Tag:All-Star
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Jennings says it's time to become an All-Star

Posted by Matt Moore

Remember when Brandon Jennings was neck and neck with Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry for Rookie of the Year? Those were good times.

Remember when Jennings suffered a foot injury and wound up missing a bunch of games and showed no real improvement? Yeah, that was sad. Especially for Bucks fans. 

The good news is that Jennings is dedicated to improving significantly from his disappointing 2010-2011 season. He told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he's focusing on his basics and working out harder than he has since he was 18. This is not saying much since Jennings is only 21, but still. From the Journal-Sentinel
"I'm just getting back to the basics of basketball," said Jennings, who worked out regularly at the team's training facility before the NBA lockout was imposed July 1. "Just working on my fundamentals. Getting set back last year with the injury made me have a different approach to the game. It's not (taken for) granted.

"Next year will be my third year and I need to establish myself as one of the best point guards and one of the best players in the game. It's just trying to get better and better every day. Working with Scott Skiles (before the lockout), getting in the weight room, dedicating the summer to strictly basketball. It's going to be my third year, so it's time to become an all-star."
via Jennings goes back to fundamentals - JSOnline.

All-Star, huh? Those are big words from Jennings, and not just because he'll need to make huge strides in multiple areas to improve to that level. He's also facing the most stacked position in basketball. League MVP Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo both play in his conference, as does rising star John Wall. Jennings has a ways to go to get to that level. But he's working. He also said that he's working on dribbling and finishing with his right, which sounds simple, until you realize it's one of the things Tony Parker worked for years on. 

But if Jennings is making upgrades to his game, he needs to try out his shot selection. Jenning shot just 39 percent from the field last season and 32 percent from three-point range. His true shooting percentage (factoring three-point shooting and free throws) was one of the worst among point guards (though still better than Baron Davis), even though he was 12th overall in usage among point guards. Jennings has to learn to ease back on the trigger finger and let the game come to him. If he can make the Bucks' overall offense better, that might be an All-Star worthy performance.  

(HT: SLAM)

Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 11:50 am
 

Shootaround 12.10.10: Shaq calls Griffin fabulous

Shaq says Blake Griffin is "fabulous,' the Heat are working towards progress, and some in New Orleans want to save their Hornets.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • Shaquille O'Neal on Blake Griffin: "He's fabulous ." Take a second and let that quote sink in. Shaq just described the most explosive rookie to enter the NBA in years in much the same way Lady Gaga likely discusses her latest dress made out of asbestos or drywall or whatever. An odd choice of words for anyone else. Par for the Shaq course.
  • Zach Lowe of SI on a specific shape the Heat have begun to implement: "The Heat have started to position James, Bosh and Wade in a triangle on the same side of the floor. They don’t do it often, but they’re trying it and are getting good results so far. Perhaps the best example happened about four minutes into the first quarter Wednesday. As Carlos Arroyo brought the ball up the left side, the three Miami stars took up residency on the opposite side — Wade in the right corner, Bosh at the right elbow and James on the right wing beyond the three-point line. A nice little $340 million obtuse triangle."
  • Rob Mahoney breaks down the accepted definition of All-Star, then asks the question, what should make an All-Star ?
  • Very quietly, the Kings are awaiting an MRI on the foot of Tyreke Evans. The whispers involve a term that rhymes with "shress shractshure." As of now he only has plantar fasciitis, which was confirmed by a foot expert this week.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How will the All-Star Game look?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...



What will the All-Star Game look like?


Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?

It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.

For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.

But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).

Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.

This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.

And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.

In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.

Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.

Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.

But the parties will be awesome regardless.
 
 
 
 
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