December, 22, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- Phil Jackson says the NBA ought not play on Christmas Day. A little poll in the right margin finds about half of readers agree with him.
- What Celtics practice is like, as described by WEEI's Paul Flannery (via CelticsHub). There is lots of talk about how much Kevin Garnett talks, and how professional the Celtics are. Avery Bradley got a lot of hands on tutoring. Doc Rivers tells Flannery: “I think there’s far more teaching in NBA practices than people realize and there’s far more structure and far more detail. I always say we have to teach the college kids when they come in the league. They don’t know as much as you think they would know and most of what they learn is probably in this league. They get the credit back in college and that’s fine with us as long as we win.”
- One of the most heinous sins an athlete can make is to make obvious mistakes. Fans will never get on a guy who seems to be playing hard and smart all the time, even if in fact he's not productive. But do really obvious things like get your ankles broken by somebody's crossover, or make a choke sign to opponents in a game you end up losing and people will get on you. DeMarcus Cousins makes a lot of obvious mistakes. He pouts, and he made that choke sign last night. But that doesn't mean he isn't really good.
- Worth noting about last night's Maverick win over the Magic: Dwight Howard didn't seem too sure how to handle Tyson Chandler, who was surprisingly effective. Also, did you notice how often players from both teams got to the rim?
- This video seems to prove that nowadays high-schoolers can fly. Paul George, too.
- Whether it's real or not, I can't say. But I love the mounting evidence that Mark Cuban sees Mikhail Prokhorov as a rival to ... what is the title exactly?
- Ted Leonsis is one of the most responsive owners in sports. But not this week.
- The Heat have the lowest "cost per win" in the NBA. The Wizards edged out the Cavaliers for the dubious 30th spot on the list.
- A close look at the crafty play the Warriors used to send the game to overtime last night.
- The Wizards have been talking about moving Rashard Lewis back to small forward where he was once an All-Star. Kyle Weidie of Truth About It: "Looking at PER (Player Efficiency Rating by ESPN’s John Hollinger -- league average is 15), Lewis’ best career seasons came in Seattle in 2005-06 (20.0) and 2006-07 (20.7). He made the All-Star team in 2004-05 with a PER of 19.9. In those three successive seasons of Seattle’s best, Lewis shot field-goal percentages of .462, .467, .461; three-point percentages of .400, .384, .390; and averaged 20.5, 20.1 and 22.4 points per game, respectively. That was at age 25, 26 and 27, by the way, pretty much Lewis’ peak. The Wizards may want to use him like the Seattle days, but it’s highly unlikely Lewis will put up those same numbers at age 31."
- A coach saying he is fond of a player is nice. Is it as nice if he does so in a press release?
- A classy move from Larry Bird, texting congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki for passing him on the all-time scoring list.