Author Archives: admin

Brown Build Your Own Jersey Valentine’s Day

Custom Jerseys From 24$.

Additions: Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Josh Green, Wesley Iwundu, Tyrell Terry

Losses: Seth Curry, Delon Wright, J.J. Barea, Cheap Courtney Lee Jersey, Justin Jackson

2019-20 Record: 43-32, lost in Western Conference First Round

Analysis: The Dallas Mavericks returned the NBA playoffs in 2020 for the first time following a three-year absence. It looks like it will be a while before Dallas misses out on the postseason again. A young team led by burgeoning MVP candidate Luka Doncic and still-a-unicorn Kristaps Porzingis is set up for success for years to come.

For the 2020-21 season, the Mavs made a couple of moves designed to upgrade their versatility and toughness around Doncic and Porzingis. After watching the Los Angeles Clippers, rough up Doncic in last year’s first round, Marcus Morris in particular, Dallas wasn’t going to let that happen again.

In comes James Johnson, who is as known for a willingness to mix it up physically as he is for his basketball skill. If Morris, or anyone else, puts Doncic in a horse collar, Rick Carlisle will call on Johnson to come in and set things straight. And if Johnson can get back to focusing on defense and running the floor, he’ll bring value beyond being an enforcer.

Beyond needing to get tougher, the Mavericks learned in the playoffs that they were overly reliant on Doncic to create almost all of their offense. With Porzingis sidelined, too many possessions ended with Doncic taking a wild shot late in the clock because Dallas had no other option.

To give their young star some help, Dallas traded Seth Curry for Josh Richardson. While Curry’s marksmanship will be missed, Richardson’s ability to create off the dribble will be a welcomed addition. The Mavericks also have high hopes that second round pick Tyrell Terry will be able to add some of the shooting they lost by trading Curry.

Up front, Dallas will be without Porzingis to open the season, but he should return sometime in January. Once he does, the Mavs have a deep and versatile frontcourt. Dwight Powell is back from his Achilles tear and should team with Willie-Cauley-Stein and Boban Marjanovic to give Carlisle solid center minutes. Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith are both back to provide defense and shooting at the forward spots. One will likely start while Porzingis is out, and when he returns, they’ll go back and further fortify a good bench.

Tim Hardaway Jr. opted in for the final year of his contract and makes for an ideal wing partner for Doncic. They’ve developed a sort of quarterback-wide receiver chemistry, where Doncic will throw a pass to a spot, knowing Hardaway will be there to catch and shoot.

All of the pieces are in place for Dallas to make a run in the Western Conference. The additional versatility and offensive creation this version of the team has should get them past the first round. And then it’s on to a summer where the Mavericks have enough cap space to add a max free agent around their young stars.

Houston Rockets

Additions: Christian Wood, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Sterling Brown, Jae’sean Tate, Rafael Stone (general manager), Stephen Silas (coach)

Losses: Russell Westbrook, Robert Covington, Jeff Green, Austin Rivers, Tyson Chandler, Daryl Morey (general manager), Mike D’Antoni (coach)

2019-20 Record: 44-28, lost in Western Conference Second Round

Analysis: After the Houston Rockets fell in a moderately non-competitive second round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, there was a sense this group had gone as far as they could. Mike D’Antoni was out as coach, followed soon after by Daryl Morey as general manager. Their departures were trailed by trade requests by the team’s two stars: James Harden and Russell Westbrook. As of this writing, Harden remains with the Rockets, while Westbrook was sent to the Washington Wizards for John Wall.

Rafael Stone took over for Morey, and the longtime front office assistant walked into a mess. One of his first acts was to arrange a series of deals that saw Houston trade Robert Covington away to ultimately acquire Christian Wood (via sign and trade) and two first round picks.

This deal had two impacts. First, it was a sign that Stone, and new head coach Stephen Silas, were moving away from the small-ball roster that Morey had built to maximize D’Antoni’s system. Wood is a true four/five and represents one of the Rockets bigger free agent additions in years.

The second part of the Covington deal was Stone beginning to recoup some of the first-round picks that Morey had given up in the Westbrook trade an offseason prior. While both picks Houston acquired are protected, Stone accomplished both parts of his mission with the Covington trade.

Then, as the offseason got started, the Rockets dealt Westbrook for Wall in what amounted to a straight salary swap. Houston also acquired a protected future first in this deal as the offset for Wall’s recent injury history.

While this trade screams “grass is greener on the other side” it has the benefit of fit as well. Wall is a more skilled off-ball player than Westbrook. He’s been fairly good as a catch-and-shoot, spot-up guy in his career. Playing next to James Harden that’s important, as Harden will have the ball a lot.

Of course, that’s the elephant in the room: How much will Harden and Wall play together? Harden still wants a trade from Houston. The Rockets, rightly so, are asking for a big package in return. They want multiple good, young players under team control and a package of first round picks in exchange for their superstar guard. Thus far, no team has met that asking price. It looks like Harden will at least start the season as a member of the Rockets.

The Harden situation makes the Rockets a tough team to peg. With him, Houston is a playoff team. He’s that good by himself, but this roster has solid role players around him in Wall, Wood, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon and a finally-healthy DeMarcus Cousins.

Without Harden, depending on the return package, the Rockets are somewhere in the Play-In mix and possibly even below that group. For as long as Harden is in Houston, expect them to win enough games to stay in the playoff picture. But how long that will be is anyone’s guess.

Memphis Grizzlies

Additions: Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman

Losses:Cheap Josh Jackson Jersey, Cheap Marko Guduric Jersey, Anthony Tolliver

2019-20 Record: 34-39, 9th in Western Conference

Analysis: The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the surprises of the 2020 season. Widely expected to be one of the NBA’s worst teams, Memphis almost made it to the playoffs, falling in the Play-In game to the Portland Trail Blazers.

In 2020-21, the Grizzlies won’t sneak up on anyone. The entire Cheap Jaren Jackson Jersey league knows Cheap Ja Morant Jersey is a star now. And the rest of Memphis’ young talent has the respect of the NBA.

If anything, the baby bears are starting a bit behind the eight ball. Cheap Jaren Jackson Jr. Jersey and Cheap Justise Winslow Jersey are both out to start the season. They are both recovering from injuries suffered during the re-start. Neither is expected to miss significant time, but their absences will test the Grizzlies depth immediately.

Jackson is coming off a historic season for a big man. He was one of only three players that are at least 6-foot-11 to shoot greater than 39% on the volume of three-pointers he took. Jackson is an ideal partner for Morant, as he can pick and pop or pick and roll, giving opposing defenses a headache to prepare for.

In many ways, Winslow is the Grizzlies main offseason “addition”, as he hasn’t appeared in a game for Memphis yet. He was hurt when he was acquired from the Miami Heat and then injured his hip in the bubble. When healthy, Winslow will give the team a wing defender, who can also function as a secondary creator alongside Morant.

At the draft, the team took steps to rectify the lack of wing shooting that has seemingly plagued the Grizzlies since they moved from Vancouver to Memphis. They drafted Cheap Desmond Bane Jersey, who shot 43.3% from deep during this college career. The Grizzlies hope he’ll eventually develop into a quality 3&D presence between Morant and Jackson.

Beyond Bane, and Cheap Xavier Tillman Jersey (an intriguing “jack of all trades” second rounder), the roster will look pretty familiar in Memphis. The Grizzlies re-sign De’Anthony Melton, who became a key rotation player last season, and elevated Cheap John Konchar Jersey, a shooter, from a Two-Way contract. The team also re-signed Cheap Jontay Porter Jersey, who many had pegged as lottery pick before multiple ACL tears in college. He’s a low-risk, high-reward play for Memphis.

While Jackson and Winslow recover, Cheap Kyle Anderson Jersey and Cheap Brandon Clarke Jersey will be leaned on up front next to Cheap Jonas Valanciunas Jersey. Anderson has been a terrific depth piece for Memphis, with steady all-round game complementing the flash of the younger players. Clarke was a standout as a rookie and should blossom even more in his sophomore season. He’ll make at least one highlight play per game, along with several other smart, understated plays.

Memphis has done a good job developing talent as Cheap Dillon Brooks Jersey has become a solid, if inefficient, scorer on the wing. Cheap Grayson Allen Jersey has also shown signs of being a rotation player with the Grizzlies. Brooks is locked in as a starting wing, and Allen may have two-guard spot to open the year next to Morant.

The Grizzlies could be a better team in 2020-21 than they were last season, but may finish lower in the standings. The Western Conference is incredibly deep. Morant has star written all over him, but Memphis needs Jackson to get and stay healthy, and for other young players to continue to improve. This year might be a minor step backwards before some major steps forward in the future.

New Orleans Pelicans

Additions: Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, Wenyen Gabriel, Willy Hernangomez, Kira Lewis Jr., Stan Van Gundy (coach)

Losses: Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors, E’Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor, Alvin Gentry (coach)

2019-20 Record: 30-42, 13th in Western Conference

Analysis: No team came in with more hype last season than the New Orleans Pelicans. Everyone was excited to see Zion Williamson alongside the players acquired in the Anthony Davis trade and some solid veteran pickups. Instead, Williamson got hurt and things never quite came together as hoped for in New Orleans.

This season, excitement is still high, but expectations are tempered. Williamson is healthy and has no restrictions to start the season. That should allow him to build on a short, but excellent rookie campaign. Williamson remains explosive, powerful and plays in such sudden bursts that you can miss them if you blink.

The Pelicans re-signed Brandon Ingram, who became the jewel of the Davis trade. He broke out for his first All-Star appearance and looks poised for another big season. Ingram can score at all three levels and is a better-than-you-think passer. He’s the ideal partner for Williamson long-term.

As part of their mini-rebuild (retool?), New Orleans traded mainstay Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks in the offseason. The Bucks offered a package of picks that was simply too good for the Pelicans to pass up. In that same trade, New Orleans added Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe.

The two veterans will give new coach Stan Van Gundy the kind of players he can build a foundation around. Adams will anchor the team’s often porous defense. He’ll also clean up some of the surprising rebounding woes the Pels had at times last season. And he’ll set his usual array of bone-shattering screens to free up his teammates on offense.

Bledsoe will take over Holiday’s role, at least to some extent. He’s not the versatile defender that Holiday is, but Bledsoe may be a slightly better creator off the dribble at this point. He should pair nicely in the backcourt with Lonzo Ball, who had a good season as a shooter and playmaker.

New Orleans should have a decent bench this year, provided they have better health up and down the roster. JJ Redick and Josh Hart bring shooting and versatility to the wing. Nicolo Melli is a solid reserve and brings some spacing to the frontcourt. Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker should both be improved in the second seasons. That should give Van Gundy a 10-man rotation with some decent versatility to mix and match with.

Last year, many had the Pelicans tabbed as a playoff team. This year, those predictions are more tempered. Most have New Orleans in the 7-10 Play-In range, which feels right. The upside is there for a top-six seed, if Williamson is healthy and Van Gundry can improve the defense. Bet on the first, but the second is likely what has the Pelicans fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the year.

San Antonio Spurs

Additions: Devin Vassell, Tre Jones

Losses: Bryn Forbes, Marco Belinelli, Chimezie Metu

2019-20 Record: 32-39, 11th in Western Conference

Analysis: It’s been so long since the last time the San Antonio Spurs were starting the year following a non-playoff season, that rookies Devin Vassell and Tre Jones weren’t born yet. The Spurs missed the postseason for the first time after a 22-year run of playoff appearances. San Antonio faces an uphill battle to avoid missing out for a second consecutive time in franchise history.

The Spurs return their roster almost intact from last season. Out are veteran guards Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli and in are rookies Vassell and Jones. San Antonio is flush with young guards, which pushed the team to move on from Forbes and Belinelli to free up playing time for the kids.

In the bubble, the Spurs used the games as a playground of sorts. They played lineups that resembled a mid-major college team with four guards around one big. They also made sure their young players saw the lion’s share of the minutes. It’s a strategy that almost worked in getting San Antonio into the Play-In game.

This season, lineups are likely to be slightly more traditional, but Gregg Popovich won’t abandon the small-ball groups that worked so well during the re-start. LaMarcus Aldridge is back healthy, so he’ll hold down one of the starting big man spots. The Spurs will also have Trey Lyles, who missed the bubble. Lyles started most of last season, but will have to hold off a re-signed Jakob Poeltl for the second big spot alongside Aldridge. Whoever loses that battle will team with Cheap Rudy Gay Jersey to provide the big man minutes off the bench, with Drew Eubanks, who was elevated from a Two-Way contract, the wild-card in the frontcourt.

The wing and backcourt are where it gets really interesting for the Spurs. San Antonio is bringing back DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV and Keldon Johnson as primary options 1-3. Erstwhile veteran Patty Mills is still around as well, and will assuredly play a role as a scoring point guard. Add the rookies, Vassell and Jones, to that mix and you can see why Popovich will embrace playing small this year.

In many ways, despite not being title contenders this year, the Spurs may be more interesting than they usually are. It’s going to be fun to watch Pop head to the laboratory to invent new lineups. It might not result in a lot of winning now, but it should pay off in future years, while being entertaining this season.

Black Make Your Own Jersey Valentine’s Day

Custom Jerseys From 24$.

A decade before he drafted Stephen Curry, Larry Riley learned a lot about the NBA and what you require to build a contender.

“Without question those years in Vancouver were as instrumental in forming who I became as anything in my career,” he says in his Hoosier twang over the phone from Atlanta this week, where he’s senior adviser to Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk.

One of the Grizzlies’ first hires was the team’s director of player personnel, who worked from 1994 to 2000.

“It turned out well for me because of the experience that I had and it elevated me. And it destroyed some other people and it could have destroyed me,” Riley said. “But it didn’t and it turned out well.”

Riley believes things could have been so different for Vancouver’s NBA team, whose six-year odyssey launched 25 years ago this month.

But most of the damage that ended with Chicago-based billionaire Michael Heisley moving the team to Memphis in 2001 was self-inflicted, he insists.

“I’ve thought about that from time to time,” he said. “It would have taken a real effort, but if the team had not been sold to Mr. Heisley, if it had stayed two more years, maybe one, the team would have turned the corner. Then a playoff team and they’d still be there today.

“You can blame him in some ways, but you can also blame us because we had the philosophy that we’re going to build the team through the draft and we’re going to do it more slowly. And then you obviously look at Toronto and they flipped their roster faster than we did.

“You could argue in that first draft that Big Country (Cheap Bryant Reeves Jersey) wasn’t what he was supposed to be. … You look at that first draft. It’s crazy but the first five players in that draft were all extremely good players and then at No. 6, which is where we were, there was a drop-off.”

Damon Stoudamire, who the Raptors selected after the Grizzlies picked Reeves, was the obvious other option at No. 6, but in the end Riley said they figured if they were building the team slowly, they could find a point guard later and that Reeves would be a solid piece in the post.

“We felt — whether you can see it was incorrect and you could say that with legitimacy — that if we drafted a centre who was going to be our centre for the next 10 years, that was the way to go.”

But Reeves put on weight and never developed the way the Grizzlies hoped.

Riley had been to a lot of places and seen a lot of basketball before he finally landed in Vancouver. And yet, the six years he spent in Vancouver had more impact than any other job.

Some of that was because he’d decided to change a flight in January 1997 at the last minute, a decision that proved to save his life — the plane he was meant to be on crashed, killing everyone aboard — teaching him a lesson about treating everyone around him with respect .

But more broadly, his role as general manager Stu Jackson’s key lieutenant exposed him to a broad swath of responsibilities.

“That did more for (my future) than anything else,” he said. “My first experience in the front office was in Vancouver and it was tremendous.”

For the Grizzlies, he watched NBA games, he scoured Europe and of course U.S. colleges. Beyond the nuts and bolts of running the scouting department, once the team swung into game action he did a lot of talking to agents and other teams.

“We were getting beat in Vancouver and my stomach was churning and I didn’t like it,” he said. “But being in Vancouver and working toward an objective, we had a lot of good people. There was agony but it was a pleasure to go to work. And then the learning experience.”

The Grizzlies and their expansion cousins were given the chance to build out their rosters during an expansion draft the summer before their debuts in the 1995-96 season. It was slim pickings, with most players never playing for their new teams.

The Grizzlies found three players who would be strong veteran contributors in that first season — point guard Greg Anthony, sixth man Byron Scott and swingman Cheap Blue Edwards Jersey — plus a couple other veterans they’d had hopes for but who struggled with injuries more than they played in Kenny Gattison and Gerald Wilkins.

“The overall philosophy at that time was to get a centre, and then, in all honesty, the second was to get a point guard. And then you fill out the roster, which clearly, it took a while,” he said.

They drafted Cheap Mike Bibby Jersey in 1998, a year after drafting Antonio Daniels. Both went on to have solid careers but neither proved to be a true star. And, of course, they drafted Steve Francis in 1999, a player who’d said before the draft he’d refuse to play for the Grizzlies, a vow he carried through on.

“You could argue that we screwed up and drafted too many point guards,” Riley said. “There’s some validity to it.

“That expansion draft was about balancing a budget and not getting stuck at the end with a bad contract, which I remember well. Both Toronto and us were trying to avoid the Oliver Miller contract,” he said. Miller was a skilled centre but had huge problems keeping his weight down, regularly tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds.

“That’s the most vivid memory I have of the expansion draft.”

The Raptors ended up selecting Miller with the final pick of the expansion draft. He bounced around the NBA for a total of eight years but played another seven both in Europe and in smaller leagues around the U.S.

Both Jackson and Riley were out the door in the spring of 2000, not long after Heisley took over. Heisley moved the team to Memphis a year later.

The team had an almost immediate makeover, with Bibby traded to Sacramento for Cheap Jason Williams Jersey and Cheap Shareef Abdur-Rahim Jersey  traded to Atlanta for a package of players, including the just-drafted Cheap Pau Gasol Jersey.

“That’s what put them over the top,” said Riley. “But who’s to say we would not have drafted Gasol in Vancouver and gotten the same result? And you know that (Gasol) would have been tremendously embraced. I mean, it’s just one of those could-have-been scenarios.”

Riley defended Jackson, who took a job with the NBA after resigning in Vancouver and now heads up men’s basketball for the NCAA’s Big East Conference.

“Stu is a good basketball man and his record doesn’t show it. He was just outstanding to work with. He knows the game, he knows coaches, he knows people who can get jobs done,” he said. “I think we ran out of time. You can say that’s a lame excuse. OK. … But I don’t think the business failed because of Stu Jackson.”

Another could-have-been scenario was the Grizzlies adding Steve Nash, a player he would come to learn about.

Nash was taken by the Phoenix Suns 15th overall in the 1996 draft, when the Grizzlies grabbed Abdur-Rahim third overall. The Victoria point guard was expected to be a solid pro, not play on a path toward all-time greatness.

When the Suns added Jason Kidd during the 1996-97 season, Nash’s future with Phoenix became doubtful. There was plenty of clamouring in Vancouver that maybe this was the local hero the team needed.

At the 1997 draft, the Suns told Jackson that they’d trade Nash to the Grizzlies, but only if they gave up the fourth overall pick. Jackson wasn’t interested. And Riley insisted their judgment at the time was correct.

“I don’t recall a good trade (offer) where we could have gotten him,” he said. “The reason I say that is I don’t remember all the details and it’s one of those things that you throw away and say, ‘To hell with it.’ I do that, I get things that come across my desk, so to speak, and it’s no good and you just throw it in the trash.”

After he was let go by the Grizzlies, Riley was hired by the Dallas Mavericks and their legendary coach Don Nelson to work as an advance scout and as an assistant coach.

Nash’s breakout season, his third in Dallas, just happened to be Riley’s first with the Mavs. Michael Finley, who the Mavericks had drafted late in the first round in 1995, and Dirk Nowitzki, drafted in 1998, were also on the team.

“That was an awfully damn good group,” he said, laughing. “Nowitzki used to rage me on, he’d say, ‘Yeah, you didn’t draft Nash and you had a chance!’ He never let me forget it. Steve wasn’t sticking a fork in me. It was good-natured ribbing. Dirk never liked me forgetting.”

In 2009, after nearly a decade as Nelson’s assistant coach in Dallas and then Golden State, he became the Warriors’ general manager. Stephen Curry was his first pick. Two years later, he picked Klay Thompson.

A lifetime of watching basketball, combined with lessons learned in Vancouver, led him to draft one of the all-time greats. And while he was moved out of the GM’s job in Golden State in 2012, the rest is history.

Aqua Design Your Own Baseball Jersey Valentine’s Day

Custom Jerseys From 24$.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — — Cheap Ja Morant Jersey had 17 points and 10 assists and took a key charge late as the Memphis Grizzlies won their fifth straight, beating the Phoenix Suns 108-104 on Monday.

Morant assisted on Cheap Grayson Allen Jersey 3-pointer with 1:06 left to give Memphis a 101-98 lead, then scored on a drive with 30.8 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, Morant took a charge against Chris Paul to help maintain the Memphis lead.

“Ja has a crazy good feel for the game,” said Cheap Brandon Clarke Jersey, who matched Morant’s 17 points. “I feel like those first three quarters, he’s just kind of like watching the defense, watching us, seeing what the defense gives him.

“By the fourth quarter, he’s just kind of like already figured out everything with that, and he’s able to get in the paint, get his shot off, get his teammates shots.”

Allen, who finished with 16 points, converted four free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

“We didn’t get stops. We didn’t execute,” said Paul, who finished with 16 points and seven assists. “I had six turnovers. This ain’t it. This ain’t it. … We shouldn’t be losing this many close games like that.”

Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 18 points and tied a season high with 16 rebounds, while Mikal Bridges had 17 points.

Devin Booker added 12 points but struggled from the field, converting only five of his 21 shots.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said the Grizzlies tried to share the load of defending Booker.

“I thought Grayson, in particular, did a really, really nice job,” Jenkins said. “We had a lot of guys switching on to (Booker) throughout the game. That’s just discipline team-wise.”

The game — part of Memphis’ 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration — marked the first time Phoenix had played in a week after having three games canceled under the league’s health and safety guidelines.

Monday’s game was a matchup of pieced-together lineups as both teams were dealing with injuries and the league’s health and safety protocols. Three players didn’t travel with the Suns, including Dario Saric. The Grizzlies had Cheap Jaren Jackson Jr. Jersey and Cheap Justise Winslow Jersey out with injuries and starting center Cheap Jonas Valanciunas Jersey entered the health and safety protocols after Saturday’s win over Philadelphia.

In the end, the Suns were not able to hold the advantage in the final 2:39. After taking a 98-94 lead, Phoenix was outscored 14-6.

Suns coach Monty Williams called Allen’s 3-pointer “a microcosm of the whole night,” adding: “Down the stretch, we had some shots, we just missed them.”


Suns: With the absence of Saric, Damian Jones and rookie big man Jalen Smith, that left only Ayton and Frank Kaminsky in the low post for the Suns. “I’m just grateful to have those two guys,” Williams said. … The Suns have played in two other MLK Jr. Day games in Memphis — 2007 and 2010. … Cameron Johnson moved into the starting lineup for Jae Crowder, who started the first 11 Phoenix games. … Cameron Payne, who missed the previous two games with a sprained right ankle, returned to action.

Grizzlies: With Valanciunas unavailable, rookie Cheap Xavier Tillman Jersey made his first NBA start. “Me and my wife (Sunday) were in the car geeked and screaming (thinking) ‘No way this is happening,’” Tillman said. “When coach told me, Cheap Jaren Jackson Jersey was kind of ready for it, hoping it’s going to happen. So, I was kind of prepared for it.”… Memphis shot 13 of 18 in the second quarter, including missing on one of six 3-pointers.


With the cancellations around the league because of health and safety protocols, every game seems up in the air until tipoff. “For us, we just kind of take it moment by moment, day by day, not trying to look too far ahead,” Jenkins said. “We always prepare that we’re playing a game until we’re not.”


Suns: Face the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday.

Grizzlies: Play the first of two games against the Trail Blazers in Portland starting Wednesday.