May, 21, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- Making a hoop from a moving airplane. There will be much debate about whether or not this is real.
- The Suns have gotten their best results against the Lakers with a small lineup of Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, Grant Hill and Amare Stoudemire. It's counterintuitive. The Lakers are a team that beats you with size. But in fact, in this series, the Andrew Bynum story has been somewhat muted, while Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol together have been deadly. Going small has been the Suns' best tool to combat that, and it's something they'll have to consider doing more.
- D-League President Dan Reed in an interview with Matt Moore for FanHouse: "We are considering an NBA D-League rule change that would expand the number of players an NBA D-League team can claim from their NBA parent team's training camp cuts, subject to some restrictions. Right now an NBA D-League team can only claim a player who was drafted by their NBA parent team and then waived in training camp during his first contract with the team, but we think there are a lot of positives that can come from a slightly broader rule. So stay tuned."
- The numbers show the Celtics' plan: Orlando is taking fewer 3s, and more of everything else.
- John Wall says he became a very angry person, who had a hard time trusting male authority figures, after his dad died. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: "His father died of liver cancer when John was 9. The father's decline was rapid -- a six-month prognosis turned into six weeks before he passed -- and the child had no coping mechanism and little support system. 'I didn't know too much about what death was; why God would take them,' Wall recalled. 'Now I understand, but at that point, there was so much anger and frustration. My anger started building up and I wouldn't trust people.' His mom worked constantly to feed and house him and his older sister, who got him to his games. He'd revolt whenever a coach acted the least bit assertive. 'Invariably I wouldn't trust my coach. I wouldn't listen to him because I never had a father figure,' Wall said. 'I'd say, 'He's lying. He's not telling the truth.'' His mother worried, not just that her son might squander his talent, but that he'd never learn to conform. So when Wall turned 13 -- following two conflict-filled years of AAU ball -- she gave him an ultimatum. 'She said the only way I'm going to keep playing basketball is if I start trusting, so that I'd start hearing,' Wall recalled."
- Is Joe Johnson a top-grade free agent? A close examination of his performance over five years in Phoenix suggests not. Bret Lagree of Hoopinion: "Looking at his scoring, shooting, passing, and ball-handling numbers it's difficult to argue he's improved or changed during his five years in Atlanta. He played essentially the same role essentially as well on a 26-win team in 2005-06 as he did on a 53-win team in 2009-10. ... To be clear, Joe Johnson is a great shot-maker and it's his ability to make difficult shots that has mitigated both his (and the offense system's) inability to create easy shots for him. His lack of quickness and his ability to rely on his jump shot have always kept Johnson from getting to the free throw line at a league average rate. In 2009-10, Johnson's FT Rate declined by almost 25% from the previous season's (already below average) rate. J.R. Smith and Jason Richardson were the only two players in the top 60 in the league in scoring rate to post a lower FT Rate than Johnson."
- Paul George is hoping to make his mark in the NBA, and thus is not watching so many cartoons.
- You'd hate to compete against a national team that has TV commercials like this. Holy cow. It's for Argentina's soccer team's mission at the World Cup in South Africa, but the point stands for the hoops team at this September's world championships in Turkey.
- Ted Leonsis, winner of the top overall pick, blogging about luck: "You feeling lucky? I always do. Thanks for the support and best wishes. I can’t respond to so many emails today but will try my best. And I lost my cell phone last night in NJ somewhere so if I don’t respond to your calls immediately don’t take it personally :-)!"
- Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer says that Danny Ferry will stay with the Cavaliers if he wants to, but may not want to if the team ends up with a coach he does not like. Windhorst says in a podcast that if Ferry has "a coach forced on him by an owner or a player, it would not surprise me if July 1st comes and Danny decides to not re-sign." He's also passionate in making the point that it will be tough to hire a coach better than Mike Brown.
- Wesley Matthews demonstrates why, if you can really play, it's better not to be a first-round pick with a guaranteed contract. One year in, the undrafted player can sign any deal, whereas first-rounders are stuck with the mandated payscale.
- Is "keep your nose on straight" a saying? If it isn't, it should be, for Wilson Chandler.
- The beauty of getting Dwight Howard moving on offense.