January, 2, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- DeMarcus Cousins' veteran teammate Chuck Hayes talks to Cowbell Kingdom's Jonathan Santiago: "I believe he’ll come around. He’s a competitor, he wants to play, he loves his game. I’m sure it’s eating him up that he’s at home and he has to sit there and watch instead of competing with his teammates. But that’s a decision that the office and the coaching staff, they’ll all have to come up with. And us as pros, we’re going to have to just go out there and perform."
- Who'd want Cousins? He was monstrously productive players in college. If somebody can create the right environment for him to thrive, the opportunity is massive. The Rockets are on a long list of teams that make sense.
- At what age do top scorers do their top scoring? Younger than you'd think. And I'd argue that the real answer might be younger than it appears here, as young players are far more likely to be constrained, in shots and minutes, by coaches and team dynamics.
- Marc Stein writes: "Kevin Martin just scored 73 points on 48 shots in the first back-to-back-to-back of his life." Notable about all that is that this has not come with a lot of free throws either. After a passive first game under Kevin McHale, Martin is in the groove taking open jumpers, which he has always been pretty good at.
- At Hoopdata you can dig in to the kinds of shots Russell Westbrook has been taking. Over the last 16 games (including last year's playoffs) as culled by Jeff Fogle: "3-9 feet: 15 of 45 (33 percent) 10-15 feet: 12-40 (30 percent) 16-23 feet: 19-77 (25 percent) 3-pointers: 7-31 (23 percent)."
- An amazing collection of NBA-related Twitter accounts.
- This chart has, among other things, what percentage of the time every NBA player plays at what position. Could be handy.
- How the Heat handle the zone.
- A Caron right in the Butler. (Bear with me. 2012 could be pretty silly.)
- Michael Beasley teaching PG-13 anatomy on video. Also note: After the mighty injury in question, the noted chucker still manages to squeeze off a meaningless shot.
- Steve Nash is playing injured. A bruised rib is keeping him from shooting and moving normally. This, combined with Robert Sarver's various disastrous decisions, has really hurt the Suns.
- Is Danny Granger's miserable offense hurting the Pacers, or is the Pacers' miserable offense hurting Danny Granger?
- Remember when it was unclear whether Kyle Lowry or Rafer Alston was the more valuable player? Not anymore.
- Struggling to stay upbeat in D.C., where the Wizards are the only NBA squad without a single win.
- A lot is going wrong in Dallas. But one thing that's going very well is Delonte West in the pick and roll.
- Ty Lawson has been fantastic.
- Ryan Braun of Cavs: The Blog on Kyrie Irving: "Exceedingly steady game from Kyrie, but nothing spectacular tonight. On the plus side, it was nice to see his jumper start to make an appearance. He’d been doing most of his damage thus far around the basket, but against New Jersey he finally looked to be settling down from midrange and finding a comfort level behind the 3-point line (3-4 tonight after going 1-7 in the first four games). Only real negatives -- Kyrie wasn’t quite as aggressive pushing the ball up the floor, and he spent more time on Sundiata Gaines than he did against Deron Williams. I guess there are worse things in the world than not getting a baptism by fire. In closing, I love Kyrie." That post also includes some statistical evidence worth watching -- a lot of guards who can score at the rim in college have a hard time in the NBA where the rim protectors are much bigger and faster. It's too early to conclude Irving is having any such trouble, but keep an eye on that.
- Cryotherapy is, increasingly a big deal in the NBA. (During last year's Finals, I could hardly bring myself to quote Jason Terry on the topic. He raved like a guy selling toys on the boardwalk. It was so over-the-top it seemed he must have been getting paid to say that.) All the NBA's Texas teams, though, are now using the machines that make parts of your body incredibly cold in the name of healing and recovery (not unlike an ice bath). Manny Harris -- a Cavalier until he fell out of the league after an injury from the procedure cost him his NBA job -- would like to remind you is to read the fine print carefully, and wear the right socks.