Kobe Bryant scores 40, Lakers hold off Blazers

The Lakers lined up alongside Kobe Bryant, or behind him, or something, when asked if they agreed with his optimistic belief they would make the playoffs.

They then backed it up with a gritty 111-107 victory Friday over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

That’s two in a row for the Lakers, reason enough to throw a victory parade in a season to dismember.

Kobe guarantees playoff spot

Kobe Bryant’s always so conservative with his views. So meek. Timid.

“It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will,” Bryant told Sports Illustrated. “And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”

He didn’t mention the Clippers, but that’s another story for another day.

Rose’s brother rips Bulls’ inactivity

Growing up in Englewood and blossoming into NBA superstardom beyond Chicago, Derrick Rose always could count on older brother Reggie to protect him from everything.

So when Reggie Rose does something that potentially harms Derrick, even if only his reputation, the city of broad shoulders does more than shrug. We shake our heads. And wince a little.

Report: Kevin Garnett Told by Chris Paul That He Could Make Trade to Clippers Happen, But Garnett Said No

Everyone listen close now: This man bleeds green! While Kevin Garnett was emphatic in the days leading up to the NBA trade deadline that he did not want to play for anyone but Boston, that didn’t keep other teams from trying to make a move for him. That included the Clippers, who were among the prime trade partners, with Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan reportedly on the block in exchange for Garnett.

Winners and Losers from the Trade Deadline

A good chunk of trades went down in the last 48 hours minutes before the trade deadline, but it’s the deals that didn’t get made that loom large. Josh Smith is still an Atlanta Hawk, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are still Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard is still a Laker, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are still on the Jazz…you get the idea. Let’s look at the winners and losers from the trade deadline.

Winner: Milwaukee Bucks

Acquiring J.J. Redick from Orlando will help Milwaukee’s 24th ranked offensive efficiency and should lock up a playoff spot. That’s a pretty good deal considering Milwaukee didn’t have to part with any future draft picks. Acquiring Redick is a win-now move that has a slight chance of paying off later, especially if Monta Ellis opts out and Redick likes what he sees from Milwaukee these next few months.

Raptors Acquire Sebastian Telfair From Suns For Hamed Haddadi

 

https://twitter.com/RealGM/status/304667570412335104

Hawks pull out of Josh Smith deal with Milwaukee in final minute

The Milwaukee Bucks did indeed make a move before the NBA trade deadline, acquiring JJ Redick from the Orlando Magic in a six-player deal. But a report from ESPN’s Ric Bucher suggests the day could’ve brought even more drastic changes to the Bucks’ roster. Bucher said in a tweet that the Atlanta Hawks pulled out of a deal in the final minute that would’ve sent Smith to the Bucks in exchange for Luc Mbah a Moute, Ekpe Udoh, Beno Udrih, and a protected 1st-round pick. It’s likely the Hawks would’ve sent more back than Smith, but no specifics were given. ESPN’s Chad Ford says the talks were part of a larger deal involving the Magic:

http://www.brewhoop.com/2013/2/21/4014702/nba-trade-deadline-hawks-pull-out-of-josh-smith-deal-with-milwaukee

Nets are “done” and are officially out of Josh Smith talks

Sebastian Telfair traded to Raptors for Hamed Haddadi, according to reports

The Phoenix Suns have traded point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a second round pick, according to reports from Ken Berger and Chris Broussard. Broussard cited a source that said the deal was done.

Warriors will not trade seldom-used F-C Jeremy Tyler