May, 29, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- David Robinson deserves more credit as a role model of handing power to teammates. That underlies a lot of what has been working for a long time in San Antonio.
- Tiny, insignificant point. It is generally assumed that Russell Westbrook holds onto the ball too long and doesn't pass enough. It is also generally assumed that the Spurs role players hit the open man as if it is going to get them to heaven. An oddity: So far in the playoffs, the supporting Spur with the highest assist rate, Gary Neal, has precisely the same playoff assist rate at Westbrook. Both, for the record, have assist rates well under half of Rajon Rondo's.
- The trouble James Harden is having scoring.
- The Celtics are shooting 28 percent from downtown in the playoffs, which is horrible by any measure -- even compared to the Celtics in the regular season, when they made 37 percent, good enough for seventh out of 30 teams. Healthy, you'd have to assume, the Celtics would be shooting more normally and, therefore, far better.
- If you give him a pass on the Bulls, because of their star going down in the first game of the playoffs, John Hollinger's automated regular season power rankings finished with the four teams now still alive as the top four in the league. If you read the comments, people tend to think Hollinger is crazy. He is not crazy.
- Speaking of Hollinger, here he explains why Serge Ibaka spent so much time on the bench in Game 1: "A lot of fans who don't see the Thunder much were surprised to see ace shot-blocker Serge Ibaka on the bench in the fourth quarter. Actually, this happens fairly often when the Thunder play small, as only one of Oklahoma City's three bigs can stay on the floor. Brooks usually plays Kendrick Perkins if the opponent has a great low-post scorer, Nick Collison if the opponent is pick-and-rolling a lot, and Ibaka if he wants a rim protector and a bit more floor spacing. The quandary, of course, is that against San Antonio he needs all three. Brooks decided to have Perkins stay in to defend Tim Duncan in the low post -- his motivation was pretty clear, given that Perkins checked in for Collison almost immediately after Duncan had re-entered."
- Did the Clippers' guard corps just get a lot younger and more dynamic? Charlie Widdoes explains on ClipperBlog: "This season started with Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams and Randy Foye (probably in that order) battling for minutes alongside Chris Paul. It ended with Erik Bledsoe and Nick Young looking like the ones with a future in L.A." Widdoes also points out that Bledsoe had the team's highest playoff PER, and then there's this: "When he was on the court, the Clippers scored 115 points per 100 possessions, and gave up 100. When he was on the bench, they scored only 90, and gave up 105."
- Paul Shirley says the Lakers should trade Andrew Bynum, not Pau Gasol, because Bynum has the higher stock on the trade market, and the less proven track record winning alongside Kobe Bryant. Also in the same column: Valuable insight into the former NBA player's dating life.
- What about Lamar Odom as a Knick?
- How far do you think NBA players run in a game? Those who run the most approach three miles a night.
- Zach Lowe writes that LeBron James has evolved in a way that makes Miami's stagnant half-court much better than it has been.
- Very good illustration of a very good dunk.
- In the playoffs Doug Collins said he was a "Sixer for life," and it looks like the Sixers feel the same way.
- Going into the lottery, here's a little analysis: It's a random event! Whatever happens, in other words, will be totally random. That's it, really. Not great for storytelling, huh?
- Is it time for the Pacers to sell high on Paul George?