There are almost as many player movements around the NBA as there are fights. This season is seeing a lot of both, and this week hasn’t been any different. Next week probably won’t be, either. Here are our notes for NBA on Nov 14.
Sports Intel’s NBA Notes Nov 14
The Orlando Magic need some help. The team made it to the playoffs last year, thanks, in part, to Terence Ross, but have gotten off to a poor 3-7 start this year, again, thanks to Ross. His performance has not been anywhere close to what he gave last year, and the Magic are reportedly looking for options. Ross won’t be dismissed, of course, but there is talk that a trade could be coming, especially if the team were able to work a deal to pick up DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs.
The Brooklyn Nets are going to have to figure out a new strategy that doesn’t involve Tim Bontemps. The good news is that ligament damage to his right thumb was repaired successfully in surgery. The bad news is that he won’t be ready to come back anytime soon. Going 4-6 on the season as they head to Denver today, the Nets are going to need to tighten things up a little more. They just signed free-agent guard Iman Shumpert, after Wilson Chandler was suspended for 25 games, and he needs to adapt quickly to his new home.
Pascal Siakam was the recipient of the Most Improved Player (MIP) award last year. If one existed, he could be a contender for the Most Improved Improved Player award this year. He helped the Toronto Raptors take the championship last year as his guarding and throwing improved, and he’s done even better this year. If he keeps it up, he could be looking at receiving the MIP for the second consecutive time. Of course, it’s still too early to tell and he’s up against some stiff competition in Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Andrew Wiggins and others.
Yesterday, Doc Rivers, who already caused his LA Clippers to be fined $50,000 for comments he made regarding Kawhi Leonard and his health, got in trouble again. In a game against the Houston Rockets, he got into an argument with a ref and was ejected from the game. It wasn’t a pleasant situation for the head coach, but at least one person found it amusing – his son. Austin Rivers plays for the Rockets and was cheering on the refs as the ejection was made. He later said on Twitter, “Welp…. Thanksgiving is going to be weird….”
Rivers, the patriarch, is putting the incident behind him and is ready to put Paul George on the floor when the team takes on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. George is recovering from injuries and wants to be back in, but Rivers hadn’t yet made up his mind Thursday morning.
Stress levels are still running high in the NBA, just like they have been all season. Rivers wasn’t the only one to rile up officials this week, as the Golden State Warriors suddenly found themselves without Draymond Green in a recent game against the Utah Jazz this past Monday. Green was called for a blocking foul, which he didn’t agree with, so he started arguing his case with refs – and he argued and argued until he was given two technical and then ejected from the game. The Warriors went on to lose 122-108.
On a positive note, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke up this week about China’s reaction to a tweet by Rockets GM Daryl Morey, in which he supported protestors in Hong Kong. China didn’t like that and wanted the NBA to take serious action, which it refused to do. Rice explained to CNBC, “When China says to the NBA, the National Basketball Association, ‘your general manager cannot say something about what’s going on in Hong Kong,’ now that’s a violation of American sovereignty, because Americans have the right to say what they please. And so I think this has become something of a problem between the two countries, it’s not going to go away, it’s certainly not going to go away in Congress, where I think people are holding back on sanctions but worried that they may have to put them forward.”
That’s it for our NBA notes for Nov 14, and this weeks movers and shakers. Check back for more NBA news soon.