“3 Pelicans test positive for Coronavirus” – David Griffin (Pelicans vice president of basketball operations)
How concerned are you about Nuggets closing practice facility?
“This is very concerning. The Nuggets not being able to use the practice facility to get practice time, to develop that chemistry back again and you got key players sitting out, you’re talking about a team that was number three in the Western Conference who probably had championship aspirations. There’s going to be a major asterisk on this year’s champ if key players have to sit out to the virus” – Pierce
“The league hasn’t made any comment about the coaches or the staff. You have to figure that some coaches and staff members are also positive. There are a number of guys who fit into a risk profile that may get flagged by the doctors overseeing this. There’s stuff simmering under the surface that, whether the league wants to admit it or not, it’s going to become public soon enough” – Windhorst
“It’s making a little bit more clear to players how serious it is that in these days, leading up to Orlando, that they have to isolate” – Nichols
Commissioner Adam Silver on the virus and the NBA restart, Via “TIME 100 Talks” series:
How should other Nets handle losing multiple teammates in Orlando?
“From a basketball standpoint, they’ll talk basketball and it’s a great opportunity for guys like Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen to step forward here. When you talk to executives around the league, it would take Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen to get a third big time star” – Windhorst
“You have to look at this, if you’re the Nets, as an evaluation period and to bring up their [other guys on the roster] value. They probably weren’t gonna win in the playoffs with the group that they’re bringing to Orlando” – Pierce
Door open for Wizards to make playoffs in East?
“Barring any circumstances, I don’t think so. They’re climbing Mt. Everest. It’s an evaluation period” – Pierce
“They have a shot here. If they can get invested in this, they’re gonna focus on it and they’re gonna get going. You didn’t think Nets vs. Magic (play each other on 7/31) or Nets vs Wizards (play each other on 8/2) is gonna be a big game? Guess what…it is. It will be an important game” – Windhorst
High-stakes maneuvers that assembled The Heatles by Brian Windhorst
Continuing the countdown to the restart of the NBA season, here is #30:
Shawn Bradley drafted 2nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers!
Despite standing at a towering 7’6″, he was known to be dunked on a lot during his career so let’s…
Now just to be fair, here’s Bradley dunking on Bulls forward, Toni Kukoc:
Paul, what’s it like to dunk on Shawn Bradley?
Windhorst recalls whirlwind 2010 free agency in latest article: “Three days in July”
“The key was that the Heat had prepared to open up 3 [max] spots. That was revolutionary. Now we see big threes all over the place but back then, the idea to sign all three of those guys was not what anybody was thinking and the Bulls weren’t thinking that they were thinking two [guys]” – Windhorst
“The collective bargaining agreement had to be rewritten again after Kevin Durant went to the Warriors and the creation of the supermax and you know what the lesson is? You can’t stop these guys if they want to play together” – Nichols
1993 – Chris Webber traded from the Magic to the Warriors in exchange for Penny Hardaway!
On whether Paul would have had a different impact entering NBA before junior year:
Expect Heat-Pacers trash talk to continue when season resumes?
Jimmy Butler on how he felt after his last matchup with T.J. Warren on January 8:
“It might have that same level of trash talk, But I’m really not that interested in a Jimmy Butler, TJ Warren matchup. It’s not the same as Jimmy Butler getting into it with Bradley Beal or even Jayson Tatum [stars going at it]. I’d be interested in that. I forgot they even had beef. This will be swept under the rug” – Pierce
“The ball is in T.J. Warren’s court. If this is gonna become a rivalry, he’s got to step back to it” – Windhorst
Commissioner Adam Silver on trash talk between players, Via “TIME 100 Talks” series:
Still interested in watching 8 teams not invited to Orlando play?
“I think they can interact with themselves, but not with others. It’s not going to happen [the second bubble]. The Orlando bubble is costing the NBA more than $150M; more than $1.5M a day to put on. Not to mention all the lost revenue they have for not being able to sell tickets. Frankly, no one’s gonna pay for the other eight teams” – Windhorst
“These guys can call each other up, they have Instagram. Meet at the gym, that’s fine, just do it in the privacy of a pickup game at UCLA because I am not interested in watching these teams” – Pierce
How will long layoff impact James Harden?
“It’s really gonna benefit him greatly. It will benefit in the long run, especially with his style of play” – Pierce
“James Harden has asthma and he’s talked about that in the past. Asthma is a risk factor for COVID-19. He has to be very diligent and very careful with this and I’m sure he’s very well aware of that. The fact that he got in better shape and is still going for this says a lot about his competitiveness. The Houston Rockets constantly reinvent themselves. It’s maybe the best thing you can say about the organization from top to bottom. They reinvented themselves midway through this last season. We could see a different style of James Harden and a little bit different style of their small ball. This time off benefits them a lot because they were getting worn down before the shutdown” – Windhorst
Rockets a dark horse to make a deep playoff run?
“It’s not just about the Rockets, it’s what we don’t know about the teams around them in the West. Some of the teams in front of them may not be the same. What I’m rooting for: The Rockets getting to the 4 seed. I would love to see a second round playoff series of Lakers/Rockets. That would be great basketball, very entertaining and an example of why the West is gonna be so hard to win” – Windhorst
“They’re one of the biggest wildcards because when you got MVP caliber players in Russell Westbrook and James Harden, there’s only one team in the Western Conference that can say that (regardless of your role players) and that’s the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This could be really beneficial to them. They can lose to anybody, but they can beat anybody too” – Pierce
Place your bets?
Any confidence in betting on games right now?
A senior oddsmaker at Caesars told ESPN’s David Purdum:
“We don’t know who’s in shape. We don’t know what players are going to bail out. You just kind of have to throw things up there.”
“Absolutely not. It’s too unpredictable” – Pierce
Dame Lillard named one of NBA 2K21 cover athletes
“That’s the ultimate feeling. You know you made it if you’re on a video game because millions of kids around the world are gonna buy that game. You’ve reached superstar status” – Pierce
“If I was a gamer, I would pick Damian Lillard to play with because he must be awesome, I’ll bet he’s got range at about 35 feet. I’d love to play with him on any game” – Windhorst
This idea was developed by head coach Lloyd Pierce, CEO Steve Koonin and majority owner Anthony Ressler
“It just shows the willingness of the league, Adam Silver of tackling social injustice issues head-on first and allowing the league, the players to voice their opinion. This is amazing. I’m glad that David Stern is the pioneer for all leagues to watch” – Pierce
“The messaging is very important, But the action is really what’s gonna create serious change. This is exactly the type of things that they’re hoping what is said and displayed in Orlando leads to. It’s a tremendous step and I expect the players to continue to push for these types of things whether or not it happens in the bubble, on their social media accounts or after the season” – Windhorst