By Henry Abbott
We'll be hearing about the happy marriage between Stephen Jackson and the Bobcats, and I'll be remembering when Stephen Jackson was enthusiastic about his great relationship with Warriors president "Bobby" Rowell, and Rowell was emphatic that Jackson's contract was a good value. What's the point of all that? Really just reminder #1,985 that so much of what we hear about rah rah team this and rah rah player that is either P.R. hokum, or short-lived.
Bobcats blogger Brett Hainline on Stephen Jackson's first game in his new uniform: "Stephen Jackson shot poorly, turned the ball over too much, and had a somewhat disappointing line in his first game as a Bobcat: Just 13 points in 45 minutes, on 4 of 14 shooting and 4 of 8 on free throws, for Jackson, to go with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 4 turnovers. But despite that, I was impressed. A couple of those turnovers were from Jackson not knowing that Tyson Chandler just is not ready to catch the ball (or even looking for it, on occasion) on the pick and roll as he moves to the rim, but those were good mistakes -- Stephen was looking to create easy opportunities for his teammates and as they and he get acquainted, they will turn out better. On top of that, Jackson did a very solid job on the perimeter, holding Vince Carter to a quiet 15 points on 12 attempts -- and, yes, VC hit the de-facto game deciding 3 over Jackson, but Jackson was right there and made him take a ridiculously tough shot that Carter happened to bury from deep. So, after one game, I have to admit that Jackson looked a solid add for the Cats (my primary concern continues to be the cap ramifications going forward but the future can be dealt with when it gets here)."
Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game: "I feel sorry for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He played that last shot about as well as anyone could, but Dirk still got a pretty good look and an even better bounce." Watch Dirk Nowitzki. And in the same clip, also watch Drew Gooden. Untouched, on the play of the game, he just wiped out.
Professor David Berri, author of The Wages of Wins and current TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown champion, plays a central role in a bit of an editorial smackdown between Malcolm Gladwell and The New York Times.
Chris Sheridan has a great list of NBA players who are looking for NBA work. It's a catalog of possibilities. It's also a glimpse at how NBA careers end. After you get through likely-to-be-employed players like Jerry Stackhouse and Antonio Daniels, there are other names like Wally Szczerbiak (knee concerns), Rashad McCants, Stephon Marbury, Robert Swift, Malik Rose, Darius Miles etc.
Brandon Jennings is famous in Europe (here he is on the cover of a Spanish basketball magazine). Somewhere, that's worth money.
John Krolik of Cavs the Blog on Warrior defense: "Look at the highlights or tape of Jennings’ 55-point game. Nobody is near him when he’s coming off of picks. It’s absolutely pathetic."
Shaun Livingston massacred his left knee a few years ago as a Clipper in a YouTube moment too gruesome to even link to. Now, after four zillion hours of rehab and playing for the Thunder, he's having a procedure on that same knee.
Hooba, writing on 3 Shades of Blue: "The Grizz entered this offseason with copious cap space, the #2 pick in the draft and a respectably solid (if not dynamic or elite) young core. Cap’n Heisley proceeded to disengage the autopilot, dismantle the GPS, load up his cargo hold with leaky barrels of highly flammable jet fuel and fumble his Zippo ... Lionel Hollins is being treated for 3rd degree burns having been caught in the collision. The innocent bystander Mike Conley has been diagnosed with Hoops PTSD. And Chris Wallace has been reduced to the role of the guy in the control tower wearing the headset watching the two blips on his radar head for disaster while screaming at his monitor with no one listening. The Grizz are 2-8. The Forum is empty. The Beale Street Blue Iverson jerseys are likely being loaded onto a plane heading for a third world country to be doled out to some impoverished kids without a sense of detached irony."
Bret Lagree of Hoopinion on the Hawks, and how they played defense at the end of regulation when Rudy Fernandez hit a 3 to send it to overtime: "I think the Hawks should should should have fouled Greg Oden when he held the ball for about one full second on that possession. Not fouling gives Portland the chance to run one play that accomplishes its purpose and sends the game to overtime. Not fouling and switching on screens on said play leaves Al Horford chasing Rudy Fernandez 25 feet from the basket." Click that second link and watch the video. Lots interesting going on. Brandon Roy runs to the ball as Fernandez is inbounding, but only to set a pick, which is in place well before the inbounds. Also, it would have been hard to foul Oden -- no one was that close to him, and he only had it an instant. And finally, Fernandez sure did slide his pivot foot quite a bit.
Jeremy from Bucksketball asked Brandon Jennings if he has seen any defenders as fast as Rodrique Beaubois. Jennings' response: "No not really. I think he’s the future for that team."