The Lohan women—Dina, Lindsay, and Ali—appear to be distancing themselves from issue-plagued daddy Michael by all changing their names. Dina explains that Lindsay, first of all, will just be doing the one-name thing from now on. She says “Lindsay is dropping the Lohan and just going by Lindsay.” We wonder if that would have made any difference in Lindsay’s E-Trade lawsuit? That was the whole basis for it, after all. Her lawyer said at the time “Many celebrities are known by one name only.” Usually those celebs have a really unusual name like Madonna or Cher, but whatever, Lindsay is joining them, normal first name be damned!
As for Dina and Ali, Mama Lohan says, “Me and Ali will be officially changing our last names back to my maiden name, Sullivan.” No word on whether this has to do with Michael’s latest arrest for domestic violence, we’re sure it’s just a culmination of many years of his hard work tarnishing the name. Of course, name changes don’t often stick, just ask just Prince and the Triboro Bridge. We’re certain that no one will ever refer to them as anything besides Lohan, but we can’t fault them for trying.
Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Carl Landry and Kendrick Perkins all switched addresses before today’s trade deadline, and all of them will still enter the Toyota Center as visitors.
The Rockets now own four first-round picks in a drained draft where franchises seem determined to avoid picking first. I was going to center my column about Daryl Morey’s inactivity around a Hasheem Thabeet joke. Yeah, they were even desperate enough to inquire about the seven-foot stiff with less game than Milos in the American Airlines commercials.
I then read the Rockets had indeed traded for Thabeet. Once I confirmed that Ashton Kutcher was not involved in the negotiation process, I needed a few hours to digest a stunning haul. Morey also acquired Demarre Carroll, Goran Dragic and a handful of first rounders.
The Thabeet-Dragic transactions qualify as “stunning” because I am not sure Morey could have predicted his Feb. 24 would end this way. His wish list began with Anthony, Williams and Chris Paul last summer. It ends, for now, with a former second overall selection who takes the concepts of “project” and “fixer-upper” to new levels and a Slovenian point guard with game-changing faculties.
Yeah, it was that kind of deadline day for the Rockets. I planned my response for most of the afternoon and remain unsure about it.
Houston departed Cleveland a dreary, ductile defensive team and will host New Jersey on Saturday with the same lethal flaws. They could not guard anybody before. With the roster’s top perimeter stopper shipped to Memphis, the defenseless kids will not guard anybody now.
A 28-31 squad will not experience the sudden awakening necessary for a playoff push. The only difference after a flurry of moves: the Rockets will teeter and stumble toward the lottery with Dragic and Thabeet instead of Brooks and Battier.
Morey did not find a taker for Jared Jeffries with anything valuable to offer. He pushed Charlotte to unload Gerald Wallace and tried to pry Omer Asik from Chicago. The Blazers swooped in with the extra picks needed to satiate the payroll-slashing Bobcats, and the Bulls refused to part with their backup center.
He was not going to give away Courtney Lee, his best remaining two-way performer, without getting back Asik’s considerable upside.
Battier and Brooks, in particular, carried their cell phones everywhere as if they were awaiting a childbirth notification. They never lost sight of them and kept the devices handy for when the inevitable news came.
Both reacted with professionalism when it did. Battier told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal he wanted to bring elusive playoff success to the city. Brooks said in a Houston radio interview that the opportunity to play behind Steve Nash, “a legend,” floored and excited him.
The Rockets will miss what both brought when at their best, but no trade was going to make this morose, comatose unit worse. It will take some effort to top the face plants at home against Philadelphia and Minnesota. They won in Cleveland but not without allowing the Cavaliers to rack up 119 points.
Thabeet has a lot of work to do to become a serviceable, NBA-level big. The Grizzlies paid the Rockets to take him with a draft pick, so they could wash themselves of such an embarrassing draft blunder. He can block shots and bump exit signs with his forehead, but he cannot defend without fouling or score on a bedridden grandmother.
The Rockets were desperate for size, and his 7’3″ frame will, as Houston Chronicle writer Jonathan Feigen suggested, make them look more impressive in hotel lobbies. The goal, though, was to look more impressive on the court.
Am I skeptical Thabeet can develop into a rotation cog? Put it this way: If Hakeem Olajuwon transforms this kid into a player, provided they work together again, someone should ask Dream about a cancer cure, the meaning of life and the key to world peace.
Jean de la Bruyere, a 17th century French satirist, once said, “Out of difficulties grow miracles.” Should we plant the beanstalk now?
Dragic, on the other hand, proved in Phoenix he could ball with anyone. He hung 23 fourth-quarter points on the Spurs in a road playoff game. Witnessing that shocking eruption live may taint my glowing review of the Slovenian reserve. A 6’3″ guard punked future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan with a variation of the Dream Shake.
All Suns coach Alvin Gentry could do that night was slap the scorer’s table and yell with irrepressible glee, “Jesus Christ!” All Spurs fans could do was grumble that this guy was demolishing the home squad in ways Charles Barkley, Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Amar’e Stoudemire never did.
I should not have been surprised Lon Babby jettisoned the young floor general once touted as Nash’s heir apparent. He did, after all, try to replace Stoudemire with Hedo Turkoglu.
Dragic can finish at the rim with either hand, plays aggressive, if frantic, defense, hits the long ball at a respectable rate and sometimes approximates his former teammate when delivering pick-and-roll passes. Brooks could not do any of that, but his agility with the ball and penchant for sticking triples from every angle confounded opponents.
He suffered an ankle injury in San Antonio and missed the ensuing 23 contests. He swore today he put his tenuous contract situation behind him long ago and abandoned his resentment that Kyle Lowry made millions more and usurped his accustomed starting role. It was clear he had not recovered from the toll of his first major career injury.
Brooks landed a fresh start in Phoenix, while Dragic can build on the role and approach he honed with Gentry.
Battier’s departure should hurt fans most because his plane ticket back to Memphis cements Houston’s recent championship push as a failure. Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady’s ailments made rebuilding probable. This move makes it official.
Morey would not trade the 32-year-old froward if he thought the Rockets were anywhere close to a third title. I hope Chris Wallace does the right thing and lets Battier walk to a contender after renting him for the Grizzlies’ transient playoff run.
The anti-Morey dissenters will now lambaste him for swapping Battier and Rudy Gay in 2006 and then teaming Battier with Gay years later. Such is the life of a general manager tasked with reconstructing a fallen wannabe empire.
The Rockets need to turn those draft picks into something valuable and do it pronto, even if lottery protections and other restrictions—Memphis surrendered a 2013 selection—complicate the equation. That Morey also pursued Jonny Flynn proves his options were limited.
I wrote this Wednesday night on my laptop, before the Chronicle and other outlets lowered the boom.
“Daryl Morey pushed Charlotte to unload Gerald Wallace and considered dealing for Omer Asik, draft picks and several other project players. He even—and I’m not kidding here—asked about Hasheem Thabeet.”
The joke was on me.
A guy averaging two points, two rebounds and two fouls for his career, which was highlighted by a D-League stint, will need to make the spectacular leap from space-taker to useful if Morey wants any return on his, albeit cheap, investment.
I should also mention that Dragic, for all his potential, posted a putrid plus/minus rating when he played alongside other Suns reserves this season, which is what he will often do in Houston. His seven-point, three-assist average will not remind fans here of John Lucas.
Carroll, a 6’8″ three-four hybrid, shone best for NBA scouts in scrimmages, not individual workouts. His average lateral quickness but improved handle as a developing slasher make him a mystery. I need to see more of him to render a proper judgment.
At what position does he fit best? Is he an adequate wing? If he cannot check small forwards, can he defend post players as he did in college?
If nothing else, today’s trades should open up plentiful minutes for Patrick Patterson and Terrence Williams. It would behoove Rick Adelman and Morey for those talented, simmering-in-the-crock-pot youngsters to sweat and smell NBA competition for at least 20 minutes per night.
Right now, Williams finds himself glued to the bench. Get him in the game, Rick.
Williams’ situation, though, mirrors the Rockets’. They keep wishing and waiting for the big break that will make them relevant again. That watershed moment did not arrive today.
Say this for Thabeet: He does indeed look good in a hotel lobby. He has to look good somewhere, right?
Rivers said the same thing last year when Perkins blew out his right knee in Game 6 of the finals and the Lakers prevailed in Game 7.
Now, the Celtics will try to win a championship without the familiar five. On Thursday, the Celtics’ director of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, traded Perkins and the reserve guard Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for 24-year-old Jeff Green, a 6-foot-9 forward, and the veteran center Nenad Krstic.
“They go down as never having lost a playoff series,” Phil Jackson, tongue in cheek, said Thursday.
The trade was the most significant deal engineered before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports and confirmed by two executives briefed on the trade.
Many league executives took a cautious approach in the days leading to the deadline, with the uncertainty of the league’s expiring labor agreement and how trades could affect payrolls. Some teams sought financial flexibility while others tried to strengthen themselves for the playoffs.
The Houston Rockets were among the most active teams. They made a point guard switch — dealing Aaron Brooks for Phoenix’s Goran Dragic — and traded the defensive specialist Shane Battier to the Memphis Grizzlies for a former second overall pick, Hasheem Thabeet, and a first-round pick. Brooks will play behind the All-Star point guard Steve Nash.
The Clippers and the Cavaliers exchanged former All-Star point guards — Baron Davis and Mo Williams. The Clippers also received Jamario Moon in the deal and sent Cleveland what will most likely be a top selection in next year’s draft for taking on Davis’s salary.
In other moves, Portland acquired the former All-Star forward Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and two first-round picks.
The Celtics-Thunder deal could have the most impact on the playoffs. Perkins is a bullying center, an enforcer who started alongside four All-Stars. Now he will be asked to perform the same tasks alongside the young All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Many considered the absence of a quality center like Perkins a hindrance to the Thunder’s truly challenging the Lakers in the Western Conference.
Perkins has played in 12 games after extensive rehab and will be out at least another week after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Boston is gambling its interior players will get healthy. Shaquille O’Neal has been out with a strained Achilles’ tendon and Jermaine O’Neal has been sidelined most of the season (knee).
Boston sought perimeter help in Green, a forward with inside-outside skills. He is averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 rebounds and will be a restricted free agent after the season
The Celtics also sent Marquis Daniels to Sacramento for a future conditional second-round pick, and dealt Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a future second-round pick.
Oklahoma City further solidified its frontcourt by adding Nazr Mohammed in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for D. J. White and Morris Peterson.
In a twist, Green played a side role in Boston’s re-emergence. The Celtics drafted him in 2007 and then traded him, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to the Seattle SuperSonics, which became the Thunder, for Allen and Glen Davis.
BULLS EDGE HEAT Derrick Rose scored 26 points and Luol Deng hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer to lift the host Chicago Bulls past the Miami Heat, 93-89, in an Eastern Conference game that could have playoff seeding implications. The Bulls watched a 9-point lead in the fourth change into a 4-point deficit before winning. (AP)
KINGS MAY BE ON THE MOVE In the latest and perhaps strongest signal yet that the Sacramento Kings are considering a new home, the franchise filed a request for an extension on the N.B.A.’s March 1 deadline to inform the league if they intend to seek permission to relocate next season. (AP)
A 1/2 game back of the Grizzlies and 1 1/2 games in front of the Suns is where the Jazz find themselves in the first game in the post-Deron era. Some help is on the way but is it going to be enough to stay in the playoffs? Let’s look at last night’s action.
Whatever slim chance the Jazz had to get back into the division race was prolonged last night as the Thunder were taken out by the best team in the league. They played them tight but some late-game mistakes cost them a chance to win this one:
But the one image that sticks in everyone’s mind is the terrible end-of-game play by Jeff Green. With 7 seconds left, he chose to shoot it from extremely deep and completely airballed. If the Thunder are to be a contender this season, they can’t let plays like that fly. The Thunder also need to not let emotional plays disrupt their rhythm, as the double technical did in the second. It led to a 11 point Spur lead that wasn’t overcome until midway through the fourth.
My take on the last play of the game is going to lead us into my patented Like it/Love it/Loathe it sections. So we hit some free throws, the Thunder call timeout and advance the ball. They inbound and swing the ball toJeff Green– when this happens, I’m thinking “oh wait, I’ve seen this play before”. Green gets the ball and is under a lot of pressure. As Green is dribbling, a couple of off-ball screens are being set for Durant, who heads towards the top of the key.George Hill, perimeter defender extraordinaire and man who stands almost 1 ft shorter than Durant, does an excellent job of denying him the ball in the position he wants it. Green gets flustered and jacks up a horrible, contested, fade-away three pointer than doesn’t even come close. He could have gotten the ball to Durant further away from the 3 point line, but panicked and shot with 5 seconds left. Great defense combined with bad execution= another win for the good guys.
That’s all the help the Jazz got last night. There were no middle-ground games either. Click on through for the bad.
Portland had this one. They had a 10-point lead in the fourth and blew it. They were up 7 with 4 minute to go and didn’t score a single point the rest of the way and the Lakers were able to force OT. LaMarcus Aldridge missed some big shots late in the fourth that would have given the Blazers the win.
The Jazz were falling further behind the Blazers as Portland had won 6 straight before this game. Silver Screen and Roll describes the last possessions of the fourth,
What happened next is still a little tough to process. At the 1:44 mark of the fourth, Artest rebounded anAndre Millermiss and at the other end drained a 25-foot three, his fourth of the night.LaMarcus Aldridge, who’d tormented the Laker D for much of the evening, got swatted byLamar Odom.Kobe Bryant, working from the isolation sets that have had such a poor success rate this season, converted a difficult baseline jumper to pull the Lakers within two. Aldridge then missed again, and Kobe hitanothertough shot to tie the game with four seconds left. On their final trip of regulation, Aldridge came up short for the third time in a row, sending the game to an unlikely OT period.
Of note was Brandon Roy‘s return. I don’t think his play had an impact on the game but the Blazers are 10-14 when he plays. He didn’t look bad according to Blazers Edge, but that’s not what you want from your highest-paid player,
Brandon Roy came back tonight in limited minutes. He got a standing ovation, missed a couple of jumpers early, but connected on a nifty left-dribble wizard jumper and a three late. His defense looked better than we’ve seen this year, as did his mobility. He didn’t try too much though.
Even without Rudy Gay, this is a game that the Grizzlies are going to win. Zach Randolph put up a very Randolph-like 24 & 10 while getting some good contributions from Sam Young, Mike Conley, and Tony Allen.
This one seemed to be over in the first quarter ad the Grizzlies built up a 12-point lead and then pushed it to 16 at the half. Minnesota did make a run late in the third and into the fourth, cutting the lead to 3 but Memphis pulled away after that.
Whatever. It’s the trade deadline, and there’s just not much to say about the game that was just played.Zach Randolphis a bully in the low block (and I mean that in a very complimentary way) The Wolves again collectively struggled to find the bottom of the net (37% shooting) Rambis’ rotations continue to puzzle (Hayward sits 3 games straight, then checks in just 5 minutes into this one?) AndAnthony Randolphdoesn’t get off the bench at all. About the only thing noteworthy is thatKevin Lovetied Moses Malone’s record of 44 double-doubles.
Phoenix keeps looking like the team that’s going to get into the playoffs. Memphis is going to drop and the Suns have been playing good basketball. They took care of a Atlanta team that has been struggling having lost three straight and 6 of their last 10. It didn’t help that they were without three key players due to a trade.
The Suns took advantage and held off a late run in the fourth by the Hawks. Atlanta was able tie the game at 92 with five minutes to go but 8 straight points by the Suns and a couple of turnovers by the Hawks did them in. Despite the comeback, Peach Tree Hoops didn’t like their play,
I’ll touch on the Hawks roster move in another post, but this team looks terribly flat and uninspired.Larry Drew‘s relatively inexpensive contract and lack of long term security has this team looking disconnected and stale. That they continue to try and win games the same way, by launching 20 footer after 20 footer, will not get consistent results against the type of schedule they are seeing now and will throughout the rest of the season. Consider my 50 win pre-season prediction now “shaky”.
I said Frye would have a big game and he didn’t disappoint. 20 points on 8-14 shooting including 4-8 from downtown. He was clutch as always scoring 6 huge points under 2 minutes left in the game. He came up big tonight and that’s what we need. Really, we do need that. Frye is the key to this team’s success(besides Nash). Remember how if J-Rich scored 20 or more points we’d usually win? Well, if Frye plays well and hits his threes we usually win. Simple as that.
I’ll be keeping up WYWS as long as the Jazz are seriously contending for the playoffs. Hopefully, that’s right through the rest of the season.