Dustin Brown On His Way Out Of Town?
After the Kings acquired Jeff Carter from Columbus, rumors were abound that Los Angeles would trade captain and forward Dustin Brown. There’s no guarantee he goes anywhere, but plenty of teams have shown interest.
Among the teams with interest as a possible alternative to Rick Nash, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie? The Bruins, Sabres, Oilers, Devils, Rangers, Flyers, Leafs and Canucks in alphabetical city order. However, Philadelphia may not have enough cap space to swing a deal. Interestingly enough, LA GM Dean Lombardi said he’s got nothing in terms of other trades before Monday’s deadline.
Leafs Looking For Goalie Help
Toronto is 28th in goals against and are looking for new help in between the pipes. And when the Leafs want someone at a certain position, the names and possibilities usually run wild. Speaking of the Wild, Josh Harding is among the goaltenders Toronto is looking at. Other names listed by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun: Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders, who would waive his no-trade clause to go to Toronto if a new contract isn’t reached with New York. Columbus’ Curtis Sanford, Antero Niittymaki of the Sharks and Scott Clemmensen of Florida are others.
Nash Race Heating Up
We’re closing in on 72 hours until the trade deadline and teams interested in Rick Nash are looking for a relatively fast resolution, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Toronto would like to know by Saturday if their offer for Nash is good enough and the Rangers will likely look to do the same, Dreger says. Both have Dustin Brown as their Plan B. Another Columbus player drawing interest is Derick Brassard, who Montreal and Tampa Bay have shown interest in. Sammy Pahlsson and Derek MacKenzie are also in play, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
-Many teams are interested in Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, who the Oilers are frantically trying to re-sign before Monday. A player Edmonton is interested in acquiring is Columbus D Marc Methot, even though he’s out for the season with a broken jaw.
-A pair of forwards linked to the Red Wings are Travis Moen of Montreal and Mikael Samuelsson of Florida.
-Expect Vancouver to make a push for Dallas F Steve Ott.
-Two Toronto players who could be moved are Luke Schenn and Clarke MacArthur.
1) Thursday marked the first time Jeremy Linsanity went up against one of the top team defenses in the NBA, and it showed. Lin finished 1-11 from the field, six first half turnovers (eight for the game), and continued to be hesitant as the game wore on. That may be a result of terrific on-ball defense by Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and LeBron James, or just a case of pre-game nerves.
Chalmers and Joel Anthony are the unheralded players on the Miami roster; those who will never make an All star team, sign multi-million dollar endorsement deals or lead a posse into the club, but they provide the steady hands and the consistent defense effort that allows this team to thrive on enthusiasm and cohesion. Anthony played 24 minutes, grabbed six boards, blocked five shots and the Heat were +18 with him on the floor. Chalmers and Cole combined to pour in 18 points, five assists and three steals; very impressive numbers considering James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh do the heavy lifting on the offensive end (combining for 67 points).
Something that isn’t talked about with the Knicks? Steve Novak. He’s nailed 36 three pointers in the 11 games he’s played in February. He’s done all that in 21 minutes per game. New York coach Mike D’Antoni needs to get him on the floor. His offensive game plan requires those who can drain the threes with consistency. He needs to play J.R. Smith at the point instead of the useless, aging Baron Davis so to have two legitimate threats from deep when Lin takes a rest.
It seems, thus far, that Smith has not been a victim of his ego and has managed to play some smart, efficient ball since his arrival. I may be wrong, but probably not. Jeremy Lin will be fine if he takes care of the ball. Everyone dismissed the turnovers prior to Thursday because the Knicks were winning despite them. However, eight turnovers from your point guard against the defending East Champs will always result in a loss. If your PG averages at least six turnovers per game, you just won’t make the leap to that upper echelon.
This Knicks-Heat game proved one thing: Miami is too good to fall into the media hype. Erik Spoelstra’s team is too quick, talented and cohesive for the rest of the league. Unless the playoffs prove to tell a different story, we should see Oklahoma City and the Heat in the Finals.
2) Speaking of the Thunder, they made the Lakers looked like parents chasing their kids at the park: Old, out of shape and kind of pathetic. Andrew Bynum limped up the court on a knee that will have him playing like Jermaine O’Neal in less than five years (you heard it here first), Pau Gasoft skips up and down the court flaunting his femininity and Derek Fisher cannot, I repeat (every Laker fan say it with me), CANNOT keep up with any point guard under 30 in the league. Kobe Bryant was off the mark for the second straight night, but the Lakers weren’t able to maintain pace with the fast breaking Thunder and they will continue to fall victim to teams that can establish a running game. Young, athletic teams are the Lakers’ kryptonite.
However, the Lakers still stand at 20-14, good enough for fifth place in the West heading into the break. They also hold a 14-2 home record. As long as they can push their road record closer to the .500 mark they will have a chance to take anyone down in the postseason. Gasol and Bynum, providing they’re healthy, are most certainly the most dominant front line in the league to go along with the best closer in the game in Bryant. That trio makes the Lakers a very dangerous team, specifically because everyone is sleeping on them.
3) San Antonio continues to win. Tony Parker is having one of his best seasons as a pro. Career highs in assists (eight per game) and free throw percentage (80), two aspects of his game that were fairly inconsistent in years past have sparked this club in the absence of Manu Ginobili to be second in the West at the break. His minutes and shot attempts have also climbed, and he has to be considered, or at least mentioned in early season MVP talk.
At 24-10, having won 12 of their past 13 games, they are the hottest team in the league. This is why Greg Popovich is the best coach in the league. It’s also why the Spurs have been to the playoffs 14 straight years, good enough for longest current stretch in the league. Tim Duncan’s minutes have been decreased to save his legs for the postseason because they have the necessary depth to absorb his absence. Dejuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Matt Bonner and Gary Neal are not household names, but they all contribute to the surging Spurs’ continued success in different, however, equally important aspects.