NBA General

Around the Rim: Divorce Court

It’s over?

1. Gold Digger Alert
By this point, everyone is familiar with the unusual circumstances surrounding the divorce proceedings between Jason Kidd and his wife Joumana. But did you know that Kidd isn’t the only Net who is going through a split. In a far less entertaining manner, Vince Carter and his wife, Ellen Rucker, have initiated the paperwork to dissolve their relationship as well. So far, “Half-Man, Half-A Commitment” has not publicly admitted to quitting on the marriage, but the breakup could be the leading factor in a move from New Jersey. Rucker will most likely move to Orlando or her hometown of Charlotte and take the couple’s daughter with her. Carter will become a free agent at the end of the year, making these very tempting destinations as they might be able to offer Vince, the dad, an incentive that no other team could. By the way, the Nets have finally moved into first place in their division thanks to a 15-19 record that management would like to annul.

2. Sixers buyout Chris Webber
Speaking of divorces, the Sixers are getting rid of all their big contracts this year. The latest is a buyout of Chris Webber’s contract. Scheduled to make $45M combined this year and next, Webber is expected to only give back less than $5M and becomes a free agent. This is a win-win because Webber potentially gets to make more money or goes to a contending team for less than his usual asking price while the Sixers get salary cap and luxury tax relief — not to mention no-defense-playing relief.

3. We’re Going Streaking!
Believe it or not, but teams other than Dallas can string together consecutive wins. And since the Mavs latest streak is currently only at one, there’s an opportunity to recognize them as well. Phoenix is no stranger to great spurts of play, and owns the longest active win streak at seven. This comes after the Suns ripped off 15 in a row earlier in the year. The Cavs can take credit as the hottest team in the East after winning their last five games. On the other side of the coin, New Orleans and Seattle get to share the humiliation of being the leagues reigning bottom feeders since both teams have dropped their previous five contests.

4. Five Times the Pain
Nobody has every questioned Bobby Jackson’s work ethic in the past, and now we know why. Jackson was injured during a game in late November against Toronto and it was determined that he had a cracked rib. The painful injury kept him sidelined until January 4th when he returned to play for ten minutes against Detroit. On Tuesday, a CT scan showed that Jackson had played with not one, but five cracked ribs. And the former sixth man of the year is only listed as day to day! Talk about a pain threshold. Luckily, no additional damage was sustained in his brief return to the court, but Jackson might want to reconsider his choice of medical practitioners before his next annual checkup.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Nick Collison @ Phoenix 44 min, 29 pts (FG: 12-18, FT: 5-9), 21 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Chicago (20-15) @ Washington (19-14) Chicago has struggled recently by losing three of their last four games, but they remain one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference behind a solid starting five and one of the best sixth men the league has ever witnessed. Ben Gordon leads the Bulls in scoring despite being fourth on the team in minutes. But when it comes to scoring, it’s Washington that has the obvious advantage with MVP candidate Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is second in the league scoring and has been collecting 40 point games like stamps all year long. The Bulls will have to step up their pathetic play on the road against a Wiz team that is 13-3 in D.C. if they plan to escape the Verizon Center with a win.

Buzzer Beater: T.J. Ford had one of the worst games of his career last night against the Nets. In 18 minutes, Ford missed all of his shots (0-8) and finished with zero points and one assist. After being wheeled off the court on a stretcher, this is no big deal for Ford, but Toronto has got to be worried about the recent play from their point guard. An ankle injury has benched Ford in three of the last five games after he averaged 17 points and nine assists with five double-doubles in December.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected].

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