November, 30, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- The hopping on the same foot consecutively is an automatic travel call. Adding the extra step after that is just icing on the cake. Behold Dwyane Wade.
- Video of good defense: Ersan Ilyasova breaks up the Jazz's intended play, but Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Millsap alertly make him pay. Trevor Ariza knows what Kevin Durant wants, and he's not going to let him have it. Kevin Durant's great block.
- Carlos Boozer is almost back.
- Playing at half-speed, especially on defense, Brandon Roy should certainly come off the bench.
- Wow, this is really weird comedy from the Mavericks, of J.J. Barea, the egomaniacal retail menace.
- A photo breakdown of the various stages of chippiness on display in Wizards vs. Heat.
- David Berri, in an interview with Tom Sunnergren of Philadunkia, questions the impact of his stat geek colleagues working for NBA teams: "A number of teams have hired statistical consultants. An incomplete list would include the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Again, though, the metrics actually employed may not actually help. And there is still another problem. Even with a statistical consultant on the payroll, there is no real guarantee that the consultant actually impacts decision-making. At times one senses that these consultants are hired to simply give fans the impression that teams are 'doing everything they can' to make the right decision. But in the end -- consultant or not -- the decision reached is essentially the same." Berri adds that he is not pursuing work for NBA teams, but has had inquiries and has generally found teams unwilling to pay the hourly fee he gets from non-sports entities.
- The Nets sent Terrence Williams to the D-League to shape up. Will that work? Mark Ginocchio of Nets are Scorching: "Overall, I’m not terribly optimistic about TWill’s future with the Nets, nor do I think the D-League demotion was the best way for Avery Johnson and Co. to handle it. Yes, there’s a legitimate shot that Williams can go down to the D-League, work on his jump shot and try to be a playmaker without turning the ball over at such an alarming rate, but there’s nothing I’ve seen from TWill’s character make-up since he’s been in the NBA that suggests he’s going to work as hard as an Aaron Brooks or Anthony Tolliver to get himself back into the league and succeed. I’m obviously hoping for the best, but I’m expecting the worst."
- Jameer Nelson, going crazy.
- Roy Hibbert is scaring Matt Moore.
- John Hollinger on Kevin Durant: "Apparently his jumper never cleared customs on the flight back from Istanbul, because Durant is shooting only 26.7 percent on 3s -- barely half the 45.6 percent he converted from the shorter line in Turkey -- and 41.9 percent overall. He shot 7-for-22 on Monday night, and several of the misses weren't even close. At the end of the third quarter, for example, he isolated for a 3-pointer that would have been dead on, if only the basket had been 2 feet higher and 3 feet to the left. Earlier in the game he was left wide open -- I mean wiiiiiide open, all by himself -- beyond the 3-point line and shot an air ball. As a result, a funny thing happened. Russell Westbrook, who was a distant second banana last season, has taken over down the stretch of games. On Monday night, for instance, Westbrook made nearly every key offensive play in the fourth quarter. He finished with 25 points and 11 assists, one of which set up Durant's only basket of the period. While Durant leads the league in scoring, Westbrook is on his heels at seventh, plus he's seventh in assists. Overall, he's been superior to Durant as a go-to guy this November, with a slightly higher usage rate and far greater efficiency through the first 18 games. And as for my MVP suggestion, consider this: After outplaying New Orleans' Chris Paul on Monday night, Westbrook is third in the league in player efficiency rating behind Paul and Orlando's Dwight Howard. And if you factor in minutes played, the league's top mark in estimated wins added belongs to -- yes -- Russell Westbrook."