August, 1, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- A nice infographic on the 42 basketball players competing in the Olympics. (via @TreyKerby)
- Andre Drummond is keeping a "Summer School" diary on the Pistons website: "The thing about me is I try to do big things before I do the small stuff. Being around Arnie and Roy, they tell me the big stuff will come after you get the small stuff down first. We’ve been working on my footwork and getting my jump hook higher, getting my jump shot right. I’m now starting to see that the little things add up to help get the big things right."
- Everyone knows Michael Jordan was great, but sometimes his legend obscures the details of his actual play. On HoopSpeak, Ethan Sherwood Strauss goes back to praise a wicked in-and-out dribble: "Wide hands allowed MJ to employ this move with digits draped over the ball like an arcade prize claw. Jordan almost never carried because he did not need to. Refs aren’t quite sure what to do about a man who can palm a bouncing ball without moving his wrist. Like Allan Houston, Michael Jordan used the move in halfcourt situations. But Jordan could also use the inside-out dribble while running full speed in transition. This is no minor detail. It’s like a pitcher being able to throw a curveball at 100 mph. It was bad enough that Michael dashed faster into open spaces than anyone else. MJ also had the rock darting every which way as he flew past -- like a rabid Cerberus was attached to his shoulder. To get in front of this was to guess quickly and correctly. Few did."
- 10 reasons Bucks fans should be excited about Tobias Harris.
- Gothic Ginobili's Aaron McGuire on why Mario Chalmers remains underappreciated despite a solid 2011-12 season: "Out of all the players in the league, I don’t think there’s anybody whose turnovers are quite as visually stunning as those of Chalmers. The best way to put it is that when most players turn over the ball, it’s a mistake --some random 'whoops' moment where they usually just lost control for a split second. No big deal, but sad. When Chalmers gets a turnover? It’s an event. It’s a SportsCenter play-of-the-game. It’s Mario Chalmers doing a backflip while trying to thread a pass through two referees and accidentally throwing the ball into the Indian Ocean. It’s Mario Chalmers flashing a smile while trying to dribble the ball off his head as he composes an aria. It’s Mario Chalmers handing the ball to the opposing point guard, giving him a pep talk, and standing like Jesus in the middle of the court while the play goes on at the other end. Mario Chalmers has the most hilarious turnovers in the game. I don’t think there’s any real doubt about this. And in turn, although his turnover rate isn’t remarkably awful (though it IS pretty bad), Chalmers tends to be remembered more for his turnovers and fouls (which are pretty funny too) than the many good things he does on the court."
- New Sun and former top-5 pick Wesley Johnson will be a test of Phoenix's revamped development system.
- Isaiah Thomas organized a player-led mini-camp in the interest of creating "a close team" in Sacramento.
- More signs it was simply time for Ray Allen to move on from Boston.
- Spurs bloggers give Magic fans an idea of what to expect from new Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn, who was an assistant under Gregg Popovich.
- The Oklahoman's Barry Tramel says winning Olympic Gold ain't worth the injury risk: "Organizations have committed unspeakable amounts of money to these players now wearing the red, white and navy blue. To incur such a calamity in the name of goodwill and some kind of athletic patriotism is asking a bit much. The NBA is big business. Every decision concerning personnel is big; every decision concerns risk/reward. The risk of allowing franchise pillars to play in the Olympics does not match the reward."
- Strategic tanking in all manner of Olympic competition.
- On 48 Minutes of Hell, Jesse Blanchard says the leading roles that Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker play for their national teams have helped them push the Spurs forward as Duncan declines: "No matter how nurturing Duncan was and is as a teammate, Tony Parker’s basketball identity was born in a state of perpetual deference to the Spurs’ franchise player. While Ginobili on a championship Spurs team faced the same pecking order limitations as Parker, his dual basketball citizenship allowed him experiences necessary to step above and beyond a secondary role as the Spurs needed. Little wonder then that the biggest leaps in Parker’s game have occurred as Parker has taken a bigger role on the French national team."