Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your G.I. Joe Action Stars cereal.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel: "Dwyane Wade has been called many things this season. [...] But cheater? That's a new one, and has the sixth-year guard a bit perplexed. In a story posted on the league's official website, NBA.com, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy essentially called Wade that this week.His ability to carry the ball right now, he's getting away with that,' Dunleavy said. 'He [carries] left to right, right to left, but he just does it fast so nobody sees it, I guess.' Dunleavy, who cited Wade as playing in 'a class above the rest,' compared what he views as Wade's palming violations to a signature move of former NBA scoring standout Bernard King."
Marc Berman, New York Post: "Cuttino Mobley underwent tests yesterday in Minneapolis with the nation's leading specialist for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — the same doctor with whom Eddy Curry refused to undergo testing during his public dispute with the Bulls, according to a source familiar with the situation. [...] One source said Mobley has mulled taking a medical retirement, depending on the results of the series of heart tests. However because this was a preexisting condition it is unclear if he has the standard insurance stipulations in his contract. Mobley has seen at least two other specialists before Maron. It has been reported Mobley signed a waiver with the Clippers, absolving them of liability."
Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel: "The Orlando Magic are expecting Jameer Nelson and Keith Bogans back on the floor tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Amway Arena. They are also looking for the return of J.J. Redick's jump-shot, which appears to have sustained multiple fractures. It has been missing for a while, too. The whereabouts of Redick's shot is among the great unsolved mysteries, ranking right up there with Stonehenge, UFO sightings and Paris Hilton's new CD. It's as if the basketball gods are playing a trick on him. Anybody seen J.J.'s 'J'? 'I feel like my defense is better than my offense,' Redick said. HIS DEFENSE!? How unbelievable is this?"
Tony Gallagher, The Province: "Steve Nash missed Wednesday's game in New Orleans with flu-like symptoms. But that's not really what's making him sick. [...] Nash is having so much trouble trying adapt to [Porter's] goofy offence that almost all his numbers are down and he's leading the league in turnovers, even though his skills haven't really declined a great deal at age 34. Once again, the Suns management tried to get him some backup help in the summer and, once again, the attempt failed dismally, partly because you have to be a Nash-type genius to even think about trying to make this team functional, particularly with Grant Hill and Leandro Barbossa both in the tank the way they have been for the most part this season."
Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News: "The Mavericks took care of business through three quarters Thursday. More importantly, they kept their focus in the fourth. It's a little easier when the game is stashed away by then. The ability to close out games at home has been a problem. Last season, when they owned a lead after three quarters at American Airlines Center, the Mavericks went 32-1. This season, they lost their first three games at home when they went into the fourth quarter with the lead."
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald: The 'Who, me?' look on Kendrick Perkins’ face yesterday was instructive. The Celtics center was about to study film on the NBA’s most anticipated newcomer, Greg Oden, but judging from the sound of his voice and the innocent look on his face, Perkins could have been preparing to face Mikki Moore for the first time. 'I do want to see exactly how he plays,' Perkins said of tonight’s matchup against Oden, the Trail Blazers rookie. 'It’s just going to be another night on the job, though. I mean, you have to be excited to get these opportunities. But to be honest, I’ve barely seen or watched him.'"
Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: "Raptors players ushered in the Jay Triano era yesterday, with a mix of relief, curiosity and questions about their role in Sam Mitchell's firing. But team captain Chris Bosh only was willing to let his teammates take so much of the blame for the state of the sub-.500 franchise, which easily could be 11-6 today instead of 8-9. Reacting to questions of whether a big change was needed for the 'underachieving' Raptors, Bosh gave his own spin. 'What is underachieving?' he asked. 'The season isn't over. We're one game under .500 and it's early on. It could be a lot worse. I don't know if you underachieve in a couple of games (two losses on this road trip). That's a couple of games you can't do anything about. Underachieving is on a long-term basis.'"
Sekou Smith, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Al Harrington knows what it’s like to be a veteran in a locker room full of young players, each searching for answers during tumultuous times. He did it with the Hawks three years ago. Harrington was a team captain alongside Joe Johnson, then in his first year with the franchise. Now he’s at it again with the New York Knicks, in town Friday to face the Hawks at Philips Arena. The Knicks are Harrington’s third team since leaving the Hawks in a sign-and-trade deal after the 2005-06 season. 'Honestly, to see that [Hawks] team now compared to where they were when I was here is remarkable,' Harrington said Thursday after the Knicks wrapped up their practice. 'Josh [Smith], Marvin [Williams] and those guys were babies back then. It was Joe’s first year, too. It was a wild ride for everybody.'"
Mike Wells, Indianapolis Star: "Danny Granger has blossomed into the face of the franchise and one of the NBA's premier scorers. He is averaging a career-high 24.4 points. Reggie Miller did that. Once. 'He's taken his game to a different level,' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. 'He's an All-Star. He's playing at an All-Star level, there's no doubt about that. When you play (the Pacers), that's the guy you have to at least try to contain. It's very hard to do.' It has been a three-year journey from rookie reserve to primary scoring option. Carlisle, now coaching in Dallas, never doubted Granger would get there. 'He just looked like an NBA player then (at the workout),' Carlisle said. 'Somebody that wanted to be a big-time player in this league. He's really taken the next step. It's really turned out to be one of the best picks in the past 10 years in the draft (for the Pacers).'"
Kate Fagan, Philadelphia Inquirer: "As if the 76ers' season were not strained enough, they now must deal with Elton Brand's right hamstring. The power forward, signed by the Sixers for $80 million this off-season, did not travel with the team to Detroit yesterday after straining his right hamstring during Wednesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The loss, the Sixers' fifth in six games, left them with an 8-11 record, good for last place in the Atlantic Division. Brand will not play tonight against the Pistons, who are 11-6. The Sixers said Brand underwent an MRI exam yesterday that confirmed the injury. He is listed as day-to-day."
Steve Adamek, NorthJersey.com: "LeBron, on the other hand, sat out his second straight fourth quarter against the Knicks, whom the Cavs beat, 119-101, at the Garden in a game that wasn't that close. Wednesday, the Cavs led by as many as 42 and playing just 28 minutes, LBJ delivered 21 points, six assists and five rebounds. Yet, David Lee insisted the next time the teams play, Feb. 4 in New York, things should be different. 'They're not that much better than we are,' Lee said after his seventh straight double-double (16 points, 16 rebounds). 'Win or lose, they haven't seen our best basketball yet.'" (Thanks, Tom.)