- Beckley Mason, NBA
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A fascinating point from HoopsWorld's Anthony Macri about NBA players adjusting to the closer FIBA 3-point line: "The FIBA distance is, for most NBA players, one of the worst shots in basketball. This is because it is just inside the NBA line, making it the lowest efficiency shot type in the game: the long two pointer. As a result, many players not only avoid taking or practicing this shot, but they actually practice avoiding the shot altogether! However, any problems are easily remedied for most after a few shooting sessions at the new line. What is considerably harder for players making the adjustment is the effect the line has on overall court spacing. NBA players are taught to use the NBA three point line as a guide, and to step about a yard back from it to operate. This gives them room to step into catches for shots or attack moves. It also maintains great spacing with teammates, meaning passing angles are easier to spot and defenders cannot crowd areas too easily. That advantage is taken away with the FIBA three-point line. Now, players tend to move the same distance in relation to the shorter line. This means the passing lanes are less clear, and defenders have a much easier time clogging up areas in and around the lane as a result."
Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns relays Luis Scola's assessment of Goran Dragic: "He needed to be in the court playing significant minutes and also knowing that he’s got the chance to fail and then keep playing. Being the backup point guard for him is a little tough, and when he finally got a chance to play more minutes and play with more confidence he had a chance to make more mistakes without a lot of consequences, and that makes him play even more and make even less of those mistakes." It sounds like Dragic's stint as a starter in Houston was the "royal jelly" he needed.
Why Dwight Howard, like Deron Williams before him, won't be signing an extension, regardless of where he's playing. A detailed breakdown of how Dwight Howard's decision to extend his current contract will impact him financially.
Adam Morrison is looking to make an NBA comeback, and looking good in Vegas. Andrew McNeill caught up with Morrison on rehabbing not just his knee and game, but his reputation: "Maybe I've been typecast as a certain player, certain type of person, but I just want to show people I can play, I'm a good teammate and a good dude in the locker room."
How lessons about balance -- both yours and your opponent's -- learned from martial arts can pay off on the basketball court.
A few big, health-related "ifs" in here, but the Warriors front office has done a nice job of putting together a talented roster, the pieces of which seem to fit together nicely.
Steve Nash channels "The Godfather", mostly by sticking a bunch of grapes in his mouth. A couple weeks in Hollywood and already he's a method actor.
The Bobcats have won four straight Summer League games. While that in itself isn't noteworthy, this stat from Spencer Percy of Queen City Hoops certainly is: "The Bobcats are now plus-39 in turnover margin and a stat that Mike Dunlap claims is the 'most important in the game.' Not only are the turnovers forced giving the Cats more possessions than their opponents, but it’s also filtering into the up-tempo offensive style that Dunlap prefers and leads to easy buckets."
Kings head coach Keith Smart drops by the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast to talk summer league and the team's recent roster moves.
A promising scouting report from Jay Ach of The Painted Area on Timberwolves rookie Alexey Shved: "Shved is a handful in pick-n-roll, where he can hit pull-ups going both ways, get all the way to rim or drop sweet dishes to his teammates. Simply a great pick-n-roll player. A terrific passer with impeccable timing and accuracy. Not quite as masterful as his new teammate, Ricky Rubio, but he's close."
Toronto rookie Terrence Ross was touted as a shooter coming out of Washington, but his defense has been on point in summer league, says SI's Zach Lowe: "It’s clear watching Ross that he already has learned how to defend the pick-and-roll from various places around the floor. When he’s guarding a shooter in the corner, Ross understands when he needs to stay at home and when he needs to crash into the lane, bump the screener rolling to the rim and then retreat back to his original man. That sounds easy -- help on the open guy! -- but Casey says rookies rarely grasp the concept as quickly as Ross has."
Reminder: James Harden is one cool dude.
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