March, 14, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- People are acting like Luol Deng just came out of nowhere, but it ain't so.
- An NBA traveling absurdity. Goran Dragic gathers the ball on the run, steps off his left, lands on his left, and then jumps off his right. It's an obvious travel. However, if instead of left, left, right he had stepped left, right, left ... that's been legal since the NBA responded to this report by changing the rule to allow two steps. Does the NBA really cares about the sequence of the steps. If you can take two steps, does it really matter which foot goes first? I'm pretty certain the ban on hopping on one foot is a legacy from a time when the rulebook banned two consecutive steps. Now I'm allowed to step left, right, left, what's the idea behind banning left, left? How could that be worse?
- The many different ways Russell Westbrook kills opponents.
- Whoever wins the East will face one of the weakest playoff teams in recent history (Insider).
- When the Spurs crushed the Heat, the crazy potent part of their offense were assisted, catch-and-shoot 3s. You can bet Erik Spoelstra will be emphasizing that as the Heat prepare their defense. Meanwhile, do the Heat have a chance to make those same shots? Click that same link to see evidence that basically none of the Heat's best 3-point shooters have been good lately.
- The Heat have been painted as the ultimate flashy, take-the-easy-way team. But read Michael Wallace's column. Erik Spoelstra, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James ... they're talking long-term, slow-build, no-shortcuts in convincing fashion. You don't see a lot of young players talking about taking years to build, essentially, a corporate identity. But that's what they're talking about.
- Steve Nash is coping with a rare kind of pelvic annoyance which sometimes requires months of rest. Grant Hill says pubic-symphis irritation is nothing to trifle with -- it once took him months of rehab to deal with the same thing.
- If you're going to cheat filling out your NCAA bracket, at least cheat from the right person. Me, I did it the old-fashioned way: With very hasty and poorly informed guesswork. Works every year, as I consistently disappoint.
- Huge question: Should Brandon Roy close games?
- Paul Pierce doing his Larry Bird impersonation.
- Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri tells The New York Times' William Rhoden that his two goals are to bring a title to Denver, and to establish basketball in Africa: "There are a lot of good, smart kids there who just need an opportunity. I represent a great continent. People ask, Is there pressure on me? I don’t feel pressure at all. It’s an unbelievable challenge for me, but I feel like I carry the weight of my continent on my shoulders. I want to help the next generation in Africa."
- The Norrkoping Dolphins have their own rap.
- How much is Larry Bird worth as a hoops executive? It seems to me that his past playing prowess is a big part of his current value.
- Cavaliers fans, what do you expect for Anderson Varejao?
- Knicks defensive troubles on display.
- Take a look at these Maverick plays. Basically, their primary scorers (Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry) use relaxed body language away from the ball to catch defenders off-guard. Plays like this show the value of those defenders who are always alert. Rest when you're on the bench, you know? Dirk and Jet are always threats.
- Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic singling out a guy who deserves plenty of praise for his tireless work this season: "Reggie Evans sure tried his best, posting a ridiculous 17 rebounds, eight of them offensive. He was a complete machine, providing energy and hustle as we’ve come to expect. When the only complaint you have about somebody’s game is that they maybe could have looked for their own shot occasionally after offensive rebounds, that person is not taking much off the table. Reggie continues to show a huge amount of heart and grit, and yes, I know the workman story has been told too often and is a bit odd to focus on (why would anyone not work their tail off?), it’s still a treat to see Evans buzz around for every loose ball and rebound with so much zeal."
- David West and Carl Landry are a potent scoring duo in the Hornets frontcourt.
- Eric Maynor does not turn the ball over.
- Hints that Tyreke Evans' return is approaching.