NBA NEWS TODAY (12-20-16)


7th Edition

This post is dedicated to Craig Sager, who past away this week. Sager was one of the best broadcasters, commentators, and announcers that ever worked for the NBA. He will be sadly missed.


 

NBA STATISTICAL LEADERS

Here are the current NBA statistical leaders up until Monday, 12-19-16. We are going to list the top 3 players who lead the league in points, rebounds, and assists.

POINTS

1.RUSSELL WESTBROOK: 30.4 (OKC)

2.ANTHONY DAVIS: 30.2 (NO)

3.DeMAR DeROZAN: 28.3 (TOR)

REBOUNDS

1.HASSAN WHITESIDE: 14.7 (MIA)

2.ANDRE DRUMMOND: 13.7 (DET)

3.DWIGHT HOWARD: 13.0 (ATL)

ASSISTS

1.JAMES HARDEN: 11.8 (HOU)

2.RUSSELL WESTBROOK: 11.0 (OKC)

3.JOHN WALL: 9.6 (WASH)

 

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

The 2015-16 NBA season ended with Kevin Love getting an NBA championship ring as the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the NBA world by beating Golden State in a classic 7 game NBA Finals. However, any basketball fan will tell you that Love didn’t play well all year long and many were surprised that he wasn’t traded in the off-season even with rumors of the CAVS eating some of the monster salary that the former UCLA star makes. What a difference a few month makes.

Kevin Love shoots over Kevin Durant

The 28-year old has rebounded from his lackluster previous 2 seasons in Cleveland and is finally living up to the expectations that were placed on him ever since he was traded for rising star and former #1 pick, Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 3-time NBA All-Star is making a serious case to make his 4th appearance. The PF is averaging 22.3pts, 10.7reb, 1.8ast, and 1blk per game for the 19-6 CAVS. We always liked the skill-set of the former 5th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, who toiled in a losing culture in Minnesota for years before the trade to Cleveland.

Love always put up huge numbers for his former team, but he was giving free reign on the court and his teams never won. A major question we had as he came to play with LeBron and Kyrie was how he would fit in. It has taken 2 years but we believe he is just now feeling comfortable.

What we are most impressed with Love’s game this year is his willingness to play inside more. He was mainly a jump-shooter for the majority of his first 2 years in Cleveland, which made us and probably the CAVS fans furious. We believe big-men should play from the inside then out, not the other way around .

Well, he has gotten the message and his play has taken pressure off James. The supposed “Big-3” is now officially the “Big-3”, and that worries every team in the NBA. It is all about NBA championships with Cleveland and the play of Kevin Love in the first 25 games if the 2016-17 season has to make the Western Conference top teams take notice.

 

WHITESIDE ON THE MOVE?

The Miami Heat are struggling this year with a current record of 9-17. With the loss of Dwayne Wade in the off-season, it felt like the Heat were in rebuilding mode. If the new rumor that is out in the open is true, then Miami will be 100% in rebuilding and tank mode.

We are hearing that center Hassan Whiteside is on the trading block. While at first glance of reading this you might seem like it is a crazy idea, we believe it actually might be beneficial for the long-term future of the organization. Miami fans are still reeling from the stunning loss of the franchise’s best player in its history in Wade. GM Pat Riley has taken a lot of criticism for not resigning him.

We side with Riley as Miami wasn’t going to win with Wade anyway. This is where trading Whiteside becomes more clearer. The center just signed a massive contract extension, and while he is playing very well, the team isn’t winning. Wouldn’t it be better if Miami traded their best player and receive a very good package of draft picks/players in return? We certainly do as this would be the fastest way to rebuilding the team.

As is the case when any trade rumor involving star players floats around, the Boston Celtics are considered very much in play for the talented big-man. We are also hearing Portland and Golden State. We have no idea how the Warriors would be able to add Whiteside without giving up one of their top 4 All-Stars. Maybe Klay Thompson for Whiteside straight up? Maybe Portland’s CJ McCollum for Whiteside? Probably not on both accounts.

To us, Boston is a perfect fit for both teams. General Manager Danny Ainge has done a great job acquiring assets for Boston and they can offer multiple picks and young and talented players. This would allow the under-performing Celtics to move Al Horford to his more natural power forward position and have Whiteside man the middle at the center position.

Our belief is that Riley does the smart thing in our opinion, and trade Whiteside while receiving multiple assets. Boston gets the guy they want and Miami can move onto rebuilding. Win-Win scenario for both teams.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS TRADE RUMOR?

DO YOU AGREE THAT THIS TRADE SCENARIO SHOULD HAPPEN?

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW.

OTHER NBA RUMORS

Here are some smaller rumors that have been floating around.

MINNESOTA IS LOOKING FOR A BIG-MAN

Who do you think the Minnesota Timberwolves should go after?

ORLANDO WANTS TO ACQUIRE A SHOOTER

If you are the Magic GM, who do you try and trade for?

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW.

 

Here are the top 3 rookie leaders in points, rebounds, and assists through Monday, 12-19-16. We are going to list the top 3 players who lead the league in points, rebounds, and assists.

POINTS

Andrew Harrison playing in the D-League

1.JOEL EMBIID:   (PHIILY)  17.5

2.DARIO SARIC:  (PHILLY)  9.5

3.JAMAL MURRAY:  (DEN)  9.5

REBOUNDS

1.JOEL EMBIID:   (PHIILY)  7.3

2.DARIO SARIC:  (PHILLY) 5.7

3.JUAN HERNANGOMEZ: (N.Y.) 5.2

ASSISTS

1.ANDREW HARRISON: (MEM) 3.6

2.ISAIAH WHITEHEAD:  (BKN)  3.3

3.MALCOLM DELANEY: (ATL) 3.0

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF THIS YEARS ROOKIE CLASS?

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW.

FROM UNDRAFTED TO STARTING

In what has been a dreadful start to the 2016-17 season for the Dallas Mavericks, there has been 1 player who has pleasantly surprised the coaching staff and might be a part of the teams’ much needed rebuilding process.

When the 2016 NBA Draft was taking place in June, we kept waiting and waiting for a name to be called. As picks 40 and then 50 went, we still thought that this players’ name would be called. As the last pick of the draft came and went, we were very surprised that Dorian Finney-Smith was not selected. However, what might have been a huge disappointment to him at the time has ended up being a positive. That is, because he was now a free agent, the former Florida Gator star had his choice of signing with a team that he had a good chance of making.

Let’s just say that the 23-year old made a great decision. As the Mavericks have been without future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki due to injury, this has given younger players a chance to play without any pressure on them. Finney-Smith has taken full advantage of his opportunity.

The 6’8″ small forward is a very good defender with good athletic ability. He has the prototypical size that NBA personnel look for in a SF. While his shooting and ball-handling need to improve, it looks like he can become a solid player off the bench for years to come.

While we believe he will be a role player in the future, due to the lack of talent on the Mavericks, Finney-Smith has started 18 games as the team is off to a 7-20 start and are looking like they might be drafting in the top 5 in the very talented 2017 NBA Draft.

In 21.6 minutes per game, he is averaging 5.2pts, 2.7reb, and 1ast, while playing very good on ball defense. In what is turning out to be a weak 2016 draft class in terms of overall production, Dorian Finney-Smith has been a nice find for the dreadful Mavericks.


READ OUR PREVIOUS “NNT” EDITIONS

6th Edition: Tuesday, 12-13-16

5th Edition: Tuesday, 12/6/16

4th Edition: Tuesday, 11/29/16

3rd Edition: Tuesday, 11/22/16

2nd Edition: Tuesday, 11/15/16

1st Edition: Tuesday, 11/8/16


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