October, 26, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- NBA shooting coach sounds like a great gig, but expectations and job turnover are high.
- John Hollinger (Insider) takes a look at the Orlando Magic and finds more than the Dwight Howard deal to be concerned about, like Jameer Nelson's new three-year, $25 million contract: "The unquestioned locker room leader in O-town through the Howard era, Nelson earned a lot of respect and might prove valuable in shepherding some of the younger guys through the nightly beatings this year. Nonetheless, he's a short 30-year-old guard whose best years are clearly behind him. The third year is only half-guaranteed, but this was still a major, major reach. The fact it effectively cost them Ryan Anderson only makes it worse."
- Kevin Love gets his head shaved by NFL superstar Larry Fitzgerald for Breast Cancer Awareness month in solidarity with women who lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy treatment.
- Behold: video evidence of the impact a great passing big man has in pick-and-rolls.
- Dwight Howard is the undecided voter.
- Concern that Luol Deng, who did not get offseason surgery to repair his left wrist and will again log insane minutes in Tom Thibodeau's high-intensity defense, may be headed for a physical breakdown.
- Blake Griffin is hilarious as a book club sensei.
- SB Nation's Tom Ziller previews the Wizards and wonders if coach Randy Wittman has the necessary defensive chops: "The blueprint for this team is to be elite on defense and okay on offense. That's what the Bulls did in Derrick Rose's third season. Here's the major, unavoidable difference: the Bulls had Tom Thibodeau while the Wizards have Randy Wittman. Wittman had the team for most of the 2011-12 season. The Wizards were No. 27 in defense. In Wittman's last full season at the helm of a team (the 2007-08 Timberwolves), his team finished No. 27 in defense. In two seasons in Cleveland, Wittman's teams ranked No. 14 and No. 22. The season before Wittman had taken over, under Mike Fratello, the Cavaliers were No. 12 in defense."
- Legendary Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma advocates lowering the rim in women's basketball. To me, what's never made sense is that these incredibly talented 6-foot women play with a smaller ball than middle school boys.
- Derrick Favors got to the free throw line at superstar rates in last year's playoffs.
- Adam Morrison gives a great, insightful interview to Dime Magazine about his life as a fringe NBA player.
- Children psychoanalyze Metta World Peace, and it's unbearably cute.
- Tom Haberstroh gives us 10 things to watch in 2012-13 (Insider), and says Tyson Chandler is about as important as any player in the NBA: "The Knicks have a serious problem on their hands if 40-year-old Kurt Thomas is their only healthy big man on the roster with NBA experience (no I'm not counting Rasheed Wallace). Without Chandler, the truth is that this could be the worst defensive team in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony at the 4 only works if they can buoy him with Chandler's defensive presence."
- Better movement off the ball could help, but it strikes me that the reason defenses aren't giving Greivis Vasquez angles to find his teammates out of pick-and-rolls is that no one respects Vasquez's ability to break down the defense, thus no one helps off of New Orleans' shooters.
- As a door in Dallas closes for Delonte West, one opens for Eddy Curry.
- A detailed timeline of David Stern's 28-year reign.
- In an interview with Tommy Beer of Hoopsworld, Steve Novak is in awe of Ray Allen's shooting form: "'Well, I’ll tell you, Ray Allen’s form is so unique; when you consider that the majority of great shooters are not ‘jump’ shooters like Ray,' Novak said. 'How high he rises off the ground, he’s unique. He wasn’t a guy I could say I model my shot after. My game a little bit, yes, how he used screens and how he got open and how quick he got his shot off, but his shot is so unique because he elevates. Majority of great shooters don’t get up that high.'"
- David Stern's retirement announcement has Sacramento feeling nervous about the future of the Kings franchise in the city.