Amar'e Stoudemire may get his wish. Maybe. The NBA trade deadline is 16 days away and still there is no deal for Carmelo Anthony. There is some buzz about a possible 3-way deal between the Knicks, T-Wolves and Denver but nothing is set in stone. Let's face it. The Denver Nuggets are desperate and do not want to end up like the Raptors or Cavs with their stars jumping ship and their former 'ship' having nothing to show for it. As much as he tries to shake it off, Carmelo Anthony is starting to feel the pressure. He had a career high 50 points on Monday night and the Nuggets still lose to the Rockets 108-103. Not good. The closer we get to the trade deadline, the mercury in the Nugget's thermometer continues to rise. Let's hope for their sake it doesn't burst before the 24th. Let's talk about a team on the verge of bursting in the Cleveland Cavaliers, a scary moment for Marquis Daniels and why Stan Lee is 'Marveling' at the NBA.
A Very Scary Moment
Since this year's Super Bowl ranked as the highest watched Super Bowl in this country's history, most may have missed the Celtics-Magic game on Sunday. I didn't and boy was I in shock. Boston Celtics guard Marquis Daniels left the game on a stretcher Sunday after colliding with Gilbert Arenas of the Orlando Magic. With 11:01 left in the second quarter, Marquis drove to the basket from the right side of the lane and hit his head on Arena's left shoulder. He fell to the ground and lay there not moving for a few minutes. You could almost feel the chill fall over the crowd even if you were just watching from your living room. The Celtics were reporting he hurt his neck and was taken to hospital for examination. However, it ended up being a bruised spinal cord. Marquis was released from hospital Monday and is walking around now. Danny Ainge, Celtics' President of Basketball Operations, spent time with Marquis in the hospital and said he was scared lying there on the floor not moving, "But he has had some issues with this before and some tingling in his body--his arms and things before". Marquis Daniels is expected to be out for at least a month.
Instances like these have been seen in hockey but not always in professional basketball. When the league was in its infancy, the NBA considered implementing penalty boxes and giving players 2 minute timeouts because court play had become too violent. In the case of Marquis Daniels, his injury was not as a result of violence but from the aggressive nature of the sport. This same debate is on in the NHL where star players like Marc Savard are considering early retirement after multiple concussions or injuries. Is driving to the basket like racing to the puck to prevent an icing call? Is there a way for the league to better protect its players from injuries like Marquis Daniels'? Given he has existing health issues which may have exasperated the few motionless minutes on the floor in Sunday's game, should the league be offering some kind of protective gear? Look at Dwight Howard. He looks like a gladiator with those arm sleeves which protect his arms from the constant motion of shooting. In the games you watch this week, look at how many players are wearing some kind of protective gear. You would be surprised. I am not saying professional basketball players need to suit up to match their NHL counterparts but measures need to be taken since no sport wants to see one of its own taken out on a stretcher.
The Cleveland Cavaliers - Can it Get Any Worse?
As of Tuesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost their way into the NBA record books with 25 in the 'L' column. The saddest part? The league also keeps stats on an overall losing streak records which take into account losing skids over 2 seasons. This new record for the Cavs topped that one, too. The previous mark was also set by the Cavs at the end of the 1981-82 season and the start of the 1982-83 season. Their last win was on December 18th more than 7 weeks ago. I have been searching for some silver lining in all this misery and finally found it in Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Here's what he had to say in a recent article about the funk the Cavs are in right now: "The season is over in what, 60 days? So in 60 days you go from being a suffering franchise to the best from getting the first pick and a ton of salary cap room and you are a hero all summer". The problem with this theory is how do they make it to summer's promised land? Hope and pray.
NBA Gets Short end of the Stick
Apparently, NBA fans are too old and can't read. This is what I am taking away from the latest news of Marvel Entertainment LLC. and the NBA launching a new line of clothing to be unveiled at the All-Star game later this month. The NHL was also in talks with Stan Lee, creator of Marvel comics but their deal was different. The NHL's deal included a comic book line loosely based around hockey and local teams, where each superhero would have special powers representative of each NHL team and city. The NBA's deal includes no reading material. Instead, famous Marvel superheroes will be paired with NBA teams and displayed on caps, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Some examples being thrown around are the Incredible Hulk with the Boston Celtics (obvious choice) and Spiderman with the New York Knicks (again, obvious choice). Both deals are each league's attempt to attract a younger audience to their respective sport. Its a shame the NBA got shafted in the comic department. I would be first in line for some Blake "Superman" Griffin reading material.
Thanks for joining me again this week. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Keep them coming by following me on Twitter (@ddegraauw) or on Facebook (Danielle de Graauw, red microphone). Have a great week and see you on Thursday for more Raptors' opponent analysis in "Behind Enemy Lines".