Originally written on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 11/17/14

I find this hard to believe, but just six days from now the Boston Celtics will be in Istanbul to face Fenerbahce Ulker, a top European team from Turkey.  Before Kevin Garnett is given the chance to curse at some dudes who may or may not understand his dialect, I figured I ought to hit you guys with one more edition of “Things I Hope To See This Season.”  If you missed out on either of the first two volumes, they can be found here and here.

Flip Murray: Memphis Grizzly

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal (via HoopsRumors.com), Ronald “Flip” Murray will accept an invite to training camp from the Grizzlies.  Flip, an all-time favorite bench player of mine, last played NBA basketball in 2010, when he averaged 10 PPG for the Chicago Bulls.  Having recently turned 33, Flip is no longer a spring chicken, but he’s not exactly a dinosaur, either.  Through the ’09/10 season he proved himself plenty capable of producing offense in bunches, making his quiet exit from the NBA all the more puzzling.  Personally, I’ve always considered Flip a fine addition to any reserve corps, and I’d love to see him catch some air as a member of the Grizzlies.

Likelihood: Memphis only has 13 players under contract, leaving two roster spots available.  However, they’re currently operating at $3 million over the cap, and their 13 players do meet the NBA’s minimum requirement.  A pending sale of the team only makes the situation more complex, as Michael Heisley and Robert Pera may have differing opinions regarding just how much a backup guard is worth.  Also, Darrell Arthur just got hurt again, so Memphis may be in need of a big body (despite the fact that they lack a proven backup to Mike Conley).  Taking everything into consideration, I figure he’ll have to make a really strong impression.

A Quadruple-Double

I was five years old when David Robinson recorded the NBA’s most recent quadruple-double.  That was on February 17th, 1994, when The Admiral posted 34 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, and 10 blocks in a landslide victory over the Detroit Pistons.  I’m 24 years old today, and I’m ready to witness a feat that’s been officially accomplished by only four different players (Nate Thurmond, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Alvin Robertson being the other three).

Likelihood: Considering the fact that it hasn’t been done in 19 years, one would have to admit that it’s beyond unlikely.  Maybe if Steve Nash and Dwight Howard can get some sort of inside-out game going on, with Dwight drawing doubles and Nash drilling triples, it can be done.  Of course, even if Howard were able to rack up 10 assists (something he has never done before), he’d still have to block 10 shots, which is a major challenge in and of itself.  I suppose Rajon Rondo is probably the prime candidate, what with his penchant for triple-dips and high steal totals.

Kyrie Irving’s Rise To Superstardom

In his third year, Derrick Rose took a big step forward.  Already a rising star, Rose suddenly established himself as an elite point guard, a franchise player, and an MVP candidate.  Though it is just year two for Kyrie, a similar ascent is the one he’ll aim to make in 2012/13.  If Kyrie is to get better—and why wouldn’t he?—All-Star territory is really the only place he can go.  I realize that I’m setting the bar ridiculously high with the Rose comparison, but I felt that Irving could’ve been an All-Star last season.  He simply doesn’t have that far to go before he reaches a superstar level.

Likelihood: Kyrie Irving will break into the top five PG discussion this coming season.  What more he’ll accomplish remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t put much past the young man.  He’s legit, folks.

A Change Of Scenery For Tyreke Evans

I don’t think the Kings are about to take Isaiah Thomas’s role and give it back to Tyreke Evans.  For this reason, I’d like to see Tyreke Evans play somewhere else.  The man may stand 6’6″, but he’s not an off guard, nor is he a small forward.  Tyreke Evans is a point guard, and he’s going to need the ball in his hands to put up individual numbers like the 20-5-5 he posted as a rookie.  Now, I’m not even going to argue whether or not the Kings would be wise to give the keys back to ‘Reke.  My point here is simply that I’d like to see one of the league’s most exciting players get another opportunity to dominate the ball—not because I’m 100% sure that it’d help a team win basketball games, but because I’m quite confident that it would entertain me.

Likelihood: This is a contract year for Evans, and another rebuilding year for the Kings.  I expect Sacramento to experiment with Tyreke at a couple different positions over the course of this season as they try to determine whether or not he’ll remain a significant factor in their future.  Unfortunately, I think he’ll be playing off the ball a lot for another 82 games, at least.

A Miami Heat-peat

There are teams I like better than the Heat, and there are players I like better than LeBron James.  Problem is that none of these teams figure to compete for a title, which means none of these players will be hoisting a Finals MVP trophy come next June.  So… go ahead and hate me all you want, but I’m calling/rooting for a Miami Heat-peat.  LeBron James is currently the best player in basketball by a fair margin, and I rather enjoyed being a witness last spring.

Likelihood: As I just said, I’m calling for it.


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