Trade Deadline Is In Rear View Mirror.

With the trade deadline having passed a week ago and  with contending teams now looking for those coveted missing pieces that always seem to get waived around this time of year, there’s no better time for the Pick Man to pick up on scribbling about the peel.


The Trade deadline was not so much about what big name players weren´t moved but more about what big name coaches are no longer working the sidelines.  The sudden resignation of Mike D´Antoni in New York and the Portland Trail Blazers´ firing of Nate McMillian were more shocking then seeing the Warriors trade Monta Ellis, Udoh and Kwame Bron for Andrew Bogut and for what turned out to be Richard Jefferson after the Warriors sent the former Buck Stephan Jackson to San Antonio.


For the Bucks the payoffs have shown so far as they rode a 6 game winning streak into Thursday´s game with the Celtics in Milwaukee. But in his Milwaukee home debut, Monta Ellis shot a horrendous 6-18 from the field. Although now in possession of  among the most lethal and dynamic backcourts, the Bucks still show vulnerability if their back court is cold from the field. However know with Ellis joining Brandon Jennings in Miltown, the Bucks will definitely be contenders to get knocked out of the first Round by either Miami or Chicago, however if Jennings and Ellis can get it going and Ilyasova is able to find his stroke, the Bucks could definitely become a playoff nightmare for an unsuspecting foe.


The Los Angeles Lakers, who´d been looking for a PG for virtually the whole season since the NBA nixed the CP3 to Lakerland deal, feel that they have found their man in Ramon Sessions for whom the Lakers traded Luke Walton and Jason Kapono. The Cavaliers also sent Eyenga in the deal to the Lakers.  The surprising moment for all Laker fans and even Kobe Bryant came when the Lakers traded long time Laker Hero Derek Fisher, aka Mr.  .4 to the Rockets for Jordan Hill . Fisher was ultimately bought out by the Rockets and has since signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder and will serve as a solid back up to Russell Westbrook.


The Denver Nuggets also made an impressive trade by sending Nene to the Washington Wizards in return for the young stud and future dominate Center in the NBA Javale McGee. Additionally the Nuggets are close to resigning and bringing back Wilson Chandler, who was a restricted free agent for the Nuggets and who played in China during the NBA lockout. The Nuggets now with a younger, faster, and more defensive athletic Javale McGee could conceivably wreak havoc on the rest of the NBA. The Nuggets are 2 deep at every position with same of the bench players have the potential to start on other teams in the league. Farid has had a solid rookie year and the Nuggets are definitely a sleeper team in the West.


As part of the Nuggets-Wizards, the Los Angeles Clippers also made what could become the biggest splash of the trade deadline by  sending Brian Cook to the Wizards as part of the Nuggets-Wizards trade and landing SG Nick Young in return.  With the previous addition of Kenyon Martin and now the larceny of a trade for Young, the Clippers are another dangerous team to watch out for in the Playoff´s this year. Recent news however leads us to believe that Vinny Del Negro will not be the Clippers´ coach that much longer as sources say “the team´s no longer willing to play hard for him” and swirling reports that Del Negro no longer has his team´s confidence.  The guy that´s now available for the Clippers job, should they let Vinny go, is Nate McMillian and he would be perfect for the Clippers´s job should Del Negro´s down slide continue.


Although the Heat did not make any trades, they did this week pick up some much needed help at PF and C in the form of Ronny Turiauf whom the Heat signed off of Waivers. Joel Anthony´s numbers currently rank him worse than 37 other C´s in the NBA and  the addition of Turiauf should help the Heat immediately on the inside and with the hustle energy plays that Turiauf has make the league accustomed to.


Meanwhile the Portland Trail Blazers have apparently completely given up on the season, as last week they fired Nate McMillian, traded Marcus Camby for peanuts to the Rockets and  also traded slashing Forward Gerald Wallace to the Nets for Memo Okhur and perhaps a couple more bodies that are insignificant, but the big deal for Portland in the trade is that they get New Jersey´s 1st round pick so long as the pick is not in either the Top 3 or Top 5, so at best as per typical Blazer Post Jordan curse, look for the Blazers to botch that pick too. The Blazers also waived Greg Oden to free up roster spots. Who knows if, where, and when Oden will ever play, but time may be on his as he´s still quite young, but from the looks of it, don´t hold your breath on that one.  The Blazers also signed JJ Hickson off of waivers too.


The Memphis Grizzlies signed Gilbert Arenas, and it will be interesting to see what kind of game he has left in the tank. He´ll most likely by back up PG to Mike Conley but come playoff time the Agent 0 signing will have proved fruitful or a bust.


Dwight Howard, whom many thought would either be traded or leave the Magic at season´s end after hypothetically declining the player option on his contract for one more year in Orlando, was ultimately too worried about how much a team he would want to win with, would have had to give back in return and therefore lose their talent base. Howard waffled on the subject but the Orlando Magic played their cards right and will have 1 more year to convince Howard, that the Magic could win a championship.


Today´s 1 Play because of otherwise obnoxious spreads


There are 11 games on the schedule but most have unfavorable odds but what looks to the Pick Man as the best bet on the board are the Indiana Pacers beating the Phoenix  Suns by 4 or more tonight in Indiana. Although the Pacers played last night the did so in winning fashion and feistily fought back to win against the Wizards to whom Indiana was down by 22 points at one point in the game. The Pacers are 14-6 at home. The Suns are coming off of back to back losses against the Heat and Magic respectively.  Leandro Barbosa, now on the Pacers after last week´s trade deadline, will be facing some of his former teammates tonight and that will be sure to rive him up for this one.  Both Darren Collison and George Hill should have their hands full guarding Steve Nash, but the Pacers with Hibbert, Granger, and Barbosa should prove to be too much for the Suns who are below .500 on the road this season. The Pacers are 10-3 against the West thus far through the season and there´s no reason why they shouldn´t up that record to 11-3 after tonight.


Enjoy the games!