NBA Trade Deadline in Review

The NBA trade deadline came and went without much noise.  All week Josh Smith’s name had been circulating in trade talks, and it all amounted to nothing.  Personally, I don’t understand why they didn’t deal him, as well as why the Lakers didn’t deal Dwight Howard.  Why would teams not trade players who are going to walk away in free agency at the end of the year?  Josh Smith is definitely leaving Atlanta, so the fact that they didn’t trade him is idiotic.  Dwight Howard may stay in Los Angeles, so I understand the Lakers keeping him in hopes to re-sign him at the end of the year.  The biggest name that was traded yesterday was JJ Reddick.  The Orlando Magic traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith for Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb, and Tobias Harris.  It was not a big trade by any stretch of the imagination.  However, the name of the game in the NBA is money money money.  Trades get made in the NBA once the money matches on both sides.  The Magic are in rebuilding mode (as they always are), and they were looking for some young talent which they received in Doron Lamb.  I think the Bucks got the better of this trade, with the addition of a solid perimeter shooter.  The New York Knicks did not make a big splash in the trade deadline either.  They traded Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2nd round pick and a trade exception.  And we all know what the Knicks did next right?  Come on, it made so much sense.  You can’t think of it?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  They signed Kenyon Martin to a 10-Day Contract.  Yes!!!!  That is just what they need, another mid thirties player who if his life depended on it couldn’t stay healthy.  Now, if, and this is a BIG IF, he can stay healthy he will help out their front line.  He can add some much needed rebounding, defense, and toughness.  That gritty warrior’s mentality is what the Knicks are lacking, big time.  Overall, I’ll give the Knicks an average grade of a C for their trade deadline moves.  Even with the inactivity at the trade deadline, we should have some good competitive basketball to watch over the last two months of the season.  Enjoy!!

Brooklyn’s Finest

If you missed that game in Brooklyn last night, you missed a thriller. The Brooklyn Nets pulled out an overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks thanks to Joe Johnson’s heroics. Let us rewind to the last two minutes of regulation. The score had been stuck on 101-100 (Milwaukee) since there was two minutes and nine seconds left in the 4th quarter. With just under thirty seconds left, Deron Williams drove to his left, drew two defenders at about five feet from the basket, and found Andray Blatche under the hoop. Blatche threw two pump fakes up before he got fouled going up to the basket. Blatche stepped to the free throw line and knocked down both free throws, giving New Jersey a 102-101 lead with twenty seconds left (Blatche came up huge in the 4th quarter scoring 10 points). Coming out of a twenty second timeout, Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings (Jennings had a great game with 34 points) took the ball to the basket and missed a right handed lay-up, but Larry Sanders was there for the put back right at the rim. This gave Milwaukee a 103-102 lead with ten seconds left. After a twenty second timeout, the Nets inbounded to Deron Williams at half court. The ball was inbounded off a defenders leg and should have been a kick ball, however it went unnoticed. With Monta Ellis well within Williams’ three feet of personal space, Williams swung the ball past Ellis’ face and inadvertently struck him in the jaw with his elbow. The referee made an insanely late call, not blowing the whistle until Williams had passed the three point line. Now, I am in the minority that believes that fouls are fouls no matter when they occur. A foul in the first ten seconds of a game should also be a foul in the last ten seconds of the game. However, this call on Williams was a HORRIBLE CALL!! And on top of it, the call was made two hours late. This gave Milwaukee two early Christmas Presents, ahem, I mean free throws. Ellis knocked down both free throws, and put the Bucks up 105-102 with six seconds left. After another twenty second timeout by the Nets, the ball was advanced to half court. They inbounded to Deron Williams who quickly swung the ball to Joe Johnson at the top of the key, who caught the ball in stride, stepped up, and knocked down a three with one second left on the clock!! The crowd in the Barclays Center erupted!! With the Nets in celebration mode, the Bucks inbounded the ball and heaved up a three-quarter court shot that banged off the side of the rim nearly stealing an improbable victory. Off to overtime they went. It was a back and forth overtime, and Keith Bogans of the Nets kept them in the game with two huge three pointers in the extra frame. We’ll fast forward to a tie ball game (111-111) with five seconds left. Even though everyone and their mother knew Joe Johnson was going to take the last shot, the Bucks still allowed him to get the ball off the inbounds. Johnson drove the ball to the right, put a crossover through his legs back to the left, and off of one dribble he rose from 17 feet and drained a jumper right at the buzzer!! The crowd went wild, and the New Jersey Nets won a thriller over the Milwaukee Bucks 113-111.