January, 17, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- John Hollinger on Dwight Howard's defense this year (Insider): "He hasn't been as impactful this season. He's also been noticeably more reticent to contest shots when he has fouls, which may be a tactical decision. However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the other dots -- at times he looks like a guy who is playing just hard enough to avoid being compared to Vince Carter. Howard is so good that he can get away with it most of the time, but the stat sheet shows he's not impacting the game defensively as he did a year ago."
- Andrea Bargnani's secret sauce.
- A year ago, 78.6 percent of NBA GMs said they'd pick Kobe Bryant to shoot with a game on the line. In this year's study that number is down to 48.1 percent. He's still first, with Kevin Durant in second.
- Lamar Odom's return to L.A. stirs up about 50 incredibly sad plotlines.
- In telling the story of Kendrick Perkins and Boston Celtics, there will always be a big argument about what would have happened had he not been traded. However, no one will ever argue that the way it ended was incredibly sudden, and players and fans are still grieving that breakup.
- Blake Griffin can improve on defense, but he can't fix something that will always diminish his impact: He has amazingly short arms. Ethan Sherwood Strauss on HoopSpeak: "This seems sadly objectifying, to make a man’s arm his glass ceiling. It’s also logical. A raised limb contests a shot. An outstretched one turns a passing lane into traffic going the other direction. Arms are important, arms and feet. A stout dude like Chuck Hayes can compensate for length-lack by laterally shuffling at a sprinter’s pace. Blake Griffin does not have this skill. I’m not sure if anyone but Chuck Hayes has this skill."
- The 76ers must have some secret, right? Some reason this middling team has started killing everybody? Andre Iguodala spilled the beans on Twitter.
- Al Thornton is tweeting astrology and rehashed wisdom from strippers.
- A video breakdown of how Ryan Anderson was able to make all those 3s.
- Should anyone take shooting advice from Ben Wallace?
- Mikhail Prokhorov on why he's running for president of Russia.
- If you win a lot, they stick your face on a Wheaties Box. If you lose a lot, they do this.
- How can it be that Hedo Turkoglu is killing it in crunch time? Here's how. Exactly how, in photos.
- HoopSpeak's Beckley Mason on Ray Allen: "His extensive pregame routine is legendary, as is the 'mild' case of OCD that Jackie MacMullan chronicled in 2008: 'If there is a speck of paper on the floor in his house, he cannot walk by without picking it up. He has tried. He has purposely marched up the stairs without correcting the glaring imperfection, but he’s unable to eliminate the image from his mind until he goes back down, throws the scrap in the wastebasket, and restores order in his home.' The physical requirements to be a great shooter are fairly minimal. There’s a certain standard of athleticism that must be met by any NBA player, but for Allen, the real physical gift might be the balance of chemicals in his brain that makes him so uncompromisingly focused on getting the little details in place every time. Shooting is all about perfection, about minimizing sources of error. The feet must be properly spaced. The hips must be loaded the same way to maintain that balance and create a consistent thrust upward. The upper body must be still in flight. The fingers must grip the ball from the tips. The elbow must travel straight from shot pocket to follow through. And, most importantly, it must all be done the exact same way each time. On a 26-foot heave, a centimeter’s difference in the position of the shooting elbow or the hand on the ball produces plenty of error to send the ball caroming off the rim. After so many years of relentless sanding and shaving, Allen’s shooting motion knows nothing of the score of the game or what transpired only moments earlier. He has whittled away all excess and variance, all concern for such trivial matters. His shot is in some ways its own entity apart from Allen, though it is the one thing that will define his impact on the sport."
- It's hard to see what the Clippers could offer the Magic for Dwight Howard that would be better than, say, Andrew Bynum.
- You think "If I am ever in power, you will hear from me" is a unique message, or just this dude's e-mail signature?