Tag Archives: jerryd bayless

Suns can’t take advantage of Blazers’ mistakes, lose Game 1

Portland outlasted Phoenix 105-100 despite doing everything possible to lose in the final minute. Marcus Camby’s missed dunk stood out, but the Blazers also missed a handful of free throws and didn’t rotate well defensively. The Suns missed several open shots in the closing minute, including Steve Nash’s long 3 that would have tied the game with nine seconds remaining.

Andre Miller was dominant, scoring 31 points and dishing out eight assists. The Suns don’t have anyone who can, or at least wants to, prevent Miller from getting to the basket. Despite several missed free throws late, Jerryd Bayless played a huge roll in the Blazers win. Bayless scored 18 points while being defended primarily by Steve Nash.

Nicolas Batum had a number of big buckets and finished with 18 points. Camby collected 17 rebounds for the Blazers, who dominated the glass.

I’m still trying to figure out why Jared Dudley was on the floor late in the game instead of Barbosa. Dudley is a good 3-point shooter but had only one basket in the game–and missed a wide-open look from the corner with 45 seconds remaining.

This could be the best First-Round matchup in the playoffs. Game 2 is Tuesday in Phoenix.

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Blazers ink Andre Miller, Cavs land Jamario Moon

Mr. Reliable: Miller has played in 530 straight games.

Mr. Reliable: Miller has played in 530 straight games.

Portland has stockpiled young talent but was in desperate need of an upgrade at point guard. The signing of Andre Miller fills that need perfectly and could vault the Blazers into contention in the West.

The Blazers signed the 10-year veteran to a three-year, $21 million contract Friday. Miller had drawn little interest form NBA teams despite averaging 16.3 ppg and 6.5 apg last season. The 33 year-old has played in 530 straight games.

The Knicks and Sixers showed some interest in Miller, but neither made a serious offer. Philly offered a one-year deal with about $6 million, while New York was primarily focused on trying to land Ramon Sessions and didn’t offer Miller a contract.

Portland was close to acquiring Bulls G Kirk Hinrich earlier this month in a purposed three-team deal that would have sent promising youngster Jerryd Bayless to Chicago.

Friday’s signing allows the Blazers to continue to develop Bayless while Miller and Steve Blake get the majority of the minutes at the point.

Moon to Cleveland

The Miami Heat announced Friday it won’t match the Cleveland Cavaliers offer to restricted free agent Jamario Moon. The 6’8″ forward will earn around $3.2 million next season while coming off the bench for the Cavs. Moon averaged 7.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg last season and gives Cleveland some much-needed versatility up front.

Cleveland is completely out of money after trading for Shaq and signing Anthony Parker and Moon. I’m not sure the Cavs did enough this offseason to get over the hump.

No Bull: Boozer says he will be traded

Boozer told a Chicago radio station Tuesday he would love to play for the Bulls.

Boozer told a Chicago radio station Tuesday he would love to play for the Bulls.

Trade rumors involving Carlos Boozer heading to Chicago are heating up once again. Tuesday, Boozer told Chicago radio station WMVP he expects to be traded “relatively soon or in good time.”

While that statement itself makes little sense, it’s clear Utah wants to move Boozer ASAP. The Jazz has until the end of the week to match Portland’s offer to restricted free agent Paul Millsap.

The Bulls have been rumored to be in hot pursuit of Boozer in recent weeks. A deal would almost certainly involve Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas. A proposed three-team deal involving Chicago, Utah, and Portland was nixed last week when the Blazers refused to part with promising youngster Jerryd Bayless.

Portland desperately needs a point guard and will continue to pursue Hinrich regardless of what happens with Boozer.

The Daily Herald’s Mike McGraw posted a transcript of the Boozer interview with the Bulls’ flagship station. Boozer praised the Bulls franchise repeatedly during the interview, compared Derrick Rose to Deron Williams, and even promised to try to lure D-Wade to Chicago next summer. Sounds like a Bull to me.

Meanwhile, the Jazz are scrambling to keep Millsap. The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday team officials are considering taking out a loan to match Portland’s offer sheet. The four-year, $32 million deal would pay Millsap $10.3 million within the first week of his contract.

Utah will most likely match Millsap’s offer regardless of Boozer’s status at week’s end. That move could trigger a strong Portland push for Lamar Odom.

NBA Mock Draft, first edition

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

With the NBA draft less than a week away, you’ve probably seen dozens of mock drafts with a fairly similar look. We’ve decided to change it up a bit for our first mock draft. In addition to listing the probable first round picks, we’ll grade the likely selection.

1. L.A. Clippers – Blake Griffin, F/C Oklahoma

This makes too much sense for even the Clip Joint to screw up. The Clippers hasn’t hid the strong desire to land Griffin, the first highly marketable player the team has boasted in years. His game still has plenty of room to improve and he should have a huge impact from day one in L.A.

Grade: A+ Clippers finally make a good move with a top-5 pick.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet, C UConn

The Grizzlies don’t want to be in this spot. Attempts will be made to trade the pick, but the team will likely settle on the best available player not named Ricky Rubio. Memphis seems to think Thabeet’s the best fit because of his defensive abilities.

Grade: F The pick needs to be traded at all costs, but I’m not counting on that to happen. Thabeet is the latest over-hyped big man and Marc Gasol is already in the middle – talk about a slow frontline.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, SG Arizona State

Harden’s maturity and scoring ability makes him an attractive pick for the young Thunder.

Grade: C Harden will be a good pro, but OKC is very weak inside and could use a post scorer more than another perimeter player.

4. Sacramento Kings – Ricky Rubio, G, International

Rubio could be the man to breathe some life into a dying franchise. He won’t be a star right away, but has all the tools to be a great point guard, and more importantly, sell tickets.

Grade: A His 6 million dollar buyout is somewhat of a mystery, but it will only cost the Kings $500,000. Rubio hasn’t objected to the idea of playing in ‘Mento – this one is a no-brainer.

5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, F Arizona

Hill is the best big man in the draft.

Grade: A Washington already has Gilbert Arenas and still hasn’t given up on Nick Young, so a big man makes sense here. Hill would provide much-needed inside-scoring for the Wiz.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans, G Memphis

The T’Wolves will make a big splash in the draft, and it all starts with Evans. He has the tools to be an All-Star for years and make fans forget about draft disasters Randy Foye and Rashad McCants.

Grade: A Minnesota should have a strong draft now that Kevin McHale isn’t running the show any longer.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry, G Davidson

Don Nelson loves guards and has more input than he should in Warriors’ draft decisions. Curry and Monta Ellis would give Nellie plenty of offense and no size or defense – just the way he likes it.

Grade: C Golden State’s system suits Curry’s skills, so the pick wouldn’t be a total disaster. The Warriors need inside help, but it doesn’t really matter – nothing good will happen as long as Nelson is in charge.

8. New York Knicks – Jrue Holiday, G UCLA

The Knicks are one of several teams talking to Memphis about the No. 2 pick in a quest to land Ricky Rubio. If that falls through, look for NY to nab Jrue Holiday.

Grade: B Holiday has point guard skills but is relatively inexperienced and could take some time to develop. LeBron is not impressed.

9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan, G/F USC

DeRozan has been impressive during workouts and has as much potential as any other player in the draft field.

Grade: A+ This pick fills a need and gives the Raptors the best player available – the perfect combination for draft success.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn, G Syracuse

Flynn is still learning how to be a facilitator, but his scoring energy would make him a nice addition for the Bucks.

Grade: B In a draft filled with solid point guards, and Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson could end up having better pro careers than Flynn.

11. New Jersey Nets – Gerald Henderson, G Duke

The Nets need to get younger and more athletic, and Henderson has been impressive in several pre-draft workouts. Rod Thorn has a knack for drafting quality perimeter players.

Grade: A Henderson is a safe pick and should have a nice pro career.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Terrence Williams, G/F Louisville

Williams has a ton of talent and could fit nicely with Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton.

Grade: C Williams is the kind of player Larry Brown hates, so Brandon Jennings or Earl Clark might be a better option.

13. Indiana Pacers – Brandon Jennings, G International

Jennings is a sparking talent and could finally give the Pacers stability at the point guard spot.

Grade: A Even if it takes a couple years for him to develop, Jennings should be worth the wait.

14. Phoenix Suns – James Johnson, F Wake Forest

Johnson is strong, big and athletic – his awful jumper is only glaring flaw.

Grade: A The Suns need to get younger on the perimeter, and Johnson is a step in the right direction

15. Detroit Pistons – Earl Clark, F Louisville

Clark’s versatility makes him the perfect replacement for the fragile Tayshaun Prince

Grade: A The Pistons desperately need help in the frontcourt and Clark has a ton of potential.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

16. Chicago Bulls – DeJaun Blair, F Pittsburgh

The Bulls could look to replace Ben Gordon with this pick, but Blair’s inside scoring ability makes him the likely pick.

Grade: C Blair might be able to score inside, but he won’t be a good defensive player and has limited upside.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G North Carolina

Lawson’s speed and quickness could help the Sixers become one of the fastest teams in the NBA.

Grade: A Lawson could be the perfect replacement for Andre Miller, who is expected to be elsewhere next season.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – B.J. Mullens, C Ohio State

Despite his size and talent, Mullens has no idea what it means to play hard or tough.

Grade: C There is nothing wrong with stockpiling big men, but Minnesota should look for a point guard or wing.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague, G Wake Forest

The Hawks passed on another Wake point guard a few years back and desperately need Teague to develop.

Grade: C Teague is certainly not Chris Paul and needs to get much, much stronger

20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough, F North Carolina

Hansbrough’s days of domination are over, but he will be a decent NBA player.

Grade: B In a draft light on quality big men, Hansbrough is the best available besides Thabeet and Blair.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Chase Budinger, G/F Arizona

The Hornets desperately need a running mate for Chris Paul.

Grade: A Budinger is a good shooter and finisher who could flourish in the NBA – this pick makes sense.

22. Dallas Mavericks – Sam Young, F Pittsburgh

The Mavs need more youth on the perimeter.

Grade: A Young could be Josh Howard – without the attitude.

23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, F International

Casspi’s athleticism and versatility make him an attractive prospect.

Grade: A The Kings can afford to wait a couple years for Casspi to develop.

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Eric Maynor, G VCU

Maynor could be a steal in the late first round.

Grade: B Jerryd Bayless is probably more suited to be scoring guard, so Maynor could be the distributor the Blazers need.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson, F USC

Gibson needs to gain weight in order to be effective on the inside.

Grade: B This is a little high for Gibson, but the pick certainly fills a team need for the Thunder. Gibson is the last decent big man remaining in the draft.

26. Chicago Bulls – Wayne Ellington, G North Carolina

Ellington is sneaky athletic and a good shooter.

Grade: A His skills make him a good compliment to Derrick Rose.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Victor Claver, F International

Claver is a bit raw but has a wealth of offensive talent.

Grade: B This could end up being a great pick, that is if he wants to play in Memphis.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Darren Collison, G UCLA

Collison is a winner and could be a great defensive player in the NBA.

Grade: A Randy Foye’s future in Minnesota is cloudy – Collison would be a nice insurance policy.

29. L.A. Lakers – Toney Douglas, G Florida State

Douglas has the maturity and toughness to fit in with the Lake Show.

Grade: A With Derek Fisher is nearing the end, Douglas could be the perfect replacement.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Derrick Brown, F Xavier

Brown is as steady as they come and a strong defender.

Grade: A Brown would be the perfect combo forward for the Cavs to match up against Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom types.

March 11 Fantasy Trends: Injury Outlook

Surprisingly, Andrew Bynum's injury hasn't increased D.J. Mbenga's fantasy value - Just kidding. (Pic via slamdunkcentral.com)

Surprisingly, Andrew Bynum's injury hasn't increased D.J. Mbenga's fantasy value - Just kidding. (Pic via slamdunkcentral.com)

I can’t remember an NBA season quite like this. Injuries to marquee players including Andrew Bynum and Amar’e Stoudemire have headlined a year filled with casualties.

Injuries have had profound effect on fantasy basketball managers. With the season beginning to wind down, let’s take a look at fantasy implications surrounding injuries in the NBA.

Greg Oden’s left knee improving – Oden is apparently feeling less pain in his knee and is running on the treadmill to stay in shape. We have certainly heard this before, but Sam Bowie Jr. could be close to a return.

Implications: Don’t expect him to be overly effective when he comes back, and Joel Przybilla remains a much better fantasy option. A strong finish could improve Oden’s fantasy draft value for next season.

Kevin Durant to return Saturday or Monday – KD has missed the last seven games with his ankle and should be ready to return soon. The Thunder won’t rush him back to action, but expect him back next week.

Implications: Thabo Sefolosha has seen big minutes in Durant’s absence, and has put up some numbers. KD was dominating prior to his injury, so it’ll be interesting to see how his ankle injury impacts production. Look for Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green to lose some scoring punch.

Rudy Fernandez out for another week – The Blazers plan on holding out Rudy Fernandez for a while as he continues to recover from his bruised ribs and hip-pointer. He will likely miss the next three games.

Implications: Jerryd Bayless will get more minutes while Rudy heals. The Blazers have done a good job getting the rookie from Arizona minutes this season while not disrupting team chemistry. Bayless is the future, and is a solid fantasy option in deep leagues.

Luol Deng out at least two more weeks with shin injury – More on the 71-million dollar man in the next couple days on TTT, but for right now we’ll just keep it simple. Deng is experiencing pain in his leg and won’t return anytime soon, if at all.

Implications: Fantasy managers have been impressed with Salmons this season, and his numbers will improve with Deng out of the lineup. He is a good 3-point shooter and a solid all-around player. Salmons erupted for 29 against the Heat before turning the ball over on the game’s final play.

Manu begins shooting – Ginobili has started shooting jumpers as he continues to recover from a stress reaction in his ankle. He is probably two weeks away from returning.

Implications: Tony Parker’s recent offensive explosion has been impressive and will probably end once Manu returns. Don’t expect Manu to put up big numbers upon his return. His wear and tear is starting to show.

Marvin Williams likely out for season – Williams has a back injury and is traveling to see specialists. He is still listed as day-to-day, but rumors are swirling saying the former Tar Heel will not return this season.

Implications: Josh Smith hates head coach Mike Woodson, but could step up his production following the injury. Maurice Evans hasn’t earned his lofty salary this season, but he will see additional minutes.

Chris Kaman returns from 47-game absence – Kaman looked sluggish in his first game back, which was to be expected. At least he is playing again.

Implications: Nothing is ever is with the Clip Joint. Mike Dunleavy would probably be smart to play rookie DeAndre Jordan as the season winds down, but he will be fired following the season and will likely play Kaman hoping to get some wins. If he gets minutes and stays healthy, the Polar Bear could help fantasy owners down the stretch.

Josh Howard continues to sit with ankle injury – Howard seems to have lost his mind, and who know if he is really hurting. Pain in his ankle means a couple more weeks on the sideline. He and Luol Deng should hang out.

Implications: Jose Barea and Antoine Wright are getting minutes and showing production. Barea is capable of big offensive numbers and will also dish out assists. Pick him up if he is available.

K-Mart’s back still bothering him – Don’t look for K-Mart to be 100 percent again this season. He won’t play Wednesday and will likely be in and out of the lineup down the stretch.

Implications: Martin was having a really strong season until his back flared up. Chris Anderson will get more minutes while K-Mart sits. Blocks and rebounds make the Birdman a nice addition.

Amar’e heading north? Blazers in talks with Suns

Multiple outlets are reporting today that the Phoenix Suns are closing to sending disgruntled star Amar’e Stoudemire to the Portland Trail Blazers in a deal involving LaMarcus Aldridge.

Phoenix would also aqcuire talented rookie Jerryd Bayless and Raef LaFrentz (and his expiring contract) in the deal.

I’m not normally a big believer in trade rumors, but this one makes a lot of sense. Stoudemire would team with Brandon Roy to give Portland a dynamic scoring duo. The Blazers are in need of another scorer to compliment Roy.

Aldridge much less talented than Stoudemire, but he would provide stability for the Suns. He is a capable defender, a good rebounder,and his accurate outside shot could help Shaq flourish inside.

The wildcard of the deal could be former Arizon Wildcat Jerryd Bayless. With Steve Nash in the twilight of his career, Bayless would figure to give the Suns a terrific replacement for the two-time MVP.

Portland will have room under the salary cap to negotiate a long-term deal with Stoudemire, who can opt-out of his contract in 2010. Although he has said he would prefer to play in a big-time market, Amar’e should know that NBA players seem to enjoy playing in Portland.

Stay tuned.

NBA Nightly Roundup: Kobe explodes for 61, CP3 and Jameer Nelson hurt, Suns win by 48

L.A. Lakers 126, New York 117-The Lakers got bad news Monday regarding Andrew Bynum’s injury, but it was all forgotten Monday night as Kobe Bryant scored an arena-record 61 points inside Madison Square Garden. Kobe needed just 36 minutes to compile his amazing point total. Phil Jackson inserted New York native Lamar Odom into the starting lineup to replace Bynum, who will miss 8-12 weeks with a MCL injury to his right knee. Odom scored only 6 points but snagged 14 rebounds. Josh Powell got some playing time, but it looks like Odom and Luke Walton will get more playing time while Bynum is out. David Lee had 22 and 12 for the Knicks.

Portland 97, New Orleans 89-With Brandon Roy struggling and Chris Paul playing well, things looked good for the Hornets. New Orleans led by 20 points with 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but collapsed after CP3 collapsed with 1:20 left in the third quarter. It initially appeared that Paul had sustained a leg injury, but Hornets officials said that he will receive and MRI on his groin tomorrow. Jerryd Bayless was the story for the Blazers. The rookie scored 19 points to fuel a 38-point fourth quarter for the Blazers.

Dallas 105, Orlando 95-Mo Williams could make the All-Star game yet. Jameer Nelson dislocated his right shoulder during Monday’s game against the Mavs, and the Magic couldn’t stop Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk scored 29 points and the Mavs shot 52 percent from the field. Dwight Howard poured in 35 points for Orlando, but got little help from his teammates. The Magic have a good record, but Nelson’s injury really hurts. Expect 65 year-old Anthony Johnson to start the next few games while Nelson recovers.

Phoenix 129, Sacramento 81-The score says it all. Phoenix led by 55 points in the third quarter and held on despite playing Alando Tucker and Robin Lopez big minutes in the fourth quarter. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 25 points to lead the Suns, while Jason Richardson broke out his slump to score 24 points in just 24 minutes. The Kings are the worst team in the NBA and I hope to never watch them play this season.