December, 20, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- C.J. Miles using Twitter in a way I have not seen before: With a report from the video session. I'm all for that. Actual basketball insight!
- Kemba Walker got something last night: A bounce in his step. In hitting all the big shots in a close Bobcats preseason win, he managed to come up with a nice dose of confidence he can draw on when, inevitably, things get rough. Staying inspired is a big part of improving for the long haul in any pursuit.
- The good news for Laker fans is Kobe Bryant appears to be healthy. Mike Brown, as quoted by Dave McMenamin: "He's done some things in practice that kind of wows you in terms of taking the ball to the basket strong and finishing with dunks in traffic and stuff like that." The bad news is that Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle (Insider) list six contenders to win the West, and the Lakers aren't one of them. "Long before trading Odom, the Lakers had slipped from the role of favorites into the crowded group of aspirants to the West title. Without their super-sixth man, the Lakers would have a tough time surviving any serious injury to center Andrew Bynum, who is hardly known for his reliability."
- Examining Mike Brown's offense, which looked pretty good for a half.
- Now making more money: Arron Afflalo. Ethan Sherwood Strauss sounds like he'd like to collaborate on a book or a TV show with him.
- Baron Davis' beard is staying.
- What if the NBA didn't control where teams could be located? That little free-market tweak might address some big business issues.
- Hedo Turkoglu, searching for 2009.
- Andrea Bargnani, making the Dwane Casey hire look good in the early going.
- Arsenalist, of Raptors Republic, on Jerryd Bayless: "If Bargnani was the player of the game, then Bayless had to be the goat. He sure made those of us calling for him to start look like idiots. I don’t know how much of it was him trying too hard to impress, and how much was plain old bad basketball, or maybe one was the result of the other. He finished with four turnovers and all of them were ugly. Right now Bayless is average at too many things to be considered a player for the future, and the hope is that he can elevate certain components of his game to a level that make him a little special. Right now his shooting is inconsistent, his drives have a sense of recklessness, and his passing is downright dangerous. The Raptors passed up a couple point guards with their pick, and didn’t bother acquiring another to select Knight or Walker, so there is some level of faith in Bayless. I hope for the young man’s sake that this is a season where he grows as a player, instead of repeating the same mistakes again."
- The Wizards know how to get Flip Saunders angry.
- A few months ago, Peja Stojakovic was in the Finals. He was not good in the Finals (no matter what one fan thought) but he helped the Mavericks plenty in the playoffs. Who knew that was the end? A big ol' video tribute. He did a lot of damage in Sacramento. Should the Kings retire his number?