Sport Three things to know: Does Aldridge to Nets, Drummond to Lakers move championship needle?
NBA Roundtable: How NBA's March Madness is having an impact on title contenders
The trade deadline passed, and the biggest names on the buyout market have signed with new teams. Which teams got better? Our NBA roundtable discuss.Can Andre Drummond help solve the Lakers' big issues? What can LaMarcus Aldridge bring to the Nets? Is Aaron Gordon the missing piece for the Nuggets to break through to the NBA Finals?
The NBA season is into its second half, and we will be here each weekday with the NBC Sports daily roundup Three Things to Know — everything you might have missed in the Association, every key moment from the night before in one place.
1) Does Aldridge to Nets, Drummond to Lakers move teams’ championship needle?
The rich got richer in the NBA at the buyout deadline. Major market contenders — the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers — added the biggest name players on the cheap on this year’s buyout market., we’re asking a different question:
Shannon Sharpe: Andre Drummond is the Difference Between the Lakers Winning and Losing NBA Title
Shannon Sharpe believes Andre Drummond is that kind of player for the Lakers. Is he right?I will stand up and admit that I really did not think Drummond would be helpful for the Lakers outside of his rebounding when rumors of their interest first emerged. My coworker Ryan Phillips was more optimistic and it's looking more like he had the right of it, although the sample size remains tiny. Drummond played only 14 minutes in his debut before hurting his toe and missing the following three games.
Did addingand , and , really move the championship needle for those teams?
For the Nets, not that much.
While Aldridge and Griffin are big names with 13 All-Star Game appearances between them, neither of them has played near that level for a couple of years — they got bought out for a reason — and they are not necessarily better than the guys the Nets have on the roster now. Griffin is a good passer and improved shooter who can still dunk and averaged 9 points a game since coming to the shorthanded Nets. Aldridge is a pick-and-pop threat who also will play a lot of center for the Nets, giving Steve Nash options.
But in a playoff series, the best hope is one of them can help with a specific matchup for a game, maybe two.
Knicks Trading For Andre Drummond Feels Like a Step Backwards
Andre Drummond on the Knicks isn't a bad move, it's just not a good one.Cleveland's transparent desire to get rid of Drummond plays against them in that regard as well; any suitor with the motivation to cobble the salary together to make a trade knows the Cavs are probably just going to buy him out if they can't find a trade, so waiting until then is a low-risk move. Unless, of course, a certain team wants Drummond so badly they're willing to get flexible with the trade machine and go the distance to make sure nobody else can get Drummond. A team like the New York Knicks.
Neither Aldridge nor Griffin has the lateral movement left to defend well enough to help Brooklyn on the end of the court the team actually needs help (the Nets have to play more of a drop-back system with them and). The reality is second-year backup center is Brooklyn’s best center off the bench — he has broken out in recent weeks, and he’s the team’s best role-playing defender by a mile. He can switch picks onto guards and not get torched, something Aldridge and Griffin cannot say. If Claxton’s run is cut to get Griffin and Aldridge promised minutes at the five, opponents will celebrate it. Claxton brings a level of athleticism lacking in the Nets frontline that neither Griffin nor Aldridge have at this point in their careers.
When Brooklyn gets healthy and gets Durant back at the four, the minutes for Griffin should shrink. There could be ripple effects: To get Griffin minutes when Durant is playing, KD may have to slide to the three, taking minutes from, who has played well for Brooklyn.
Look Who's Back in the NBA MVP Conversation. It's the Freak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is making a strong case for an MVP three-peat. View the original article to see embedded media.Welcome to the Morning Shootaround, where every weekday you’ll get a fresh, topical column from one of SI.com’s NBA writers: Howard Beck on Mondays, Chris Mannix on Tuesdays, Michael Pina on Wednesdays, Chris Herring on Thursdays and Rohan Nadkarni on Fridays.Last week, when asked if he belonged in the MVP conversation, James Harden took his answer a step further. “I feel like I am the MVP,” said Harden. “It’s just that simple.”Harden has a compelling case.
If Aldridge and Drummond getting run because it was promised and not because of their play right now, Brooklyn gets worse. The Nets’ best lineups this season have been smaller and some have seenat the five. We may see more of that come the playoffs, maybe more Claxton, but if those minutes need to go to Aldridge and Griffin because the minutes were promised, then the Nets did not improve.
The Lakers move the needle a little more with Drummond.
Drummond will be an upgrade over, who continues to struggle this season and has been slowed as he recovers from COVID-19. In the short term, while and are out, the Lakers can run some offense through Drummond in the post and get a few buckets. When those guys return, Drummond has the chance to show he can thrive in a role — rebound, be a solid drop-back defender in the paint, get a few buckets playing off the stars, keep the ball moving. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, “I think our team got a lot better.”
Drummond makes the Lakers better now, but he doesn’t really change this team’s championship odds. Not meaningfully.
Report: Nets add LaMarcus Aldridge to increasingly loaded frontcourt
The Brooklyn Nets just keep adding pieces. The same month the team added Blake Griffin following a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, it did the same thing with LaMarcus Aldridge after his exit from the San Antonio Spurs. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that Aldridge plans to sign with the Nets. Free agent LaMarcus Aldridge plans to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 27, 2021 The deal is for one year and the veteran's minimum, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Per Wojnarowski, Aldridge is expected to see significant minutes at center.
The reality is by the time the Lakers get to the second round of the playoffs and beyond, Davis is the Laker playing the critical minutes at center. Drummond will be asked to slot into essentially therole from the last playoffs, and we’ll see how he handles it. Maybe it works, and he helps as a big body in certain matchups ( , , in the Finals maybe or Jordan/Aldridge), but more Drummond is not the Lakers best lineup.
Drummond is a good pickup for the Lakers; he is an upgrade. He just doesn’t move the championship needle a whole lot.
2)looks like a comfortable fit in first game with Nuggets
Denver moved its championship needle at the trade deadline picking up Aaron Gordon.
How much and if it’s enough is a question not answered until May and June, but Gordon fit in well in the Nuggets offense on Sunday, scoring 13 pointsand sliding right into a role that fit him as an athletic finisher.
???? | ???????????????????? ???????????????? for
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets)
Gordon was constrained at times in Orlando by the role he had to play — point forward at times — and the talent around him. He’ll get more open looks in Denver as the defenses focus onand . It helps to have your first game with a new team be the soft landing spot of the bottom-10 Atlanta defense. Still, you can see the athleticism Gordon brings and his ability to finish above the rim, something Denver has lacked.
Marc Gasol says Lakers benching him is ‘a hard pill to swallow’
Marc Gasol was as candid as always when discussing his up-and-down role since the Lakers signed Andre Drummond. With the buyout deadline soon, his acceptance of his new status will be important to watch.“Things get thrown at you and you have to adapt as quick as possible,” Gasol said in his typically clipped, matter-of-fact candor. “As you can imagine, it is what it is.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets)
Gordon’s biggest role in Denver come the playoffs will be as a wing defender against the West’s elite, a role not truly tested in his first outing. But on Day One, Gordon looked like a good fit.
Also, there was asighting on Sunday.
You didn't really think we'd let the night end without posting thehighlights, right?
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets)
3)keeps it very real talking to his AAU team.
Sometimes, young athletes need a kick in the….
Bradley Beal delivered it in no uncertain terms trying to get through to AAU players this week in a video caught by SLAM. He lays out the reality for them — if your dreams are about the NBA, you are trying to take my job (and the paycheck of 450 other guys), and I am not giving that up. He keeps it 100 about making the NBA.
"If you got dreams of making it to the League, you gotta f****** guard me. And guess what? None of y'all MF can guard me."
If you need inspiration today, watch this. S/O to Brad Beal for being super honest with his AAU Team,.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline)
If you’re wondering how that was received, at least one parent of a player on that team said it was needed.
My kid was in that group we needed that. That was not Brad Beal the all star-max player talking. That was just coach brad who was at nearly every game, practices, one on one off camera talks, etc he was ten toes down.
— Moody's view (@KareemMoody1)
Check out more on Beal and the Wizards
originally appeared on
Kevin Durant scores 17 in tremendous return as Nets blow out Pelicans, 139-111 .
It was a scary Wednesday night in Brooklyn. The return of Kevin Durant featured a Brooklyn blowout, as the Nets defeated the Pelicans,139-111. With the win, the Nets take sole possession of the No. 1 seed in the East and improve to 36-16 on the season. The story of the game was Durant, who returned to the hardwood after missing 23 games and one quarter. HE'S BACK, BROOKLYN. pic.twitter.com/ZQaSivnJG9 — Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 8, 2021 The Nets superstar, who came off the bench in the second quarter, showed not a tinge of rust. Durant got a loud ovation from the Barclays Center crowd as he entered.