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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Video: Darko Milicic Challenges J.R. Smith... And Loses




Yo Darko... we know you're fourth in the NBA in blocks but when J.R. Smith is near the rim, don't jump.

'Nuff said.

-ALR

Former NBA All-Star's Son Confesses to Murder



The son of former NBA point guard Nick Van Exel has confessed to killing his neighbor the day after Christmas, according to WFAA.com.

Nickey Van Exel is said to be responsible for shooting Bradley Bassey Eyo at a house in Garland, Texas. He later dumped the body of Eyo near Lake Ray Hubbard, less than one mile away.

The 20-year-old Van Exel turned himself in on Wednesday, and confessed to committing the murder. He is being held on $1 million bond. No word on what led to the shooting has been released.

Chicago Bulls Shooting Guard Search


Rumor has it the Chicago Bulls are in the market for a shooting guard as the New Year approaches. That's no big surprise because after taking a good chunk of the Utah Jazz roster in the off season, the Bulls still have a need to fill at the shooting guard position. Being the matchmaker that I am, I have four suggestions that could be possible suitors. I am not going to get into salary restrictions and things like that, strictly matchmaking.

Monta Ellis
Monta is really just a filler suggestion because I don't think he would compliment Derrick Rose or Carlos Boozer well. If this did work somehow, Monta would add a scoring threat that could give 30pts on any given night, imagine a Monta Ellis/Derrick Rose fast break. He shoots enough to make the point production happen, but the problem would be what happens if he is having an off night and trying to get things going, I don't think an 8-27 game will work in the Chicago system. Defense could also be an issue since he is undersized at the shooting guard position. I like the gambling and play the passing lane style, I just don't think Coach Thibodeau is a supporter. All in all, Monta Ellis is lightening quick and a very versatile scorer, I just don't think the fit is right.

Eric Gordon
I know this match would not happen, but if it did, it could be trouble for the East. Gordon can spread the floor and consistently (which is a very underrated adjective in the NBA) knock down jump shots. The Bulls can have a drive and kick situation with Rose or a shooter if Boozer gets double teamed. Gordon can also finish at the rim and get to the free throw line as well as any top scorer in the NBA. Undersized on ball defense could be a problem here, but he has a good foundation to at least prevent most guards from getting to their favorite spots on the floor. This match is good, but not the match the Bulls need.

Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee may not have the star power, but he could fit well with Bulls and develop into a solid piece of the puzzle. Lee has the ability to score with anyone, he is fearless attacking the basket and his midrange jumper is effective. At 6'5 he can defend and I think he would be willing to learn how to get better defensively under Coach Thibodeu. I think the problem here is consistency. Lee could give the Bulls nice production, I just don't think he can do it night in and night out.

OJ Mayo
OJ Mayo has the potential to be one of the top players in the league. Before the readers yell at me, hear me out. He has unlimited range, can get to the rim and generally makes good decisions with the ball in his hands. He has the ability to make clutch shots, and can at 6'4 he can defend effectively. What OJ needs to improve on is his mindset, thinking within the game and footwork. OJ's mindset is not as aggressive as it should be since he is admittedly confused about his role in Memphis. Thinking within the game is about using counter moves and staying 3 steps ahead of the defense. Developing footwork could help him become a better defender and maybe get smaller guards in the low/high post. He would be a great fit for the Bulls because his skill set, (shooting, scoring, willing passer, marginal defending), is a compliment to what Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer bring to the Bulls already. I think we found our Match people.


Honorable mention to JJ Redick, because most people that know me are aware that I have always said JJ needs a change of scenery or the Magic should move Vince. The Bulls had a chance and the Magic matched the offer. Now that Vince is gone, JJ is shining...


- @lostherod is the Twitter handle if anyone wants to debate... I'm all for it

NBA Trimester: 2010-2011 Rookie Report


As we are at the 1/3 of the way through the 2010-2011 NBA season, this is a great time to give you "That Sports Blog"' rookie rankings, top 5 and bottom 5. You can see my pre-season rookie rankings here (looking back, I wasn't too far off). On to the rankings, which are based off of draft position, expectations and overall productivity...

1. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
You've seen the highlights, the monster dunks, spin moves, and rebounds. Everyone knew Griffin would be good, but I don't think anyone saw him being this good this soon. The versatile big man is currently contributing 21.5 ppg, 12 rpg and even chipping in 3 dimes. Since his 44 point coming out party against the Knicks, Griffin has run off 20 straight double doubles. The scary thing is he's still getting better. His numbers for December; 23ppg, 13.5rpg and 4apg. He's even added in a reliable mid range jumper. He's the runaway ROY at this point.

Before suffering from knee tendinitis Wall and Griffin were dueling for the top rookie spot. But injuries have caused JW11 to miss a bunch of games and limited when he has been on the court lately. Still, he's putting up over 15 and 8 dimes per which isn't too shabby for a rookie PG. His jumper has been shaky but there are signs that it will improve and with Arenas now shipped off to Orlando Wall will have more room to isolate his defender and utilize his superior speed. If he can stay on the court and off of the trainer's table.

If you're saying to yourself "Who?", you aren't the only one. Fields, a 6'7 swingman out of Stanford, has started every game at shooting guard for the much improved Knicks. He's currently 4th in rookie scoring (10.3) and leads all NBA guards in rebounding (7.5). He doesn't do much that will make you say WOW but he's been very solid all around. Not bad for a 2nd round pick.


4. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves
Though you may not hear much about him, Johnson has quietly put together a decent start to his NBA career. He's averaging close to double figures while shooting very well from the perimeter (.459 overall, .397 from the 3). He may struggle for minutes in the near future with the return of swingman Martell Webster but the versatile Johnson can also play the SF position in a pinch. And if you haven't caught any of his highlights, here is a sample. Minnesota may have a nice nucleus in the works if they can settle on a PG.

I had Favors ranked in my bottle 5 before the season, mainly due to his young age and the spot where he was drafted (#3 overall). So far when he has been on the court he has proven me wrong. Though only getting 19 minutes of burn a game Favors has chipped in close to 7ppg and 5rpg and a couple double doubles. He has legit size for an NBA power forward and has shown flashes but until he can sustain his energy level on a more consistent basis he will continue to struggle for minutes.

Bottom 5 (based on draft position, expectations & productivity)

Being picked 2nd overall brings a lot of expectations, but Turner hasn't done much when on the floor to live up to them. He has struggled with his shooting so far and teams are sagging off of him and daring him to take long range jumpers. In Turner's defense he has been solid on the glass (4.4rpg) but the play making ability that was flashed during his 3 seasons at Ohio St. has yet to translate to the NBA. He did have a nice 23 point effort last night while starting at the 3 for Andre Iguodala but in contrast the performance was against one of the worst defenses in the league. Hopefully it will build his confidence and bring forth more solid performances.

4. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Cousins entered the NBA with question marks regarding his bad attitude and a label as a hot head. So far he has done nothing but transform those question marks into bold exclamation points. Cousins has been suspended by his team, thrown out of practice and displayed horrible body language on the court. And to be 6'11 and close to 300lbs, he's had a little trouble finishing in the paint. Will all that said, Cousins has a TON of talent and is still managing to put up 11 and 8 a night. If he can shake his maturity issues he still has a chance to develop into a very good NBA center in a short period of time. But that is a very big IF.

3. Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
Monroe is another top 10 pick who has struggled to get minutes early in the season. Which is baffling because the Pistons don't have much depth at the center position. Monroe did get a few starts in early December but was quickly sent back to a reserve role. Monroe hasn't been much of a scorer but he has contributed 5 rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game which isn't bad. But outside of that he hasn't done much else.

Take away last night's 17-point explosion against the Clippers and Hayward has been absolutely non-existent this season. He started the season as a big part of the Jazz's rotation but has seen his minutes cut to few and far between. The shooting stroke that everyone was so high on entering the season hasn't been there for Hayward and he has looked timid when given the opportunity to shoot. He's still young and coming from a mid-major program so he  may still be the adjusting to the jump in competition, but so far his play has left much to be desired from the 9th pick in the draft.

1. Daniel Orton, Orlando Magic
Congratulations go out to Orton for holding down this spot for the 2nd time. Gotta love that consistency. I really don't have much else to write about Orton as he has yet to play a single minute in the NBA, and only played parts of 2 games in the D-League as he re-injured his left knee. Orton definitely owes his agent a raise as they pulled a fast one by getting him drafted in the first round.

-ALR

Video: Tyreke Evans Halfcourt Game Winner Vs. Grizzlies

As the saying goes, one good shot deserves another. After O.J. Mayo nailed a jumper from the top of the key to put the Memphis Grizzlies ahead by one with 1.5 seconds on the clock, Sacramento Kings star Tyreke Evans buried a half court heave at the buzzer to snatch a victory away from the Grizzlies. Here's video:



The NBA; Where Amazing Happens. Indeed.

Shoutout to @jose3030 for the HD quality video. Check out his site here.

-ALR

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

VIDEO: Tucker Carlson calls for Mike Vick to be Executed





Enjoy.

"I'm all for forgiveness, I think some things are unforgivable." - Tucker Carlson

"He's some creepy, rich, overpaid football player." - Tucker Carlson

"It's like the Donner Party becoming the spokesman for vegetarianism." - Tucker Carlson

"Why can't the president (Obama) acknowledge the value of an unexpressed thought?" - Tucker Carlson

"He went to jail for two years... I mean... whatever..." - Tucker Carlson


video

Lloyd's Not Scared of Niners and Redskins and Bears



Brandon Lloyd has been a completely mediocre wide receiver since being drafted out of Illinois by the San Francisco 49ers in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Actually, mediocre might be an overstatement. From 2003-2009, Lloyd amassed an underwhelming 164 catches for 2,370 yards and 15 TDs. Over that time, Lloyd was mostly recognized for making the spectacular catches (like these):


video

...and missing time due to injury and/or questionable attitude.

This season, Lloyd has been the lone bright spot for the Denver Broncos, this fourth team he's played for over seven seasons. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career after catching 72 passes for a league leading 1,375 yards and 10 TDs. When asked by Denver Post reporter Mike Klis if he had anything he'd like to say to his previous employers, he responded by saying, "I want to say F--- you. And I mean that in the most professional way possible..."

The quote was reportedly a joke (like Lloyd's entire career), and meant to be good-natured (yeah right). The interview was promptly cut short by Broncos media relations director Patrick Smyth, in the most professional way possible.

Video: Amar'e Stoudemire Dunks on #6



I guess LeBron forget that Amar'e is 6'10 with a little bit of bounce. He got posterized.

-ALR

Hey Everyone; Chris Bosh Wants You To Know He CAN Play Basketball


Yo Chris, nobody cares!

There have been many funny quotes and sound bites coming out of South Beach, and none more insignificant than those coming from Heat PF Chris Bosh. Per this story seen over at the Miami Herald, Bosh feels it is necessary for him to let everyone that he's been playing solid basketball. Here are some quotes:

“For some reason, people think I can't play basketball,” Bosh said. “It gives me an added sense of motivation. I feel in those situations, I have a chance … to go out there and do well, because I know people are watching -- just to shut them up. Just to be frank.”

I'll say it again; NOBODY CARES ABOUT CHRIS BOSH. No one ever said you couldn't play basketball. Hell, the kid has career averages of 20 ppg and 9 boards. His talent isn't in question. We just think he's softer than wet tissue paper and weak in the paint. He also says he's going to get his rebounding average up to over 10 a game. Sure you will Chris. How about getting a couple block shots and being a presence in the post? I'm just sayin'.

Clearly Bosh is feeling a little attention starved as all the ink goes to #6 and Dwyane Wade (rightfully so). We all know he's just riding their coat tails. It's cool Chris. I would do the same. But please put a sock in it and just play basketball! The Heat could really benefit from letting their play speak for them as they repeatedly make themselves sound like complete idiots (except for Wade).

The Heat are rolling right now and winning a lot of games. Sucks that they are letting their comments put a cloud over their accomplishments.

But this one's for Chris Bosh from the good people over at #LTSBlog



-ALR

Favre To Only Be Fined For Texts To Sterger


Looks like Brett Favre dodges the bullet again. Accoriding to this NY Post report, the NFL will fine Favre for the package pics that he was sending then NY Jets "Gameday Host" Jenn Sterger (pictured above).

Why Sterger didn't report this back when it happened is anyone's guess. Maybe she liked the attention. Who knows. But what we DO know is that Favre won. Sorry Ms. Sterger. Sh*t happens when you mess with the Favre.

Just another story to add to the legend that is Brett Favre, who has apporached Chuck Norris levels in my book.



-ALR

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

T-Mobile NBA Commercial - "Chuck's Remix"

Another good T-Mobile commercial, this one featuring the always entertaining Charles Barkely...



T-Mobile may not have the best reception or coverage map but their ad campaigns are always on point, especially when they incorporate NBA personalities. Good stuff.

-ALR

Should The Carolina Panthers Try Their Luck on Andrew Luck? I Say No...


This happens every NFL season, and for 2010 the lucky winner of the worst team in the league and number one pick in the upcoming draft is the lowly Carolina Panthers. Everyone is projecting the no. 1 pick to be Stanford QB Andrew Luck and for good reason. But I may be in the minority of those that think the Panthers should pass on drafting Luck and focus on other areas of need...

1.) They just spent a 2nd round pick on Jimmy Clausen
Now I know Clausen hasn't been very good this season, but he's a young rookie with a lot of potential. He was also on a team with a shaky offensive line, inconsistent running game and only one true talented receiver. What did you expect Clausen to do besides struggle? In comparison, Mark Sanchez was almost as bad his rookie season. Every QB can't be a Matt Ryan or a Sam Bradford out of the gate. If they draft Luck, they'll have to pay him #1 QB money and Luck isn't guaranteed to be a stud. They have Clausen for the low right now and if it doesn't pan out they can always get a veteran QB in free agency. That strategy worked out pretty well for Kansas City.

2.) The Panthers need to upgrade their D-Line
Except for DE Charles Johnson, the Panthers have had very little pass rush and haven't been able to generate much pressure. Why not take the same route the Houston Texans did and go for a pass rushing defensive end to compliment Johnson like Clemson's De'Quan Bowers or North Carolina's Robert Quinn, or even a DT like Auburn's Nick Fairley.

3.) Trade the No. 1 slot & move down for more picks
As it stands right now, the 3 teams who would be slotted to draft directly after the Panthers would be Denver, Cincinnati & Buffalo (not exactly in that order). Two of those teams desperately need a quarterback (Bengals & the Bills). Why not trade down a slot or two, acquire more picks and build your team through the draft. The Panthers have virtually no shot at being good next season so it may be a good idea to stock up on young talent and build for the future. Maybe if they can surround Clausen with some pieces to go along with him and RB Jonathan Stewart they can return to be competitive. If they trade down they can take a game breaking WR like A.J. Green. What would they have to lose?

I think the Panthers are in a great position to improve their team going forward. They should see what they have in Clausen before jumping at the opportunity to nab Andrew Luck. I do think Luck will be good but I also think that, given time, Clausen can be a solid pro QB. He proved at Notre Dame that with time to develop he can be very good. The Panthers will probably be looking for a new head coach this off season as well so maybe a change in philosophy will be beneficial for Clausen. Give the kid a chance. Isn't that why they picked him in the first place?

-ALR

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Trimester NBA Power Rankings (Part 2)



Happy Kwanzaa!

Let's continue the first trimester NBA report card, this time looking at the upper crust of the league using Barkley-isms. Teams 30-17 can be found here.

"He [Kenny] said Yao Ming's gonna get 19 points. If he gets 19 points in a game, I'll kiss [Kenny's] ass."

16. Houston Rockets (14-15)

The Rockets have lost the services of Yao for this season, and in all likelihood, his career. Even if he manages to return from his latest ankle injury, it won't be with the Rockets. So Houston has been trotting out a starting lineup of Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, and Chuck Hayes, with Brad Miller, Jordan Hill, and Courtney Lee providing bench depth (Aaron Brooks has missed most of this season with an injury). Absolutely no star power can be found on this roster, yet they are competitive night in and night out. After starting out 3-10, the Rockets are 11-5 since Nov. 24.

(Conspiracy Theorist in me thinks that Yao's people, aka the Chinese government, would like him to play out his career in either NY, LA, or Miami. They have ordered him to sit down this year while the foot and ankle injuries recover, since it is the last year of his contract. You read it hear first.)

"You've got to believe in yourself. Hell, I believe I'm the best looking guy in the world, and I might be right."

15. Indiana Pacers (13-15)

14. Denver Nuggets (16-13)

13. Portland Trailblazers (15-15)

These three teams are as good, or bad, as they want to be, depending on the night. The Pacers score exactly as many points per game as they give up (97.8). Within reason, the Pacers are a playoff team in the Eastern Conference led by a reliable scorer (Danny Granger, 21 ppg), a solid big man (Roy Hibbert, 14 ppg, 8 rpg, and 2 bpg), and solid defense. They've struggled recently, losing six of their last ten games, and similar to the Rockets, they are a team built without a superstar at any position.

The Nuggets are mired in the Carmelo Anthony will-he-or-won't-he rumors, and that has had a direct correlation to their mediocre play. But when they want to, they can play like one of the NBA's top eight teams. Still, from all reports, Anthony is going to take his 24 ppg out of town, and as soon as that happens, look for the Nuggets to bottom out.

The Blazers can't score, rebound, or stay healthy. That last part is probably the biggest reason for their struggles. Former number one overall pick Greg Oden will miss the majority of a season for the third time of his career. Franchise player Brandon Roy all but needs to sit out this season. But they still win games. LaMarcus Aldridge has come one strong in December (20 ppg, 9 rpg for the month), and Wesley Matthews (19 ppg 48 percent shooting in December) is the best of the second tier NBA offseason acquisitions. Seriously.


"Poor white people and poor black people just don't know how much they have in common. Rich people don't give a damn about either group."

12. Atlanta Hawks (19-13)


11. New Orleans (18-12)


Be honest, you do not believe in either of these two teams. The Hawks paid Joe Johnson $119 million to keep him as the leader of a team going nowhere. I don't blame him for signing, but I doubt his 17 ppg and barely 40 percent shooting is ideal for a player making $16 million this year. They are relying on the formula of Johnson scoring, Josh Smith and Al Horford rebounding and defending (32 ppg, 18 rpg, 3 bpg combined), and Jamal Crawford as sixth man (14 ppg, 35 percent from three). But the formula includes letting Marvin Williams (11 ppg, 5 rpg) be completely average, and letting Jason Collins start at center.

The Hornets started the season 12-3, Chris Paul looked rejuvenated (16 ppg, 10 apg), and first year coach Monty Williams looked like Coach of the Year material. Since then the NBA has taken ownership of the team away from George Shinn, the team has gone 4-9, and there is declining optimism that Paul will not be forcing a trade to greener pastures.

"The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not."


10. Orlando Magic (18-12)


9. New York Knicks (18-12)

Two teams that as presently constructed (key word) will have no problem finding shots they like. The Magic are presently 19th in the NBA in scoring, but that will likely improve with the additions of Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jason Richardson. Adding them to Dwight Howard in the middle of a career high scoring season (21 ppg), and points should come in bunches. After taking two post-trade losses, the Magic knocked off the two hottest teams in the NBA (Spurs and the Celtics), back-to-back.

The Knicks are the league's most lovable bandwagon team. Face it, if you're an NBA fan who doesn't like a high-scoring, winning team with a premier player (Amare Stoudemire 26 ppg, 9 rpg, 2 bpg) playing in New York, then you must hate life. They still aren't a viable title contender, but they can definitely play spoiler in the Eastern Conference playoffs. I asked via Twitter before the Knicks-Celtics game a couple weeks ago, "What if Amare had already changed the culture of NY basketball, and we just didn't realize it yet? What if he wins a title before Lebron?"

Not that it's bound to happen, but it's fascinating to think about.

"The main thing to do is relax and let your talent do the work."

8. Los Angeles Lakers (21-9)

This is a power ranking, not an end of the season ranking. The Lakers are still defending champs, but they are not playing well at all. Kobe Bryant looks a step slower. Pau Gasol looks overworked (39 mpg, only 17 ppg in December). Andrew Bynum looks overweight. Of course, there is little need to panic, because at the end of the day, they have the most talented roster in the Western Conference, and all their struggles can be attributed more to their interest in winning games, than the teams they're losing to being better.

Sometime between now and April, they'll decide to rev things up, and they'll "switch it on" like so many analyst are complaining about them doing. But as poorly as they've played, they are still number one in the Pacific, and if the playoffs started today, they'd be the third seed. Not exactly time to panic.

"Kids are great. That's one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet."

7. Chicago Bulls (19-10)

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-10)

Two of the youngest teams in the league are performing among the most elite. The Bulls have battled injuries to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, but Derrick Rose (24 ppg, 8 apg, 1 spg) has played MVP-caliber ball. First-year head coach Tom Thibideau has successfully brought his hard-nosed defensive philosophy from his days as a Celtics assistant over to the young Bulls, who are currently 9th in defense and 2nd in rebounding. The only thing keeping them from being a legit title contender is an elite two-guard teaming with Rose.

The Thunder in many ways are still riding the high from the first round Game 6 loss to the Lakers, but that's what happens when youth meets success early. They have the best under-25 roster in the NBA. Their two best players, Kevin Durant (28 ppg, 6 rpg) and Russell Westbrook (22 ppg, 8 apg) are arguably the best players at their positions in the division. They are coming on strong (10-3 in December), and will cause problems with their speed and length in the playoffs.

"Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train."

5. Utah Jazz (21-9)

4. Dallas Mavericks (23-5)

Both teams are great right now, and worthless come April. But this is right now, and that's how they'll be judged.

The Jazz are playing in the familiar roles of a Jerry Sloan basketball team. Deron Williams (22 ppg, 9.6 apg) plays the role of a beefed up John Stockton, while Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combine to impersonate Karl Malone (32 ppg, 17 rpg combined). They've done a great job of coming from behind to win games against the Heat, Lakers, and Magic, and they've lost only two games to teams currently below .500.

Dallas is playing with the fire and intensity Laker fans were expecting to see in their team. But even that doesn't mean the Mavs early-season success will last. Dirk Nowitzki has played at an MVP level (24.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 39 percent from three), and Tyson Chandler's acquisition has been great for the team's defense and overall speed. Still, age (average starter: 31 years old) and injury are a big factor for this team, and moving forward it's hard to see how they won't be affected by both.

"I don't care what people think, people are stupid"

3. San Antonio Spurs (26-4)

2. Miami Heat (23-9)

1. Boston Celtics (23-5)

The Spurs are the 4th best scoring team in the NBA even though Tim Duncan is no longer an elite scorer. Aside from losing to the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back, they haven't had a bad game this season.

After a rough start (10-8 at the end of November), the Heat have rallied to win 14 of their last 15 games, and boast the best defense in the NBA. Lebron James (25 ppg, 7 rpg, 7 apg), Dwyane Wade (23 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg), and Chris Bosh (18 ppg, 8 rpg) have been highly effective in their first year together, after about one month of learning to play off each other.

The Celtics are off to their typical fast start in the Kevin Garnett era. Each of the last four seasons, they were the best team in the NBA from October to January. They're playing the same stout defense (91 ppg allowed, 2nd in the NBA). But they also have age issues, and the injury bug has struck their most effective young player (Rajon Rondo, 13.8 apg, 2.4 spg). They are a lot deeper this year than they have been in the past with the additions of Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West, and Jermaine O'Neal, so we'll see just how long they will be able to sustain this high level of play.

Friday, December 24, 2010

First Trimester NBA Power Rankings (Part 1)





Roughly one-third through the NBA season, a worst-to-first ranking of the NBA using Charles Barkley-isms.



"That's TURR-ible"

30. Sacramento Kings (5-22)

29. Charlotte Bobcats (9-19)


The Bobcats just had their coach quit on them, and the Kings just gave their coach the dreaded vote of confidence.

"I am not a role model."

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-24)

27. Washington Wizards (7-20)

The Timberwolves give up the most points per game (110) in the league, putting those lofty Kevin Love numbers (21ppg, 15 rpg) in some perspective. The Wizards just traded for the only player in the league with a more ridiculous contract than Gilbert Arenas (Rashard Lewis).


"This place? Nothing positive. OK, I want to say something positive. It's positively a dump."

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-21)

25. Detroit Pistons (10-19)

24. New Jersey Nets (9-21)


23. Philadelphia 76ers (11-18)

Just look at the names of the cities three of these four teams play in. Would you like to live there? No? That about sums up their NBA teams. The Cavs fall from dominance has been widely documented. The Pistons have managed to kill Rip Hamilton's competitive spirit. The Nets made an in-season trade for Sasha "The Machine" Vujacic.


The 76ers play good defense, but seem to have regressed offensively under Doug Collins, Elton Brand leading the team with 15 ppg. Andre Iguodola is averaging 14 ppg, three full points lower than last season, and getting paid $12 million. Can you say "trade me"?


"He's got to bring something stronger than that. That's like bringing milk to a bar, it's not strong enough."

22. Toronto Raptors (10-19)

21. Los Angeles Clippers (8-22)

The Raptors can score, but cannot play defense, rebound, or keep a franchise player happy (see; McGrady, Tracy; Carter, Vince; and Bosh, Chris). The Clippers finally drafted a player (Blake Griffin, 21 ppg, 12 rpg) that has made them highlight worthy (check these out), but even that isn't enough to wash away the stench that comes from thirty years of losing.


"Yeah Ernie, its called defense, I mean I wouldn't know anything about it personally but I've heard about it through the grapevine"

20. Golden State Warriors (10-18)

19. Phoenix Suns (13-15)

Neither teams play any defense. The Warriors have a potent, yet undersized, backcourt with Monta Ellis (25.6 ppg) and Steph Curry (20 ppg, 5 apg). But after the unexpectedly hot 7-4 start, the Warriors have crashed back to earth, going 3-14 since Nov. 15, giving up 107 ppg in the process.

The Suns look to have written off this season after last week's trade to acquire Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat. Depending on how you look at it, they either believe the additions will strengthen their anemic defense (109 ppg, 29th in the NBA), or they are continuing their most recent trend of dumping salary and talent, which could mean we'll see Steve Nash changing addresses soon.

"It ain't against the rules to make a layup..."




18. Memphis Grizzlies (12-17)




17. Milwaukee Bucks (12-16)




Both teams have below .500 records, but aren't as bad as their records may lead one to believe. The Grizzlies notched impressive early season wins against the Dallas Mavs, the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers. They give up one point per game more than they score (99.7 to 100.7) which means they're losing a ton of close games. Hard to believe a team with such potent offensive players like Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and O.J. Mayo would have difficulty averaging 100 ppg.




The Bucks average a league worst 91 points per game, but are fourth in the league defensively. In their second year under head coach Scott Skiles, the Bucks are showing all the trademarks of a Skiles-led team: tough defense, patient offense, and being the lone team in the NBA that looks like a Division-1 Mid Major powerhouse. These talents were on display most recently when the Bucks defeated the Lakers at Staples Center, holding the world champs to a season low 79 points. They followed that by holding the Kings to the same point total in their very next game.




(Check tomorrow for teams 16-1. If you've been a good little girl or boy, it will be posted. Merry Xmas.)

Renardo Sidney Makes Debut as Player and Boxer

video


Mississippi State forward Renardo Sidney sat out the entire 2009-10 season after the NCAA ruled he received improper benefits while still in high school. Last night in Honolulu at the Diamond Head Classic, he made only his second apearance for the Bulldogs against the San Diego State Aztecs, scoring 19 points in 19 minutes off the bench.


After the game, Sidney got into an altercation with teammate Elgin Bailey while the team was watching Utah and Hawaii.


No word on what started the fight, but I score the round 10-8 for Sidney. Bailey barely got off a shot.


Sidney had been suspended an additional three games by head coach Rick Stansbury for conduct detrimental to the team, and is looking at a probable extension of that after this latest incident.

There had been questions about Sidney's character going back to his days as a high school phenom originally from Jackson, Miss. His family moved to Los Angeles during his ninth grade year, and Sidney graduated from Fairfax High School.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ohio ST. QB Terrelle Pryor And Others Suspended For 5 Games In 2011


First things first; I have no problem with student athletes receiving some extra benefits for their performance. The kids generate a ton of money for NCAA programs but they aren't fairly compensated for their efforts (as the rules are written to prevent this). I also have no issue with tattoos. It's your body; do what you please with it. Hell I even have a few myself.
So when this story first leaked via Sports By Brooks that a few members of the Ohio St. Buckeyes football program may have exchanged autographs for tattoos I shrugged and kept sipping my coffee. It's also being reported that the players sold championship rings & trophies. *Shrugs*... But now that 5 players are being suspended for five games next season for "receiving improper benefits" (Pryor, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas) it moves me to wonder what exactly Ohio St. is trying to prove here. If the benefits were so improper, then why not suspend Pryor and the four other players for their Bowl game against Arkansas Jan. 4th? Maybe because that bowl game victory could net the program millions of dollars, and Pryor can bounce to the NFL draft this summer? Hmmm...

Whether the players got the tattoos for free or not, I say let the kids make some money off of their ability. College is tough enough as it is, and if someone is willing to throw a young adult a little something for their accomplishments then I personally have no issues with it. If someone wants to pay you for your memorabilia then cool. Get ya' money. Because that is EXACTLY what the NCAA is going to continue to do.

Just be a little smarter when you do try to get ya' money. A nice tattoo and selling traceable awards isn't worth almost half your football season.

-ALR

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ryan's Discover What "YouTube" Means



Rex Ryan's wife, Michelle, is being claimed by some to be the true identity of an Internet foot fetish personality.


Deadspin originally broke this story involving the Ryan's and this particular aspect of their sex life. There were a series of videos posted on YouTube under the username "ihaveprettyfeet" where a woman resembling Michelle Ryan engages in typical foot fetish film behavior. She was pretty popular too. When "ihaveprettyfeet" stopped posting videos back in 2009 (around the time Rex Ryan began coaching the NY Jets), fans of "ihaveprettyfeet" took to the Internet message boards clamoring for her return (interrupting countless masturbation hours).




As an adult, I respect everybody's right to get "freaky-deaky" in whatever way they see fit. No two sex lives are exactly alike. More power to the Rex and Michelle if they've found a level of connection that they can share with each other, and brings them closer. After 23 years of marriage, who are any of us to judge what they've done to solidify their union?


However, much like any professional athlete sending naked pictures out via the Internet, sharing these fetish videos publicly, especially on a non-adult only site like YouTube, comes with it's own set of scrutiny and consequences.


Translation: we get to laugh at them for being stupid.
But, she does have pretty feet, though. I'll give her that.

"Pimpin' Your Son" Euro Edition: Father Says Enes Kanter Will Stay At Kentucky If Suspension Sticks


We previously blogged here that Kentucky freshman center Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for illegal benefits he received while playing professionally overseas. Per this report over at The Sporting News Kanter's father says he will guarantee that Enes not declare for the NBA draft and will return to play at Kentucky next season if he is eligible:

“Enes would do anything to play and help UK, his teammates and fans,” Mehmet Kanter wrote. “In the last two years, one thing me and Enes never discussed was him being pro. He didn’t mention to me about NBA or draft and I guarantee you as a father – if that’s the NCAA's decision Enes will be a sophomore next year in UK.”

Mehmet Kanter (the father) also goes on to say that his son was unaware of any monetary exchanges and all were conducted between the team and himself:

“I been saying from beginning of the review there has never been any monetary exchange between Enes and Fenerbahce,” Mehmet Kanter said. “Enes was 16 years old, never had any knowledge about any accounts and everything has been between me and Fenerbahce.”

Maybe this is a noble effort on the father's part to defend his son's chances of receiving a college education. Maybe it's a cover up to protect his son's credibility to future NBA suitors. Who knows. One thing I do know is that overseas it is 100% legal for a minor to play professional ball and also 100% legal for parent of said minor to profit off their kid's abilities. Why Cecil Newton didn't think of this is beyond me. He could have pimped Cam out to a Euro league and been scott free.

Mehmet Kanter even says he will repay the $30k that has kept young Enes off the court this season. Sure he will. And if he does, it only makes me wonder exactly how much the Kanters have stacked up from hoops. I'm going to take a guess that it's a lot more than $30k.

Either way, I hope Enes Kanter gets a chance to play at least one year of college ball and doesn't end up riding the pine or on a D-League roster next season. Oh, and that he also gets a bit of a college education, which it the important thing in all of this, right? Sure it is.

-ALR

Dwyane Wade's New T-Mobile Commercial "Get Me Outta Here!"


You gotta admit Miami Heat star shooting guard Dwyane Wade has been getting his shine on lately, both on the court and in the endorsement world. Here is a fun new ad campaign for T-Mobile, featuring D-Wade and a few other recognizable NBA figures. Check it out:



Good stuff. T-Mobile is an official sponsor of the NBA and their commercials featuring NBA players are generally entertaining. I like how this one plays to the technology of today's world and how fast a 'rumor' can spiral out of contest. That's why it always helps to check your sources people!

-ALR

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Video: Best (& Worst) NBA Holiday Songs



What's an NBA Christmas without Mariah Carey?

Around this time of year many of us celebrate holidays. Whatever it is you celebrate, let the spirit of the holiday season wash over you with these comical videos from some of your favorite NBA players and teams. These should be good for a nice laugh or two. You can thank us later (or not, lol)









One of the greatest; Dunkin' On a Reindeer



Happy Holidays from the good people of Los That Sports Blog!

-ALR

NFL Week 15 One-and-a-Half Liners



A look back at NFL Week 15.


San Diego Chargers 34, San Francisco 49ers 7


Vincent Jackson's 3 touchdowns proves general manager A.J. Smith was right not to meet his contract demands. (As he explains to a wig-wearing LaDanian Tomlinson, "Pimpin' been pimpin' since been pimpin'...")


Cincinnati Bengals 19, Cleveland Browns 17


The Bengals snap their 10-game losing streak, while the Browns snap Terrell Owens meniscus. (Might need to cop some Knee Grows...)


Dallas Cowboys 33, Washington Redskins 30


Rex Grossman threw 4 TDs, but in the end was no match for Jon Kitna and the Cowboys offense. (Donovan McNabb just threw up, again...)


Tennessee Titans 31, Houston Texans 17


In the second of the two matchups this season, the Titans jumped on the Texans early with 21 first quarter points. (Kind of how Andre Johnson jumped on Courtland Finnegan early in the first matchup...)


Indianapolis Colts 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 24


The Colts, in true big-brother fashion, let the Jags get their division title hopes up just long enough before snatching it away yet again. (Maybe the Jags can put the Colts on the next season of "Bully Beatdown"...)


Kansas City Chiefs 27, St. Louis Rams 13


The Chiefs may win the AFC West by being the best team in the NFC West (4-0 against the 49ers, Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals this season). (Boise State laughs uncontrollably at the Chiefs non-conference schedule...)


Buffalo Bills 17, Miami Dolphins 14


The Dolphins fall to 7-7, but are 1-6 at home. (If something like this happened to Sun Life Stadium, the Dolphins might be leading the AFC East...)


Detroit Lions 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 (OT)


The Lions win a road game for the first time in three years. (Geno Auriemma is disappointed that you care more about the Lions losing than his women winning over the same time period, you miserable bastards...)


Philadelphia Eagles 38, New York Giants 31


DeSean Jackson returned a muffed punt 65 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play to cap a 28 point fourth quarter comeback by the Eagles. (You wanna know how Jackson got his pet cheetah? His Benjamin pile? Because he's faaaaaaa-aaast...)


Carolina Panthers 19, Arizona Cardinals 12


Nobody cares. (Nobody cares...)


Baltimore Ravens 30, New Orleans Saints 24


Even after watching the game, it remains unknown if these teams are both Super Bowl contenders, or first round flame outs. (Also, fantasy football owners of Ray Rice thank him for having his first great game of the season, ten weeks too late to validate taking him number one overall...)


Atlanta Falcons 34, Seattle Seahawks 18


The Falcons continue to lure people into believing that they are the best team in the NFC. (Pete Carroll continues to be a completely mediocre head coach on the professional level, even though it's legal to pay players...)


Oakland Raiders 39, Denver Broncos 23


Tim Tebow allegedly made his first start at quarterback, yet carried the ball 8 times for 78 yards and a TD. (Meanwhile, God smiled on the Raiders, who are at .500 in December for the first time since 2002, when this massacre happened...)


New York Jets 22, Pittsburgh Steelers 17


The Jets beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the first time in franchise history, and score an offensive TD for the first time in three games. (The Steelers secure a playoff spot in the loss, and the media ignores Mike Tomlin allowing Big Ben to throw 44 times in the snow, when Rashard Mendenhall became the first player to run for 100 yards against the Jets on only 17 carries...)


New England Patriots 31, Green Bay Packers 27


Matt Flynn filled in admirably for Aaron Rodgers (251 yards passing, 3 TDs), but was no match for Tom Brady's hair or clock management capability. (Somewhere in Louisiana, Les Miles is smiling...)


Chicago Bears 40, Minnesota Vikings 14


As Brett Favre picked himself up off the turf after being planted by Bears DE Corey Wootton, it reminded me of the end of "Fallen", when the demon Azazel leaves Denzel's dead body, floats around, and finally reveals itself having possessed a cat that was nearby, saying "Oh, you forgot something, didn't you. I said I was going to tell you about the time I almost died..." (Jay Cutler sings, "Time is on my side...")


#LTSB Video: Duke Recruit Austin Rivers Drops 42 In Tourney


Duke Blue Devils recruit Austin Rivers, son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, is really good. He's currenty ranked as the #1 college recruit in the nation and for good reason. The 6'4 190 shooting guard with the crazy handle and mad range hung 42 points on Dwyer in the City Of Palms Classic, and annual tournament held down in Florida. Here's highlights of the performance:



As you can see from the video, the young Rivers has a very bright future ahead of him. If all goes as planned and barring any last minute jumps to the NBA, Duke could feature the best backcourt in the nation that would include Rivers, Kyrie Irving, Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry. Talk about depth. The good fellows of #LTSB are fans of good basketball and will continue to keep you updated on the recruiting trail.

Shoutout to slamonline.com and ballislife.com for the footage.

-ALR

#LTSB Video: Today's Edition Of "Blake Griffin Did It Again..."


I'm going to continue to post highlights of the Los Angeles Clippers rookie sensation for a few reasons. 1.) The kid is a BEAST. 2.) I'm a long time Clipper fan (save your jokes; I'm heard them all). 3.) We haven't seen a player this young, this size and this explosive since maybe Shawn Kemp; and I think Blake is already better than the Reign Man. Here are some highlights from the Griffin Show last night against the Timberwolves:



The Clippers are on a 3-game winning streak and Griffin posted his 16th srtraight double-double last night with 22 and 10 (and threw in 7 assists for good measure). In December he is averaging 21.7ppg, 13.3 rpg and 4.3 asts. Say it with me; ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. 'Nuff said.

-ALR

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Favre'mas



T'was two hours before kickoff, and all about Twitter,

Our mobile devices all began to fritter

The people I follow had written off Brett Favre

There was no way in Hades that old man would start


When from TCF Bank Stadium there arose such a clatter,

I logged on to ESPN.com to see what's the matter


(If I'm gonna write about Brett Favre again, why not have some fun with it?)
UPDATE: The old man took the field with the starting unit, completed 5 of 7 passes for 63 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and was knocked out the game with a concussion. One would think this would be the last we've seen of Favre, but...

Geno Auriemma Plays the Sex Card



UConn women's head basketball coach, Geno Auriemma, has his finger on the pulse of the American sports watching public. Or least he does in his mind.


Coach Auriemma and the UConn Huskies won their eighty-eighth consecutive game yesterday, tying the mark set by John Wodden's UCLA dynasty of the early 1970s. According to Auriemma, his team is getting attention only because they are women one game away from breaking a men's record.


"Just know," Auriemma said in the postgame press conference. "There wouldn't be anybody in this room (air quotes) if we were chasing a woman's record."


Auriemma said the woman (media members and fans) are "happy as hell" and can't wait to ask questions. The guys (men I suppose) who follow women's basketball are the same way.


He also referred to those who follow men's basketball as "miserable bastards" if they have a problem with his team passing Wooden's UCLA team in the record book.


But Geno, what about me? I feel left out in yesterday's "tirade" because I'm not a woman, I don't follow women's basketball, and I couldn't care less if it's a men's record broken by a women's team.


I, like most of the American sports watching public, simply don't care about women's basketball. Women's basketball is like the tree in the forest that no one is around to hear fall. It most definitely makes a sound, but I'm one thousand miles away with some Beats by Dre headphones on both ears.


For better or worse, the UConn women's basketball team is not going to be as interesting now as they will when they lose. It has little to do with sex, and everything to do with their dominance.

Auriemma should be happy with any of the attention his team, and by proxy his sport, gets for its achievement, be it positive or negative. Women's basketball is a hard sell, on the college and professional level. The Huskies won their eighty-eighth straight game beating the 10th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes by thirty-one points. The last time they lost a game was in the 2008 NCAA semis to Stanford. They had another close game against Stanford last season in the championship game, ultimately winning 53-47.


Other than that, blowout after blowout. Which means Auriemma may be right suggesting that few people to see his team win, but wrong as to the reason why. You win eighty-eight straight games, it's no longer news until you lose. Those are the cold hard facts of the American sports watching public.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Return of the Crazy One



Gilbert Arenas is back on a playoff contender, and I couldn't be happier for him.


It was almost a year ago to the day that Arenas was involved in the infamous locker room incident with Javaris Crittenton and a couple of guns. After his season-long suspension was made official last January 7, many were right to speculate that not only his season, but the 3-time all-star's career might be over. Arenas had missed most 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons due to an assortment of knee injuries, and this gun incident contrasted with his recently signed contract (six years, $111 million) made him persona non-grata with the Washington Wizards.


The Wizards finished 26-56 in 2009-10, selected point guard John Wall with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and set their sights on ridding themselves of the former "Agent Zero". Arenas meanwhile shut down his Twitter account (after unsuccessfully trying to bring levity to the gun incident), pretended to shoot his teammates during a pregame huddle, lost half a season's worth of paychecks, changed his number thrice over (from "0", to "6", and then to "9"), faked an injury to give preseason playing time to friend/teammate Nick Young, and watched as the NBA world wrote him off as either crazy, washed up, or both.


Ironically, Arenas' terrible contract may just have been his career's saving grace.


Arenas was traded yesterday to the Orlando Magic, for forward Rashard Lewis, arguably the only player in the NBA with a worse contract (six years, $118 million). The deal was the second of two trades made that day by Orlando GM Otis Smith, ultimately landing Arenas, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark. Arenas, who was leading the last place Wizards in scoring (17.3 ppg), now finds himself 3 1/2 games out of first in the same Southeast Division.
Not only is he on a team with playoff aspirations, but Arenas is reunited with Smith (who was player developmental director with the Golden State Warriors in 2001 when they drafted Arenas) and Richardson (best friend of Arenas from those same Warriors days). Smith is best prepared of any GM in the NBA to handle Arenas' unique personality.
And that leads to my favorite part of the trade; a return to Arenas' quirkiness that has been on hiatus since his suspension. Before everyone got on their high horse about his bringing of guns to the locker room, he was by far the NBA's favorite resident goofball (he even blogged for the NBA's official website). Smith has shared the story of how when the Warriors drafted Arenas, he had to talk him out of buying piranhas. That's far from the craziest stories associated with Arenas. His "Gilbertology" is stuff of legend:
  • He's admitted to taking a "Number 2" in teammate Andray Blatche's shoes.
  • He yells, "Hibachi" after taking a shot.
  • He has a $100 million contract, yet drives a 1997 Chrysler Sebring daily.
  • On faking the injury: "I told Nick Young I'd sacrifice playing tonight so he can get some time in, because I know he's kind of frustrated he's not getting a chance to crack the three position."
  • He played online poker during halftime of games.
  • He reportedly showered in full uniform and shoes at halftime of a game against the San Antonio Spurs. He scored 24 points in the second half.

My hope is that we'll see a return to these sorts of stories, and more. Arenas is still young enough (28) to have some of his best play ahead of him. Even though Stan Van Gundy has promised Jameer Nelson the starting point guard spot (making Arenas the NBA's highest paid sixth man), Arenas will have on-court minutes with Dwight Howard; the first time in his career he will have ever played with an all-star big man.

Howard, who is also known for being an on-court comedian, may remind Arenas what playing in the NBA was like before things got all serious.

If so, the redemption stories should start up around March/April. If the Magic make it to the semis, or even the Eastern Conference Finals, it will have to do with in large part whatever contribution Arenas has yet to make. Many have made the comparisons to Michael Vick's NFL resurgence, but I liken this more to Ron Artest's NBA version. An eccentric personality engages in some horrific behavior, takes mandated time off, hooks up with a winning team, plays well, and reminds the general public why they liked him in the first place.

A familiar story, but a welcome one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pics Of Steve Francis' Debut For Beijing Ducks




Yes you read that correctly; former #2 overall pick and NBA All-star Steve Francis played his debut game with the Beijing Ducks on the CBA (China Basketball Association) last earlier this AM.

Francis was inked to a two year deal with the Ducks back in November. He joins fellow NBA has been Stephon Marbury on the squad and also hip hop basketball icon Allen Iverson overseas. Francis only played the final 17 seconds of the game, and even still had an ice pack wrapped around his ankle (see pics below):







Well see how long Francis lasts in the CBA. He looks pretty sickly compared to his days back with the Rockets and the Magic. Good luck over there Stevie Franchise. Here's some video highlights from his finest moments in the NBA:


(photo credit: Associated Press)

-ALR

Video: J.R. Smith Makes Gary Neal Famous (Dunk Bait!!)



First off, Ime Udoka owes Gary Neal an apology for letting J.R. Smith cross him up and get to the lane with less than 3 seconds on the clock. Then Gary Neal owes J.R. Smith an apology for attempting to take a charge right under the rim with less than 1 second on the clock. Then J.R. Smith owes Gary Neal some proceeds from the posters that result from this dunk.

That should sum it up.

-ALR

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Monica B&G Club First To Benefit From "The Decision"



If you recall (and how could you not) back on July 7th virtually the whole sports world was on pins and needles waiting to find out where then free agent LeBron James (now referred to by #LTSB as #6) would be taking his talents for 2010-2011 season. Yes the show was egotistic in it's execution, but there was an underlying gesture of charity that was involved with the ESPN televised program. All advertising proceeds and revenue generated were to be allocated to rebuilding Boy & Girls clubs around the country.

Good to see that some of the proceeds have actually been put to use as the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club will unveil the first completed project that was funded from the $3 million that was generated. The ribbon was cut for unveiling the court on December 16th. Here is some info from the press release:

Fox Sports radio host and anchor Deb Carson will emcee a ribbon-cutting event for the opening of the new basketball courts at the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club (SMBGC). The courts will also be used for more sports, fitness and recreation programs including tennis, baseball, soccer and roller hockey.




As much as we all criticize #6 for the "The Decision" and the manner of the show and how it played out, I have to commend James' people for following through ad being committed to their pledge. Hopefully we continue to see more of these types of positive developments of the show. Maybe that will help most people forget the actual show and remember that despite the improper and selfish in execution, the intentions were at least charitable.
-ALR

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nets, Lakers & Rockets Agree to Three-Team Trade



Per Yahoo Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, a three team trade between the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets has been agreed to in principle.

The Nets would get guard Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers, along with a 2011 first round pick. New Jersey would send G/F Terrence Willams to Houston and receive the Rockets 2012 first round pick in return. New Jersey also would be sending F Joe Smith to Los Angeles. The deal cannot be finalized until December 15th as Joe Smith was a free agent signee.

Clearly this is a move for the Nets to acquire more ammunition to throw Denver Nuggets way in an attempt to land Carmelo Anthony. The Nets previous offers were rejected by the Nuggets but maybe a couple first round picks can sweeten the deal.

Acquiring Joe Smith would give the Lakers frontcourt a veteran presence as Vujacic was little used and had fallen out of Phil Jackson's rotation. The Lakers bench has been lacking in the paint and Smith can in the least offer a rest for Pau Gasol and also insurance in case Andrew Bynum struggles coming off of knee surgery.

More as details become available.

-ALR