December, 15, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- Brian Windhorst points out that by losing LeBron James, the Cavaliers have gone from one of the NBA's best defensive teams to one of its worst: "On defense the Cavs also lost perhaps the best player in team history. James was first team All Defense in each of the past two seasons and last year finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. When he wanted to be, James was one of the best on-ball defenders in the league and always an excellent help defender. When the game was on the line over the last several seasons, James was always on the opposition’s most lethal threat, which meant everyone from Dirk Nowitzki to Chris Paul to Kobe Bryant. He was also the Cavs’ best defensive rebounder last season, which allowed him to ignite fastbreaks more than anyone else. It is that kind of speed that the team craves now but simply can’t find. Without that crutch and with Scott focusing so much on the offense, the once stout Cavs defense has collapsed. During their losing streak they are giving up 117 points per 100 possessions, far and away the worst defensive efficiency in the NBA during that time."
- Michael Jordan does not like watching replays of DeMar DeRozan dunking on his team.
- Celebrity is so strange. From a press release: "Boston Celtics Center Shaquille O’Neal will trade in his Boston Celtics uniform for white tie and tails for a special appearance conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in the Christmas classic, Sleigh Ride, Monday December 20, as part of a Holiday Pops concert, 8-10 p.m., at world-famous Symphony Hall."
- Kobe Bryant's endorsement deal with a Turkish airline comes with complications.
- One of the best players in Pacers history is doing a lot to help the Lakers.
- We have talked recently about how NBA players don't foul out like they used to. Here's some new thinking: Maybe a slower-paced game does, after all, explain the decrease.
- Donald Sterling owns the Clippers. Does he also own the right to sit courtside and heckle them?
- Rajon Rondo is one of the worst shooters in the NBA. But how bad can he be? He not only leads all guards in field goal percentage, but this season he's doing that while also shooting more and better than ever from the mid-range.
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his wife Jennifer tell Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post about adopting two boys from Lithuania. Jennifer didn't speak any Lithuanian, and the boys didn't speak any English. It's a touching story with a happy ending, but not without its challenges: "Soon after, they went to a shopping center, where Deividas slipped his hand from Jennifer's grip and took off, dodging honking cars. 'He doesn't understand a word I'm saying,' Jennifer said. 'I've only had him for 48 hours and I'm at the top of my lungs like a maniac.' A trip to a restaurant resulted in one of the boys placing his paper menu in the candle on the table. 'Yeah, we've had some good times,' Jennifer said."
- "Chilling in the corner" is not a good way to start your transition defense.
- After grumbling about the roster after performing badly in a loss, Brandon Roy apologizes to his teammates.
- Asked in a chat what to do with a star who only wants to be traded to one city, David Thorpe replies: "Show him the door, and then make his face into a dartboard?"
- The Feds dig up the bushes in front of the house of a big-time bookie and find all kinds of cash. And it matters because ... this is the guy whose phone records were first subpoenaed in the prosecution of Tim Donaghy, James Battista and Tommy Martino.
- Credit a remote control camera, some old-fashioned journalistic sense, and a bit of luck, for one of the best NBA photos of the year.
- Joel Przybilla finds the spot on the floor in Dallas where he destroyed his knee, and bends down and kisses the court. He can explain why.
- Don't bring that headband in here.
- Complex magazine ranks the 50 dirtiest players in sports history. (Via PistonPowered)
- That was the first technical foul of Derrick Rose's entire life.
- People in Chicago are holding their breath, hoping Joakim Noah won't need to sit eight weeks because of an injured hand.