The new Indiana Pacers uniforms are outstanding. Too bad their roster has been gutted after a trade that sent Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder. NBA 2K18 will feature those new jerseys and on Friday, 2K released a screenshot showing the new threads and the best player Indy received in the deal for George.Victor Oladipo will probably lead the Pacers in scoring in what will likely be a career season for a team that wins around 27 games. At least he and the Pacers will do it in style. Of all of the new Nike NBA unis I’ve seen, the Pacers have the best. It’s simplistic but classy and clean. Oladipo’s render looks solid in the game, and it’s definitely different from last year’s model. His skin tone looks a little more authentic in NBA 2K18 and like many of the other models, Oladipo is leaner in the new game. The release of this screenshot coincides with Nike’s official unveiling of the Pacers jerseys. 2K has had to wholesale nba jerseys wait until Nike and the NBA officially release the jerseys before they can show any screenshots that would leak the uniforms beforehand.
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Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has taken issue with the voting for this year’s NBA MVP award, given to Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook over Rockets guard James Harden, citing inconsistencies in the criteria that sportswriters use to decide the vote.“We thought James was the MVP, but there were a bunch of very good, deserving candidates,” he said in an interview with Ben Golliver of SI.com. “I didn’t like how a different MVP criteria was used this year, compared to the last 55 years, to fit more of a marketing slogan. People thought a different criteria for selecting the MVP this year was the way to go.” Morey added: “I don’t know if this is a good process. The ones that are decided by players or executives or media, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I honestly don’t think there’s a good process. You could argue for eliminating the awards altogether. I don’t really see a good way to do it that doesn’t have major issues. I like clean answers. If there’s not going to be a set criteria and there’s going to be issues with how it’s structured, for me it might be better to not have it.” To be fair to Morey, his argument seems to be centered on the idea that winning cheap jerseys was important criteria for voters in the past but was dismissed this year. Harden, for instance, led the Rockets to 55 wins, while fellow finalist Kawhi Leonard helped the Spurs accumulate 61 victories. Westbrook’s Thunder, on the other hand, put up 47 wins. Morey suggested that players like Harden or his new teammate, Chris Paul, may have a tough time gaining consideration in the future as well. “Given that the criteria seems to be shifting away from winning, I would guess that [adding Paul] probably doesn’t help anyone’s chances on our team. That said, I don’t think anybody really cares [going forward],” Morey said. “James definitely cared and I think we all cared [about the 2017 MVP]. But we’ve moved on since the award isn’t focused on winning anymore. Let’s just win and not worry about it.” Westbrook presented a compelling case to MVP voters, of course, becoming the first player to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 campaign. But Morey has hinted that he feels some of those stats may have held little value. It’s an interesting debate, especially since everybody seems to have a different concept of what value represents. The general compromise seems to be voting for the player who had the greatest impact on a good team, a subjective concept itself, while others believe that the league’s best player—aka LeBron James—is always the league’s most valuable player. That makes the MVP debate vibrant each year, though it also means there will likely never be a definitive set of criteria for determining the winner, to the chagrin of Morey.
Jae Crowder has once again gotten into it with Twitter haters—this time about his minutes next season. The Celtics forward never hesitates to clap back at people disrespecting him.Crowder’s relationship with some (not all) Celtics fans is one of the few blemishes on what has been, for the most part, a love affair between him and the city of Boston. He’s brought a blue collar attitude to the franchise that doesn’t go unnoticed, but he’s ruffled some feathers along the way. Last season, Crowder heard fans cheering for Gordon Hayward at TD Garden when the Utah Jazz were going through their introductions. It’s difficult to know how true this is, but this illustrates the tension between Boston and the Marquette product; the slightest slight can irk JC and subsequently, start an unnecessary social media flame war. Fast forward seven months. When the Celtics signed Hayward this summer, Danny Ainge needed to trade Crowder, Avery Bradley, or Marcus Smart in order to offer Hayward a full max contract. Bradley, the longest tenured Celtic and a fan favorite, was eventually dealt to Detroit for Marcus Morris, but a lot of people were eager to see Crowder go. Despite Ainge coming out and reinforcing that “Jae is a big part of what we’re doing,” a loud minority felt that the oft disgruntled Crowder was redundant after signing Hayward and drafting Jayson Tatum. In Crowder’s defense, he’s been an important player during the rebuild. He’s a versatile defender, has a pretty shooting stroke, and made 40% of his threes last season. Crowder is a prototypical 3-and-D wing that allows the Celtics to play small ball lineups with Crowder at the 4. On top of all of that, Crowder is one of the NBA’s biggest bargains. He’ll make $7 million on average until the summer of 2020, where players with Crowder’s skill set at the age of 27 would probably make around $12-18 million on the open market. For a team that is headed toward luxury tax territory, Crowder’s an invaluable role player and yet, some have questioned #99. Here are some possible reasons:
Master of None Crowder is solid, but he’s not necessarily elite in any specific area. He isn’t the playmaker and scorer that Isaiah Thomas is, he’s not the perimeter defensive specialist that Bradley is, and he isn’t a freak athlete with high upside like Jaylen Brown. Crowder isn’t necessarily a marketable player or a SportsCenter commodity, but he’s been a consistent contributor on a winning team. For lack of a better description, he’s a Brad Stevens’ type of player. It takes more context to truly understand Crowder’s impact with the Celtics. For example, NBAMath.com examines the value a player adds on both ends of the floor specific to play type. Comparing the 2015-16 season to 2016-17, Crowder dramatically increased the value he added on offense in spot ups and off cuts, two crucial elements to Brad Stevens’ pace-and-space motion offense. On defense, he improved in almost every area too, including guarding isolation, pick and roll ball handlers and roll cheap jerseys nba men, and in post up situations. He isn’t elite in any particular area, but over the course of an entire game of around a hundred possessions, he’ll make more good plays than mistakes. As fans, it’s easy to get infatuated with that late game possession where Bradley locks up Kyrie Irving one-on-one or Jaylen throws down a tomahawk in a blowout. Crowder doesn’t give you a lot of those moments, but his body of work can’t be measured in a highlight or 140 characters.
Shot Selection Last season, Crowder had a career year shooting the ball. A near 40% three-point clip is exactly what the Celtics need from him as he spaces the floor for players like Thomas, Horford, and now Hayward, but—and this is arguably nitpicking—there is still something left to be desired. Despite career high shooting percentages, Crowder’s scoring totals have stagnated over the last two years (14.2 ppg in ‘15-’16 to 13.9 ppg in ‘16-’17). Despite being built like a linebacker, Crowder tends to float around the perimeter. Some of that is by design to create space for his teammates, but Crowder still only averaged 1.3 drives per game last season, which is 8th most on the Celtics. The only players that drove to the basket less than Crowder with consistent playing time were Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, and Amir Johnson. Crowder is a 6’6, 235 pound forward. He’s a physical beast that refuses to go inside. It would be like Gronk if Gronk never went over the middle and punished would-be tacklers. Driving more could really help open up Crowder’s game and the Celtics offense, but Stevens seems to have a specific game plan for using him on the offensive end. Since the Celtics’ offensive rating when Crowder was on the court was a 115.5 as opposed to a 106.2 when off, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are seeking a king’s ransom in exchange for Kyrie Irving, and one league source cheap nba jerseys told Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon he believes the Phoenix Suns have the assets necessary to facilitate a deal.On Saturday, the source said if the Suns were to offer point guard Eric Bledsoe, No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson and the Miami Heat’s 2018 first-round pick, it would be enough to net Phoenix the four-time All-Star. “If that deal (Bledsoe, Miami first-rounder and Jackson) for Irving was there, it’d be done by now,” he said, per Vardon. It’s not a surprise Cleveland would be enticed by that collection of assets. ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Friday the Cavaliers are seeking a package similar to the one the Denver Nuggets extracted from the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony in 2011, while his colleague Zach Lowe first reported Cleveland wanted to build a deal around “a blue-chip young player.” However, that deal appears unlikely, barring a change in the Suns’ thinking. According to Arizona Sports 98.7’s John Gambadoro and ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, the Suns have made Jackson off limits in trade talks. For now, the Cavs will continue to scour the market for a deal that’s to their liking after Wojnarowski reported six teams, including the Suns, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, have submitted offers.
The Phoenix Suns are not in ‘win now’ mode. Quite frankly, they are a few years out from being considered anything close to a legitimate threat to their Western Conference foes. Something that would totally derail any progress made throughout the past couple seasons, would be to sign an ill-fitting star, or once again draft a player tomorrow with a tag around his neck that reads “could be good in 3-4 seasons.”