Trade Grades

by Kristian Winfield

This year’s trade deadline has included some of the more historic movements in the history of the NBA. The league hasn’t seen trades like this in a long time. However, some of these trades were good moves, and others bad.


Charlotte: C+
BOBCATS ACQUIRE
Joel Przybilla, Center
Dante Cunningham, Forward
Sean Marks, Center
Two first-round draft picks and cash


Portland: A
BLAZERS ACQUIRE
Gerald Wallace, Forward


The Blazers went out and grabbed Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats for virtually two first-round draft picks. With a team as young as theirs, the Blazers don’t need those picks to develop as a team. And with Brandon Roy returning from injury, and LaMarcus Aldridge’s increase in productivity, the Blazers can do some big things in the future. As long as Greg Oden and Marcus Camby can find a way to play more than 50 games in a season, I see Portland as a definite contender in the Western Conference for years to come.


New York: B+
KNICKS ACQUIRE
Carmelo Anthony, Forward
Chauncey Billups, Guard
Shelden Williams, Forward
Renaldo Balkman, Forward
Anthony Carter, Guard
Corey Brewer, Forward


Denver: B
NUGGETS ACQUIRE
Danilo Gallinari, Forward
Wilson Chandler, Forward
Raymond Felton, Guard
Timofey Mozgov, Center
Kosta Koufos, Center
Knicks first-round pick (2014 or later)
Warriors’ second-round picks in 2012 and 2013
$3 million

Minnesota: B-
TIMBERWOLVES ACQUIRE
Eddy Curry, Center
Anthony Randolph, Forward

Well, the Knicks did it. They went out and snatched Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. They had to give up everything, and the kitchen sink, for him, but they got it done; and now they can be serious contenders in the East. With Melo and Amar’e  in the back court, and Chauncey and Landry Fields in the front, the Knicks can cause some problems for many teams in their conference. Denver, however, got as much as they could (thanks to Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov) and ended up getting some pretty decent pieces out of the Knicks. They were able to squeeze out both Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, a dynamic duo if you will, as well as Timofey Mozgov, the 7-foot-1 rookie center with so much “upside,” Raymond Felton, and three draft picks. They’ve got some pieces to build their franchise around and can become a powerful team in the West if they can utilize those picks.


New Jersey: B-
NETS ACQUIRE
Deron Williams, Guard


Utah: A
JAZZ ACQUIRE
Devin Harris, Guard
Derrick Favors, Forward
Two 2011 first-round picks
$3 Million

I think the move that the New Jersey Nets made was very risky. They gave up their speedster Point Guard in Devin Harris, their rookie Power Forward, Derrick Favors, AND two first-round draft picks. Utah did a great job of getting what they could, knowing that Deron Williams wouldn’t sign with them at the end of this season. And the craziest part? DERON WILLIAMS HAS NOT SIGNED A CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH NEW JERSEY. They could’ve given up everything to, essentially, rent Deron Williams for half of a season. If the Nets can’t capitalize in the free agency, Deron Williams will not be there in 2011-2012 season.


Houston: A+
ROCKETS ACQUIRE
Goran Dragic, Guard
Suns first-round pick


Phoenix: F
SUNS ACQUIRE
Aaron Brooks, Guard

Maybe I don’t see what the Suns’ front office saw, but THIS WAS A DUMB TRADE. Goran Dragic was Steve Nash’s protege. That little skip pass that Dragic does in pick-and-roll situations? That’s Nash’s move! Dragic would’ve been the perfect heir to Nash, who’s getting older by the second. But Phoenix’ front office went ahead and messed it up by moving Dragic AND a first-round draft pick for Aaron Brooks, a speed demon. Maybe they wanted a change of pace, but Dragic will be the next Steve Nash, and Phoenix just lost out, big time. On the bright side, if Dragic can get a starting role in Houston, it’ll give him some experience with a bigger role for a team. This trade could be a very good move for Dragic’s career.


Boston: B
CELTICS ACQUIRE
Jeff Green, Forward
Nenad Krstic, Center


Oklahoma City: A-
THUNDER ACQUIRE
Kendrick Perkins, Center
Nate Robinson, Guard

This was a great move by Oklahoma City. They’re definitely going to have some growing pains parting with Jeff Green, but Kendrick Perkins’ inside presence is a outweighs Green’s shooting ability. Jeff Green helped spread the floor for Kevin Durant, and Russel Westbrook had great chemistry with him, but in the end, Perkins is a necessity to take down teams like L.A. or Portland with their dominant inside game. Nate Robinson will also help bring a spark on the offensive side for the Thunder.


Los Angeles: A
CLIPPERS ACQUIRE
Mo Williams, Guard
Jamario Moon, Forward


Cleveland: B+
CAVALIERS ACQUIRE
Baron Davis, Guard
2011 first-round pick

I think this was a really good move by the Clippers. Baron Davis, in my opinion, wasn’t really a compliment to the monster, in Blake Griffin, that they have. Baron Davis is limited to the mid-range, foul line extended area, and Mo Williams will help spread the floor and give Blake more room to work with. Additionally, getting Jamario Moon, another incredible athlete, will help the Clippers put some points on the board and play defense.


Atlanta: D
HAWKS ACQUIRE
Kirk Hinrich, Guard
Hilton Armstrong, Center


Washington: A
WIZARDS ACQUIRE
Mike Bibby, Guard
Maurice Evans, Forward
Jordan Crawford, Guard
2011 first-round pick

I really don’t understand what the Hawks were thinking when they put in the trade call for this offer. Mike Bibby is a renowned shooter and an underrated passer. Jordan Crawford, Mr. I-Dunked-On-LeBron, could put up big numbers if he got the playing time, and Mo Evans does everything he’s asked to off the bench; he plays D and knocks down the 3. The Wizards completely swindled the Hawks, only giving up Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong for all these players AND a first-round draft pick. I understand that Atlanta needed to address their need for a big man off the bench, but giving up this much for Hilton Armstrong, who hasn’t proved his worth, and Kirk Hinrich was not a smart move by the men up front.


Houston: B
ROCKETS ACQUIRE
Hasheem Thabeet, Center
DeMarre Carroll, Forward
First-round pick


Memphis: B
GRIZZLIES ACQUIRE
Shane Battier, Forward
Ishmael Smith, Guard

I’m not too sure about how this trade will work out, but Shane Battier is a great look for Memphis. His ability to guard a variety of positions, as well as knock down some threes and bring some veteran leadership definitely helps this young Grizzlies squad. It looks like a pretty decent trade to me.

The Knicks and the Blazers came away with the most on the trade deadline. Look for them to turn it up in the second half of this season.

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Blog Is Moving!

Hey all,

Thanks for being the avid followers of my blog that I know you are. I’m moving my blog to collaborate with a few other sports journalists/acquaintances of mine. We’re doing big things now, and, hopefully, within a few weeks we’ll have an official website up and running.

The new blog is: http://www.cover5.wordpress.com

Yes, you’ll still see the same old Kris Winfield and his remarkable grammar usage and word play writing these stories.. You’ll actually see more of him, as he’s attempting to be a bit more CONSISTENT in his blogging.

Thanks to all of those who follow and/or view my blog. It’s very much appreciated.

Kristian Winfield

Oh and one more thing:

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Lakers Massacre Cavaliers; 112-57

by: Kristian Winfield

Yes, you read correctly. The Los Angeles Lakers simply blew out the Cavaliers in what was their best defensive effort this season.

The Lakers held Cleveland to 29.9 percent from the field (23-77) and just seven percent from the three-point line (1-14).

The high man for the Lakers was Ron Artest who finished the game with 15 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Andrew Bynum, also, had 15 points, but had five blocks, and six rebounds.

But the Lakers won by 55 points, Kristian? How did they do that when their highest scoring player had fifteen points?

Team Basketball is my answer.

Los Angeles had seven people in double-digits. Kobe finished with 13 points, EIGHT assists, five rebounds, and two assists. “The Spaniard” Pau Gasol had a double-double, with 13 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. The others who scored in double digits for the Lakers were Shannon Brown (13), Lamar Odom (13), and Derek Fisher (10).

As for the Cavs… The struggle continues.

They’ve lost 20 of their last 21 games. The only two players in double digits for Cleveland were Alonzo Gee, with 12 points, and Ramon Sessions, who had ten.

When LeBron caught wind of this beating, he posted on Twitter:

“Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!”

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Biggest Upset of the Year? Seahawks Dismantle Saints; 41-36

by: Kristian Winfield

In the loudest arena in the NFL, the fans at Qwest Arena relentlessly cheered on, empowering their team to overcome all odds.

The once dominant Seattle Seahawks have resurged, pulling the biggest upset in playoff history. On Saturday, they defeated the Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints in what was an electrifying playoff matchup.

Things looked bleak for the Seahawks at first; wide receiver Ben Obamanu bobbled a pass which ended up being picked off by Saints’ cornerback, Jabari Greer. That interception led to a touchdown pass to Heath Evans, giving New Orleans an early 10-0 lead.

The Seahawks answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass to John Carlson, but the Saints were able to march up the field and put points on the board again; Julius Jones rushing for a five-yard touchdown.

It was then that the veteran decided to show his stripes. Matt Hasselbeck caught fire, marching up the field three straight times, including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley and another touchdown pass to John Carlson. He led his team to 17 unanswered points, giving the Seahawks a 24-17 lead.

Hasselbeck threw for three touchdowns and 168 yards in the first half.

“It wasn’t just one thing, it felt like everyone did a little something to help us get the win,” Hasselbeck said. “It was just an awesome feeling.”

But it was definitely Hasselbeck’s play that catapulted the Seahawks to this home victory over the Saints. After halftime, Hasselbeck broke out and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. He then drove up the field again, setting up Olindo Mare for a field goal, giving the Seattle a 34-20 lead.

In the fourth, the Saints superiority complex came out, and they began the comeback. Drew Brees marched up the field, putting Julius Jones in position for another short rushing touchdown.  Brees then put Garrett Hartley in position to nail a 21-yard, decreasing the deficit to four points.

But then the most amazing play, perhaps in Seahawks post season history, crushed the Saints’ spirit.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 67 yards, breaking eight tackles and scoring a touchdown, giving Seattle a 41-30 lead.

“That was the most unbelievable, unrealistic play I’ve ever seen in the history of football,” said Seahawks linebacker Adam Curry. “It was just unreal. It seems just like a routine football play, then he takes it to another level.”

Lynch rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries.

That rush was essentially the dagger in the Saints heart. Drew Brees worked his magic, marching his team into Seattle territory once again, but after his touchdown pass to Devery Henderson he failed to complete the two-point conversion. The onside kick was then recovered by the Seahawks and the game was over.

“We did it with our crowd and we fit together so beautifully,” said Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll, who in his first season with the Seahawks led one of the biggest upsets in playoff history.”We kind of expected to win. I know that sounds crazy, but we did expect to win. The fact that it happened, it’s just kind of like, we want to take it in stride and go to the next one.”

Matt Hasselbeck was definitely the Player of the Game. He passed for 272 yards, completing 22 of 35 pass attempts, 4 of which led to touchdowns. He did all of this three days after being cleared to return from a soft tissue hip injury.

“We respect the heck out of the Saints,” Hasselbeck said, “but I think we felt something special all week and today, and we’ll see. It’s a good start for us.”

Today, the Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to have a losing record and win a game in the post season.

 

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No Gallo? No Problem. Knicks Surge Past Spurs; 128-115

by: Kristian Winfield

Wilson Chandler led the Knicks, scoring 31 points and grabbing 9 boards in Friday’s win over the #1 seed Spurs.

A high octane offense, New York held a three-point lead at the half; the score: 72-69. And they never looked back, outscoring the Spurs every quarter.

Amar’e “Stat” Stoudemire lived up to his nickname, filling up the stat sheet. He finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. Knicks’ guard Raymond Felton also had a huge game, finishing with 28 points, seven assists, and no turnovers.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 26 points and six assists. DeJuan Blair finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Manu Ginobli finished with 15 points.

 

Wins like these establish the Knicks as a perennial team in the Eastern Conference. Being able to take down the best team in the NBA has been something that only four other teams have accomplished. If New York can keep up this level of play, they might be able to crawl out of the bottom four playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference.

 

*Other Notes: Knicks Forward Danilo Gallinari missed tonight’s game with a sprained knee. He will miss the next two weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Streak Ends, Another Pushes On. Celtics Push Past Knicks; 118-116

by: Kristian Winfield

Do you remember the days when MJ would dominate basketball games for the Bulls? I used to run back and forth, from the television to my grandmother screaming, “Gramma! He scored again!”

She would always chuckle as she watched me run back to the TV. I would never be gone for too long; Michael was an explosive scorer.

There is something about the New York Knicks this season that brings me back to those days. The little kid inside of me has erupted watching the Knicks go onto this streak, but he also bawled into tears when the streak came to an end.

The Knicks took their first loss in nine games tonight, in an exciting, buzzer-beating, fight-to-the-finish match against the Celtics in Madison Square Garden.

The first quarter started off electric, both Amar’e Stoudemire and Wilson Chandler entering double-digits in the first 10 minutes. Amar’e had 17 points in the first, catapulting his team to an early 32-24 first quarter lead.

But there’s just something about these professional Massachusetts teams. Whether it’s Boston’s Celtics, or Foxborough’s Patriots, they just refuse to die. And that happened tonight. Several times throughout the second and third quarter the Knicks would pull away. An eight point lead here; A seven point lead there. Yet still, the Celtics would not go away.

At the start of the second half, Gallo caught fire, catching a reverse, baseline dunk, and back-to-back threes, sparking the Knicks onto another run.

“We have confidence. We know how good we can be. We see the room for improvement,” said Stoudemire one day before. “We can get better. We have confidence that we can win. Every game is a different story. We just have to make sure we are ready to go and play smart.”

And play smart they did, pushing the ball and controlling the pace of the game to suit their play style. They played smart all the way through; Boston just played smarter in the end.

Tied at 113 in the final minute of regulation, Ray Allen, the prototypical shooter of the NBA, sunk a wide open, corner-pocket trey-ball to give the Celtics a three point cushion. He finished with 26. The Knicks fired right back, Gallo hitting a left-handed floating layup plus a foul.

The Celtics retaliated with a Pierce-Garnett pick-and-roll, switching Amar’e onto Pierce in an iso. Paul Pierce got into his sweet spot, that foul line extended area, used a step-back to create a smidgen of space, and nailed his shot.

With 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni drew up a play. Stoudemire came off a screen at the top of the three point line, caught the ball and nailed an uncontested three pointer. The Knicks fans, bench, and staff celebrated what would be a false reality. The shot was ruled too late, and upon further review, when time expired Amar’e still had the ball in the palms about to release the shot.

This was almost the perfect game. Stoudemire finished with 39 points, marking his ninth straight game with 30+ points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, shooting 15-of-22 from the field. Raymond Felton had 26 points and 14 assists, and Wilson Chandler had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Even Danilo “Gallo” Gallinari had 20 points. But the Celtics, led by The Truth, Paul Pierce, with 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett with 20 points and 13 rebounds, emerged victorious in arguably the best game in the season so far.

The Celtics have won their eleventh straight, improving their record to 20-4: second best in the NBA only to San Antonio. Though the Knicks took this loss tonight, they have won eight of their last nine, and are 16-10 on the season, tying them at fourth place with the Atlanta Hawks. It’s been too long since New York has had a basketball team in the playoffs. But it looks like the wait is over. Amar’e has single-handedly electrified New York City. Just imagine what’s to come when the likes of Carmelo Anthony, an “unguardable” presence, plays alongside Stoudemire and Felton. Now that is a scary thought.

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