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Winners and Losers of the NBA trade deadline

KOBEsh went to Vegas this past weekend. While there, he decided to spend some time writing about the NBA trade deadline’s winners and losers. His dedication is shameful yet endearing.

This post is probably a touch outdated, but the man wants the post run based on principle alone.


Los Angeles Lakers

As we went over last week, the Lakers definitely scored big at the deadline. They desperately needed a point guard, and Ramon Sessions might have been the best case scenario for them, especially without giving up one of their three All-Stars. While Jordan Hill wasn’t the best solution for their need of a scorer off the bench, hopefully he’ll be able to give LA half of what near-Laker Michael Beasley would have given them. Subtracting Derek Fisher will have an effect on chemistry,  especially with Kobe and the other vets, but he had to be dealt to diffuse an almost certain caustic situation in terms of point guard minutes. A huge win for the Lakers, one that maybe could transform them into a title contender.

Orlando Magic

How could they not be? Let’s not even get into Dwight’s imitation of a drunk 19 year-old who “kinda wants to get down tonight, but I don’t know, my friends are here and I’m sooooooooo drunk” that he’s pulled the last few days. As I said to Mambino correspondent El Miz yesterday, it’s amazing that these players seem to concerned with their brand, and yet, not at all concerned that the circus they creates far more damage than any move could provide improvement.

Regardless, Orlando is a huge winner here. They somehow (I’m still not sure. Did they have naked pictures of him and Jameer together? Did they threaten to kill his dog? What happened?) convinced Dwight to stay for another year and a half, in which GM Otis Smith will have to pull a flock of rabbits out of his butt to make this team a contender. Regardless of whether he does that (amazing) feat or not, he has bought himself another year (until the next trade deadline) to prove to D12 that this team is worthy of him committing for another 5 seasons.

San Antonio Spurs

In a trade with the Warriors, the Spurs flipped SF Richard Jefferson for a new addition SF Stephen Jackson, who had arrived in a deal from the Bucks only days earlier . As I mentioned a few days ago, Jackson is having one of his worst seasons in years, though I would put a lot of the onus on the fact that he was playing in a system his skills weren’t best suited to, for a coach who he didn’t get along with. Jax won a title with the Spurs almost a decade ago in 2003, and famously fell in line with Greg Popovich in, what had been until then, a rocky NBA career full of trouble. Jefferson has become more and more ineffective each year, and 2012 is no different. At his best, Jackson is a gigantic upgrade over the Spurs, and even at his age (33), is still a threat to score, rebound and pass with tremendous efficiency. A great acquisition for the Spurs, who are quietly angling for title number 5.

Washington Wizards

JimmyWa’s reaction to getting Nene.

In a three-way trade with the Clippers and Nuggets, the Washington Wizards acquired Brian Cook and Nene for the price of Nick Young, an injured Ronny Turiaf and the unintentionally hilarious JaVale McGee. I couldn’t sum this up any better than friend of the blog and last Wiz fan standing, AO:

“Holy crap, this is awesome! We’re turning Nick Young and Javale McGee into Nene!! At this point can we keep the momentum going and just ban Andray Blatche from all Wizards facilities?  Honestl… Read more...

Why the Lakers can’t beat the Charlotte Bobcats

Here’s one of my favorite NBA trivia questions: the Los Angeles Lakers have a sub-.500 records versus two teams in NBA history. Which are the two?

The first is archrival Celtics. Not unexpected. The other? You’d guess maybe the 76ers, Pistons, Suns, Rockets, Knicks or another decades-old rival.

The other team? The Charlotte Bobcats.

Since the inception of the Bobcats in the 2004-2005 season, the Lakers are a feeble 7-8 against them, including a 30-point battering Charlotte took last night in Staples Center. The sample size has been pretty small, but shocking none the less. Since the 2004-2005 season, the Lakers have gone 370-226 (a .620 winning percentage), been to the playoffs 6 times, 3 Finals and won 2 titles.

The Charlotte Bobcats have won 225 games against 371 losses, good for a .378 winning percentage. They have finished over .500 only once, which coincided with their only playoff appearance (a sweep at the hands of the Orlando Magic). They have already had four coaches and two owners in 8 years of existence. They are one of the least profitable franchises in the league. During the NBA lockout, the Bobcats were one of the teams most talked about in regards to team contraction. They are terrible, and have been so since their inception.

And somehow…the Lakers find themselves having lost 8 of the last 11 to the Bobcats, including two season sweeps. Not including last night’s destruction of a 3-18 team, Charlotte somehow holds an average point differential against the Lakers of +5.1. In victories, the Cats have beaten the Lakers by a stunning 10.3 points on average. Home court advantage seems to be negligible to the Lakers; the Bobcats hold a +1 point differential on average at games in LA. The Lakers have played in 6 overtime periods in 3 games against the Bobcats, and have won none of the games.

Somehow, someway, every year when the Bobcats come to town, or the Lakers make their doomed journey to Charlotte, I brace for the worst. And every time, I’m still stunned at how badly we play against what is usually a NBA team ranging from mediocre to feeble. Yesterday, with a 12-9 Lakers team playing a 3-17 Bobcats team, I sent out an e-mail in all seriousness that said “How many points do you think the Lakers lose by tonight?”

So I started to do some research. How is this possible? How can this happen year after year after year? Unfortunately, the stats back it up; this is not just a Laker fan overreacting. I’ve come up with 3 good reasons:

1) The Lakers have been vulnerable to quick, penetrating point guards for the past 8 seasons

The Lakers cannot guard anyone that has a PG next to their name on the box score. Whether it’s been Steve Blakers, Smush Parker, Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and so forth, any penetrating guard with a modicum of quickness and skill will slapchop the Lakers defense.

The Bobcats have had four primary ball-handlers in their existence. Kemba Walker currently holds down that post, which was first Brevin Knight’s in the inaugural 2004-2005. However, the two points that have really decimated the Lakers have been DJ Augustin and Raymond Felton.

I crunched a few numbers and take a look at each man’s career averages and then his splits against the Lakers during each of their time in Charlotte:

Career in Charlotte: 13 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.4 apg, 41% shooting, 32% 3P shooting
Against the Lakers: 24 ppg, 3.9, rpg, 5.8 apg, 45% shooting, 30.3% 3P shooting

D.J. Augustin

Career in Charlotte: 11 ppg, 2 rpg, 4 apg, 40% shooting, 30% 3P shooting
Against the Lake…

MAMBINO’s NBA Preview Launch – Burning Questions for the UPCOMING 2011-2012 Season

Any text you get at 3:18 am at any point, any day, is most likely bad news. It means one of several things:

1) You’ve got an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend who either wants to pick a fight with you, or wants you to come over for an inter-coital incident that will leave you battered and broken the next morning, both physically and emotionally

2) You’ve got a current girlfriend or boyfriend that got too drunk and your car is now approximately 20 minutes away from being a $20,000 college trashcan

3) Something bad happened to someone you care about. Just got real there. Sorry MAMBINO readers.

4) Your friend needs a place to crash, and now your apartment becomes a $1,000 a month college trash can.

Friday night, nearly fast asleep at 3:18 am, Eastern Standard Time, I get a text message from my boy, OKC Thunder Fan #1 and the only owner of a Thunder Royal Ivey jersey in North America, Stolte, which read:


I put down my phone, not quite understanding what my almost assuredly shwasted friend was digitally blabbering about. About to fall back deep into my second tryptophan-induced slumber in the same number of days, I sat back up and clumsily jumped onto my Twitter app. Ken Berger, my new messiah and best friend, let me know that indeed, a handshake deal was agreed upon between the lawyers representing the players and owners and a 66-game 2011-2012 season was merely days away from becoming a reality.

Let’s set aside my abject and utter joy here. I will ignore the fact that I stayed up until 3:45am researching a news story that had zero actual information available other than the paragraph I just typed, all while knowing full well I had to be awake at 8am. I have sent out approximately 20 text messages to 20 different hoopheads throughout the day, with a dozen e-mails following suit expressing my disbelief. I just had a 20 minute conversation with a fellow member of Laker Nation that was actually about basketball. We don’t have enough time. Free agency will open in a week, with the season following a little more than two weeks after that. I was nearly resigned to a winter without NBA basketball (see my first post in a series of 6 detailing suitable WWE replacements for YOUR particular NBA squad) and having to follow a frustrating Jets teams, a Los Angeles Kings squad with no television out here in the East and a Boston College basketball team that’s already lost to Holy Cross by 11, barely edged out UC Riverside by 3 points and lost to UMass by 36 points…at home. Truthfully, and perhaps this was largely due to me wanting to preserve my sanity and not set myself up for disappointment, I haven’t even begun to think about the 2011-2012 NBA season yet.

So now, like a your lame friend who got to the party 4 hours late and decides to chug a handle of vodka to catch up to the surprise of no one and the embarrassment of everyone, we here at MAMBINO HQ will be playing vodka handle catch up with the nubile 2011-2012 NBA season.

In our darkest days of the lockout, BockerKnocker and I devised a sneaky way to discuss the NBA without having actual basketball being played by coming up with a series of posts titled “20 Things We’ll Miss About the Cancelled 2011-2012 NBA Season”. Despite the self-loathing, pathetic nature of such an endeavor, we’ve found that even with the season revived from the brink of an almost certain death, “20 Things” is still relevant.

Thus, over the next month or so, BockerKnocker and I will begin our “20 Burning Questions for the 2011-2012 NBA Season&… Read more...

If I were GM of…the Charlotte Bobcats

Out of all of these “If I were GM of…” columns, this was far and away the one that I was least excited about writing. Top to bottom, there is almost nothing compelling about the Charlotte Bobcats. This is the most boring team in the league. I would consider myself and my co-blogger BockerKnocker in the top 10% of NBA fans. I don’t think either of us could have named 7 Bobcats off the top of our heads.

Nothing really works on this team, from their young players to their old vets, the name of their team, their team colors, their coach, their playing style, their lack of offense and slow, plodding pace of their defense. In fact, the only really compelling thing about this team is their owner. And yes, this the same owner that used up two top three picks on Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison, when Pau Gasol, Jason Richardson and Brandon Roy were all there to be had. Solid work MJ.

Apparently Mike doesn’t want to spend money right now and proclaims that he’ll spend money when the time is right. As such, I’ll operate on a shoestring budget, and assuming that guys like Jason Richardson, Nene Hilario and Jamal Crawford are all out of their price range.

Boris Diaw: 9 million
Stephen Jackson: 9.2 million
Tyrus Thomas: 7.3 million
DeSagana Diop: 6.9 million
Matt Carroll: 3.9 million
Shaun Livingston: 3.5 million
Eduardo Najera: 2.6 million
DJ Augustin: 3.23 million
Gerald Henderson: 2.23 million
DJ White: 2 million
Total: 49 million

Joel Przybilla: 7.4 million
Morris Peterson: 6.64 million
Sean Marks: 1.2 million
Kwame Brown: 1.2 million
Dominic McGuire: 885,000
Dante Cunningham: 762,000
Some other deadbeats: 1 million
Total: 19 million

1). With the 9th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Charlotte Bobcats select Jimmer Fredette, from Brigham Young University
This is how, as a GM, I would operate the Bobcats. This is a franchise that’s going down the tubes. The attendance is dwindling, the games are hardly watched on TV and the only reason they seem to be around is that Michael owns them. I’m going to take risks and get players with high upside. I would need to do things to jolt the fanbase and bring some electricity to the franchise. Any signs of life will do.

A lot of people have them taking a Marcus Morris at this spot, but I’m taking JIMMER. I can understand how MJ would be reluctant to go with a high-scoring college guard with defensive deficiencies (see Morrison, Adam), but again, I’m doing things to get the pulses moving in Charlotte. Jimmer will sell some tickets, a few jerseys and will definitely give the Bobcats a couple 30 point games.

2). Trade Boris Diaw immediately
A lot of the reason why this franchise really hasn’t gone anywhere is because they really have selected very poorly with the high lottery picks they’ve been given and haven’t gotten lucky with the later lottery picks they always seem to end up with. In their short history, the Bobcats have had 10 first round draft picks. Only 3 times have those picks been higher than 8. Those 3 picks were Emeka Okafor at 2 (and then gave him an unwieldly contract extension), Raymond Felton at 5 (didn’t keep him, though they should have for the money that the Knicks spent) and Adam Morrison, at 3 (no explanation necessary). Thus, a lot of the reasons why they haven’t been able to get any dynamic stars. They’re too good to bottom out.

Well NO MORE. If I am GM of the Bobcats, and this team is losing money hand over first, I’m going to bottom the hell o… Read more...

Total Mindblow: The Charlotte Bobcats are better than the Los Angeles Lakers

How about this for a statistical mindblow – No, I’m not talking about tonight’s loss. The Lakers have lost 8 out of the last 10 meetings to the Bobcats. All-time, which only amounts to 7 seasons, the Lakers are 5-8 against the Bobcats. In their illustrious 60-plus years in the National Basketball Association, the Lakers are under .500 against two teams – their hated rivals from Boston…and the Charlotte Bobcats. Yes. Not the Philadelphia 76ers, a perenial Finals opponent over the years. Not the San Antonio Spurs, owners of 4 of the last 11 titles. Not the Pistons, the Rockets or the Suns, three teams that combine for 5 titles and twice as many Finals appearances. The Charlotte Bobcats. I have to stop saying “Charlotte” and “Bobcats”. My head hurts. Happy Valentine’s day.… Read more...