Spurs coach Greg Popovich may face sanctions from the NBA for sitting his players.
The NBA season is slowly starting to gain some steam as it heads toward its marquee matchups during Christmas day. Basketball may be lost in the shadow of the NFL, but there are still plenty of engaging storylines around the NBA: the Grizzlies have the best record in the league, the Pau Gasol doesn’t seem to fit into Mike D’Antoni’s system and Ray Allen keeps hitting game winners. Here are four pressing storylines in this week’s version of buy or sell.
Buy or Sell: Greg Popovich should be fined for sitting his players
Buy: Coach Greg Popovich’s act is growing extremely stale. He is surly with the media, always seems angry, and sits his players for no reason other than rest multiple times throughout the season. This time his act may have gone too far, as David Stern has threatened sanctions on the Spurs and maybe even Pop himself, for sitting his top three players during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat.
There has already been a backlash against the commissioner by fans and NBA analyst alike, but this is a situation where David Stern is correct. Sure, the Spurs played four games in five nights and the Heat have not played since Saturday, but this is not the NFL. The Spurs are only 17 games into the season and Pop acts like his players are ready to fall apart. The whole reason the NBA exists is to be consumed by fans, and coach Pop just spit in the face of those people who paid good money to watch a Heat/Spurs game. Pop deserves to be fined, and hopefully now he’ll remember why he gets paid millions of dollars in the first place.
Buy or Sell: The addition of Ray Allen makes the Heat virtually unbeatable
Buy: Ray Allen hit a massive gaming winning three at the end of that aforementioned Heat vs. Spurs game on Thursday night, and is already his second game winner of the season. The problem for the rest of the league is that LeBron, Wade and Bosh require so much attention during the end of games that Ray will have that open shot all season.
The last two Miami Heat teams had unreliable shooters, which made guarding the big three a bit easier during the final seconds of a game. Now that Allen is a threat to hit that shot, how are teams supposed to guard Miami at the end of a game. Miami has had issue during ‘clutch’ moments, but adding Allen virtually wipes away all those shortcomings, as he his still one of the best clutch shooters in the league.
Buy or Sell: The Memphis Grizzlies are legitimate title contenders
Sell: The Grizzlies have been a fringe contender for the last few years. They have been a solid team that no one wants to matchup against in the playoffs, but were never really a threat to win an NBA title. This season the team has started out white hot with an 11-2 record and has looked completely dominant during that stretch. The question is, are they now a serious contender for an NBA title?
Memphis is a good team and will definitely win well over 50 games this year, but they are just not a serious contender. They matchup well with the Miami Heat, who’s lack of size would surely be a huge advantage for the Grizzlies, but how exactly is Memphis supposed to get out of the West? Sure, the Lakers are struggling, but would anyone make Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph a favorite over Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol? Memphis just does not matchup well with the top teams in the West and has little chance of winning a title.
Buy or Sell: Amare Stoudemire should be traded to the Lakers for Pau Gasol
Sell: Well, the answer to this question depends on whose point of view you are looking at it from. New York would jump at the chance to get rid of Amare Stoudemire, his 100 million dollar contact and his bad knees, but would the Lakers ever take that trade? The only reason this is a rumor is because of Stoudemire’s connection to Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash. Even if D’Antoni wanted to make the move, Jim Buss would never allow it.
Amare is a bad contact with huge risk, and all he does is highlight Los Angeles’ flaws. If the Lakers are planning on trading Gasol, they need to get shooters in return—not an aging power forward with bad knees.