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Category — Omri Casspi

Stacked Deck For OKC Without Aces

OKC

    In the last few years, fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder have pretty much always been able to rely on their 2 superstars. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were basically iron men up until last year when Westbrook had a few knee issues that plagued him throughout the season. They were both able to put up huge numbers in fantasy basketball, and they entered this upcoming season as potential NBA championship contenders. That has certainly been derailed thanks to injuries to both players. In fact, some are panicking and feeling like Oklahoma City might not even make the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference.
    After the 1st few weeks of the regular season, the Thunder are just 3-6. They are one of the worst teams in the NBA in points per game, and that is pretty much to be expected when a bunch of players have to step up in the absence of 2 All-Stars. Reggie Jackson has done an admirable job leading the team offensively, and the good news is that it should give him more confidence once the 2 best players returned.
    Westbrook’s broken hand is not really all that worrisome since it should be a fairly easy thing to bounce back from. More people are worried about Durant, though, and his fractured right foot at this point. It is something that other NBA players have gone through, and it could be a nagging injury for the rest of his career if not dealt with correctly. He is probably going to miss more time than Westbrook, and it is definitely concerning for the reigning MVP.
    The Western Conference might be loaded, Oklahoma City has shown that it is not terrible without their 2 best players. If they can play around .500 basketball or even a little below that, they will be in fine shape through Christmas. It all really depends on when their 2 best players come back, but Oklahoma City falling out of playoff contention due to a slow start might be wishful thinking by other teams instead of a realistic outcome. The crazy thing is, the team might actually be better with more confident role players thanks to this brutal stretch. People in fantasy basketball are certainly happy with the production of Reggie Jackson and Steven Adams, to name a couple.

November 13, 2014   No Comments

Silver Bullet Cans Donald Sterling

adam1

    You can’t change a person’s heart, but you can take away his power.
    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was right to put the hammer down on Clippers Owner Donald Sterling.
    The lifetime ban, heavy fine and attempt to ultimately force him to lose his team were not only well within Silver’s powers, but also in the best interest of the league.
    Let’s face it though, this was an easy call for Silver.
    Sterling teed him up for the big hit by spewing his racial venom.
    The only way Silver didn’t gain total support was to do not enough.
    However, Silver set the right tone with his voice, stating not only his professional but personal outrage toward Sterling.
    Of all our professional sports leagues, race plays out largest in the NBA. It is a league that for the most part was built on the dollars of rich, older white males and the sweat of young black men.
    That alone leads to trust issues.

      Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

    But that was the old NBA, 1 that had more Sterlings leading teams then we would ever like to admit.
    Granted, not all of them are gone, but the younger owners and wiser players have filled voids left by some of the old guard who have seen their time pass.
    That’s why it was important that Silver not only hand down punishment but also send a loud message clear to all — that the NBA is not going back in time but rather continuing to move forward.
    This is not a black and white issue. This is a right and wrong issue.
    Sterling was wrong. Silver got it right.
    Then again Silver had to do this.
    He had to send a message to the players that he was on their side. He had to send a message to the sponsors that he is going to hear their cries.
    Sterling will get his money when the team is finally sold. The rich always get richer. But it is important to note that the rest of the league is a winner.
    The ironic thing in all this is that more than any team in Los Angeles, the Clippers reflected the face of the city.
    Having covered sports in L.A. for 2 decades, I can tell you no team had a more diverse crowd than the Clippers.
    The very people Sterling violated with his vomit are the ones that made him rich.
    Now comes the tough questions: Are we going to hold all parties up to such standards?
    Kobe Bryant was only fined for his anti-gay slur last year during a game. Could he now be banned for a lifetime since the precedent has been set?
    If the NBA is going to become the moral sports leader he must next time.
    But that is a different story for a different time.
    Now we know that Adam Silver understands what is right and what is wrong. He understood that allowing Sterling to stay would set the league back at least 35-40 years.
    We all know times have changed, the world has changed and the games we play have changed.
    It is good to see that Silver understands that and is willing to make sure his league is really ready to change.
    No, you can’t change the hatred one spews from his mouth, but you sure can take away his microphone.
    Sterling’s silence will be golden.

April 29, 2014   No Comments

Living For The City

    A heated argument broke out on Twitter tonight about which city has the top players in the NBA. What started the discussion was an “Open Court” segment tonight on NBA TV, featuring Shaq, Barkley, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr and Ernie Johnson.
    Hard for any city, including that stale argument that New York produces the best players (maybe back in the day, but not now), to argue against this 5 though.
    Complex.com

October 23, 2012   No Comments

Favorite Sons

    Do the Clippers vote David Stern a share of playoff coin if they win it all?
    In a poll of 30 ESPN writers and personalities, 25 of them picked the Heat to win this season’s NBA title. Three of them picked the Bulls and 2 predicted the Thunder would win it all.
    Us? As much as Miami is the safe pick, we’re rolling with our homies (Thunder). Now beam us up Scottie.
    ESPN.com

December 23, 2011   1 Comment

Season’s Greeting

    The NBA lockout has come to an end, with the players and the owners agreeing to a tentative deal early this morning. The season will tip off Christmas Day with a tripleheader, including Derrick Rose and the Bulls visiting the Lakers.
    N.Y. Times

November 26, 2011   No Comments

NBA: Less Is More

    Watching David Stern politic and play on the ignorance of many NBA fans who solely blame the players for the lockout, we’re reminded of a solution the commissioner chooses to ignore. It’s called contraction. The league would be better off if they contracted teams such as Michael Jordan’s Bobcats or the NBA-run Hornets, among others. Instead, Stern and his misguided owners believe strong-arming the players for millions and hijacking the game from the fans is a better tactic.
    ESPN.com

November 24, 2011   No Comments

Season’s Teetering

The owners are closer to achieving their goal of canceling the NBA season. Michael Jordan and a small band of hardliners are intent on it.
Meanwhile, David Stern couldn’t wait to use ESPN today as his platform to tell anyone who would listen of how the players have wrecked negotiations. But if you’re negotiating with someone in good faith, you don’t issue ultimatums with each proposal. Stern has frequently done so throughout these so-called negotiations.
As much as I’d love to see some balling, I still applaud the players. They have little choice in the matter. They agreed to give back the $300 million the league supposedly lost last year only to have Stern and those greedy bastards he represents to demand more. And Stern has the gall to call the players’ decision to disband the union “tragic?” Please.

November 14, 2011   No Comments

Another Kings’ Rook With Game

    Though everyone knows who Kings’ rookie Tyreke Evans is, some NBA watchers might not know who this 21-year-old Israeli kid. But you will.
    The first few times I watched Omri Casspi, I came away with mixed opinions. On some nights, he was far from impressive and a liability, but there were other nights when I’d softly whisper damn, like a January outing when the Kings visited the Lakers. Though Sacramento lost at the buzzer, when Kobe delivered one of his patented game-winners, the Kings were pushing the defending champs around as easily as a shopping cart for much of the contest. Casspi, a rookie and the first Israeli-born player to play in the NBA, was holding his own defending against Kobe. Further, he was dictating on offense and banging his chest, particularly after a breakaway dunk silenced the L.A. crowd. He finished with a career-high 23 points and 6 rebounds. After that, I was convinced this dude had skills to make a name for himself in the league.
    But the return of Kevin Martin has stolen some of Casspi’s thunder. He’s still one of the team’s key contributors, averaging 12 points per game. But as Coach Paul Westphal says, sometimes Casspi’s rookie mistakes hurt him. Still, for a first-year player, the 6-9 forward has been a good addition to the Kings.
    Sacramento Bee
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February 9, 2010   No Comments