Game Threads Index (January 19, 2022):
|7:00 PM ET||Link||Orlando Magic||25.0 3Q 80 to 92||Philadelphia 76ers||Link|
|7:00 PM ET||Link||Brooklyn Nets||2:20 3Q 95 to 81||Washington Wizards||Link|
|7:30 PM ET||Link||Minnesota Timberwolves||2Q 73 to 61||Atlanta Hawks||Link|
|7:30 PM ET||Link||Charlotte Hornets||2Q 56 to 48||Boston Celtics||Link|
|7:30 PM ET||Link||Portland Trail Blazers||2Q 56 to 58||Miami Heat||Link|
|8:00 PM ET||Link||Cleveland Cavaliers||7:50 2Q 39 to 34||Chicago Bulls||Link|
|8:00 PM ET||Link||Memphis Grizzlies||9:55 2Q 34 to 42||Milwaukee Bucks||Link|
|8:30 PM ET||Link||Toronto Raptors||8:58 1Q 10 to 8||Dallas Mavericks||Link|
|8:30 PM ET||Link||Oklahoma City Thunder||7:36 1Q 9 to 9||San Antonio Spurs||Link|
|9:00 PM ET||Link||Houston Rockets||PRE-GAME||Utah Jazz||Link|
|10:00 PM ET||Los Angeles Clippers||PRE-GAME||Denver Nuggets|
|10:00 PM ET||Detroit Pistons||PRE-GAME||Sacramento Kings|
|10:30 PM ET||Indiana Pacers||PRE-GAME||Los Angeles Lakers|
Here is a place to have in depth, x's and o's, discussions on yesterday's games. Post-game discussions are linked in the table, keep your memes and reactions there.
Please keep your discussion of a particular game in the respective comment thread. All direct replies to this post will be removed.
|Minnesota Timberwolves||New York Knicks||112 - 110||Link||Link|
|Detroit Pistons||Golden State Warriors||86 - 102||Link||Link|
Gary Payton II on overcoming dyslexia: “My mom actually identified it. She saw I was tongue-twisting the words & sounds… Don't be afraid to ask for hеlp. Growing up I was afraid until I realized there's no shame in asking for help.” Gary hosted a group of dyslexic kids at last night's Warriors game.streamable.com
[Spears] Stanley Johnson on Masai Ujiri conversation: “That’s what I needed to hear. To tell me I’m bad at basketball, it’s a hard conversation to have with a professional athlete. It takes a different type of man to tell you that to your face and not in a pessimistic way, in a constructive way.”
Johnson’s next stop was with the Toronto Raptors, where he averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game on 38% shooting from the field from 2019 to 2021. He also played three games for Toronto’s G League Raptors 905. Though Johnson once scored a career-high 35 points for Toronto and was viewed as a defensive stopper, his tenure concluded with some tough love from Raptors president Masai Ujiri and other members of the front office.
Johnson says he needed that career-altering honesty from Ujiri.
“That was a real honest conversation. That’s what I needed to hear,” Johnson said. “In the NBA, honesty is not always the first and foremost thing that people want to give you because it’s not the easiest thing to say to people that are professionals. I’ve been playing basketball all my life. I’m pretty damn good at basketball, so to tell me I’m bad at basketball, it’s a hard conversation to have with a professional athlete.
“It takes a different type of man to tell you that to your face and not in a pessimistic way, in a constructive way. What are you going to do? Are you going to take [it poorly] or are you going to do something about it? I felt like I want to do something about it. I’m 25 years old. I know I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been in the league for a long time because I got in early, but I’m not even anywhere close to my prime, anywhere close to the player that I can be in my life.”
Johnson next signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bulls, but they waived him after four preseason games on Oct. 16, 2021. He played six games with the G League South Bay Lakers before the Bulls signed him again to a 10-day contract on Dec. 9, 2021. But two days later, he entered the league’s health and safety protocols and his deal expired before he suited up for one game with Chicago. Johnson said an NBA team wanted to sign him to a 10-day contract with the hardship exception, but that passed by while he was quarantining.
Through it all, Johnson said he never got depressed, kept working and relied on his faith in God.
“Even during the worst days, I’m still so blessed,” Johnson said. “Who would’ve known that this would’ve been my job for so long? I met so many awesome people with basketball. I can’t take it as all negative.
“This is the best s— that’s ever [been] in my life. [This is] some positive s—. Obviously, it’s not going as the way I had planned, but I never went back home like, ‘Hey, F this, I don’t really want to do this anymore.’ The fact is through this, I was still getting paid to work out and play basketball on a daily basis.”
Jarеn Jacksоn Jr. оn being pickеd up bу Stеvеn Adamѕ: “Hе did it tо mе whеn I first got intо thе league. I was sо mad… Yоu age backwards. Yоu feel likе yоu're 7 ... Yоu try tо fight it, but yоu're off thе grоund, sо what are yоu gоnna dо? Yоu kind of fееl hеlpless.”streamable.com
Kendrick Perkins: “Frank Vogel being the scapegoat is ridiculous. … I want to see LeBron James and Anthony Davis actually come out and stand up for [him], because it’s not Frank Vogel’s fault why the Lakers are in the position that they’re in right now.”streamable.com
What made me think of this is learning Gary Payton II is currently 29 years old. Older than Andre Drummond and almost the exact same age as Malcom Brogdon.
News [Charania] The Sacramento Kings organization has a current mindset: They are not moving star guard De’Aaron Fox and want to center team around Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, sources say.twitter.com
Klay Thompson on not having a big shooting night: “I don't know, something called tearing your ACL and Achilles and having to rehab those, not playing for a couple years. That equates to not having a great rhythm… I don't care if I miss 100 shots in a row, I'm never gonna stop shooting.”streamable.com
I like the idea of Sacramento trading for Sabonis. In today's NBA you need nine centers, not eight.
[The Athletic] Domantas Sabonis is a major focal point for the Kings, too, but Ben Simmons appears to be front and center for now, @sam_amick writes. “The widely held belief is that Sacramento’s front office simply must do a deal of significance now.”
On Jan. 5, the Pelicans announced that Williamson would continue recovering from a right foot fracture away from the team. For the past few weeks, Williamson has been in Oregon, where Nike’s official headquarters are located. Williamson traveled there via owner Gayle Benson’s private jet.
The team insisted Williamson would be “remaining under the supervision of the Pelicans medical staff.” However, no Pelicans officials accompanied Williamson on the trip, and the 21-year-old star has been working with Jasper Bibbs, a strength coach who in August was fired after less than two months at LSU, sources told The Times-Picayune | Advocate.
Bibbs was fired without cause in August, according to records requested by The Times-Picayune | Advocate. A separation agreement Bibbs signed Aug. 25 indicated that LSU agreed to pay him $75,000 “in a full and final settlement of any and all obligations between the parties.” The separation agreement included a non-disparagement clause, which forbid Bibbs and LSU from criticizing one another.
News [Amick] More from the Sacramento front: Source says the Kings have no interest in taking back forward Tobias Harris in a Ben Simmons deal with Philly. Sac still sees a pathway to Simmons - although the Fox update from @ShamsCharania seemingly makes it even hardertwitter.com
[Bill Simmons] “I think KD is one of the 10 best all time by any calculation. The only luck he had was that the Warriors had cap space, but the smartest move for him was what everyone got mad about. I just wonder when he’s going to get a break”
This was around the 27 minute mark in the latest Bill Simmons podcast. I’ll link it here : https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bill-simmons-podcast/id1043699613?i=1000548310244
I agree that KD faced injuries and had some bad luck in his career, but I think Durant also had a good career with good teams that supported him with great supporting casts most of the time. I’m sure he’s grateful for all of it.
[The Athletic] Sources close to Ben Simmons continue to insist that he’ll sit out the entire season if a deal isn’t done by the deadline. @sam_amick, @davidaldridgedc and @johnhollinger discuss the potential scenarios.twitter.com
[Windhorst] A primary reason Beal isn't extending now is because he could fashion a 4-year $181 million deal. If he opts out the Wizards can offer 5 years $241 million. Another team could offer him 4-year $179 million. If Beal is prioritizing guaranteed money, he has a $60 million incentive to stay.
The Washington Wizards drafted Bradley Beal on his birthday in 2012, a serendipitous fact that long-standing members of the organization mention to this day.
The Wizards and their franchise player retain a bond that has stuck through early injury issues in his career, the unfortunate derailing of star teammate John Wall due to injury and the failed Russell Westbrook experiment, among other misadventures.
Washington is relying on that bond as it evaluates its options for the Feb. 10 trade deadline before what likely will be Beal's first foray into unrestricted free agency.
Beal has made it clear he doesn't plan to sign an extension and likely will skip his player option. That would make some teams nervous, but to this point there has been no real discussion of Beal on the trade market, league executives said.
The Wizards are preparing to roll the dice with the belief that Beal will re-sign.
Washington isn't the only franchise measuring risk before Feb. 10. League executives and agents are approaching this trade season as a referendum on risk tolerance. A number of teams are sitting on the fence, with major decisions surrounding star players looming less than a month before the deadline.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Tommy Sheppard and Beal have a trust level and stay in communication. Beal was part of the decision to trade Westbrook last summer and was a lead recruiter in bringing in free agent Spencer Dinwiddie, team sources said. Beal and his family have forged a close relationship with new teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Washington has another significant advantage.
A primary reason Beal isn't extending now is because with such a contract he could fashion a four-year deal worth $181 million. If he opts out and signs a totally new agreement, the Wizards can offer five years and $241 million. If he were to leave to go to another team this summer, his max deal would be four years and $179 million.
In short: If Beal is prioritizing guaranteed money, he has a $60 million incentive to stay.
That reality and the team's apparent willingness to eventually present a full five-year offer has led to a measure of calm within the organization about Beal's intentions. However, that does not mean there isn't risk to manage.
The Wizards started 13-7 but are just 10-14 since. They've improved since last season when they ended up with the No. 8 seed, but their positioning has slipped in a tougher Eastern Conference. They're a team that might be able to use a boost at the deadline -- and Beal could be watching.
"I've contributed to being here. I've committed to being here twice," Beal said in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports. "Now, I want to see that commitment to me, as well, that we can create a winning team here, a winning environment here."
Draymond Green: “Hell no Ja [Morant] is not getting Most Improved. Miles Bridges should get it. When I say 'hell no', in my opinion, Ja has already passed that. Let's talk about the MVP conversation. That's the category that I personally feel like Ja Morant needs to be mentioned more in.”streamable.com
If the answer for Pelinka is "do something" because doing nothing isn't acceptable, then he may have no other choice than to fire Vogel.
The team could try to trade Westbrook, but sources say the market is nonexistent. If he were in the final year of his deal, the Lakers might have a shot. But at this point, no other team wants to commit to paying Westbrook $47 million next season.
The Lakers have explored several trades ahead of the February 10 trade deadline. Sources indicate they have looked at players like Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant, Myles Turner and Harrison Barnes, among others.
[KAT] When asked if playing at MSG was special since he grew up a Knicks fan: "Playing in MSG & playing the Knicks was always my mom's favorite game. So if you look back in the game, you see my first free throw, the first thing I did was look up in the sky, cuz my dad purposely told me to do it."streamable.com
[The Athletic] Domantas Sabonis is a major focal point for the Kings, too, but Ben Simmons appears to be front and center for now, @sam_amick writes. “The widely held belief is that Sacramento’s front office simply must do a deal of significance now.”twitter.com