The NBA: A Tale of Two Big Men

Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard will probably wear different jerseys
after March 15. Where will they go? Your guess is as good as mine.
(image by Harry How/Getty Images)

*Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

Magic center Dwight Howard is expected to meet with team officials later this week – likely Friday – to discuss his NBA future. Howard in preseason asked for a trade, although the Magic have been in no rush to accommodate him. – Orlando Magic Team Report from Yahoo! Sports

About two weeks away from the trade deadline, and we all know what that means, right?

Trade rumors left and right will be hurled. Names will be dropped. A whirling dervish of NBA tittle-tattle will perpetuate cyberspace and fill up the broadsheets in anticipation of dynamite-charged roster changes.

The two guys who are, arguably, the biggest names on the trading block are also the two best centers in the league right now: Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. (Yes, Gasol, this Gasol and not the current All-Star, is the second-best center in the league. Better than Bynum. Better than his bro.)

There are rumors Gasol is going to Houston, and one name being floated to be traded for him is Kyle Lowry (most iterations have Luis Scola figuring in that deal, too).

I think this will be good for LA. Lowry will be the PG that can give them balance in the backcourt, and they’ll still have Bynum at the slot. Now if only Josh McRoberts can be consistent… (this wouldn’t be a problem if they’d get Scola, too)

I think, however, this will be bad for the Rockets. I’m solid on Lowry’s game, and I think Houston should only pull the trigger if they can get to keep Lowry AND still manage to get Gasol. Give up Scola and Kevin Martin for all I care, but KEEP LOWRY. #justsaying

Another rumor has Gasol being shipped to Illinois to join D-Rose. As a Bulls supporter, I like this one. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing two of the following guys (Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, or Luol Deng) to get Gasol. Pau plus Rose and one of those three aforementioned trade-ables will be plenty good in the East. The thing is, I don’t think LA will like this, since it doesn’t solve their PG puzzle. Throw in CJ Watson for good measure and maybe this could fly.

As for Howard, which team wouldn’t trade half their roster for him? He’s that good. If I were any other team aside from New Jersey, however, I’d be wary of getting the Big D.


Because Dwight wants to be a Net. He wants to be the face of Brooklyn next year. Any team who gets him damn better win the NBA Title in June or face the probable occurrence of Howard leaving them for the Nets anyway.

LA wants him. The GS Warriors are reportedly going to move the high heavens for him.

But, again, even if Dwight IS the best big man in the game right now, getting him for just the last 6 weeks of the season, and then maybe the playoffs, and then having to endure him leaving after everything?

That’s just way too big a risk for any team.

Unless, again, you’re the New Jersey Nets.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

OKC over PHI, 92-88
Kevin Durant scored 23 points, as the Thunder finished strong to down the Sizers. Russell Westbrook had 22 points and a season-high 13 rebounds -- seven offensive -- for the Thunder, who closed the game on a 15-4 run to win their sixth straight. Philly, meanwhile, falls for the eighth time in 11 games.

ORL over WAS, 102-95
Ryan Anderson scored 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Magic over the Wizards. Orlando had seven players in double figures, including Jason Richardson, Jameer Nelson, and Glen Davis, who all contributed 12 points. JJ Redick added 15 and Dwight Howard had a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards to give Orlando its ninth-straight victory over Washington.

GSW over ATL, 85-82
David Lee scored 22 points, including the go- ahead layup inside the final minute, and pulled down 12 rebounds as the Warriors held off the Hawks. Monta Ellis added a game-high 24 points for GSW, who won for the third time in four games. Joe Johnson, who returned from a two-game absence because of tendinitis in his left knee, dropped in 18 points to pace five double-digit scorers for Atlanta, which lost its sixth contest in eight tries.

BOS over MIL, 102-96
Kevin Garnett scored 25 points, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double and the Celtics staved off a comeback attempt in the final minutes to beat the Bucks. Rondo had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Boston, who won its second in a row on the heels of a five-game losing streak. Ersan Ilyasova scored 25 points with 10 rebounds and Drew Gooden had 23 points for the Bucks.

DET over CHA, 109-94
Rodney Stuckey poured in a game-high 29 points as the Pistons crushed the dismal Bobcats. Brandon Knight finished with 20 points and 5 assists, while Greg Monroe added 19 points to go with a career-high 20 rebounds. Tayshaun Prince also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Ben Gordon added 10 points for Detroit, who snapped a three-game skid.

TOR over NOH, 95-84
Linas Kleiza and Leandro Barbosa combined for 36 points off the bench to help the Raptors defeat the Hornets. Kleiza had 21 and Barbosa chipped in 15, while DeMar DeRozan netted 21 as well for Toronto, who improved to 6-13 on the road, matching last year's road win total for the entire season. Marco Belinelli had 20 points and Chris Kaman contributed a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who dropped their fourth game in five contests.

NYK over CLE, 120-103
Jeremy Lin was overwhelmed by the Heat his last time out, but he bounced back in a big way against the Cavaliers. Lin, who went 1-of-11 from the floor while committing 8 turnovers against Miami, scored 19 points to go with 13 assists while turning the ball over just once as the Knicks downed the Cavs. Carmelo Anthony scored 22 and Steve Novak nailed five three-pointers en route to 17 points off the bench for New York, which overcame a 17-point first-half deficit.

MEM over DAL, 96-85
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley both had a double- double, leading the Grizzlies to a over the Mavericks. Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Conley finished with 20 and 10 assists for Memphis, who have won two straight and eight of their last 10. Rudy Gay added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Dallas has lost three in a row and four of five overall.

UTA over NOH, 104-83
CJ Miles came off the bench and scored a game-high 27 points as the Jazz ran away over the Rockets. Devin Harris, who left the game in the third with flu-like symptoms, netted 19 points for Utah as it snapped a four-game losing streak. Josh Howard and Al Jefferson scored 14 points apiece and Gordon Hayward added 10.

DEN over POR, 104-95
Ty Lawson scored 18 points to lead seven Denver scorers in double figures as the Nuggets downed the Blazers. Timofey Mozgov had 14 points, Kenneth Faried and Al Harrington each netted 13, Arron Afflalo dropped in 12 and Corey Brewer and Jordan Hamilton contributed 11 apiece for Denver, who snapped a two-game slide.

CHI over SAS, 96-89
Chicago's Derrick Rose scored 29 points in a road win at San Antonio. The Spurs entered the game with a 13-1 record at the AT&T Center, but were outscored 31-23 in the fourth quarter. CJ Watson added 12 points, while Joakim Noah and Luol Deng had 10 points apiece for the Bulls, who have won four straight and 11 of their last 13 overall.

LAL over MIN, 104-85
He had a mask over his face, but Kobe Bryant still led the Lakers in an easy win over the Timberwolves. Bryant, playing with the protective facemask after suffering a broken nose and concussion in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, scored a game-high 31 points, dished out 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds in almost 33 minutes of action. Andrew Bynum contributed his career-best 22nd double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Pau Gasol added 15 for Los Angeles, which have won three of four.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
John Wall (WAS) – 33
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 31
Derrick Rose (CHI) & Rodney Stuckey (DET) – 29
CJ Miles (UTA) – 27

John Wall has been an awesome player for
the Wiz, but they still haven't won many games.

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Greg Monroe (DET) – 20
Zaza Pachulia (ATL) – 16
Ryan Anderson (ORL), Dominic McGuire (GSW), & Tyson Chandler (NYK) – 15

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Jeremy Lin (NYK) – 13
Rajon Rondo (BOS), DJ Augustin (CHA), & Mike Conley (MEM) – 10

Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert have helped give New York
fans a lot of reason to cheer.
(image by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Mike Conley (MEM) – 4
A LOT with 3

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL) & Amir Johnson (TOR) – 5
A LOT with 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Jamal Crawford (POR), Steve Novak (NYK), & Linas Kleiza (TOR) – 5

Feb. 29, 2012 First Five
C – Marc Gasol (MEM) – 22pts, 11rebs, 5asts, 4blks
F – Kevin Garnett (BOS) – 25pts, 10rebs, 3asts, 2stls, 2blks
F – Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 23pts, 15rebs, 4 treys, 3asts
G – Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 31pts, 8asts, 7rebs, 1stl
G – John Wall (WAS) – 33pts, 4asts, 3rebs, 2stls

KG can still hack it for the Cs, but time is ticking fast.
Will this be his last great shot at another NBA Title?
Honorable Mention:
Greg Monroe (DET) – 19pts, 20rebs, 2asts, 1blk
Jeremy Lin (NYK) – 19pts, 13asts, 5rebs, 1stl
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL) – 25pts, 10rebs, 3asts, 1blk

Daily Zap:


*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.
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