plays too straight-up-and-down” was my initial impression. And I didn’t agree with Butler’s decision not to nail down a contract extension by the Oct. 31 deadline (too much risk to eke out another 10 percent raise or so…

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The Emergence of Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis has been the talk of the league so far this season. He has wowed NBA followers across the country this year with his crazy athleticism, shot blocking ability, and ridiculous stat lines. Not only has Davis averaged 24.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.3 steals a game, but he has the highest PER (Player Efficiency Rating) by eight points. In comparison, the gap between 2nd and 3rd in PER is .1. The former 1st pick has been insanely good this year up to this point, but what has allowed him to elevate his game to the next level?
One thing that has allowed Davis to exceed this year is the addition of Omer Asik. Asik has averaged 9.1 points and more importantly 10.7 rebounds a game. The reason his addition was so big for Anthony Davis and the Pelicans is because him playing center allows Davis to slide over to his natural position of power forward. Asik being at the center position allows Anthony Davis to be able to cross the lane to block shots without worrying about the backside rebound.
Last year if Davis crossed the lane and missed the block, the backside rebound was much easier to get for the other team because there wasn’t a true rebounding force on the Pelicans outside of Davis. Due to this, Davis would stay at home so that he wouldn’t give up an easy put back. Now that he has Omer Asik down there with him, he can cross the lane and is able to attempt to block more shots without having to worry about an easy put back. The more block attempts he has, the more shots he will block.
On the offensive end, Davis is averaging four more points a game than last season. Aside from the continued polishing of his offensive skill, there are two things that are allowing him to score more. First off, he’s getting one more offensive rebound a game than last year. Now that might not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that the majority of his offensive rebounds are gotten inside the paint, you realize that one extra offensive rebound a game usually leads to two extra points a game. Secondly, Jrue Holiday has been healthy this season. Holiday and Tyreke Evans are combining for 13.7 assists per game. Their ability to drive the lane and dish has lead to more high percentage scoring opportunities for Davis.
The brow has taken the league by storm this season and is in early contention for league MVP. The Pelicans are currently 4-3 with a win over the defending champs, the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve been in every game they’ve played and are looking like a team that could make the playoffs in an insanely deep western conference.

The Durant and Westbrook injuries: Good or Bad for the Thunder?

As most of you know, both Kevin Durant (stress fracture) and Russell Westbrook (broken hand) will not be able to return to action until probably December, with Durant more than likely coming back later than Westbrook. Sure, the injuries to the superstar duo will probably lead to the Thunder landing a lower seed in the playoffs, but do the injuries help or hurt the Thunder in the long run? I think it will ultimately help Oklahoma City.

The Thunder are currently sitting at 3-6, which has them four and a half games back from Memphis and Houston. As most expected, they have not performed well without the superstar duo. At first glance, the record looks bad and you begin to wonder if they’ll still be in striking distance of the playoffs when Durant and Westbrook to return. But then you look at their schedule leading up to mid December, and the goal of being at or around .500 for the duo’s return looks a lot more realistic.

For arguments sake lets say Durant and Westbrook both return by December 9th for their bout against the Milwaukee Bucks. In the games leading up to that date, Oklahoma City will have played 11 games. In those 11 games, they will have played Detroit twice, Denver, New York, Utah and Philadelphia. Thats six games in that time span that are very winnable. If they win just five of those 11 games, they would be 8-12 when Durant and Westbrook return. 62 games is plenty of time for the Thunder to get well into the playoff picture.

Where I think the Thunder will benefit by the absence of Durant and Westbrook is being able to develop some guys into key pieces that will allow the Thunder to make a deep playoff run. The two guys that have performed extremely well so far that I think will be key pieces for the Thunder are guard Reggie Jackson and center Steven Adams.

Jackson this season has averaged 22 points, eight assists and three rebounds in Russell Westbrook’s absence. His development as a scorer will be huge when Oklahoma City needs to differ to a third scoring option. Adams on the other hand sort of came into his own in the playoffs last year, and has continued to elevate his game. So far this season he has averaged over eight points and a little over seven rebounds a game. He is a major upgrade over Kendrick Perkins on the offensive side of the ball and is a pretty good rebounder.

As far as role players go, Oklahoma City has been able to get some younger guys good minutes in the first nine games, two guys of note being Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb. Perry Jones is currently out with a knee contusion, but in the time he’s gotten this season, he’s averaged 15 points and just under four rebounds. If he is able to score coming of the bench consistently, he will be a huge asset to the team come playoff time when he goes in for the reigning MVP. Lamb has also shown an ability to score, averaging 11 points a game. He also has been solid rebounding the ball, averaging over five rebounds a game. The continued development of these two will pay huge dividends for the Thunder down the road.

The Thunder have been a team decimated by injuries so far this season. Once they get to full health, they’ll have one of the fives in the league with a deep bench to go along with it. The scoring of Jeremy Lamb, Anthony Morrow and Perry Jones coupled with Kendrick Perkins ability to rebound and defend off the bench will make the Thunder hard to beat when the playoffs roll around.

Washington Wizards: Off Season Preview

          The Wizards are looking at a quiet offseason. After finishing one of their best seasons in a while, the Wizards have no draft picks in the first round, and it is not likely they will sing anyone in free agency. The action for the Wizards offseason will come internally.

          Both Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat have expiring contracts. The Wizards will try to retain both, unless the duo becomes too expensive. The Wizards are afraid that this might be the case, and if it came down to it, they would resign Gortat over Ariza. Another guy that has an expired contract is guard Andre Miller. It is reported that Miller will more than likely be resigned by the Wizards.

          The Wizards have as bright a future as anyone in the east. They have two spectacular guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal. The guard duo averaged 36 points and 12 assist a game last season. These two will be the key to their success down the road. Nene and Gortat will always be reliable big men, averaging 27 points and 15 rebounds a game together last season. One thing that could send Washington to the next level is the development of Otto Porter. Porter came in with high expectations this past year, but only played in 37 games this past season. If he reaches his potential, the Wizards will have a young trio that will keep Washington a playoff team for years to come.


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