Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NBA Moves, MLB springs

Biggest news out of the NBA All Star break was the DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans, and the major management shakeup at the LA Lakers.

For the Warriors, it's the Cousins trade that poses the most immediate challenge.  If he can jell with his new team soon enough, the New Orleans Pelicans can make the playoffs.  If the Dubs stay on top, they'd likely meet in the first round of the playoffs.  With two very skilled big men, the Pelicans could create difficulties for the Warriors defense.  The two teams will meet once before then, so more will be known.  In the meantime, San Antonio remains the biggest challenge for the Warriors in the second half.

The Lakers finally got rid of Baby Buss who tried to make the team his own and sort of did, but not to the team's benefit.  The new head of basketball operations is none other than Laker great Magic Johnson.  He had an advocate in Kobe Bryant, and he is an advocate for involving Kobe in the team's future.  As a member of the Lakers' extended family, first year coach Luke Walton will likely get a chance to work with the new management, that reportedly now will include Kobe's former agent as GM.

Meanwhile, MLB spring training is underway.  As predicted, the SF Giants have let go both Romo and Casilla--only Kontos remains from the bullpen that won those championships.  Several veteran pitchers and position players are in camp to make the team, and some likely will.  Sports writers keep harping on left field but the Giants don't seem to be desperate to trade or acquire a starter.  At least to start the season, one of the younger players will be out there, Parker or Williamson probably.  Still there is backup experience at nearly every position, and several players will get a chance this spring to play at different positions to increase versatility off the bench, and to rest regulars in the hope of keeping them fresh and less prone to injuries for the long haul.