NBA Weekly Notebook: Kings Trade for Gay; Kobe Returns


Kings Trade For Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay wanted a fresh start and that is exactly what he got. The seven-player trade sending Gay from the Toronto Raptors to Sacramento was completed Monday, a day after the teams reached an agreement. The Raptors received point guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. The Kings also acquired center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy.

Dec 8, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) brings the ball up court against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Many people feel that the Raptors won this trade because of the cap room that they made free for the offseason. Then of course there is the buzz going around that they made the trade to try to “tank” this season for a high draft pick to select hometown hero Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA Draft. We shall see which franchise truly benefits from this transaction.

The Return of The Black Mamba

Approximately nine months after Kobe limped off the court with a torn Achilles, “The Black Mamba”, made his long-awaited return to the hardwood. Even though, both the Lakers and Kobe may not have been satisfied with the return 100 percent, there was some possible things that was noticed. Kobe did only score nine points, but he did also get eight rebounds and four assists in shortened minutes. Kobe showed a more all-around game that many criticize him about. Bryant began his 18th NBA season by going 2-for-9 with four assists and eight turnovers in 28 minutes.

According to the Associated Press, The building had the buzz of a playoff game before the opening tip, with thousands of fans training cameras on Bryant during opening warm ups. The building erupted in loud applause at every mention of Kobe, who was introduced last in the starting lineup to the thunderous strains of ”The Imperial March” – Darth Vader’s theme from ”Star Wars.” It is moments like this is what makes the game of basketball that much better than the other sports.

Lamarcus Aldridge and Jordan Crawford Named Players of the Week

The Boston Celtics’ Jordan Crawford and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 8. Crawford led the Celtics to the East’s lone perfect mark on the week at 3-0, behind averages of 23.3 points (fourth in the conference) on .610 shooting from the field (sixth in the conference), 6.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds.

Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, including wins over the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. He posted a point-rebound double-double in each of Portland’s four games, and averaged 26.3 points (third in the conference), 12.8 rebounds (fifth in the conference), 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals.

Knicks Still Lacking Ball Movement

Amar’e Stoudemire has been making it very known that the Knicks have been lacking ball movement as a team. Many people actually feel that it has become a theme ever since Carmelo Anthony got to town in February 2011. On November 26, New York post writer Marc Berman released a statement from Amare himself:

"Until we figure that part out, there’ll be a lot of nights like this,’’ Stoudemire said. “It’s hard for any player to get a good rhythm when the ball don’t move. I’ve been playing my entire career when the ball moved and everybody had career years. When the ball doesn’t move, guys don’t get into a rhythm. It makes it tough for the teammates to have fun out there. Teams that move the ball win. Teams that don’t move the ball, don’t.’’"

That statement can arguable but in reality it is completely accurate. Realizing it may have sounded like he was taking a shot at the head coach, Stoudemire added, “Coach Woodson is doing a phenomenal job teaching the game. It’s up to us as players to listen and to do it.’’ The point is, there has got to be some kind of changes made to the way things are being ran on the court. If it is moving the ball more or just taking smarter shots something has got to happen and it has to happen now.

Pacers Take Down Heat

Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and Paul George had 15 of his 17 points during a second-half rally to lead the Pacers past Miami 90-84 Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams. Indiana improved its league-best record to 19-3 and extended its lead to three full games by beating Miami at home for the fourth straight time. The Pacers really changed things up in that third quarter and that is what lead them to win. Although, the Heat double-teamed Indiana’s star Paul George, that created opportunities for Hibbert down low. The Pacers bench really stepped up in this victory which was the main target this past off-season and so far it does look as if they have just enough to compete with anyone in the league.