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Tag:Shootaround
Posted on: October 21, 2010 9:53 am
Edited on: October 21, 2010 10:19 am
 

Shootaround 10.21.10: Dunk more, win more

Posted by Royce Young
  • A Harvard Sports Analysis shows the more you dunk, the more you win: “Given that dunking does appear to correlate with winning, what can we take this to mean? The thing to avoid is seeing dunking and winning as a causal relationship (i.e. dunking more means you will win more). Instead, we should view high dunk totals as a representation of a good team (i.e. good teams will produce more dunks). These conclusions support the notion that “Dunks are Awesome!” but also that, despite the complaints of the old guard, dunks have become a fundamental. As if NBA fans needed another reason to fear the upcoming season, the only team that will enter the 2010/2011 season with three players in the top 20 for dunks are, you guessed it, the Miami Heat.”
  • Gus Johnson has been fired from the MSG Network which breaks my heart. He's absolutely one of the very, very best out there. The NY Post with details: “Gus Johnson, the shouts-a-lot, play-by-play radio voice of the Knicks since the 1997-98 season — and a frequent fill- in for Mike Breen on MSG Network’s Knicks’ telecasts — is out at the Garden. Over the last two seasons, Johnson, 43, had annoyed MSG Network shot-callers by missing many games to work outside TV gigs, including CBS’ college basketball and Showtime boxing. Johnson’s primary replacement is expected to be Mike Crispino, an MSG TV and radio multi-tasker since 1992. Johnson, in 1997, replaced Mike Breen, who moved to MSG TV.”
  • Doug Collins is doing better: "He's feeling better," associate head coach Michael Curry told The Philadelphia Inquirer . "Tests, as he sees them right now, were good. So we're expecting him bright and early Friday morning. [He will] start going over some tapes, getting ready for the start of the season."
  • Howard Beck of The New York Times: "This is the Knicks’ new reality. For two years, they operated under the shadow of LeBron James. Now they are dealing with the specter of Carmelo Anthony. A shaky preseason has only made a trade look more urgent. The speculation will end only when Anthony is finally traded, wherever the destination may be."
  • Lee Jenkins' feature on the Thunder is truly fantastic: "When the team moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City, general manager Sam Presti wanted all his players to tour the memorial before their first open practice. Now every new player is taken to the memorial, usually in the weeks leading up to training camp, and sometimes more than once. When guard Royal Ivey came to Oklahoma City for his free-agent visit this summer, he asked Presti about the crowd at the Ford Center, how such a small market generates the most noise in the NBA. The fans have become a source of curiosity around the league, for painting their chests like frat boys, standing for long stretches and commencing a 20-minute ovation for the team three seconds after the season-ending loss to the Lakers. Presti ushered Ivey to the memorial. "It took my breath away," Ivey says. "After that I called my agent. I wanted to be a part of this."
Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.18.10: Turkaboooooo

Posted by Royce Young
  • Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: "A fan held up a sign that summed up the purpose of an otherwise uneventful preseason walk-around: 'TURKABOO,' was the message. The rabble wasn’t exactly in midseason form, even if the Raptors pulled off a 121-100 win. ('(The booing) wasn’t as bad as Vancouver,' said Steve Nash, Turkoglu’s newly-minted teammate, speaking of the reaction of the West Coast throng that took in a Raptors-Suns exhibition 11 days previous). But Turkoglu reacted exactly as you might have expected. He openly laughed. He actually applauded the crowd during the player introductions. He even led the chorus at one point, checking in at the scorer’s table while expelling a long, 'Booooooooo!' In other words, he acted as though he didn’t care -- which is exactly how he played."
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: "The rejuvenation of Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has been apparent since the beginning of training camp. He leaps with ease. He sprints down the floor and soars for rebounds with no fear about his surgically repaired right knee. ... One of the more important priorities for the Celtics in camp was to rebuild the confidence and increase the production of Garnett, who was healthy last season but still was favoring the knee.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward ranks the pick-and-roll combos: "2. Baron Davis-Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: This could be terrifying, and it really depends on how hard Baron Davis feels like working this season and if he can kick the habit of taking awful three-pointers off the bounce. Griffin could emerge as something like Stoudemire as a violent roll threat. Even in the preseason, he’s slipping screens and darting down the lane like Amar’e, and he has the athleticism and strength to finish with authority. He is going to have a highlight screen-and-roll finish every night, and he looks to have a good enough jumper to get your attention on the pick-and-pop."
  • Do the Hornets have more talent than the Bucks? And can they repeat what Milwaukee did last season? Michael McNamara of Hornets247 says so: "So across the board the Hornets have more talent than those Milwaukee Bucks and yet the perception around the country is that it is doubtful the Hornets will produce superior results. Why is that? It has to be because there has been no evidence to support the belief that the Hornets can play with that level of discipline, that level of heart, and that level of tenacity. It is because nobody knows what to expect from Monty Williams and his system. It is because people assume that at the end of the day it is talent and talent alone that wins basketball games."
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:55 am
 

Shootaround 10.15.10: Good and bad places

Dwight Howard thinks the new rule has its place, Monta Ellis' wife is keeping him in the right place, Andre Blatche needs a new place, and Al Jefferson is getting into a good place, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

So while the Union's suing and the Celtics are freaking out, Dwight Howard has come out and said that in regards to the new tech rules, "They want us to cut down on talking to the refs, as hard as that may be. We've adjusted to everything else that's put out there. So we'll adjust." That's right. The guy that watches cartoons, does funny voices, and is pretty much known as a big kid, he's the one who's being grown up about this. The world's gone mad. Dwight Howard is in a place where he can have perspective and Kevin Garnett is not. What is happening?

Marvel Comics is teaming up with ESPN and the NBA for a series of promotional spots . Does it bother anyone else how much the league is marketing towards the storyline of LeBron leaving Cleveland? Don't get me wrong, I've been softer on James than others because if you asked me if I wanted to go work somewhere nicer with two of my friends with a greater chance of success, I'd probably do it too. But rubbing Cleveland's nose in it constantly for marketing purposes and playing into their spurned response seems exploitive.

Monta Ellis is in a much better place emotionally and mentally. Why? Dude got married and his wife, a lady cop, has him in line. I can understand where Ellis is coming from, as I'm sure a lot of men can. You have your wilder 20's, jacking up shots and riding mopeds, and then you get married and that stuff gets thrown out. This would be better if she were a segway cop or something. Still, it's good to see Ellis in a better place.

Mike Wells of the Indy Star reports that both Dahntay Jones and Solomon Jones are on the block as the Pacers try and move for a big man.

TruthAboutIt.Net's Kyle Weidie is more concerned with Andre Blatche at the moment than Gilbert Arenas. Blatche boosted his stock immensely last year with some solid play on the blown-up Wizards. But he thinks of himself as a primary scoring threat, not as a complimentary piece, and has big chemistry issues. If they can get him on the market and get a good player to put next to Wall for him, they should move, and quickly.

Alvin Gentry is telling his team that if they want to be succesful this year, they're going to have to be a "GREAT" defensive team . This for a team that had a worse defensive rating than any of Mike D'Antoni's years. Even if you think Amar'e was the problem (and he wasn't), good luck with that, coach.

Sasha Vujacic suffered a concussion in practice and is out indefinitely. Perhaps he was confused on what being "unconscious" from the arc meant.

In case you missed it last night , you need to see John Wall destroying the Bucks in 40 secons. For real.

Mike D'Antoni called Anthony Randolph a "stat magnet. " If only that magnet wasn't similarly charged to that of a "high basketball IQ magnet" because Randolph seems to repel that idea. Many, Knicks fans especailly, hope this is the season that changes. He can be an absolute game-changer when his head's in the right place.

And finally, just a small basketball note. If you caught last night's Jazz game you saw this, but if you didn't, Al Jefferson looked really good. Even with an out-of-shape Deron Williams working with him, Jefferson was hitting from all over the floor and attacking the glass on both sides of the ball. Defensively he's still figuring the system out, but things are looking tremendously good for Utah's new acquisition.


Posted on: October 14, 2010 9:43 am
 

Shootaround 10.14.10: "The NBA: It's stupid!"

Posted by Royce Young
  • Last night, Kevin Garnett was ejected because he picked up two technicals. The league's really enforcing the new rules in preseason and Doc Rivers said they've just got to deal with it: "It is what it is. We've got to live with it. It's a new, kinder, gentler me. What can you do? Listen, I do think, as a league, it's about all of us. It's not just the officials, the players or the coaches. It's all of us. We have to keep making this a better product and a lot of people smarter than me have decided this is what we need to do. Then that's what we have to do: Adhere to it. I don't think that's that hard."
  • Howard Beck of the New York Times on Amar'e Stoudemire's debut: "The introduction was a tad understated, at least by Amar’e Stoudemire’s standards. He did not dislodge the rim from the backboard or block a shot into the expensive seats or ruin anyone’s self-esteem. There will be many chances for that later, when the games count. Wednesday night was a warm-up, a friendly first date between Stoudemire and his adoring new audience at Madison Square Garden. It was a promising start to the relationship between the desperate fan base and the $100 million star."
  • Posting and Toasting on Timofey Mozgov's debut: "Mozgov started and started strong. He was, as I mentioned, disruptive on defense, and scaled back the silly fouls (4 fouls in 15 minutes is an improvement. Really!). Save for a weird bout of point-center ambition that didn't end well, Mozgov also got some work done on offense. He buried two big boy midrangers (not like the chip shots he'd been sinking earlier in preseason) and even threw an alley-oop TO Raymond Felton. You read that correctly. Timo stayed steadily stellar in his brief appearance."
  • Sebastian Pruiti at NBA Playbook looks at Manu diagramming the final moments of the Spurs-Clippers game. “Misdirection plays like this late are so brilliant because teams always seem to focus on the ball late (I personally think this is due to the fact a lot of teams simply run ISOs late instead of trying to draw up some plays), that screens on the weakside usually go unnoticed until it is too late.”
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 9:33 am
 

Shootaround 10.12.10: Carmelo is confused

Posted by Royce Young
  • The Nuggets are still looking at options says The Denver Post. And Carmelo says this process has his head spinning: "On the court, it's easy. Off the court — confusing. Just dealing with all of it, just hearing it. Once I'm in the gym, I play the way I play. . . . I'm approaching this season like I would any other season. I'm just getting ready for the next game. I can't worry if I'm going to be here today or tomorrow."
  • Ben Golliver of Blazersedge: "Potentially the bigger issue for Miller is that he didn't get a look at captaining the second unit like he did last year. Instead, Nate McMillan leaned heavily on Matthews and gave extended looks to both Jerryd Bayless and Rudy Fernandez. After shootaround this morning, McMillan said Bayless/Fernandez/Matthews is a perimeter combination that he will continue to play together because of their tempo-changing ability and complementary skills. Preseason or not, Miller's playing time is therefore getting pressed from all sides."
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: "Hopefully, Mavericks fans took a close look at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at American Airlines Center. Through not much fault of their own, the Cavs have become the NBA's No. 1 example of what can happen when your superstar walks. They are irrelevant without LeBron James, even in the Eastern Conference, which still has a sizeable sub-league of poor teams despite the talent at the top end. Remember, this could have happened to the Mavericks, too. Just imagine what they would look like without Dirk Nowitzki. Not that he's LeBron. But Nowitzki is as important to the Mavericks' success as James was to Cleveland's. ... The Mavericks are fortunate to have a superstar who loves his surroundings and is willing to help make it work in Dallas. Those are few and far between. And because of Nowitzki – and no matter how the Mavericks look so far in the preseason -- they at least remain relevant in the Western Conference."
  • Basketball is an emotional game. Players scream after dunks, rebounds and blocked shots. They're playing hard, working to stop the man in front of them. When they get tagged for a call, sometimes they just react. And with the new rules enforcing technicals, some players are worried they're being robbed of that emotion.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 10.8.10: Denver scouting Favors?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "I watched in open-mouth amazement after Thursday's practice as Howard drained bank-shot after bank-shot, then made some turnaround jumpers. He worked for about 20 minutes with assistant coach Patrick Ewing and center Daniel Orton, catching and shooting. I'm not crazy about his turnaround J. But anything that doesn't make him as predictable as he has been in the crowded paint and draws in defenders can't be all bad."
  • Jeff Pendergraph had a pretty nasty injury last night and today he tweets: "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle."
  • Blazersedge looks at Portland's options: "Another option would be to grant Rudy Fernandez's release request, which Cho has repeatedly said he will not do.  He could also release another player. Rookie Armon Johnson, picked in the second round and earning just $473,604 this season, would be the cheapest player to release, but this would be extremely unlikely to happen given how high the team's brass is on Johnson's future and how well he has looked during training camp."
  • Larry Brown on OKC: "I look at him and some of our young guys in the NBA and I think our league's in pretty good shape," Brown started. "And this team (the Thunder) probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. Their not only terrific talents, they're better kids. They've done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they're talking about respect for the game, that team's a poster child for that. So the West better watch out."
  • Brian Robb of CelticsHub: "Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that." Ah, missing Brian Scalabrine. What are the chances you thought you'd see someone say that?
  • What will the Hornets rotation look like? Ryan Schwan of Hornets24/7 says Willie Green has the edge to back up CP3: "It appears Willie Green has locked up the backup position at the point.  Color me surprised.  Every statement out of training camp has indicated he is leading the charge as the backup point guard and relegated DJ Strawberry and Mustafa Shakur to purely end-of-the-bench roles.  I won’t lie.  I worry about Green being able to pull this off.  He’s been a swingman for 95% of his career."
Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:28 am
 

Shootaround 10.7.10: Thinkin' 'Bout Things

Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.

With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.

Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.

So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.

The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.

Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.

Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.

Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?

Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?

This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
 
 
 
 
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