Don’t look now but it sounds like JR Smith has turned the corner, we hope.
He has lost weight going into training camp and is doing all that is asked of him at training camp. He also has supposedly been more accepting to what the coaches want from him and is having his best training camp. Of course, it is training camp and not a game situation, so lets not hold our breath. JR tends to have a Jekyll and Hyde personality.
Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson are each having a great training camp as well, but it isn’t as surprising as both have been gym rats and Lawson is preparing to take the leap that from a good to great player. Afflalo has also been Carmelo Anthony’s most intense opponent at training camp.
Newly acquired Shelden Williams has also put in a solid camp, many of his teammates have stated that he is a good high-low player and very physical as well. He has impressed coach George Karl with his basketball IQ and his willingness to do what is asked of him. It sounds more and more like an ideal situation for both parties.
Training camp free agents Eric Boateng and Gary Forbes have also been making noise at training camp. Boateng a rookie out of Arizona State where he averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds has been a bit aggressive at training camp and has a solid chance at making the roster due to the injuries to Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin. Courtney Sims seemed like the more likely candidate with his size and experience, so both may be competing for the final spot on the squad – for now.
Forbes on the other hand continues to bolster an already solid shooting guard position, which may be a curse for the former Maryland star. However, Forbes has been playing great defense and hitting big shots to go along with his unselfish attitude.
One has to think that Ken Berger of CBS Sports has one job and that is to write Anthony stories. Maybe it is his source trying to remind the world that Anthony doesn’t want to be in Denver and put fear in the Nuggets front office to trade him. Or Berger is just trying to stay in the limelight. Either way it is also a curse and a breath of fresh air.
It reminds fans that Melo leaving Denver is a possibility and so all of the raves coming out of the Pepsi Center may be a bit premature, but it also is annoying how anti-Nuggets some of the NBA writers are. Putting words like risk and high-stakes in a very opinionated article that quotes are coming from un-named sources.
Will the Nuggets trade Anthony? Most likely. Has teams cooled off the interest for him? Maybe for now because the season is starting, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be willing to give up assets to acquire arguably the greatest scorer in the game. Just not now.
If you haven’t been watching preseason basketball, Nets rookie big man Derrick Favors (who also was the main player the Nuggets were trying to acquire for Anthony) has played three preseason games (Nuggets start tonight at home against Portland) and it has been a very rookie type performance.
Favors started out the preseason by putting nearly a double-double against Maccabi Haifa, scoring 14 points and nine rebounds. He also chipped in two assists and made six of eight baskets. However, Favors has turned into a rookie when the competition has turned into the NBA.
In 13 minutes against the Sixers, Favors only scored four points and grabbed three rounds (he also had three turnovers and five fouls).
And Thursday night, he got schooled by Shaquille O’Neal on a solid post move and scored a very pedestrian three points and four rebounds to go along with three turnovers and six fouls.
Understandably it is preseason but Favors has had more fouls (11) than points (7) in his first few NBA bouts. Hope life gets easier for the rookie out of Georgia Tech.
Amar’e Stoudemire was just as unimpressive for the New York Knicks. Amar’e scored 32 points, and grabbed a mere six rebounds to go along with five turnovers against the Milano squad. Soudemire came back and laid an egg against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was dominated by Kevin Love in every aspect of the game after going only 4 of 11 and scoring 11 points and getting two rebounds, he also had four turnovers and four fouls. In five minutes more, Love posted 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Former Nuggets backup Linas Kleiza was crazy good in his preseason debut with the Toronto Raptors. He finished the contest with 20 points and only missed two shots, but drained all four of his treys.