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Armstrong: Five thoughts on Anthony, Chandler, and more

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Jack Armstrong
1/16/2013 11:41:51 AM
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FIVE QUICK NBA THOUGHTS: Let's chat some NBA Hoops.

1. WILSON CHANDLER (Nuggets): Watched some of the game vs. Portland on Tuesday night. He had 13 points and six rebounds with two made 3's as part of Denver's overtime win. If you're a Nuggets fan, you're thrilled to have him back. He is a very capable scorer who can help turn a game around coming off the bench. Denver wants to play up-tempo ball and in order to do that you need depth and folks who are skilled and can put points on the board for you - he does that. George Karl's squad, after a road-heavy start to the season, is starting to settle into a nice rhythm and with Chandler back they're surely more potent.

2. KEVIN LOVE (T'Wolves): Tough season for him. Only able to play in 18 games. Second time out of the lineup. Surgery will keep him out until sometime in March. For a team with high hopes/expectations to lose one of the best post players in the game today as far as rebounding and skill level is a huge blow to their chances. When fully healthy, this was a squad that had the potential to be a Playoff team - without him, highly doubtful. Good to see Ricky Rubio back - entertainment value exists when you watch this team but the W's will be harder to come by.

3. JOHN WALL (Wizards): He's back and the Wizards have won three in a row. Break up the Wiz! I'm really curious to see how he develops in Year 3 of his career. GM Ernie Grunfeld has made significant changes to make this more "his team". Tough break having him miss 40 per cent of the season to start. Need to show that he can effectively run a team and be a stable presence when running his team in the Half Court game. Haven't been able to truly tap into his talents so far because he's such a weak three-point shooter and his effectiveness in the Pick and Roll is compromised because defences can slack off on him and play his drive by going under screens. It's time. He's got the physical tools and incredible speed and change of pace in his game to be a very good player. Now want to see the polish in his game and better decisions on a consistent basis. He's a special talent and the remainder of the season will give us a good look to see if he's getting closer to reaching it.

4. CARMELO ANTHONY (Knicks): Reports out of New York have the Knicks owner, James Dolan, having courtside microphones listening in on conversations that opponents have towards Anthony due to the Kevin Garnett incident. Gotta tell you, when I heard this, I broke out laughing. When you get between the lines, it's game on and you've gotta man up and compete and handle all that comes with it. Excessive trash talk - not a fan of it yet they'll always be chatter. For an owner to worry about nonsense like this shows that they might be a bit overly protective of their star. Melo is a big boy - he can handle himself and I'm sure he'll be better in the long term for dealing with the KG garbage. I don't see any "conspiracy" in the league where players are "picking on" Melo. Produce and kick tail on a nightly basis and your opponents will be awful quiet!

5. SACRAMENTO / SEATTLE: March 1 is the deadline for the NBA Governors to hear proposals for relocation/sale of the Kings franchise. The coming weeks will be quite interesting to see how this all plays out. Remember, commissioner David Stern doesn't retire until Winter 2014 - I'm sure he knew that this issue was going to be one of the last major ones of his tenure. This one of those "Legacy Moments" for him - I'm sure he, as we all do, would like to see a franchise in Seattle because it's a joke that there isn't one currently. Yet Sacramento has been a supportive market for the NBA. Fascinating how this is going to turn out.

Here's a recommendation: cut maximum NBA rosters to 14 from 15 - that eliminates 30 jobs - and expand to Seattle and Vancouver and those jobs are right back in play. Will it dilute/stretch the talent pool a bit? Yes, but those two markets should have teams and the same number of players would still exist in the league. Obviously, it would be harder to have teams loaded up with multiple elite players. Just a thought - I'm probably nuts - No, I am...

Do I think expansion will happen? Probably not, but these three cities should have teams - there are lots of worse places in the league than these three. If not, there are a few current cities that have issues that might be relocation targets. I will be keeping my eyes on this.

Carmelo Anthony (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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