NBA News for December 12, 2008
|Michael Curry Doesn’t Blame Allen Iverson for Detroit’s Problems
"A lot of times you look at that individual player," Curry said. "But for the most part, except when he gambles, he’s been solid for us defensively."
Iverson isn’t buying the theory that he’s to blame for the team’s struggles.
"I already know that the bull’s-eye is going to be on me regardless of what happens on this team, because I’m here," Iverson said. "But all you got to do is go back and watch the games and see what goes on in the game, and then you can make your assumption if it has anything to do with one player or has anything to do with all the players."
|Andrew Bynum Wants to Finish Games
Andrew Bynum has a request for Coach Phil Jackson, something that’s more than a minor favor to ask — he wants more playing time in the fourth quarter.
The 21-year-old Lakers center has sat out the final minutes of the team’s last three close games.
He did not play the last 3:49 against Phoenix, the last 6:12 against Sacramento and the last 5:41 against Washington. He also sat out all but 12 seconds of the last 5:32 against Indiana.
"I don’t understand why I’m not in at the end of the game," Bynum said. "It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it’s something I have to deal with. I haven’t been in foul trouble the last couple of games, so I have no idea."
|Can Greg Oden Be Compared to Dwight Howard?
Now with Oden 17 games and 10 starts into his rookie season, is the first-year comparison to Howard legit?
"From what I’ve seen, he’s (Oden) a beast inside. He can control the paint – rebound and blocking shots – which you have to do. I believe you have to start inside out," Otis Smith, the Orlando Magic’s General Manager, told HOOPSWORLD.
"As he continues to grow and develop and feel comfortable out on the floor as a player, he’ll be more dominant on the offensive end."
Examining the numbers in their rookie years, Oden still has a chance to equal the totals Howard put up in his first year in the league.
In 2004-05, Howard started all 82-games for Orlando and averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 32.6 minutes per game. At this point in the season – 17 games in – Oden is averaging 7.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and roughly 21 minutes per game.
|Monta Ellis Won’t Talk about What Happened in the Accident
Play same style with Jamal as BD?
Is this Jack’s team (or your team)?
Are you talking about what happened during the accident?
|David Stern: I Wish We Hadn’t Had the Vancouver Experience
In an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons, NBA commissioner David Stern made a surprising, Canadian admission — the league screwed up in Vancouver.
Simmons asked Stern what his biggest regret during his tenure as head of the league would be and Stern replied that the short life of the Vancouver Grizzlies was it.
"I wish we hadn’t had the Vancouver experience," he said on the BS Report. "Great city, and we disappointed them and we disappointed ourselves."
The Grizzlies left Vancouver for Memphis after six awful seasons, none of which featured a playoff appearance. They made bad draft choices (Steve Francis, Bryant Reeves), bad coaching decision (Stu Jackson, Brian Winters) and compiled an astoundingly bad 101-359 record before leaving for Memphis.
|Steve Nash: It’s Tough Losing Friends in a Trade
"It’s tough," Nash said after a big exhale. "While I’ll welcome my new teammates with open arms, it’s tough when you lose your best friend. It’s tough when you lose two of your best buddies. It’s tough and it hurts. It’s tough."
Nash was boarding the team bus at the hotel Wednesday afternoon when he received a friend’s text message, reading, "It’s a tough business." He called Bell, who was already at the airport because he didn’t want to wake Nash from his usual game-day afternoon nap. Nash seemed as if he was blindsided by the news.
"A little bit, yeah," said Nash, searching for words he couldn’t find. "Um, a little bit, yeah."
|TJ Ford: I Wasn’t the Main Problem in Toronto
The Raptors "are definitely not achieving what everybody expected," and their record suggests he wasn’t the "only problem." "I wasn’t the guy that was — how can I say this? — I just wasn’t the main problem that everyone thought I was. I don’t think it was just one party, the way that it was made out to be. It was more than one person, and I just think I got credit for all the blame — of so-called messing things up or not being happy or wanting to be traded."
The Raptors "didn’t have the same bond or chemistry [last year] … for some strange reason." Moreover, Ford said: "I don’t think everybody took ownership of why we weren’t being successful and why we weren’t playing at the highest level as a team."
|Dwyane Wade: My Play Is MVP Caliber this Year
"My play is MVP caliber," he said.
But the Heat guard also is not overstating the standings.
"Would I say my team record should be at the top of MVP discussion?" he added. "No, there’s other guys that their team is great and they’re playing great."
"I know I’m playing as well as anybody in the league, that’s no secret," he said after Wednesday’s practice. "But I’ve got to continue to help this team win, to get over that hump, where we’re not battling .500, where we’re in the discussion at the end of the year of being one of the top-tier teams in the league.
"If we do that, then I’ll be in the discussion."