You know what they say: There is always something to do at the club. The NBA is a place where amazing things happen, and the league tries to live up to that standard every day, especially in such a hectic season thanks to Covid-19.
Buildings, tax management, closure of team facilities and even the environment we live in were not enough to stop the season. The show must go on, and the world will run its course, as will the National Basketball Association.
With that in mind, and with everything going on right now, we list the top ten rumors surrounding the NBA:
10. NBA’s 10 Worst Defenders Currently
credit : Getty Images
Now more than ever, the NBA is a scoring league. On the other hand, you know what they say: Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. It seems that some players in the league did not receive this memo because it hurt their team’s chances.
The Bleacher Report has just detailed the 5 worst defenders in the league right now, taking into account their advanced stats and their performance in this regard in their careers and compared to the rest of the league :
credit : USA Today
- 2020-21 Ranking of defensive raptors : Minus 3.6.
- 2020-21 Percent defense of fields and mountains: 54.9 (versus 48.7 planned).
- Defensive Subject Plus/Minus 2018-19 : Minus 1.1
- Career dynamics: Minus 3.5
Well, Enes Kanter was never known for his defense. The tall Turkish man is one of the best offensive rebounds in the league and knows how to do damage on the inside, but he always struggles to make saves, especially against more physical players.
No wonder the Portland Trail Blazers’ rescue center is on the list. The Portland Trail Blazers clearly need Zach Collins and Yusuf Nurkic to come back from injuries to get the rim protection they’ve needed lately.
Glen Robinson III
- 2020-21 Ranking of defensive raptors : Minus 7.1.
- 2020-21 Percentage of defense of fields and mountains: 52.6 (versus 44.5 planned)
- Defensive Subject Plus/Minus 2018-19 : Minus 1.1
- Career dynamics: Minus 4.0.
Perhaps Glenn Robinson III deserves a pass here, as the Sacramento Kings have generally been very defensive-minded, and this isn’t the most motivating environment. On the other hand, he was anything but good.
Throughout his career, Robinson III has been an average defender and a reliable three-point shooter. This season, however, he’s doing none of that for Luke Walton. He’s not using his recovery minutes.
Marvin Bagley III
credit : Getty Images
- 2020-21 Ranking of defensive raptors : Minus 4.7
- 2020-21 Percentage of defensive and mountainous terrain: 58.6 (vs. 47.3 predicted)
- Defensive Subject Plus/Minus 2018-19 : Less than 1,8
- Career dynamics: Minus 5.1.
Marvin Bagley made headlines at the start of the season, but for good reason, as his father literally begged to be transferred. He tried to close the deal, then De’Aaron Fox’s father called and agreed to the exchange.
To be fair, it’s not Bagley’s fault he finished so high in second place overall. Actually, it’s more the fault of kings. Marvin hasn’t shown many signs of improvement since his freshman year, especially as a defender.
- 2020-21 Ranking of defensive raptors : Minus 7.8.
- 2020-21 Percentage of defensive fields and mines: 51.9 (versus 44.6 planned).
- Defensive Subject Plus/Minus 2018-19 : Minus 2.1
- Career dynamics: Minus 14.1
Young Anfernee Simons, Portland’s trailblazer, has raised high expectations, but he has yet to live up to the excitement. He’s a great offensive talent, a high-flying guard combo who can even play as a small forward and become an accurate marker in the pros.
Once again, it’s not easy to keep Simons on the line, because every time he’s on the court, he wreaks havoc on the Blazers’ already weak defense. Hopefully he continues to build on his mistakes and is no longer a handicap on that side of the field.
(via Laredo Morning News).
- 2020-21 Ranking of defensive raptors : Less than 3.3
- 2020-21 Percentage of defensive and mountainous terrain: 47.5 (vs. 45.8 predicted)
- Defensive Subject Plus/Minus 2018-19 : Minus 0.1.
- Career dynamics: Minus 3.0.
Well, here it is. According to Bleacher Report, DeMar DeRozan is currently the worst defender in the NBA. While it wasn’t a good test for the eyes, I have to admit it was a bit of a shock.
DeRozan earns his living in the NBA with his ability to shoot fast, his athletic ability and his mid-range experience. He was never a great defender, but you have to think he was much better than that. We were wrong.
9. Joel Embiid calls out LeBron James for a flagrant foul
credit : Today’s sports day Bill Strider-USA
The game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers lived up to expectations. The best team in the Eastern Conference and the best team in the Western Conference battled until the last moment in a game that could have been a preview of the NBA Finals.
LeBron James and Joel Embiid led their respective teams, but they also got off to a bad start when James pushed Embiid as he rolled to the rim and was called for a flagrant foul. According to Joel, he would have been disbarred if the situation had been reversed, and he accuses the referees of double standards:
It’s a very dangerous game. I guarantee you that if it had been me, I probably would have been ejected from the match, which has happened to me in the past when I have committed flagrant fouls, basically for nothing, Embiid said after the match.
James got a flagrant foul and the Sixers had the final say with this one-point win, but I assure you neither player will let up anytime soon.
8. Top 5 targets for Lonzo Ball
(via CBS Sports)
Lonzo Ball and the New Orleans Pelicans couldn’t agree on a contract extension a few weeks ago, and while there was some optimism about a deal in the offseason, the franchise now appears ready to retire.
With that in mind, there are several teams looking to acquire the former No. 2, and HoopsHype has listed the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers as the teams that would best fit him at this point.
According to the report, the Suns could offer Jay Crowder or Dario Saric plus Jaylen Smith. On the other hand, the Knicks could offer a future first-round pick. The Rockets could acquire him for a future first-round pick, Dante Exum, and/or maybe Victor Oladipo. The Clippers have Mfiondu Kabengele, Terrence Mann and/or Lou Williams, while the Sixers could hit back with Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle or Shake Milton and a future striker.
7. New Orleans Pelicans could trade Eric Bledsoe and JJ Redick
The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t start the season the way they wanted to, and it’s understandable that they would rather try to develop some of their younger players than stick with their veterans. That makes J.J. Redick and Eric Bledsoe potential candidates.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Pelicans are approaching other teams about Ball, Redick and Bledsoe as they look to give more minutes to first-round pick Kiera Lewis and promising defensive lineman Nikhil Alexander Walker :
Yeah, and it’s not just those two guys. Eric Bledsoe was also involved in trade talks, and in many cases these talks were led by the Pelicans. There is interest in taking out some of the veteran goalies to make room for Nikhil Alexander-Volker and Kiera Lewis, their first round draft picks, and give these guys some playing time. I think the Pelicans are going to make some changes, Windhorst said, quoted by SB Nation’s Oleg Kosel.
Brian Windhorst just said on ESPN’s The Jump that the Pelicans will sell by the deadline. Moreover, the rumors aren’t just about Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick, Eric Bledsoe’s name has been mentioned as well pic.twitter.com/EOOUULocok
– Oleg Kosel (@OlehKosel) January 27, 2021
Redick is one of the top scorers in the league and Bledsoe will be an upgrade for some teams that don’t have a playmaker, so there will likely be a lot of movement in the coming weeks.
6. Jared Dudley targets Houston rockets, Lakers accelerate trade of James Harden
credit : USATSI
Jared Dudley hasn’t played much this season, but he’s more active than ever in interviews and on social media. This time, in the podcast Danny Green, the veteran attacker focused on the Houston Rockets, claiming they pushed the James Harden trade after beating them earlier in the season :
If you look at this, you have to respect it, because we accelerated the deal, just like we beat Houston, Dudley said.
For comparison: James Harden’s public comments about the Houston Rockets’ irreparable problems came shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers beat them twice in a row, reinforcing Harden’s desire to leave the Rockets.
5. Top 5 Commercial Packages for BealBradley
It’s no secret that Bradley Beal is one of the top scorers in the NBA right now. In fact, he’s averaging 35.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, for a 48.1% rate. These are elite numbers, but the Washington Wizards have only won three games this season.
Beal has signed a contract extension, and he has stated on several occasions that he is looking forward to playing until the end of his contract, but that could change once several teams find out about his availability.
According to our previous report, the Atlanta Hawks may be after it for John Collins, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Tony Snell and a few first and second round picks. The Denver Nuggets could get him for Michael Porter Jr, Gary Harris, Monte Morris and other future picks.
On the other hand, the Miami Heat could land Beal in exchange for Andre Iguodala, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk, while the Philadelphia 76ers could trade for Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey and a future striker. Last but not least, the Golden State Warriors were able to capture Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Allen Smailajic and a first round pick on Minnesota.
4. Anthony Davis says the Lakers can beat six in the final.
credit : Getty Images
The Los Angeles Lakers struggled last night against the Philadelphia 76ers, but fought tooth and nail until the last second. That’s why Anthony Davis is still confident that he can beat them in the NBA Finals in a seven game series.
The Philadelphia 76ers currently lead the way in the Eastern Conference and look like a much better team than under Brett Brown, while the Los Angeles Lakers are still the team to beat in the overall standings. If it comes to that, it will be an interesting match, that’s for sure.
Anthony Davis believes the Lakers are very capable of beating the 76ers in a seven game series when they meet them in the NBA Finals.
– Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) January 28, 2021
3. Doc Rivers declares that LeBron James is not a villain after a flagrant foul on Joel Embiid
(via CBS Sports)
LeBron James’ hard foul on Joel Embiid was the subject of controversy during the game. If it wasn’t James, you’d think he was clearly trying to hurt Embiid, but the King was never that kind of player. In fact, this is only the sixth gross violation of his career and the first of the last seven seasons.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers did not hesitate to defend James and clarify the situation, saying he had never been an untrustworthy player despite the incidents in Wednesday’s game.
I think it was good, but it was a tough one. They know LeBron is not a bad player, but it was just a very physical game, so they had to call it big. All of today’s jewels. These days you can have it easy, but this fall was tough, Rivers said.
There must have been problems. The fact that Joel was moving on, he clearly wasn’t the same afterwards as when he moved. We already knew that and that’s why we used it in so many picks and rolls, he added.
Embiid suffered from back pain and even missed the Sixers’ last game against the Detroit Pistons. So it’s good to know he’s okay after such a hard fall, especially given his injury history.
2. Charles Barkley says Donovan Mitchell is not asuperstar.
(via Bleacher Report)
Donovan Mitchell and Team TNT’s NBA are clearly not fans of each other. Shaquille O’Neal recently stated that he doesn’t have what it takes to take it to the next level, and he didn’t seem impressed, prompting criticism from LeBron James and Kevin Durant on the Hall of Famer.
However, Charles Barkley did not hesitate to give the young Utah Jazz star another heart to heart by telling Sam Amick of The Athletic that he is not a superstar because he wants to win in many ways:
But as far as superstars go, no one is a superstar until they can win a match in more than one way. And look, to me, this is an indictment of Donovan Mitchell. Come on, man. No matter how many balls you had, you just had a game with double digit visitors? How about a bouncing double-digit ball in a game? Let’s go. I mean, Sam, it’s almost impossible, Barkley said.
Donovan Mitchell is currently averaging 23.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and Utah Jazz have the best record in the NBA (14-4), so maybe he’s not so worried about what Barkley has to say right now.
1. Los Angeles Lakers must release Bradley’s body
In the NBA, the rich are getting richer. We’ve seen James Harden go with the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant go with the Golden State Warriors, and Paul George go with Kawhi Leonard. The Los Angeles Lakers should make a splash on the market.
Bradley Beale admitted he was disappointed with his loss. They are the defending champions and the best team in the Western Conference. Their addition would make them even more formidable and give LeBron James and Anthony Davis another shooter (and a top scorer).
It won’t be easy or cheap, but the Lakers can form the ultimate Big 3 in the Western Conference with Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezul Harrell, Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker, as previously mentioned.
The NBA Finals everyone wants to see: 72-10 Chicago Bulls vs. 73-9 Golden State Warriors.
Ranking of the 10 greatest dunkers in NBA history: Vince Carter is truly half man, half genius.
Kevin Garnett is the only player to have played against the Chicago Bulls (72-10) and the Golden State Warriors (73-9).
Kevin Durant and LeBron James truly have the best teammates in modern NBA history.
LeBron James his ranking among the best teams in the championship: Miami’s Big Three are the most legendary.
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