January, 4, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Ethan Sherwood Strauss on WarriorsWorld, talking about poor Andris Biedrins who's massive, strong, tanned, talented and finally healthy again, but hamstrung by evident fear of the free throw line: "He’s slowing slipping out of this league. In the last game against Phoenix, Biedrins finally shot his first free throws of the season (clank….clank). That he shot them at all is an improvement over the status quo. That he played a meager 12 minutes is an improvement over the previous game’s nine minute stint. He used to play 30 minutes a night. The man can’t get fouled, because it seems he does not want to. When I write 'seems,' I do it to 'seem' fair. But it is my utmost belief that Biedrins avoids drawing fouls, with intent. I’ve seen him catch countless defenders up in the air, only to release them back into the wild. As the confused defender falls back to earth, Biedrins fades his way from layup to a difficult, off-balance hook. It’s worth it to avoid a trip to the line, an area where so many other players strive to live."
- Beckley Mason on HoopSpeak with Derrick Rose appreciation: "Holy moly, Derrick Rose is something else. He truly has an unparalleled ability to turn on the afterburners when his team needs it. Don’t focus on the big threes, which he’ll make sometimes and miss sometimes, but note how at the end of games he actually moves faster, his crossover becomes more violent. It’s like a great pitcher throwing 92 all game, keeping his team in it, then striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth with nine 103 mph heaters. Incredible."
- Boston fans go nuts for Greg Stiemsma, which is cool. But less cool when it's so darned hard to find an equivalent black player who has ever garnered that kind of reaction.
- The Cavaliers head out on the road feeling really good about Tristan Thompson and his v-neck. John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog on Thompson's big game against the Bobcats: "TRISTAN THOMPSON. SUPERBEAST. This is a weird game to analyze for him, because he had more great plays than he’s had in any game this season, but his final line suffered because he got a little cocky offensively and took a lot of shots that he really shouldn’t be taking yet. After he swished that first step-back jumper, he tried a lot of shots and dribble moves that he shouldn’t be trying in games yet, and he only finished with 16 points on 16 shots. Still, when Thompson was doing his thing, he was a MONSTER. He finishes with as much authority as I’ve ever seen a Cavs big finish with, he’s a junkyard dog around the rim, he gets off the floor quickly and with power, and his block on B.J. Mullens was freaking epic."
- Strauss again (showoff), this time on HoopSpeak, talks up the Cavaliers' potential: "There was much garments-rending over how LeBron left Cleveland in rancid shambles, but few noted the bizarre NBA paradox: Rancid shambles = where you want to be in this league. Rank failure is rewarded, and handsomely so. The upstart Cavs now sport the first and fourth picks from 2011. With Baron Davis amnestied, and Antawn Jamison expiring, Cleveland will have ample financial room going forward. Despite widespread assertions to the contrary, I believe that Kyrie Irving has superstar potential. Tristan Thompson looks like he could become a valuable defensive force at the 4 spot, no small thing in this league. Promising draft, promising team."
- A guy in argyle socks shows how not to beat a top NBA prospect one-on-one. By the way, Anthony Davis, the guy dribbling between his legs before throwing himself an alley-oop off the backboard, is 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan. Here's some more about how all that works on the court.
- Dave from BlazersEdge on Kevin Durant's reliance on the long ball in a loss to the Blazers: "I don’t know if he’s so brilliant that he considers a long jumper as easy as a layup but if so, he needs to get dumber real quick."
- Daily Thunder's Royce Young on another Thunder problem: "Daequan Cook played, but wore Amare-style rec specs. He couldn’t decide whether or not to keep them on as he would throw them to the bench and then put them back on periodically. He wore them to see if they helped with his flu-like symptoms that included some headaches. He didn’t shoot the ball well, going just 1-5 from the floor and 0-3 from 3."
- Is disbanding the union -- once seen as far-fetched -- the new normal in pro sports work stoppages?
- Elton Brand for DeMarcus Cousins? It'll never happen, especially if Cousins isn't even on the block, as the Kings say. But if the Kings want some wins now and the Sixers are playing for the long term, it makes a certain sense. Let Doug Collins take a crack at the talented young big man.
- Rick Adelman is giving Ricky Rubio what David Thorpe calls "the royal jelly."
- Timberwolves followers, enjoying a moment when their franchise is not a laughingstock.
- How DeAndre Jordan plays defense.
- It's as if advanced stats were created to make Markieff Morris look good.
- Jacob Mustafa of Red94, trying to carve out the right niche for the Rockets, who lost valiantly to the Lakers last night: "The Rockets, if nothing else, remain a League Pass staple for those who like to see a team actively push and struggle to win nightly and brew up some fun doing it. Crisp perimeter passing and unprecedented angles for scoop shots make the nights of most fans surveying the daily NBA landscape, so Houston’s status as 'everyone’s fifth favorite team' (I’m realistic about the space the Rockets occupy in the minds of even the most devoted hoops junkies) works perfectly, especially for a team so used to being the unofficial squad for the world’s biggest country. This seems like a reputation worth embracing, something the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns have at times in the past, because the ones who win aren’t always the ones people like, and there has to be a place for the lovable loser."