Archive for October 10th, 2017

The Celtics have a loaded, talented team. They’re contenders. Their present and their future looks bright. And guard Marcus Smart would like to remain a part of it. Will he receive a contract extension? Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

The Celtics have until next Monday to sign Marcus Smart to a rookie contract extension, something the guard would dearly love.

But there’s one problem. Smart confirmed last night that he hasn’t heard from the team on the matter. Should the Celts not extend Smart, he will become a restricted free agent next summer, and undoubtedly an in-demand restricted free agent.

Some teams are indeed wrapping up their rookie contract players. Philadelphia, for instance, yesterday signed Joel Embiid — he of the 31-game career — to a maximum extension worth $148 million over five years.

Smart can’t help but notice numbers like this.

Full article

Rough preseason for Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis is the main key young building block for the Knicks. After an excellent rookie season, things stalled a bit for him in his second season. And while preseason is just a warmup, health issues obviously matter, and right now the big guy isn’t at 100 percent. Not ideal. Here’s the New York Post with more:

Twenty-four hours after he was called out by MSG personalities Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak for his ineffective play, Porzingis missed Monday night’s 117-95 preseason loss to the Rockets at the Garden with a sore right hip that could also keep him out of the final dress rehearsal Friday against the Wizards.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said Porzingis is having problems lifting his leg, a concerning statement about the face of the franchise. Later, when pressed, Hornacek said he is “hopeful” Porzingis will play Friday.

“He said he went out there last game and felt it a little bit but he was playing. When he really took his stride it was soreness in there,” Hornacek said. “Trainers will work on him and get him a bunch of treatment to get him ready.

“I think it’s just sore. He doesn’t remember the play it happened. He had trouble lifting his leg. I don’t know how long that will be.”

Full article

The Thunder are now built around Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. (With major support from Steven Adams, but he’s for another blog entry.) Each player brings serious game, and all three will have to make changes in the way they play in order to compliment each other and the squad as a whole. There will be bumps in the road. It’ll be great to watch the chemistry develop. Here’s the Norman Transcript with more:

Three players who don’t know each other’s habits, preferences and niches can’t complement each other as well as three who do. And as the Thunder approach Tuesday’s preseason finale at Denver, they’re still in the beginning stages of trying to learn about each other.

“[We need] just a better flow offensively. Again, we’re really talented offensively,” George said. “We have so many weapons. If we can get clicking and going faster and going into the regular season, if we can start to get that rhythm and momentum going early, then we’ll be in good shape.”

Of course, a slow start, especially during the preseason, is to be expected. Immediate chemistry would be impossible without telepathy. George, Anthony and Westbrook, meanwhile, have run together for only four total quarters over the first three exhibitions.

At times, it’s looked awkward.

George has appeared most effective during the stretches at the beginning of the third quarters of games No. 1 and 2 when both Anthony and Westbrook were on the bench. He spent those moments flying off screens, creating space for himself and sending defenses into a frenzy. It’s one of the best parts of his game. It’s also something Westbrook isn’t used to seeing.

Full article

Basketball blog